GATE Examination – Exam Pattern and Eligibility Criteria


The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a competitive examination conducted at the national level to analyse the comprehensive knowledge of candidates for admission into postgraduate programmes in Engineering. On average, about 8.5 lakh candidates appear for the examination every year. The examination is conducted jointly by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Bombay, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Delhi, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Madras and Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. Every year, on a rotational basis, authorities from one of these institutes conduct the examination on behalf of the National Coordination Board (NCB), Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE), and Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India.

Candidates who crack the GATE Examination receive the chance to pursue PG programmes like Master in Technology (M.Tech.), Master of Engineering (M.E.) and PhD programmes from the finest institutions in the country. Admission to the institutions will be provided on the basis of the marks scored in the GATE, and the core subject opted for by the candidate. Completing post-graduation from top-notch institutes will help them get job opportunities in major recruitments by the Public Sector Undertakings. Since the GATE 2024 exam pattern is not officially released by the authorities on the website, let’s take a look at the GATE 2023 exam pattern. Usually, there will not be many alterations in the exam patterns. So, referring to the GATE exam patterns of previous years will also help the candidates to a greater extent.

GATE Exam Pattern 2023 Highlights

Feature Description
Examination Mode Online (Computer Based Test)
Duration of Exam 3 Hours (180 Minutes)
Sectional Time Duration None
Total Marks 100
Total Number of Questions 65
Number of Subjects (Papers) 29
Number of Sections It depends on the subjects.

2-3 (GA and Core Discipline or GA, Engineering Mathematics and Core Subject)

Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

Multiple Select Questions (MSQs)

Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Marking Scheme 1 or 2 marks for each right answer
Negative Marking Scheme For a wrong answer chosen in an MCQ, there will be a negative marking.

For a 1-mark MCQ, 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.

For a 2-mark MCQ, 2/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.

No negative marking for MSQ and NAT.

Eligibility Criteria for GATE Examination – Nationality, Education Qualification and Age Limit

The GATE examination grants opportunities for candidates to get admission to the finest colleges in the country and to achieve their academic and professional goals. Top-notch institutes in the country provide their seats based on the marks scored by the candidates in the examination. Cracking the GATE examination is a great dream for many individuals and is considered a doorway to meet several life opportunities. It will be a Computer-based Test (CBT), and to master the technique of solving them without much trouble, candidates need to make sure that they are properly trained to solve Multiple-choice Questions (MCQs), Multiple-select Questions (MSQs) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions. Generally, the GATE examination is conducted in the month of January or February every year.

Before appearing for the examination, aspirants must ensure they meet all the GATE eligibility criteria. Nationality, education qualification, and age limit are the three main areas where candidates must focus.

  • Candidates who are Indian nationals are eligible to appear for the exam. There are restrictions for international candidates; that is, only candidates from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are eligible to appear for the GATE exam.
  • Candidates who have already completed any government-approved degree programme in Engineering/Technology/Architecture/Science/Commerce/Arts are eligible to appear for the GATE examination. Those currently studying in the 3rd or higher years of any undergraduate degree programme are also eligible to attempt the exam.
  • As per the eligibility criteria put forward by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, which was the conducting body of GATE 2023, there was no age limit to appear for the GATE examination.

Let’s provide this information to help candidates who are seeking admission for their post-graduation from top-notch institutes in the country. Developing a basic understanding of the examination before starting the preparation is very important, and it will help them in numerous ways. Visit BYJU’S website to collect more information about the important dates, exam patterns, syllabus, etc., of the GATE examination.

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