About the GATE Exam

04 June, 2022

GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is a national-level computer-based standardized test in India designed with an aim to examine the understanding of various engineering and science undergraduate subjects. Qualifying the GATE is mandatory for the engineering graduates who are seeking admissions and/or financial assistance to the Postgraduate Programs like Master’s and Doctoral with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and other Government Scholarships/Assistantships that are subject to the admission criteria of the institutes.

GATE exam results are also used by some of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for their recruitment processes and by several other universities in India and abroad for admissions. Some of the PSU Companies and research organizations that use the GATE exam results for providing jobs include ONGC, NTPC, GAIL, HPCL, PGCIL, BHEL, BSNL, NHPC, BARC, DRDO, and more.

GATE is an all-India exam that’s administered and conducted in eight zones across the country jointly by the following institutes on behalf of the National Coordination Board-GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India.

  1. IISc (Indian Institute of Science)
  2. Seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at IIT Roorkee, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Bombay

In the last couple of years, the GATE exam has been opened to the international students from the following countries as well,

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Nepal
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. Ethiopia
  5. United Arab Emirates

GATE exam will be conducted online (Computer Based Test (CBT)) for all the eligible candidates at different designated centres. GATE Aspirants are allowed to write ONE or TWO subject papers. TWO subject Paper combinations have to be chosen from the given list of combinations of papers by the GATE conducting body. Final allotment of the TWO papers will still be subjected to the availability of infrastructure and GATE exam dates.

GATE exam is conducted for 29 Subjects (also referred to as GATE papers) and consists of 65 questions that are of an objective type (Multiple Choice Questions, Multiple Select Questions and Numerical Answer Type Questions) over a 3-hour duration.

(I) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ): Multiple Choice Questions carry 1 or 2 marks each, in all the GATE papers and sections. These questions are objective, and each question is followed by four possible answer choices, out of which ONLY ONE is correct

(ii) Multiple Select Questions (MSQ): Multiple Select Questions carry 1 or 2 marks each in all the GATE papers and sections. These questions are also objective, and each question is followed by four possible answer choices, out of which ONE or MORE than ONE choice(s) could be correct

Note: There is NO negative marking for an incorrect choice made in Multiple Select Questions (MSQ) type of questions. However, there is NO partial credit of marks given for choosing the partially correct combinations of choices

(iii) Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions: Numerical Answer Type questions carry 1 or 2 marks each in most of the GATE papers and sections. For these types of questions, the answer is a real number that needs to be entered by the candidate with the help of a virtual numeric keypad displayed on the monitor. No possible answer choices are shown for Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions. The answer can be a number such as 10 or -10 (an integer only). The answer for these types of questions may also be in decimals, for example, 10.1 (one decimal) or 10.01 (two decimals) or -10.001 (three decimals). These types of questions will always be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates have to consider the answer. Also, for some NAT type of problems an appropriate range will be considered while evaluating so that the candidates are not unduly penalized for the usual round-off errors. Candidates are advised to do the rounding off at the end of the calculation (not in between steps). Wherever required and possible, it is better to provide an NAT answer up to a maximum of three decimal places.

Question TypeMarksNegative Marking
Multiple Type Questions
1 Mark0.33 or 33%
2 Marks0.66 or 66%
Multiple Select Questions
1 MarkNo Negative Marking
2 MarksNo Negative Marking
Numerical Answer Type Questions
1 MarkNo Negative Marking
2 MarksNo Negative Marking