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GATE CE Subject Wise Weightage – Important Topics and their weightage for GATE Civil Engineering exam

21 October, 2023 By Prateek Mishra, IMS, GATE Mentor

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:


Subject Weightage Category
General Aptitude 15
Engineering Mathematics 12
Geotechnical Engineering 13 Group 1 (Mandatory)
Environmental Engineering 11
Transportation Engineering 9
Fluid Mechanics 8
Strength of Materials 3
Structural Analysis 6 Group 2
Geomatics Engineering 6
R.C.C. 6
Irrigation and Hydrology 5
Steel Structures 3 Group 3
C.M.M. 2
Engineering Mechanics 1

To read more about the paper, its syllabus, and various topics, you can visit the official GATE 2024 website here – gate2024.iisc.ac.in

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

Chapters Important Topics
Equilibrium of Particles and Rigid Bodies Newton’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 Body Lami’s theorem

resultant of several concurrent forces 

Varignon’s theorem

Friction Laws of friction

Rolling resistance

CG, Centroid, MOI relationship between CG, CM, Centroid

MOI of composite bodies 

Dynamics of Translational Motion Motion of a Projectile

Equation of Motion

Impulse and Momentum

Work and Kinetic Energy

Dynamics of Rotational and General Plane Motion Relative Acceleration

Motion Relative to Rotating Axes

Fixed-Axis Rotation

Impulse-Momentum Equations

Work-Energy Relations

Lagrange’s equation

Vibrations D.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

Chapters Important Topics
Simple Stress and Strain Hook’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 BMD Relation 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 Beams Theory of Pure Bending

Beam of Uniform Strength

Shear Stress Distribution Formula

Slope and Deflection Relation Between Curvature, Slope and Deflection 

Methods to Evaluate Slope and Deflection

Torsion Torsion Equation

Torsion of Hollow Shafts 

Shafts in Series, Parallel (Determinate, Indeterminate)

Principal stress and Strains Stress on an Oblique Plane in 2D

Mohr’s Circle for Plane Stress

Combined Bending Moment and Torsion

Strain Gauge and Rosettes

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

Toughness & Modulus of Toughness

Castigilano’s Theorem



  • Important Topics for Structural Analysis

Chapters Important Topics
Introduction of Structures and Indeterminacy Static Indeterminacy of beams, trusses and frames

Kinematic Indeterminacy of bream, trusses and frames 

Statically Determinate Trusses Concept 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 Cables Three Hinged Arch
Slope-deflection and Moment Distribution Method Moment Distribution Method

Slope deflection method

Influence line Diagram and Moving Loads Muller Breslau Principle

ILD for Statically Indeterminate Structure

ILD for a Truss Member


  • Important Topics for Reinforced Cement Concrete

Chapters Important Topics
Introduction to RCC Materials and Limit State Method Compressive and Tensile Strength of Concrete

Characteristic and Design Strength of Concrete

Characteristic and Design Strength of Reinforcement

Design of RCC Beams Analysis 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 & Staircase IS 456:2000 Recommendations 

Effective Span for Different Types of Slabs

Depth Criteria

Minimum Reinforcement

Analysis And Design of Slabs

Design of RCC Column and Footing Analysis and Design of Columns

Analysis and Design of Footings

For Two-way Shear (Punching Shear)

Design of Dowel Bars

Pre-stressed Concrete Analysis of Pre-stressed Sections

Losses in Pre-stress


  • Important Topics for Steel Structures


Chapters Important Topics
Connections Bolted, welded, and eccentric connections
Tension members design of tension members
Compression members Design of an axially loaded compression member

lacing and batten columns

column bases

Beams and Plate girders Laterally 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 load Shape Factor & Load Factor

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

 Plastic hinge length


  • Important Topics for Construction Materials and Management

Chapters Important Topics
Engineering Materials Steel


PERT and CPM Network Analysis

Total float

free float and independent float

critical path

Miscellaneous Topics Rate Analysis & Standard Specifications

cost estimation


  • Important Topics for Geotechnical Engineering

 Chapters Important Topics
Introduction To Soil Mechanics Sources of Transportation of Soil

Soil Structure

Clay Mineralogy

Three Phase System

Index Properties of Soils & Soil Classification Index Properties

Consistency Limits, sensitivity, thixotropy, Activity

Relative Density/ Density Index

Relative Compaction

Particle size Classification

Effective stress, Permeability & Seepage Analysis Capillarity effect in soil

Permeability of Stratified Deposits

Critical Hydraulic Gradient

Safety against Piping

Flow Nets

Seepage loss

Exit Gradient

Stress Distribution in soil Bousinesq’s Theory
Compaction Factors affecting Compaction

Effect of Compaction on Soil Properties

Compressibility & Consolidation Characteristics of primary consolidation

Terzaghi’s Theory of One-Dimensional Consolidation

Basic Differential Equation of One-Dimensional Consolidation

Shear Strength of soil Mohr’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 Pressure Rankine’s Earth pressure Theory

Tension crack

Critical height/depth

Stability of Slopes FOS for dry/moist/submerged soil

FOS when seepage is there parallel to ground surface

Infinite slopes in C-Φ soils

Shallow foundation Criteria for Design of Foundations

Terzaghi’s Bearing Capacity Equations

Mayerhoff’s Theory

Plate load test

Pile Foundation Load Carrying Capacity of Pile

Group Action of Piles

Efficiency of pile group

Negative Skin Friction

Settlement in pile

Subsurface Exploration Design features affecting sample disturbance

Standard Penetration test

  • Important Topics for Transportation Engineering

Chapters Important Topics
Highway Development & Planning 20-Year Road Plan

Maximum utility system

Highway Alignment & Surveys

Highway Geometric Design Factors 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 Engineering Traffic Volume Study

Speed & Delay Study

Origin & Destination Studies

Traffic Flow Characteristics & Studies

Relationship between Speed, Flow & Density 

Traffic Capacity

Websters Method

Highway Materials Subgrade Soil

Evaluation of Soil Strength

Tests for Road Aggregates

Bituminous Materials

Marshall Method of Bituminous Mix Design

Design of Highway Pavements Design Factors

Design wheel Load

Design of Flexible Pavement

Design of Rigid Pavements

Railway and Airport Engineering Geometric 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

Chapters Important Topics
Water Demand Variation in demand

Goodrich’s Equation

Population forecasting methods

Sources of water Relation between specific yield and specific retention

Yield of Open Well Recuperation Test

Yield of Tube wells

Quality Characteristics of Water Suspended solids

pH of Water

Hardness of water

Alkalinity of Water

MPN test

Water Treatment or Water Purification Plain Sedimentation


Disinfection by Chlorination

Chick’s Law

Breakpoint Chlorination

Sanitary Engineering Design of sewers

Hydraulic Properties of Flow

Characteristics of Sewage COD


Theoretical Oxygen demand

Total Organic Carbon

Disposal of Sewage Effluents Disposal By Dilution in river water

Zones of pollution in River

Oxygen Deficit Curve

Streeter – Phelps equation

Disposal by Dilution in Lakes

Sewage Treatment Grit Chamber

Trickling Filters

Activated Sludge Process

Sludge Digestion

Gas Production in anaerobic digestion

Sludge and its Moisture content

Solid Waste Management Proximate analysis

Energy content

Collection of MSW

Transport of MSW

Methods of Disposal of Refuse


Air Pollution Dispersion of Air Pollutants in the Atmosphere

Methods of Controlling Air Pollution

Unit conversion from ppm to μg/m3

  • Important Topics for Fluid Mechanics

Chapter Important Topics
Introduction and Properties of fluid Properties of Fluids


surface tension and capillary effect

Newtonian Fluid

Pressure and Fluid Statics Absolute, 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 Kinematics Lagrangian and Eulerian Description

Stream lines

Equation of streamlines


Deformation of fluid Elements


Stream Function

Potential Function

Circulation and Vorticity

Fluid Dynamics Euler’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 Modeling The 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 Networks Major and minor head Losses

Hydraulic Gradient and Total Energy Line

Flow through pipes in series, parallel and branched pipes

Equivalent Pipe

Impact of Jets Force Exerted by the jet on inclined plate

Force Exerted by the jet on curved plate

Force Exerted by the jet on hinged plate

Turbulent Flow Property values in a Turbulent flow

Shear stress in a Turbulent flow

Reynolds Theory

Prandtl Mixing length Theory

Friction factor in Turbulent flow

Boundary Layer Boundary 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

Chapters Important Topics
Open channel flow Sub-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

Chapters Important Topics
Introduction & Precipitation Calculation of missing rainfall

Mean Precipitation Calculations

Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves

Evaporation & Transpiration Water Budget Method

Energy Balance Method

Measurement of Evapotranspiration

Penman Equation

Blaney-Criddle Equation

Infiltration & Runoff Hortons equation

Infiltration Indices

Runoff Coefficient

Hydrograph Unit Hydrograph

S-Curve method

Miscellaneous Topics Methods to Estimate Flood Peaks

Flood Routing

Measurement of Discharge by Area-Velocity Method 

Measurement of Velocity

Stage Discharge Curve

Water Requirement of Crops Duty


Outlet factor

Relation between Base period, Duty & Delta

Irrigation efficiencies

Irrigation Requirement of Crops

Gravity Dams Gravity Dams

Modes of failure of Gravity dams

Stability or Sliding criterion

Stability analysis of Gravity Dams

Diversion Head Works Bligh’s Creep theory

Lane’s Weighted Creep theory

Khosla’s theory

Design of Canals by Silt Theories

Lacey’s theory

Miscellaneous Topics Surface irrigation methods

Sub-Surface irrigation method

Sprinkler’s irrigation method


Canal Outlets

Canal regulatory works

  • Important Topics for Geomatics

Chapters Important Topics
Fundamental Concepts of Surveying Principles of Surveying

Scale of a Map

Linear Measurements Errors in chain and tape


Compass Surveying Included Angles

Magnetic Declination

Local Attractions

Traversing Angular Measurements

Latitudes and Departures

Errors of Closure

Levelling Sensitivity of a Level Tube

Effect of Curvature of Earth and Refraction

Reciprocal Levelling

Collimation Error

Miscellaneous Tachometry

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.