The full form of GATE is the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. It is an examination to test how comprehensively students have grasped the different engineering and science subjects taught at the undergraduate level. It is usually held in February or March every year.
The responsibility of conducting GATE lies with the National Coordination Board – GATE. It is under the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India.
On behalf of the Board, the following educational institutes jointly conduct the examination: the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institutes of Technology at Bombay (Mumbai), Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras (Chennai) and Roorkee. Each year, one of the institutes takes charge of conducting GATE. Since 2014, it has become fully online.
Why is GATE an Important Exam?
GATE score determines eligibility for financially assisted admission into several post-graduate and doctoral courses in engineering and science subjects. The Ministry of Human Resources Development and other government agencies offer financial assistance in the form of scholarships or fellowships. The courses are Master of Engineering (M.E.), Master of Technology (M.Tech.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
Other Benefits of Taking the GATE Exam
Since 2012, several public sectors undertakings have been using GATE scores for recruitment. Graduate engineers can get employment at beginner positions based on their GATE scores. Two universities in Singapore and two technical universities in Germany accept GATE scores for admission into their post-graduate and doctoral programs.
Subjects and Syllabus
A candidate has to choose anyone from a total of 24 disciplines on which GATE is conducted. It is a three-hour examination for a total of 100 marks with 65 questions. Verbal ability, numerical ability, and technical ability in the chosen discipline constitute the syllabus.
General aptitude in verbal and numerical abilities gets covered in 10 questions. The remaining 55 questions in a GATE examination relate to the selected subject. Questions are of two types: multiple choice and numerical answer type. Wrong answers to multiple-choice questions attract negative marking.
Score Calculation and Qualifying Marks
Since 2014, candidates are allowed to spread the tests in some subjects over multiple sessions. The scores from multiple sessions are then normalized. The score calculation has become quite complicated due to this. However, the minimum qualifying score is 25.
Eligibility for GATE
Only students at fixed academic levels are eligible for GATE. The institute in charge of the year determines other eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria for GATE 2020 will be released by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, in September 2019.
Qualifying in GATE does not automatically ensure admission into one’s chosen educational institute. Each institute determines its GATE cut-off marks and other criteria. These vary from year to year and from institute to institute.