GATE Civil Engineering Subject-wise Weightage – Important Topics and Their Weightage for GATE CE exam

21 January, 2024
parthiva mewawala

The Graduate Aptitude Test of Engineering (GATE) is a highly competitive exam conducted by 7 IITs and IISc to evaluate the technical reasoning of engineering graduates. So, if an engineering graduate is willing to appear in GATE for Civil Engineering, they are first supposed to analyse the complete syllabus. They need to be aware of the GATE CE subject wise weightage of all the important topics. This can be learnt by studying the frequency of the different types of questions being asked from various topics in the past GATE CE papers. 


GATE CE subject wise weightage


A list of the GATE CE subject wise weightage for all subjects is given below:


General Aptitude15
Engineering Mathematics12
Geotechnical Engineering13Group 1 (Mandatory)
Environmental Engineering11
Transportation Engineering9
Fluid Mechanics8
Strength of Materials3
Structural Analysis6Group 2
Geomatics Engineering6
Irrigation and Hydrology5
Steel Structures3Group 3
Engineering Mechanics1

To read more about the paper, its syllabus, and various topics, you can visit the official GATE 2024 website here –

GATE Civil Engineering preparation tips


After critically analysing the syllabus, the next step is to decide the sequence of reading the subjects.  All the technical subjects for Civil Engineering can be classified into three groups, namely Group-1 (Mandatory), Group-2 and Group-3.


Group 1 subjects are the primary subjects which build the foundation for subjects in Group 2 and Group 3. Hence, starting with these subjects is mandatory to understand all the concepts deeply. For example, the basics of the Strength of materials are required for efficiently reading Structural analysis, Reinforced Cement Concrete and Steel Structures. Likewise, the basics of Fluid Mechanics are needed for reading Hydrology, Irrigation and Open Channel Flow.


For General Aptitude, you can take any of the two methods: either study it along with the Group 1 subjects or keep 5 days reserved every month for finishing some chapters. 


After finalising the sequence, an aspirant should have adequate and precise study material containing detailed explanations of the concepts and practice questions. IMS GATE Academy has one of the best study materials containing proper explanations of concepts, relevant theories, and strategic practice questions that cover all types of questions. Along with textbooks, exercise books, and other courseware, you also get access to a cache of videos, masterclasses, and seminars. The exercise books have clearly demarcated sections for each subject, with questions well-placed within the different chapters. Questions for every chapter are categorised as Levels 1, 2, and 3 based on their difficulty level, allowing you to build your skills up slowly. 


GATE CE subject wise weightage – Important topics for each chapter

Based on the frequency of questions asked in the GATE, some critical areas require more focus and revision. For your reference, here is the list of all such essential topics subject-wise for different chapters for all the subjects of Civil Engineering.


  • Important Topics for Engineering Mechanics

ChaptersImportant Topics
Equilibrium of Particles and Rigid BodiesNewton’s Law

Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Weight

Law of transmissibility of forces for rigid bodies

Law of parallelogram of forces 

Equilibrium of Particles and Rigid BodyLami’s theorem

resultant of several concurrent forces 

Varignon’s theorem

FrictionLaws of friction

Rolling resistance

CG, Centroid, MOIrelationship between CG, CM, Centroid

MOI of composite bodies 

Dynamics of Translational MotionMotion of a Projectile

Equation of Motion

Impulse and Momentum

Work and Kinetic Energy

Dynamics of Rotational and General Plane MotionRelative Acceleration

Motion Relative to Rotating Axes

Fixed-Axis Rotation

Impulse-Momentum Equations

Work-Energy Relations

Lagrange’s equation

VibrationsD.O.F of Vibrating System

Methods for Finding Natural Frequency of the System

Inertia Effect of Mass of the Spring

Combination of Springs

Torsional Vibrations (Natural Frequency)


  • Important Topics for Strength of Materials

ChaptersImportant Topics
Simple Stress and StrainHook’s Law

Elastic Constants and Their Relationship

Deformation of Bars 

Deformation of a Rod Under its Own Weight 

Deformation in Compound Bars due to Loads

Thermal Stresses and Strain

SFD and BMDRelation Between q, V and M

Variation of SFD and BMD for different loadings

Point of Inflection and Contra-flexure

SFD and BMD for combined loading

Stresses in BeamsTheory of Pure Bending

Beam of Uniform Strength

Shear Stress Distribution Formula

Slope and DeflectionRelation Between Curvature, Slope and Deflection 

Methods to Evaluate Slope and Deflection

TorsionTorsion Equation

Torsion of Hollow Shafts 

Shafts in Series, Parallel (Determinate, Indeterminate)

Principal stress and StrainsStress on an Oblique Plane in 2D

Mohr’s Circle for Plane Stress

Combined Bending Moment and Torsion

Strain Gauge and Rosettes

Thin pressure vesselsThin Cylindrical and spherical Pressure Vessel
Euler’s Theory of ColumnsEuler’s Theory of Buckling Failure in Columns and their Assumptions
Strain Energy and ResilienceModulus of Resilience

Toughness & Modulus of Toughness

Castigilano’s Theorem



  • Important Topics for Structural Analysis

ChaptersImportant Topics
Introduction of Structures and IndeterminacyStatic Indeterminacy of beams, trusses and frames

Kinematic Indeterminacy of bream, trusses and frames 

Statically Determinate TrussesConcept of Zero member Force in Trusses

Method of Sections

Deflection of truss joint

Slope and Deflections of Structures (Force Method)Method of Superposition/Method of Consistent Deformation

Strain Energy Method (castigliano’s Theorem)

Maxwell’s Reciprocal Theorem & Betti’s Theorem

Arches and CablesThree Hinged Arch
Slope-deflection and Moment Distribution MethodMoment Distribution Method

Slope deflection method

Influence line Diagram and Moving LoadsMuller Breslau Principle

ILD for Statically Indeterminate Structure

ILD for a Truss Member


  • Important Topics for Reinforced Cement Concrete

ChaptersImportant Topics
Introduction to RCC Materials and Limit State MethodCompressive and Tensile Strength of Concrete

Characteristic and Design Strength of Concrete

Characteristic and Design Strength of Reinforcement

Design of RCC BeamsAnalysis and Design of Singly and Doubly Reinforced Sections

Analysis and Design of Flanged Beams

Analysis and Design of Shear Reinforcement

IS 456:2000 Recommendations for Development Length

Analysis and Design of RCC Slabs & StaircaseIS 456:2000 Recommendations 

Effective Span for Different Types of Slabs

Depth Criteria

Minimum Reinforcement

Analysis And Design of Slabs

Design of RCC Column and FootingAnalysis and Design of Columns

Analysis and Design of Footings

For Two-way Shear (Punching Shear)

Design of Dowel Bars

Pre-stressed ConcreteAnalysis of Pre-stressed Sections

Losses in Pre-stress


  • Important Topics for Steel Structures


ChaptersImportant Topics
ConnectionsBolted, welded, and eccentric connections
Tension membersdesign of tension members
Compression membersDesign of an axially loaded compression member

lacing and batten columns

column bases

Beams and Plate girdersLaterally Supported Beams (IS 800:2007)

design of beams

design of plate girders and different types of stiffeners provided in plate girders

Plastic analysis and collapse loadShape Factor & Load Factor

Method of Analysis- Static (Lower Bound) & Kinematic (Upper Bound)

 Plastic hinge length


  • Important Topics for Construction Materials and Management

ChaptersImportant Topics
Engineering MaterialsSteel


PERT and CPMNetwork Analysis

Total float

free float and independent float

critical path

Miscellaneous TopicsRate Analysis & Standard Specifications

cost estimation


  • Important Topics for Geotechnical Engineering

 ChaptersImportant Topics
Introduction To Soil MechanicsSources of Transportation of Soil

Soil Structure

Clay Mineralogy

Three Phase System

Index Properties of Soils & Soil ClassificationIndex Properties

Consistency Limits, sensitivity, thixotropy, Activity

Relative Density/ Density Index

Relative Compaction

Particle size Classification

Effective stress, Permeability & Seepage AnalysisCapillarity effect in soil

Permeability of Stratified Deposits

Critical Hydraulic Gradient

Safety against Piping

Flow Nets

Seepage loss

Exit Gradient

Stress Distribution in soilBousinesq’s Theory
CompactionFactors affecting Compaction

Effect of Compaction on Soil Properties

Compressibility & ConsolidationCharacteristics of primary consolidation

Terzaghi’s Theory of One-Dimensional Consolidation

Basic Differential Equation of One-Dimensional Consolidation

Shear Strength of soilMohr’s theory

Mohr – Coulomb’s law

Failure envelope for different types of soil

Triaxial compression test

Unconfined compression test

Skempton’s Pore pressure parameters

Lateral Earth PressureRankine’s Earth pressure Theory

Tension crack

Critical height/depth

Stability of SlopesFOS for dry/moist/submerged soil

FOS when seepage is there parallel to ground surface

Infinite slopes in C-Φ soils

Shallow foundationCriteria for Design of Foundations

Terzaghi’s Bearing Capacity Equations

Mayerhoff’s Theory

Plate load test

Pile FoundationLoad Carrying Capacity of Pile

Group Action of Piles

Efficiency of pile group

Negative Skin Friction

Settlement in pile

Subsurface ExplorationDesign features affecting sample disturbance

Standard Penetration test

  • Important Topics for Transportation Engineering

ChaptersImportant Topics
Highway Development & Planning20-Year Road Plan

Maximum utility system

Highway Alignment & Surveys

Highway Geometric DesignFactors controlling Geometric design

Highway Cross Sectional Elements

Pavement Surface Characteristics


Widening of Pavement on Horizontal Curves

Transition Curves

Curve Resistance

Design of Vertical Alignment

Traffic EngineeringTraffic Volume Study

Speed & Delay Study

Origin & Destination Studies

Traffic Flow Characteristics & Studies

Relationship between Speed, Flow & Density 

Traffic Capacity

Websters Method

Highway MaterialsSubgrade Soil

Evaluation of Soil Strength

Tests for Road Aggregates

Bituminous Materials

Marshall Method of Bituminous Mix Design

Design of Highway PavementsDesign Factors

Design wheel Load

Design of Flexible Pavement

Design of Rigid Pavements

Railway and Airport EngineeringGeometric Design of Railway Tracks

Grade Compensation on Curves

Runway Orientation

Basic Runway Length

Corrections to Basic Runway Length

Correction for Elevation

Correction for Gradient

Correction for Temperature

  • Important Topics for Environmental Engineering

ChaptersImportant Topics
Water DemandVariation in demand

Goodrich’s Equation

Population forecasting methods

Sources of waterRelation between specific yield and specific retention

Yield of Open Well Recuperation Test

Yield of Tube wells

Quality Characteristics of WaterSuspended solids

pH of Water

Hardness of water

Alkalinity of Water

MPN test

Water Treatment or Water PurificationPlain Sedimentation


Disinfection by Chlorination

Chick’s Law

Breakpoint Chlorination

Sanitary EngineeringDesign of sewers

Hydraulic Properties of Flow

Characteristics of SewageCOD


Theoretical Oxygen demand

Total Organic Carbon

Disposal of Sewage EffluentsDisposal By Dilution in river water

Zones of pollution in River

Oxygen Deficit Curve

Streeter – Phelps equation

Disposal by Dilution in Lakes

Sewage TreatmentGrit Chamber

Trickling Filters

Activated Sludge Process

Sludge Digestion

Gas Production in anaerobic digestion

Sludge and its Moisture content

Solid Waste ManagementProximate analysis

Energy content

Collection of MSW

Transport of MSW

Methods of Disposal of Refuse


Air PollutionDispersion of Air Pollutants in the Atmosphere

Methods of Controlling Air Pollution

Unit conversion from ppm to μg/m3

  • Important Topics for Fluid Mechanics

ChapterImportant Topics
Introduction and Properties of fluidProperties of Fluids


surface tension and capillary effect

Newtonian Fluid

Pressure and Fluid StaticsAbsolute, gauge, and Atmospheric Pressure

Pascal’s Law

Hydrostatic Law

pressure measuring devices

Hydrostatic pressure on submerged plane surfaces and curved surfaces

buoyancy and stability

Fluid KinematicsLagrangian and Eulerian Description

Stream lines

Equation of streamlines


Deformation of fluid Elements


Stream Function

Potential Function

Circulation and Vorticity

Fluid DynamicsEuler’s Equation

The Bernoulli Equation

Pitot Tube


Orifice meter

Force Exerted by a flowing fluid on a bend pipe

Angular Momentum Equation

Vortex Motion, Free Liquid Jet

Dimensional Analysis and ModelingThe Buckingham Pi Theorem

Model Analysis

Types of similarities

Dimensionless number

Models Law or Similarity Law

Viscous Flow of Incompressible Fluids (Laminar flow)Darcy-Weisbach Equation

Fully Developed Flow in a Round-pipe

Poiseuille Flow

Velocity distribution


Average Velocity

Kinetic Energy Correction Factor

Momentum Correction Factor

Pressure Drop

Shear Velocity

Planar Poiseuille Flow

Coutte Flow

Flow Losses and Pipe NetworksMajor and minor head Losses

Hydraulic Gradient and Total Energy Line

Flow through pipes in series, parallel and branched pipes

Equivalent Pipe

Impact of JetsForce Exerted by the jet on inclined plate

Force Exerted by the jet on curved plate

Force Exerted by the jet on hinged plate

Turbulent FlowProperty values in a Turbulent flow

Shear stress in a Turbulent flow

Reynolds Theory

Prandtl Mixing length Theory

Friction factor in Turbulent flow

Boundary LayerBoundary layer thickness

Displacement Thickness

Momentum  Thickness

Energy Thickness

Exact solution of the laminar boundary layer over flat plate

Von-Karman Integral Momentum Equation

Boundary layer flow separation

  • Important Topics for Open Channel Flow

ChaptersImportant Topics
Open channel flowSub-critical, Critical, and super-critical flow

Hydraulically Efficient Channel

Specific energy and Specific energy curve

Relation between specific energy and depth of critical flow

critical flow analysis

Dynamic or Differential equation of G.V.F.

Hydraulic jump



  • Important Topics for Hydrology and Irrigation

ChaptersImportant Topics
Introduction & PrecipitationCalculation of missing rainfall

Mean Precipitation Calculations

Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves

Evaporation & TranspirationWater Budget Method

Energy Balance Method

Measurement of Evapotranspiration

Penman Equation

Blaney-Criddle Equation

Infiltration & RunoffHortons equation

Infiltration Indices

Runoff Coefficient

HydrographUnit Hydrograph

S-Curve method

Miscellaneous TopicsMethods to Estimate Flood Peaks

Flood Routing

Measurement of Discharge by Area-Velocity Method 

Measurement of Velocity

Stage Discharge Curve

Water Requirement of CropsDuty


Outlet factor

Relation between Base period, Duty & Delta

Irrigation efficiencies

Irrigation Requirement of Crops

Gravity DamsGravity Dams

Modes of failure of Gravity dams

Stability or Sliding criterion

Stability analysis of Gravity Dams

Diversion Head WorksBligh’s Creep theory

Lane’s Weighted Creep theory

Khosla’s theory

Design of Canals by Silt Theories

Lacey’s theory

Miscellaneous TopicsSurface irrigation methods

Sub-Surface irrigation method

Sprinkler’s irrigation method


Canal Outlets

Canal regulatory works

  • Important Topics for Geomatics

ChaptersImportant Topics
Fundamental Concepts of SurveyingPrinciples of Surveying

Scale of a Map

Linear MeasurementsErrors in chain and tape


Compass SurveyingIncluded Angles

Magnetic Declination

Local Attractions

TraversingAngular Measurements

Latitudes and Departures

Errors of Closure

LevellingSensitivity of a Level Tube

Effect of Curvature of Earth and Refraction

Reciprocal Levelling

Collimation Error


Trigonometric Levelling

Plane Table Surveying


Geographical Information System(GIS)

Global Positioning System(GPS)

In case you need further guidance about GATE CE subject wise weightage, then enrol for our Zero Fee Program, where you will get a chance to have a one-to-one discussion with one of our mentors. For more details about our Zero Fee Program, click the link below. You can also read more about our GATE Civil Engineering programs here.