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GATE Computer Science Engineering (CS) Paper 2017

Last Updated - November 08, 2016

GATE 2017 is just around the corner. The exam would be conducted in online mode from February 04 -12, 2017. Computer Science Engineering (CSE) is a popular branch for all the engineering aspirants. This branch has a wide scope ranging from IT industries to PSUs where students can join as software developer, software engineer, database administrator, etc.

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This article in detail looks at the syllabus, pattern, previous year paper analysis and important books for GATE CSE paper. Candidates can also check out the CSE cut off score for IITs as well as GATE PSU Recruitment. With just over 3 months left for the exam, candidates must concentrate on the topics that carry most weightage in the exam and create their preparation schedule accordingly.

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Syllabus of CSE GATE 2017

There are 3 primary sections in the GATE question paper - Engineering Mathematics, General Aptitude and Core Engineering topics. The basic CSE syllabus covers 72% marks of the question paper and rest 13% and 15% marks are covered by Engineering Mathematics and General Aptitude respectively.

The details of GATE syllabus to be followed CS candidates are given below.

1) General Aptitude 

The section of General Aptitude is common for all the streams. In this section there are two sub sections named as Verbal Ability and Numerical Ability which are detailed below in the tabular form.

Sub SectionTopics
Verbal AbilityEnglish grammar, Sentence Completion, Verbal Analogies, Word Groups Instructions ,Critical Reasoning ,Verbal Deduction
Numerical AbilityNumerical computation, Numerical Estimation, Numerical Reasoning and Data Interpretation.

The sub sections Verbal Ability and Numerical Ability of the GA section are check the vocabulary and the basic mathematical skills of the candidate. Weighing around 15% of the total marks, this section is comparatively easy and thus the scoring section.

2) Engineering Mathematics

This section is based on the syllabus of Engineering Mathematics covering around 4 sub sections. The table below specifies the syllabus detail to be followed for Engineering Mathematics.

Sub sectionsTopics
Discrete MathematicsPropositional and first order logic , relations, Sets, functions, Groups , partial orders and lattices , Graphs ( connectivity, colouring, matching), Combinatory (counting, generating functions, recurrence relations)
Linear AlgebraMatrices, system of linear equations, determinants, , LU decomposition ,eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
CalculusLimits, Maxima and minima , continuity and differentiability , Integration ,Mean value theorem.
ProbabilityConditional probability and Bayes theorem ,Random variables , normal, exponential, Uniform, poisson and binomial distributions , median, mean, mode and standard deviation .

This section is to test the candidates hold on mathematical methods and techniques used majorly in engineering. This section varies for different branches and weighs around 13% of the total marks.

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3) Core Engineering (CS) syllabus

There are 10 sub-sections under this section. The sub-sections specify the different subjects studied during the degree .The core branch syllabus for the  CS  candidates are given below in the table.

Sub-sectionTopics
Digital LogicBoolean algebra , Number representations, Minimization , and computer arithmetic (fixed and floating point), Combinational and sequential circuits.
Computer Organization and ArchitectureHierarchy : cache, Machine instructions and addressing modes., data-path and control unit, ALU, Instruction pipelining, Memory main memory and secondary storage, I/O Interface (interrupt and DMA mode).
Programming and Data StructuresProgramming in C ,.\ Arrays, Recursion ,stacks, linked lists, queues, trees, binary search trees, graphs, binary heaps.
AlgorithmsSearching, hashing, sorting, Asymptotic worst case time and space complexity, Algorithm design techniques (divide-and-conquer ,greedy, dynamic programming ) ,Graph search, shortest paths, minimum spanning trees,.
Theory of ComputationRegular expressions and finite automata, pumping lemma, Regular and context-free languages, Turing machines and undesirability.
Compiler DesignLexical analysis, syntax-directed translation parsing, Runtime environments. Intermediate code generation.
Operating SystemProcesses, inter-process communication, threads, concurrency and synchronization , Memory management and virtual memory, Deadlock. CPU scheduling, File systems.
DatabasesER-model , Relational model (relational algebra, calculus,, tuple, SQL), Integrity constraints,. File organization, normal forms, Transactions and concurrency control, indexing (e.g., B and B+ trees).
Computer NetworksConcept of layering, Application layer protocols (DNS, FTP, SMTP, POP, HTTP) Flow and error control techniques, LAN technologies (Ethernet), switching , routers and routing algorithms (distance vector, link state), IPv4/IPv6, TCP/UDP and sockets, congestion control, Basics of Wi-Fi Network security (authentication, basics of public key and private key cryptography) ,firewall, digital signatures and certificates.

This section covers the major portion of the GATE question paper covering 72% of the total weight age.


Analysis of important topics

GATE is held in two sessions covering 12 sections in total. There are total 65 questions out of  30 questions carry 1 mark each and 35 questions carry  2-marks each . Based on the last two year analysis of GATE Papers the following table is prepared:

Topics2016 GATE paper2015 GATE paper
No. of questions askedMarksNo. of questions askedMarks
DS Algorithm and Programming15231014
Operating System610610
DMGT46--
Digital logic4735
Computer Organisation3523
DBMS3546
Computer Network6868
Theory of Computation3535
Compiler Design1135
Software Engineering4634
Mathematics691525
General Aptitude10151515
Total6510065100

Analysis based on 2016 GATE paper

  • DS Algorithm and Programming covers  15 questions which counts to be maximum.
  • Only 1 question based on Compiler Design topic

Analysis based on 2015 GATE paper

  • 10 questions  asked  from the topic  Data Structure and Algorithms .
  • Highest number of questions i.e. 15 questions are from Engineering Mathematics topic
  • Only 2 questions are based  Computer Organisation and Architecture topics
  • No question from DMGT topic.

Read About More GATE Paper Analysis


Preparation Schedule for GATE 2017

GATE exam is considered as one of the toughest and competitive exam of India. Candidates can prepare for a year or more but you need at least 4 Months  for the thorough preparation of the same. Candidate is advised  to follow  the syllabus  ,a proper study strategy and schedule to be able to score good the GATE exam.

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Given below are the  expert highlights for  a  complete 4-month study schedule according to the estimated weight age for  GATE preparation.

SubjectsTime durationEstimated weight age
Operating System10 days5%
 Information Systems and Software Engineering, Web Technologies1 day4%
Databases4 days5%
Theory of Computation 9 days9%
Algorithms10 days10-14%
Computer Networks10 days10-14%
Compiler Design3 days5%
General Aptitude13 days10-15%
Programming and Data Structures13 days9%
Computer Organization and Architecture 3 days9%
Engineering Mathematics13 days10-15%
Digital Logic3 days1-5%

In last one month candidates must go through the revision of all the important formulas revise all the formulas, theorems and tricks covered across all subjects. Candidate must attempt 4 to 5 Mock tests every day in the last  month. The mock test will help you in understanding your weaker  areas on which you need to focus more.


Important Books for GATE CS 2017

GATE requires qualitative and smart  preparation. The candidate should chose the study material based on shortcut techniques and strategies for effective results. Given below are some of the most recommended books for you: 

Name of the subject Author
Database SystemKorth
Computer NetworksTanenbaum
AlgorithmsCormen
Operating SystemGalvin
Theory of ComputationUllman
Computer OrganisationCarl Hamacher
Compiler DesignAho & Ull Man
Software EngineeringPressman
Digital LogicMorris Mano

Candidate must go through the latest syllabus and exam pattern before starting the  preparation. The study material chosen should cover the previous year’s solved question papers. Candidates can refer to nptel notes and lectures as well.


Top Coaching Centres for GATE CSE 2017

There are many institutes in the country that offer GATE coaching and preparation. However, it is quite necessary to choose the right institute for the preparation. Given below are the details of the best Coaching Centres (above the rating of 4) in different states of India for GATE in India

CityTop Coaching Centre
DelhiTHE GATE COACH
AhmadabadGATEFORM Ahmadabad
ChandigarhNew Cambridge College
GuwahatiIMS Guwahati
ChennaiS.K.Engineering Academy
BangaloreVani Institute GATE
JaipurLet’s Talk Academy

Above mentioned are the best coaching centres with best faculty for the GATE preparation. Most of the successful GATE candidates recommend these institutes for the best results.

Read More About Top Coaching Centers for GATE


The cut-off for the IIT’S is high ranging generally in the bracket of 650 to 900 cut off ranks. The expected  GATE 2017  cut-off  ranks in different IIT’S  are given below:

Name of the IITCut-Off Rank
IIT Roorkee665
IIT Chennai748
IIT Delhi890
IIT Bombay750
IIT Kanpur733

Cut-off is always  declared after the result of the GATE. Based on score of the candidate ,he/she is assigned a rank. The rank of the candidate determines his/her admission in different IITs.

Read More About PSU Cutoff


PSU Hiring for CSE

Nowadays an increasing number of Public Sector Units (PSU)  are going for  the of Recruitment of graduate engineers through GATE exam. In year 2017 more than 27 companies were recruiting through GATE 2015. There are lot of PSUs such as ONGC, BSPCL, HAL, GAIL, etc. that conduct specific hiring.

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