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GATE 2018 Exam Pattern

Last Updated - August 03, 2017

GATE Exam Pattern is defined paper wise depending upon candidates’ branch. For this year, IIT Guwahati will hold the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). The exam includes 2 types of Questions - Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) & Numerical Answer Type (NAT).

Listed below are quick facts related to GATE Exam Pattern 2018:

  • GATE consists 3 sections namely General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics and specific subject of the paper
  • The total number of questions in GATE 2018 is 65.
  • Questions are of 2 types- Multiple Choice type (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT).
  • Questions will be asked in a random order and one has to select the answer (for MCQ type) and enter the answer for numerical answer type question using a mouse on a virtual keyboard.
  • The maximum number of questions in GATE 2018 are from the core subject.
  • Total duration of exam is 3 hours.
  • A scribble pad will be provided for any rough work. The scribble pad has to be returned after the examination.
  • After the exam concludes, the computer will automatically close the screen from further actions
  • GATE Syllabus will be of graduate level
  • Maximum marks for the paper is 100 marks 
  • There is no negative marking for NAT but it is applicable for MCQs.  For 1 mark MCQs, 1/3 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer. Likewise, for 2 marks MCQs, 2/3 marks will be deducted.

Highlights of GATE Exam Pattern

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  • GATE is conducted for 23 different engineering disciplines. And candidates can apply for only 1 paper.
  • The exam consists 3 sections namely General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics and specific subject of the paper
  • One must note that GATE papers will have General Aptitude as a compulsory section
  • Also, Engineering Mathematics sections are common to most of the papers.

GATE Exam Paper with their Codes

GATE Paper

Code

Aerospace Engineering

AE

Agricultural Engineering

AG

Architecture and Planning

AR

Biotechnology

BT

Civil Engineering

CE

Chemical Engineering

CH

Computer Science and Information Technology

CS

Chemistry

CY

Electronics and Communication Engineering

EC

Electrical Engineering

EE

Ecology and Evolution

EY

Geology and Geophysics

GG

Instrumentation Engineering

IN

Mathematics

MA

Mechanical Engineering

ME

Mining Engineering

MN

Metallurgical Engineering

MT

Petroleum Engineering

PE

Physics

PH

Production and Industrial Engineering

PI

Textile Engineering and Fibre Science

TF

Engineering Sciences

XE

Life Sciences

XL

Note: Engineering Mathematics questions are compulsory for GATE Exam Papers (AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF, and XE), carrying 15% of the total weightage. The questions based on the subject of the exam have 70% of the total weightage. The remaining part of GATE Question Paper includes questions based on General Aptitude.

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Candidates applying for GATE Exam bearing paper codes AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH and XL have 85% questions based on the subject of the paper. While the remaining part has questions based on general aptitude. There are no questions from engineering mathematics in GATE Question paper for these paper codes.

GATE Question Paper


GATE Marking Scheme

The questions asked in GATE 2018 are broadly divided into MCQs and NAT Questions. Candidates are asked questions based on General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics and questions based on the subject of the paper (Technical questions). Every paper covers a total of 65 questions to be answered for 100 marks.

  • From the total of 100 marks there will be 10 questions of 15 marks covering the entire General Aptitude section.
  • Engineering Mathematics will cover approximately 15% out of 100 marks for the paper bearing codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF and XE.
  • Similarly, General Aptitude will be covering again 15% out of 100 marks, whereas, on the other hand remaining 70% is acquired by the subject of paper, i.e., Engineering Mathematics.
  • For the paper codes –  AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH  and XL, the General Aptitude will cover 15% out of 100 marks, and other 85% of the total question paper will be covered by the subject of the paper.

Both the papers of GATE 2018 will be including questions of two separate types:

  • Multiple Choice Questions: MCQ will be covering 1 or 2 marks from both each of the papers and the sections. The questions in MCQ are basically objective type. Each question will have an option of four answers out of which the candidate has to select any one.  For MCQ carrying 1 marks, 1/3 mark each will be deducted for every incorrect answer. While for each 2 markers, 2/3 marks will be deducted for every incorrect answer.
  • Numerical Answer Questions: Numerical Answer Questions will be of either 1 or 2 marks from all papers and all sections. These questions contain the actual answers in numerical form which the candidate has to enter from the virtual keyboard. Unlike MCQ, these questions do not provide options for answer. There will be no negative marking for incorrect NAT questions.

GATE Exam Pattern for GG, XE and XL

The question paper will consist of multiple choice type and numerical answer type questions. There will be four options for MCQs type questions; candidates must select any one for choosing the answer. For giving the answer of numerical answer questions, choices will not be given, you have to enter the answer by using the virtual keyboard and the answer may be a real number, signed or unsigned, e.g., 25.06, -25.06, 25, -25 etc. An appropriate range will be considered while evaluating the numerical answer type questions so that the candidate is not penalized due to the usual round-off errors. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 25 questions for total 25 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 30 questions for total 60 marks (2 marks for each question)

GATE GG (Geology and Geophysics) Paper

Apart from the General Aptitude (GA) section, the Geology and Geophysics (GG) question paper consists of two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A is common for all candidates. Part B consists of two sections: Section 1 (Geology) and Section 2 (Geo-physics). Candidates will have to attempt questions in Part A and in Part B attempt either Section 1 or Section 2. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • Part A consist of 25 questions (MCQs) and carry 1 mark for each question so the total 25 marks (Some questions may be numerical answer type questions)
  • Part B (Section 1 and Section 2) consist of 30 questions (MCQs Type) 2 mark for each question so the total 60 marks (Some questions may be numerical answer type questions)

GATE XE (Engineering Sciences) Paper

There are the following sections which have to be answered by the candidates in the GATE 2018 XE paper as given in the below:

  • Section A – Engineering Mathematics (Compulsory)
  • GA – General Aptitude (Compulsory)
  • Any two of XE section from B to G (as given in the paper code table)

Candidates can select two sections from B to G during the examination after viewing the questions. Only two optional sections can be answered at a time. Candidates can also change the subject in the midway of examination to another optional section, but for this, first of all, deselect one of the previously selected optional subject from B to G.

GATE XE Paper Mark Distribution

This section contains total 33 questions of total 50 marks. In GATE XE paper, the Section - A (Engineering Mathematics) is compulsory. This section contains 11 questions of total 15 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 7 questions for total 7 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 4 questions for total 8 marks (2 marks for each question)

Each of the other sections of XE paper from section B to G contains 22 questions carrying a total of 35 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 9 questions for total 7 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 13 questions for total 26 marks (2 marks for each question)

GATE XL (Life Sciences) Paper Details

There are the following sections which have to be answered by the candidates in GATE XL paper as given in the below:

  • Section H – Chemistry (Compulsory)
  • GA – General Aptitude (Compulsory)
  • Any two of XL sections from I to M

Candidates can select two sections from I to M during the examination after viewing the questions. Only two optional sections can be answered at a time. Candidates can also change the subject in the midway of examination to another optional section, but for this, the candidates will have to deselect one of the previously selected optional subject from I to M initially.

GATE XL Paper Mark Distribution

This section contains total 35 questions of total 55 marks. In GATE XL paper, the Section - H Chemistry (compulsory). This section contains 15 questions of total 25 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 5 questions for total 5 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 10 questions for total 20 marks (2 marks for each question)

Each of the other sections of the XL paper from section I to M contains 20 questions carrying a total of 30 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 10 questions for total 10 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 10 questions for total 20 marks (2 marks for each question)

Type of Questions in GATE

GATE has questions broadly divided into objective type (MCQ) and numerical answer type (NAT). In MCQ, candidates are provided with 4 choices out of which one answer is correct. A candidate has to mark the correct choice by clicking on the radio button against the option.

NAT includes questions with a value or a real number as their answer. The answer has to be entered using the mouse in the virtual calculator. There won’t be any choices for these questions. Using the keyboard must be avoided as it will be disabled.

Apart from questions based on the subjects, the paper will also contain the questions to test the ability of your General Ability like- Language and Analytical Skills. There are 15% questions will be devoted to General Aptitude section in all the papers. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 5 questions for total 5 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 5 questions for total 10 marks (2 marks for each question)

The type of questions in GATE are explained below:

  1. Recall: This includes questions based on facts, principles, formulae and laws of discipline. The candidate has to mark an answer either directly from a memory or from one line computation.
  2. Comprehension based questions: These type of questions test the candidate’s basic understanding of the field they belong to. The candidates have to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas in these type of questions.
  3. Application based Questions: These are the logical reasoning based questions wherein the candidates have to answer according to their knowledge through computation.
  4. Analysis and Synthesis: In these questions, the candidate is presented with data, diagrams, images etc. that require analysis before a question can be answered. A Synthesis question might require the candidate to compare two or more pieces of information. Questions in this category could, for example, involve candidates in recognizing unstated assumptions or separating useful information from irrelevant information.
  5. Common Data Questions: In these type of questions, multiple data based problems are linked to a common data. The questions can be in pairs or triplets from a given common data problem. The answer to each question can be obtained directly from the passage or problem given above them i.e. answer of the previous question is not required to answer the next question). These questions carry 2 marks each.
  6. Linked Answer Questions or Problem-solving Questions: In these type of questions, there are two questions based on a problem statement. The questions are interlinked, thus, the answer to the second question depends on the answer of the first. These questions also carry 2 marks.

Subject wise important topics in GATE

Since GATE is a national level entrance examination, candidates must prepare well for it for admissions to the desired college or for recruitment to the desired PSU. Candidates can check the important topics from each paper code to aid their preparations for GATE:

Important topics from Civil Engineering (CE)

The candidates must concentrate more on the topics given below while preparing for GATE Exam for Civil Engineering (CE):

  • Strength of Materials
  • Geo Technical
  • Irrigation and Hydrology
  • Highway and Surveying
  • Environmental Engineering

Check Detailed GATE CE SYLLABUS

Important topics from Computer Science and Information Technology (CS)

The candidates are asked the maximum number of questions from the topics given below in the GATE Exam for Computer Science and Information Technology (CS):

  • Programming and Data Structures
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Organization and Architecture
  • Algorithms
  • Theory of Computation
  • Database
  • Computer Networks

Check Detailed GATE CS SYLLABUS

Important topics from Electrical Engineering (EE)

There are questions from engineering mathematics and aptitude in this paper code as well while there are few topics from the subject that carry higher weightage in the GATE Exam. The important topics from Electrical Engineering are given below:

  • Network Theory
  • Analog & Digital Electronics
  • Power Systems
  • Control Systems
  • Signal and System

Check Detailed GATE EE SYLLABUS

Important topics from Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC)

This paper code has the maximum weight age of questions based on the subject. There are questions based on aptitude and engineering mathematics as well. The important topics for the preparation of technical questions asked in GATE EC Exam are given below:

  • Analog Circuits
  • Network Theory
  • Communication Systems
  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Signal and Systems
  • Control Systems

Check Detailed GATE EC SYLLABUS

Important topics from Mechanical Engineering (ME)

The candidates can check the important topics from the mechanical engineering syllabus for GATE below:

  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Thermodynamics
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Theory of Mechanics
  • Fluid Mechanics

Check Detailed GATE ME SYLLABUS

Important topics from Instrumentation Engineering (IN)

There are questions from various topics of instrumentation engineering studied during the Bachelor programme in GATE. Candidates can revise the following topics thoroughly to crack the GATE Exam for Instrumentation Engineering:

  • Transducers
  • Analog Circuits
  • Control Systems
  • Circuit and Networks
  • Digital Circuits

Check Detailed GATE IN SYLLABUS


GATE Papers

Candidates who have applied successfully for the exam can download GATE sample papers for each subject. In the table given below, we have provided you a list of paper with codes and also the available link of sample paper for each subject.

CodePaper/ Subject NamePaper LinkCodePaper/ Subject NamePaper Link
AEAerospace EngineeringGet HereGGGeology and GeophysicsGet Here
AGAgricultural EngineeringGet HereINInstrumentation EngineeringGet Here
ARArchitecture and PlanningGet HereMAMathematicsGet Here
BTBiotechnologyGet HereMEMechanical EngineeringME 01ME 02ME 03 
CECivil EngineeringCE 01CE 02 MNMining EngineeringGet Here
CHChemical EngineeringGet HereMTMetallurgical EngineeringGet Here
CSComputer Sc. and Information TechnologyCS 01, CS 02CS 03PHPhysicsGet Here
CYChemistryGet HerePIProduction and Industrial EngineeringGet Here
ECElectronics and Communication Engg.EC 01EC 02EC 03TFTextile Engineering and Fibre ScienceGet Here
EEElectrical EngineeringEE01EE02XEEngineering SciencesXE- AXE-BXE- CXE-DXE- EXE-FXE- G 
EYEcology and EvolutionGet HereXLLife SciencesXL- HXL-IXL- JXL-KXL- LXL-M

FAQs – GATE Exam Pattern

Ques. How many times can I appear for GATE?

Ans. Candidates can apply for GATE exam till they satisfy the GATE Eligibility criteria. It is mandatory to satisfy the academic qualification for GATE Exam. Hence, there is no restriction or bar on the number of times one can appear for the exam.

Ques. How will I get to know about the time duration of the exam?

Ans. The duration of GATE exam is 3 hours. But there will be a countdown timer on the top right corner of the screen which will display the time left to complete the exam. As soon as the timer reaches zero, the computer screen will shut down on its own. Make sure that the answers marked have been saved before the screen shuts down.

Ques. What is the Question Palette in the GATE Exam?

Ans. The question palette given on the right side of the computer screen displays the status of the questions. There is a different symbol to describe the status of questions. The candidates can hide the question palette and move to full screen by clicking on the arrow marks given. The candidates can navigate to different questions by clicking on the respective question number given on the Question Palette. The symbols with their meaning is given below:

GATE Exam Pattern

Ques. How can we answer and save the questions (both MCQ and NAT)?

Ans. To answer MCQs, click on the radio button before the choice. To deselect the answer click again on the same radio button or click on Clear Response button. Click on the button for another option to change the chosen answer.

To answer NAT, enter the answer using the numerical keypad of the virtual calculator. A decimal response can be entered without mentioning 0 before the decimal point. Click on clear response button to deselect or clear any answer. To change the answer of any particular question, select the question and then enter the required response using numerical keypad. Read How to use Virtual Calculator in GATE

To save the answers, click on Save and Next button. To mark an answer for review, click Mark for Review and Next button. All the answers will however be submitted automatically after time is over.

Note: Read the question carefully, if there is any useful data given on the question paper, candidate must use it to answer the question. If the candidates is unable to find any such data in any question and they need it, they can click on Useful Data option given the top-right side of the screen.

Candidates must always remember that the level of GATE exam is equal to standard of NET UGC level. Thus, books followed by candidates should maintain a difficulty level. Aspirants can browse different sites online for buying GATE 2018 books.

The table below displays name of some of the best-selling books along with their subject and their ISBN number. The ISBN number for each book is stated alongside name of the books for convenience of aspirants to buy books.

gate books
Name of the subjectName of the bookISBN Number
Computer Science and Information TechnologyGATE Guide Computer Science and Information Technology9789386309747
Civil EngineeringGATE Guide Civil Engineering9789386309730
Mechanical EngineeringGATE Guide Mechanic Engineering 20189789386309778
Electronics and Communication EngineeringGATE Guide Electronics and Communication Engineering 20189789386309761
Civil EngineeringGATE Civil Engineer (22 year’s Chapter-wise Solved Paper)9789386309785
Electrical EngineeringGATE Guide Electrical Engineering 20189789386309754

Important Instructions

Before appearing for GATE 2018 exam, candidates are advised to go through all the rules and regulations thoroughly:

  • GATE is an online examination which includes both multiple choice questions and numerical ability question.
  • Biometric information of all the candidates is taken before the exam starts.
  • GATE 2018 will be held only on Saturdays and Sundays of the first and Second week of February 2018.
  • For few papers the examination will probably be held in more than one session. If any then it will be informed later.

It is advisable for the candidates to keep themselves updated and track all information by following their official website www.gate.iitr.ernet.in.


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