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GATE Interview Experience at IITs

Last Updated - April 06, 2017

Getting into any good institute is tough. The road is even harder when you’re aiming for IITs. Out of over 900,000 students who registered for GATE 2017, only 16% could manage to qualify. Out of the all the students qualified, only 10% have a chance to secure a seat in IITs. Once who do get shortlisted, will face serious and stern interviewers at the next level. IITs are known for asking mathematical questions in their written test and interviews. Candidate may want to know the interview process of different IITs to prepare for it. Candidates are advised to go through the following points to understand the interview process.


GATE Interview Experience: IIT Delhi

IIT Delhi is one of the most prestigious colleges in India. The online Application process for the academic 2017-2018 started on March 09, 2017. The last date to apply for M.Tech courses in IIT Delhi is April 12, 2017. Candidates can apply online for M.Tech admissions from the official website. The interview will be conducted on multiple dates between May 15, 2017 to June 16, 2017. Commencement of classes will be from July 24, 2017.

Candidates who have appeared for GATE will be eager to know about the interview process for M.Tech admissions in IIT Delhi. The following points will help candidates in understanding the interview process of IIT Delhi.

  • IIT D CSE(MCS) – Candidates scoring above the minimum cut off (810 marks in 2016) will be called for interview. Written test is conducted depending on the number of students appearing for the interview. If Number of candidates appearing for the interview are more, then a written test will be conducted. Qualified students will be called for individual interview. The Interview panel will consist of 2-4 professors. Each candidate will be asked about their 2 areas of interest. Though some candidates claim that interviewers are more interested in Data structures and algorithms.

A candidate who appeared for interview in 2012 told in an interview “even though I mentioned that my area of interest were Operating Systems and Computer Architecture, they asked me about op-amp as I was from electronics background. So, do not ignore your background subject.”

  • IIT-D VDTT – The minimum cutoff marks for admissions in VDTT course was 850 in 2016. Interview will be conducted on multiples dates depending on the number of qualified candidates. Candidates will be interviewed in their respective areas by IIT faculty. Second round for the qualified candidates will be sponsors interview. Representatives from various companies viz TI, Cadence, ST, Cypress and a few professors will conduct interviews according to candidate’s preference of project or companies. Everyone will be interviewed based on their first four choices. The selected candidates were intimated about a week later.
  • IIT D (JCA) – In 2016, 600 marks were the minimum cut off for admissions in IIT D (JCA). Interviews for JCA is conducted jointly by Mathematics department and the Computer Science department. Candidates, over the years, have claimed that Mathematics is one of the most important factors to get selected in JCA course.

One candidate shared their experience with us “I was scheduled to be interviewed at noon, but for some reason I had to wait till 7 pm for my turn to come. As soon as I entered my panel the interviewers started asking questions from Mathematics. Mostly topics from linear algebra, definitions from vector and matrices, their applications etc. I couldn’t answer those as mathematics is not my strong subject. I didn’t study Maths while preparing for GATE as less questions from Maths are asked. If I have to advise one thing, it would be to not neglect Mathematics.”


GATE Interview Experience: IIT Kharagpur

IIT Kharagpur is the oldest and one of the most prestigious colleges of India for technical courses. The application process for admissions in M.Tech course started on March 29, 2017. The last date to fill the application form is April 21, 2017. Candidates are advised to go through the following points to understand the IIT Kharagpur M.Tech interview process.

IIT Kharagpur gives 70% weightage to the GATE score and 30% to the interview. This ratio can have its pros and cons. Some candidates might not have performed up to their satisfaction in GATE, such candidates are advised to look for another college. Some candidates may have scored high in GATE and may feel underconfident about the interview, here this weightage is a pro for these students, as more emphasis will be given to GATE scores. Each candidate will be allotted a panel with 2-3 professors. Some candidates have confirmed that they were asked questions from Mathematics.

“when I heard the first question, the only thing I could think was- why isn’t maths leaving me alone. Professors looked disappointed when I couldn’t answer some easy maths questions. But after that they started asking questions from my area of interest. I got selected in”- A candidate who scored 825 marks in GATE 2015 said.


GATE Interview Experience: IISc Bangalore

IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Bangalore is ranked among top institutes for science courses. Getting an admission in M.Tech courses offered by IISc is considered one of the toughest to crack. The application process started on February 01, 2017. The last date to apply was March 29, 2017.

IISc calls candidates with up to 900 ranks. This is a great opportunity for candidates who have ranks above 450. Candidates are called for written exam first. Written test consists of 30 objective type questions. The duration of the exam is 45 minutes. Candidates who have appeared for the written exam have claimed that questions asked in the exam are not related to GATE. Almost 90% of the questions asked are from mathematics while the remaining 10% are from other subjects. Questions were asked from the topics viz 3D Co-ordinate Geometry, 2D Co-ordinate Geometry, Complex numbers, Trigonometry etc. Typically, the research interviews at IISc follow a two - tier approach to questioning. In tier - 1, students will be asked to pick two out of five topics in mathematics. Following satisfactory performance in the math section, the panel may choose to question the students on a topic of his / her research interest. However, the performance in the math section holds key for the panel to decide whether or not a student can be given a chance to take up research in their department. The five mathematics topics that candidates will be asked questions from are given below:

  • Probability theory, 
  • Matrix analysis and linear algebra, 
  • Transform theory (z-transform, fourier transform etc.),
  • Discrete mathematics (graphs and combinatorics),
  • Real analysis and differential equations.

One candidate who secured 136 rank in 2015 told us “Some panels dig deep into your final year project, so be prepared for that. And also, they will ask about your area of interest. Some people go for easy subjects hoping for easy questions. Don’t make that mistake. It is not about correctness of your answers, they look at your approach. So, go with the subject in which you are really good”


GATE Interview Experience: IIT Bombay

Each candidate knows about IIT Bombay. It is ranked one of the top institutes among IITs The application process started on March 29, 2017. The last date to apply is April 18, 2017. While filling the GATE Application form, candidates will have to specify their preferences of engineering discipline. The application form is then evaluated and selected applicants are then called.

IIT Bombay offers a full-time programme of 2-year and a part-time programme of 3-year duration. Students are admitted to the full-time programme under the categories of Teaching Assistantship (TA), Teaching Assistantship through Project (TAP), Fellowship Award (FA), and Sponsored (SW). The part-time programme is available to the students admitted under the categories of Sponsored (SW), Institute Research Assistantship (RA), Research Assistantship through Project (RAP), Project Staff (PS) and Institute Staff (IS). PS and IS categories are only for persons employed at IIT Bombay. The working hours for the full-time and part-time programmes are the same. The lectures are scheduled in time slots extending from 8.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.

The selection process consists of:

  1. Written test
  2. Interview of the candidates who qualified the exam. 

candidates who have appeared for the written exam have repeatedly claimed that the objective test is similar to GATE. Entire question paper is from GATE Syllabus.Candidates who qualify the written test are then given a presentation on all the available research projects in the institute. Each presentation is given by the faculty member leading that particular research area. Candidates have to give their research preference from the options given.

Candidates will be called for the interview depending on what preference they have given. Each interview is held by the faculty member heading the particular research project. Interviewers judge candidates by asking both technical and personal questions. They basically want to see if a candidate is capable of working on their project. Candidates have admitted that the interview process is tough and exhausting. Interviewers want to ensure that a candidate has a strong foundation in their particular area.

Candidate who is doing M.Tech from IIT Bombay said “ A strong grasp of the basic concepts and a good programming background is a must. If your basics are solid, you can easily get through this. It certainly helps if you studied well during your bachelor's and for GATE../p>


GATE Interview Experience: IIT Kanpur

IIT Kanpur is one of the seven old IITs and hence, one of the top institutes. The application process started from March 28, 2017. The last date to apply is April 21, 2017. Candidates have repeatedly claimed that cracking the interview process in IIT Kanpur is tough.

The first round of the selection process consists of a written test. The written test is 3 hour long objective type test. Candidates have admitted that the toughness of the test is comparable to that of GATE. There is a lot of emphasis on Discrete Mathematics, Probability, Maths etc.   

The second and the final round of the selection process consists of interview. Each panel consists of four professors. The professors are biased towards Discrete Mathematics and Probability. 

A candidate who appeared for Interview process (CS) said “The professors were not at all interested in OS, DBMS or networks and they regarded these as "easy" subjects.”


GATE Interview Experience: IIT Madras

IIT Madras is one of the seven oldest IITs and is considered one of the best institutes. The application process started from March 07, 2017. The last date to apply is April 15, 2017.

The initial screening will be a written test. It is a widely-known fact that written test contains fundamentals questions. Candidates should focus mostly on their second year and third year subjects. Questions will range from problem solving and sometimes memory-based. Large number of students attend the test, so only GATE preparation is not sufficient.

The second round of selection process consists of interview. Each panel consists of 5-6 faculty members. Some candidates have stated that they were interviewed by 9-10 professors including Head of Department (HOD). Candidates can expect questions from each professor as they actively participate in the interview process. The interview is conducted to check whether the candidate is really interested in research. They also see if the candidate is determined about selecting the area i.e. whether the candidate has applied for other group or department.

Candidate who appeared for GATE in 2015 stated “Questions are not general and straight forward, but conceptual and practical application oriented. Answer the questions to the point and do not beat around the bush unnecessarily. Listen carefully the question and think deeply about it and then answer. Obviously, there will be some direct questions which you need to be quick in answering”.


GATE Interview Experience: IIT Guwahati

IIT Guwahati is considered one of the best colleges in India. The Application process started on March 22, 2017 and will end on April 17, 2017.

Candidates are Selected based upon the following factors:

  • B.E./B.Tech. marks
  • GATE score
  • written test result
  • Interview
  • other backgrounds.

These factors are beneficial for candidates who have not scored well in any of the above exam. For example, a candidate may have gotten less marks in B.Tech, he or she may still get into IIT Guwahati. When the application process will end, faculty members will select the applications based on B.Tech marks and GATE score. The selected applicants will then be called for the written test and interview process. Candidates who have qualified the written test will be called for interview process. Each panel will consist of 5-6 professors. Each professor will take turns to ask questions from the candidate.

Candidate will be asked for their favorite subjects, based on which questions will be asked. Candidates who have opted for a different branch than their core branch (candidate may have chosen computer science despite of being an electrical student) can also state typical interdisciplinary subjects such as engineering mathematics, probability etc. as their favorite subject.

It is also known that professors at IIT Guwahati GATE interview ask puzzles to check candidates approach towards approach towards a problem.


GATE Interview Experience: IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee is one of the seven original IITs and is also considered a prestigious college. The application process started on March 28, 2017. Last date to apply for M.Tech admission is April 18, 2017.

As GATE is an objective type test, there is some probability of getting good percentile if some of the blind guesses are correct. To avoid this written test is conducted. This test includes multiple choice questions and it contains 10% weight for admission. Many students appear for exam in a single day, so the first round of the selection process has to be finished in a single day. Candidates have claimed that few questions are analytics, so applicants are advised to prepare accordingly.

Candidates who qualify the written test are then called for interview, each panel consists of 4-5 professors. But only 1-2 professors will be experts in your field, other professors will ask questions on current events and technologies related to your field. Candidates are advised to visit professor’s websites, as this makes you aware of professor’s area of interest. Each professor will ask at least one question from the candidate. Candidates who appear nervous are made comfortable by asking few personal questions. It is widely known that professors at IITs are particularly interested in Mathematics.

Candidates are analyzed on the basis of their understanding of problems and analytical skills to solve them. So, candidates are advised to try to understand the question and frame the answer based on logic.


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