GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2024

21 January, 2024
Artika Shan

GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2024 is a key part of the preparation for the upcoming GATE Exam for Chemistry. It contains all the topics on which the exam paper will be based as part of the preparation for the upcoming exam. 

IISc Bangalore will release the GATE 2024 Syllabus for Chemistry (CY) subject-wise soon on its official website. It is recommended that students preparing for GATE 2024 check out the syllabus before beginning their preparation. The syllabus is divided into three sections: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry.

Chemistry is a part of science, and the GATE chemistry paper has the code CY. Candidates who select this as their first paper get to choose between two papers CH (Chemical Engineering) and XL (Life Sciences). Chemistry can also be taken as a secondary paper under the code XL-PChemistry is also available as a secondary paper under the code XL-P. This is compulsory for all aspirants who opt for XL subjects.

Sections of the GATE Syllabus for Chemistry
The detailed topic-wise GATE Chemistry syllabus is as follows:
Section 1:
Physical Chemistry
The physical chemistry section of the Chemistry (CY) syllabus is the most challenging and important one. The topics covered in this section are:

Group Theory:
This section contains topics like point groups and character tables, hybrid orbital construction using symmetry aspects, vibrational modes, and internal coordinates, symmetry elements and operations, and symmetry adapted a linear combination of atomic orbitals (LCAO-MO).

Under Equilibrium, the topics covered are thermochemistry, thermodynamics law, functions and their relationships, mixing thermodynamics, statistical thermodynamics, Raoult’s Law and Henry’s Law, Clausius- Clapeyron Equation, Chemical Potential, Relationship between Electrode Potential and Thermodynamic Quantities, Absolute Entropy, Phase Rule, One component (CO2, H2O, S) and two-component systems (liquid-vapor, liquid-liquid, and solid-liquid) Azeotropes and eutectics, partial molar quantities, ideal and non-ideal solutions, Equilibrium constant dependence on pressure and temperature, ionic mobility and conductivity, standard electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, and fugacity, activity and activity coefficients.

Quantum mechanics postulates, Operators, Molecular structure and Chemical bonding, Valency bond theory, LCAO-MO theory application to H2+, H2, Hydrogen  & hydrogen-like atoms, multi-electron atoms, MOT theory of homonuclear and heteronuclear diatomic molecules, Dirac bra-ket notation, approximation methods (Variation method and secular determinants, first-order perturbation techniques), Hermite polynomials, atomic units, slater determinants, Schrödinger’s time-dependent & independent equations, Born interpretation, Pauli exclusion principle, Rotational motion (angular momentum operators, rigid rotor), Hybrid orbitals

Diatomic and polyatomic molecular vibrational, Raman, rotational, and electronic spectroscopy, coefficients of Einstein, Atomic spectroscopy, Line broadening, Term symbols and spectral details, Russell-Saunders coupling, Nuclear magnetic resonance principles, the origin of selection rules, transition moment integral and molar extinction coefficient and oscillator strength relationship.

The topics covered in this section are the theory of transition state, Fast reaction kinetics (flow methods & relaxation methods), photochemical & photophysical processes kinetics, polymerization kinetics, unimolecular reactions, diffusion-controlled reactions, concepts of catalysis and enzyme catalysis, complex reactions mechanisms, potential energy surfaces and classical trajectories, approximation of steady-state and saddle points concepts.

Interfaces and Surfaces
This section includes topics like self-assembly, Langmuir, Freundlich, surface tension, self-assembly, catalysis, viscosity, colloids, miscelles, physisorption and chemisorption, and macromolecules’ physical chemistry.

Organic Chemistry Syllabus
The section on GATE Chemistry examines compounds’ structures, reactions, and compositions. The topics covered in this section are as follows: 

Reaction Mechanism:
The topics covered in this section include nucleo and electrophilic substitute reactions, basic mechanistic concepts, reactive intermediates, linear free-energy relationship, reactions to carbon-carbon and carbon heteroatom (N and O) multiple bonds, reaction mechanisms determined by kinetics, isotopic labeling, product identification, and molecular rearrangement methods.

Organic Synthesis
This section on Organic Synthesis of the GATE syllabus for Organic Chemistry includes topics like compositions of compounds, reactions and structures. The topics covered in the organic chemistry section are:

Organic Synthesis
The topics included under this section include atom economy and green chemistry, concepts of multistep synthesis, protection and deprotection of functional groups, concepts of asymmetric synthesis, selectivity in organic synthesis (Stereoselectivity, chemoselectivity, and regioselectivity), concepts of asymmetric synthesis, uses of Li, Zn, Cu, Mg, B, P, Sn, Si and S  based reagents in synthesis, organic synthesis, mechanisms, reactions, and selectivity, carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond forming reactions through enolates (including boron enolates), carbon-carbon bond formation through coupling reactions (McMurry, Hiyama, Kumada, Tsuji-Trost, Negishi, Suzuki, Stille, Heck, and Olefin Metathesis), enmaines and silyl enol others.

This section consists of chemical structural features of proteins, lipids, steroids, carotenoids, alkaloids, nucleic acids, terepenoids, mono
saccharides and di-sacchardies ( Reaction, Structure, and Properties), the structure of peptides and chemical synthesis, and physicochemical properties of amino acids. 

The topics covered under this section include faces and groups, homo, enantio and diasteretopic atoms, geometrical and optical isomerism, stereoselective and sterrospecific synthesis, acyclic and cyclic compounds’ conformational analysis, chirality and symmetry of organic molecules about chiral centers and absolute configurations, atropisomerism and neighboring group participation on reactivity and selectivity or specificity.

Pericyclic Reactions and Photochemistry
The topics included in this section include electrocyclic, Norrish type-1 and II cleavage reaction, photochemistry of alkenes, carbonyl compounds, arenes, sigmatropic reactions, electroacyclic , cycloaddition and sigmatropic reactions, photooxidation and photoreduction, orbital correlations (FMO & PMO treatments, Woodward- Hoffman rule), Barton-Mc Combie reaction and Di-π-methane rearrangement.

Heterocyclic Compounds
This section includes topics like thiophene, furan, quinoline, pyridine, indole and pyrrole (Preparation, Structure, Reactions and Properties).

Inorganic Chemistry Syllabus
Topics like the creation of chemical compounds without a carbon-hydrogen link, their characteristics, and reactions are all studied in inorganic chemistry. Meanwhile, the inorganic chemistry section in the GATE chemistry syllabus includes the following key topics:

Subject: Transition Elements
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
The topics covered are energy level diagrams in CFSE, Jahn-Teller distortion, various crystal fields, transition metal complexes, coordination chemistry (Structure and Isomerism), transition metal complexes and their magnetic properties, bonding theories (CFT, VBT, and MOT), Ray-Dutt and Bailar Twists, Metal-metal multiple bonds and reaction mechanisms (Kinetic & Thermodynamic stability, redox reactions, and substitution).

Subject: Main Group Elements
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
The topics include shapes and reactivity of oxides, industrial synthesis of main group elements, sulfides, shapes and reactivity of oxies, nitrides, oxoacids, boron nitride, halides, boranes and phosphazenes, borazines, silicones, silicates, carboranes, pseudo halogens, noble gases and interhalogen compounds chemistry, sulphur, carbon and phosphorous allotropes and acid-base concepts and principles. 

Subject: Transition Elements
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
This section covers CFT, energy level diagrams in CFSE, various crystal fields transition metal complexes and their magnetic properties, Jahn-Teller distortion, coordination chemistry (Isomerism and Structure), Ray-Dutt and Bailar twists, bonding theories (CFT, VBT, and MOT), metal multiple bonds and reaction mechanisms (Kinetic and Thermodynamic stability, redox reactions and substitution). 

Subject: Lanthanides & Actinides
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
This section covers topics like magnetic properties, recovery, spectra and periodic properties.
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
Fluxionality in complexes of organometallics, organometallic reaction types, metal-carbonyl, metal-alkyl, and metal-carbene complexes and metallocene, 18-Electron rule, Fischer-Tropsch reaction, 18 Electron rule, Heterogeneous catalysis- Ziegler-Natta polymerization, metathesis and olefin oxidation, Homogenous Catalysis- Hydroformylation and Hydrogenation and acetic acid synthesis.

Subject: Instrumental Methods of Analysis
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
This section includes UV-visible, electro and thermoanalytical methods, FTIR spectrophotometry, X-ray crystallography, Fluorescence and FTIR spectrophotometry, NMR and ESR, Chromatography including GC and HPC; atomic absorption, mass  spectrometry and  Mössbauer (Fe and Sn) spectroscopy.

Subject: Solids
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
This section covers topics like crystal systems and lattices, Band theory, Bragg’s law, miller planes, crystal packing, ionic crystals, spinels, crystal defects, metals and semiconductors, structures of AX, AX2, ABX3 and type compounds 

Subject: Bioorganic Chemistry
GATE Chemistry Syllabus
The topics covered include nitrogen fixation, oxygen binding, Ion (Na+ and K+) transport, transport and utilization, electron transfer reactions, and metalloenzymes containing Fe, Mo, Mg, Cu, Zn, and Co. 

Subject: Radioactivity
GATE Chemistry Syllabus 
The topics under this section include fission and fusion processes, radioactivity detection, half-line radioactive elements and decay processes.

GATE Chemistry Syllabus Exam Pattern
Below is the Exam Pattern: 

  • Subject Marks: 85 marks
  • General Aptitude (GA) Marks of Chemistry (CY): 15 marks
  • Total Marks for CY: 100 marks
  • Total time (In mins): 180 mins

Candidates who choose XL (Life Sciences) as a secondary paper are required to take Chemistry (the mandatory subject) and two other sections.

General Aptitude (GA) Marks: 15 marks
Marks for XL= [Section P (Chemistry) + Any Two Sections] = 25+ (2×30) + 85
Total Marks: 100 marks 

FAQs for GATE 2024 Syllabus for Chemistry (CY)

1. How to prepare for the GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2024?
GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2024 requires proper planning and prioritization, multiple revisions, and detailed coverage of all topics. You should have a sufficient amount of time in hand for general aptitude and practice tests. 
Here are some more tips to prepare for GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2024:
1. Keep a timer.
2. Solve exercises, examples, and practice questions from each chapter
3. Practice using online calculators
4. Start solving GATE papers and mock tests at least 2-3 months before the date of the exam. 

2. How difficult would the GATE Chemistry syllabus be?
The GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2024 has a moderate to difficult level as reflected in the past year’s papers. However, it follows that of the B.Sc chemistry program at the central universities in India.

3. What are the approved options for Chemistry for GATE 2024?
Chemistry candidates can choose Chemical Engineering (CH) or Life Sciences (XL) as their second paper for GATE 2024.

4. How should one plan their study routine for studying the GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2024?
Aspirants can plan their schedule for studying the GATE Chemistry syllabus around the following lines:
1. 8-10 Hours of night sleep
2. Prepare a daily topic-wise study schedule.
3. Devote 30-60 minutes to yoga, light exercise, and meditation
4. Devote at least 1.5-2 hours for GA topics

5. Will there be a negative marking in the GATE Chemistry 2024 exam?
Depending on the question type, the candidate will get a negative mark for every incorrect response. Besides, every incorrect response will be penalized by one-third of a mark for a one-mark question and two-thirds of a mark for a two-mark question. The penalties do not apply to NAT questions.

6. How many sections are in the GATE syllabus for Chemistry Secondary Paper (XL-P)?
The GATE Syllabus for Chemistry for XL-P Chemistry is divided into nine sections. The topics included in this section are periodicity and atomic structure, bonding and structure, S, P, and D block elements, electrochemistry, chemical equilibria, thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, electrochemistry, chemistry of biomolecules, structure-reactivity correlations, and organic reaction mechanisms. 

7. What are the key topics covered in the GATE Syllabus for Chemistry?
The GATE Syllabus for Chemistry is divided into three main sections including inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. 

8. How do we access the GATE 2024 Syllabus for Chemistry (CY)?
Chemistry syllabuses for both secondary and primary papers are available on the official website with their corresponding codes. The syllabus details and the PDF download links are available on the corresponding web page.