GATE Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Apr 27, 2016 15:12 IST

The GATE examination consists of a single online paper of 3-hour duration, in which there will be a total of 65 questions carrying 100 marks.

Section Weightage & Marks

70% of the total marks is given to the technical section while 15% weightage is given to General Aptitude and Engineering Maths.


Questions (Total 65)


Respective Engineering Branch

70 Marks

25 - 1 mark questions 30 - 2 mark questions

Engineering Maths

15 Marks

General Aptitude

15 Marks

Five 1 mark questions Five 2 mark questions

For 1-mark multiple-choice questions, 1/3 marks will be deducted for a wrong answer. Likewise, for 2-mark multiple-choice questions, 2/3 marks will be deducted for a wrong answer. There is no negative marking for numerical answer type questions. 


Question Types: 

(i) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) carrying 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections. These questions are objective in nature, and each will have a choice of four answers, out of which the candidate has to mark the correct answer(s).

(ii) Numerical Answer/Fill in the blank Questions of 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections. For numerical answer questions, choices will not be given. Candidates have to enter the answer (which will be a real number, signed or unsigned, e.g. 25.06, -25.06, 25, -25 etc.) using a virtual keypad. An appropriate range will be considered while evaluating the numerical answer type questions so that the candidate is not penalized due to the usual round-off errors. Design of Questions  

The Fill in the Blank Questions usually consist of 35% - 40% of the total weightage.

The questions in a paper may be designed to test the following abilities:

(i) Recall:

These are based on facts, principles, formulae or laws of the discipline of the paper. The candidate is expected to be able to obtain the answer either from his/her memory of the subject or at most from a one-line computation.

(ii) Comprehension:

These questions will test the candidate’s understanding of the basics of his/her field, by requiring him/her to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas.  

(iii) Application:

In these questions, the candidate is expected to apply his/her knowledge either through computation or by logical reasoning.

(iv) Analysis and Synthesis: 

In these questions, the candidate is presented with data, diagrams, images etc. that require analysis before a question can be answered. A Synthesisquestion might require the candidate to compare two or more pieces of information. Questions in this category could, for example, involve candidates in recognising unstated assumptions, or separating useful information from irrelevant information.

About Online pattern

The examination for all the papers will be carried out in an ONLINE Computer Based Test (CBT) mode where the candidates will be shown the question s in a random sequence on a computer screen. The candidates are required to either select the answer (for MCQ type) or enter the answer for numerical answer type question using a mouse on a virtual keyboard (keyboard of the computer will be disabled). The candidates will also be allowed to use a calculator with which the online portal is equipped with.


Electronics and Communications (EC)

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics Linear Algebra: Vector space, basis, linear dependence and independence, matrix algebra, eigen values and eigen vectors, rank, solution of linear equations – existence and uniqueness.

Calculus: Mean value theorems, theorems of integral calculus, evaluation of definite and improper integrals, partial derivatives, maxima and minima, multiple integrals, line, surface and volume integrals, Taylor series.

Differential Equations: First order equations (linear and nonlinear), higher order linear differential equations, Cauchy's and Euler's equations, methods of solution using variation of parameters, complementary function and particular integral, partial differential equations, variable separable method, initial and boundary value problems.

Vector Analysis: Vectors in plane and space, vector operations, gradient, divergence and curl, Gauss's, Green's and Stoke's theorems. Complex Analysis: Analytic functions, Cauchy's integral theorem, Cauchy's integral formula; Taylor's and Laurent's series, residue theorem. Numerical Methods: Solution of nonlinear equations, single and multi-step methods for differential equations, convergence criteria.

Probability and Statistics: Mean, median, mode and standard deviation; combinatorial probability, probability distribution functions - binomial, Poisson, exponential and normal; Joint and conditional probability; Correlation and regression analysis.

Section 2: Networks, Signals and Systems Network solution methods: nodal and mesh analysis; Network theorems: superposition, Thevenin and Norton’s, maximum power transfer; Wye‐Delta transformation; Steady state sinusoidal analysis using phasors; Time domain analysis of simple linear circuits; Solution of network equations using Laplace transform; Frequency domain analysis of RLC circuits; Linear 2‐port network parameters: driving point and transfer functions; State equations for networks.

Continuous-time signals: Fourier series and Fourier transform representations, sampling theorem and applications; Discrete-time signals: discrete-time Fourier transform (DTFT), DFT, FFT, Z-transform, interpolation of discrete-time signals; LTI systems: definition and properties, causality, stability, impulse response, convolution, poles and zeros, parallel and cascade structure, frequency response, group delay, phase delay, digital filter design techniques.

Section 3: Electronic Devices Energy bands in intrinsic and extrinsic silicon; Carrier transport: diffusion current, drift current, mobility and resistivity; Generation and recombination of carriers; Poisson and continuity equations; P-N junction, Zener diode, BJT, MOS capacitor, MOSFET, LED, photo diode and solar cell; Integrated circuit fabrication process: oxidation, diffusion, ion implantation, photolithography and twin-tub CMOS process.

Section 4: Analog Circuits Small signal equivalent circuits of diodes, BJTs and MOSFETs; Simple diode circuits: clipping, clamping and rectifiers; Single-stage BJT and MOSFET amplifiers: biasing, bias stability, mid-frequency small signal analysis and frequency response; BJT and MOSFET amplifiers: multi-stage, differential, feedback, power and operational; Simple op-amp circuits; Active filters; Sinusoidal oscillators: criterion for oscillation, single-transistor and opamp configurations; Function generators, wave-shaping circuits and 555 timers; Voltage reference circuits; Power supplies: ripple removal and regulation.

Section 5: Digital Circuits Number systems; Combinatorial circuits: Boolean algebra, minimization of functions using Boolean identities and Karnaugh map, logic gates and their static CMOS implementations, arithmetic circuits, code converters, multiplexers, decoders and PLAs; Sequential circuits: latches and flip‐flops, counters, shift‐registers and finite state machines; Data converters: sample and hold circuits, ADCs and DACs; Semiconductor memories: ROM, SRAM, DRAM; 8-bit microprocessor (8085): architecture, programming, memory and I/O interfacing.

Section 6: Control Systems Basic control system components; Feedback principle; Transfer function; Block diagram representation; Signal flow graph; Transient and steady-state analysis of LTI systems; Frequency response; Routh-Hurwitz and Nyquist stability criteria; Bode and root-locus plots; Lag, lead and lag-lead compensation; State variable model and solution of state equation of LTI systems.

Section 7: Communications Random processes: autocorrelation and power spectral density, properties of white noise, filtering of random signals through LTI systems; Analog communications: amplitude modulation and demodulation, angle modulation and demodulation, spectra of AM and FM, superheterodyne receivers, circuits for analog communications; Information theory: entropy, mutual information and channel capacity theorem; Digital communications: PCM, DPCM, digital modulation schemes, amplitude, phase and frequency shift keying (ASK, PSK, FSK), QAM, MAP and ML decoding, matched filter receiver, calculation of bandwidth, SNR and BER for digital modulation; Fundamentals of error correction, Hamming codes; Timing and frequency synchronization, inter-symbol interference and its mitigation; Basics of TDMA, FDMA and CDMA.

Section 8: Electromagnetics Electrostatics; Maxwell’s equations: differential and integral forms and their interpretation, boundary conditions, wave equation, Poynting vector; Plane waves and properties: reflection and refraction, polarization, phase and group velocity, propagation through various media, skin depth; Transmission lines: equations, characteristic impedance, impedance matching, impedance transformation, S-parameters, Smith chart; Waveguides: modes, boundary conditions, cut-off frequencies, dispersion relations; Antennas: antenna types, radiation pattern, gain and directivity, return loss, antenna arrays; Basics of radar; Light propagation in optical fibers.

Electrical Engineering

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

Linear Algebra: Matrix Algebra, Systems of linear equations, Eigen values, Eigen vectors. Calculus: Mean value theorems, Theorems of integral calculus, Evaluation of definite and improper integrals, Partial Derivatives, Maxima and minima, Multiple integrals, Fourier series, Vector identities, Directional derivatives, Line integral, Surface integral, Volume integral, Stokes’s theorem, Gauss’s theorem, Green’s theorem. Differential equations: First order equations (linear and nonlinear), Higher order linear differential equations with constant coefficients, Method of variation of parameters, Cauchy’s equation, Euler’s equation, Initial and boundary value problems, Partial Differential Equations, Method of separation of variables. Complex variables: Analytic functions, Cauchy’s integral theorem, Cauchy’s integral formula, Taylor series, Laurent series, Residue theorem, Solution integrals. Probability and Statistics: Sampling theorems, Conditional probability, Mean, Median, Mode, Standard Deviation, Random variables, Discrete and Continuous distributions, Poisson distribution, Normal distribution, Binomial distribution, Correlation analysis, Regression analysis. Numerical Methods: Solutions of nonlinear algebraic equations, Single and Multi‐step methods for differential equations. Transform Theory: Fourier Transform, Laplace Transform, z‐Transform.

Electrical Engineering

Section 2: Electric Circuits Network graph, KCL, KVL, Node and Mesh analysis, Transient response of dc and ac networks, Sinusoidal steady‐state analysis, Resonance, Passive filters, Ideal current and voltage sources, Thevenin’s theorem, Norton’s theorem, Superposition theorem, Maximum power transfer theorem, Two‐port networks, Three phase circuits, Power and power factor in ac circuits.

Section 3: Electromagnetic Fields Coulomb's Law, Electric Field Intensity, Electric Flux Density, Gauss's Law, Divergence, Electric field and potential due to point, line, plane and spherical charge distributions, Effect of dielectric medium, Capacitance of simple configurations, Biot‐Savart’s law, Ampere’s law, Curl, Faraday’s law, Lorentz force, Inductance, Magnetomotive force, Reluctance, Magnetic circuits,Self and Mutual inductance of simple configurations.

Section 4: Signals and Systems Representation of continuous and discrete‐time signals, Shifting and scaling operations, Linear Time Invariant and Causal systems, Fourier series representation of continuous periodic signals, Sampling theorem, Applications of Fourier Transform, Laplace Transform and z-Transform.

Section 5: Electrical Machines Single phase transformer: equivalent circuit, phasor diagram, open circuit and short circuit tests, regulation and efficiency; Three phase transformers: connections, parallel operation; Auto‐transformer, Electromechanical energy conversion principles, DC machines: separately excited, series and shunt, motoring and generating mode of operation and their characteristics, starting and speed control of dc motors; Three phase induction motors: principle of operation, types, performance, torque-speed characteristics, no-load and blocked rotor tests, equivalent circuit, starting and speed control; Operating principle of single phase induction motors; Synchronous machines: cylindrical and salient pole machines, performance, regulation and parallel operation of generators, starting of synchronous motor, characteristics; Types of losses and efficiency calculations of electric machines.

Section 6: Power Systems Power generation concepts, ac and dc transmission concepts, Models and performance of transmission lines and cables, Series and shunt compensation, Electric field distribution and insulators, Distribution systems, Per‐unit quantities, Bus admittance matrix, GaussSeidel and Newton-Raphson load flow methods, Voltage and Frequency control, Power factor correction, Symmetrical components, Symmetrical and unsymmetrical fault analysis, Principles of over‐current, differential and distance protection; Circuit breakers, System stability concepts, Equal area criterion.

Section 7: Control Systems Mathematical modeling and representation of systems, Feedback principle, transfer function, Block diagrams and Signal flow graphs, Transient and Steady‐state analysis of linear time invariant systems, Routh-Hurwitz and Nyquist criteria, Bode plots, Root loci, Stability analysis, Lag, Lead and Lead‐Lag compensators; P, PI and PID controllers; State space model, State transition matrix.

Section 8: Electrical and Electronic Measurements Bridges and Potentiometers, Measurement of voltage, current, power, energy and power factor; Instrument transformers, Digital voltmeters and multimeters, Phase, Time and Frequency measurement; Oscilloscopes, Error analysis.

Section 9: Analog and Digital Electronics Characteristics of diodes, BJT, MOSFET; Simple diode circuits: clipping, clamping, rectifiers; Amplifiers: Biasing, Equivalent circuit and Frequency response; Oscillators and Feedback amplifiers; Operational amplifiers: Characteristics and applications; Simple active filters, VCOs and Timers, Combinational and Sequential logic circuits, Multiplexer, Demultiplexer, Schmitt trigger, Sample and hold circuits, A/D and D/A converters, 8085Microprocessor: Architecture, Programming and Interfacing.

Section 10: Power Electronics Characteristics of semiconductor power devices: Diode, Thyristor, Triac, GTO, MOSFET, IGBT; DC to DC conversion: Buck, Boost and Buck-Boost converters; Single and three phase configuration of uncontrolled rectifiers, Line commutated thyristor based converters, Bidirectional ac to dc voltage source converters, Issues of line current harmonics, Power factor, Distortion factor of ac to dc converters, Single phase and three phase inverters, Sinusoidal pulse width modulation.

Mechanical Engineering

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics Linear Algebra: Matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Calculus: Functions of single variable, limit, continuity and differentiability, mean value theorems, indeterminate forms; evaluation of definite and improper integrals; double and triple integrals; partial derivatives, total derivative, Taylor series (in one and two variables), maxima and minima, Fourier series; gradient, divergence and curl, vector identities, directional derivatives, line, surface and volume integrals, applications of Gauss, Stokes and Green’s theorems. Differential equations: First order equations (linear and nonlinear); higher order linear differential equations with constant coefficients; Euler-Cauchy equation; initial and boundary value problems; Laplace transforms; solutions of heat, wave and Laplace's equations. Complex variables: Analytic functions; Cauchy-Riemann equations; Cauchy’s integral theorem and integral formula; Taylor and Laurent series. Probability and Statistics: Definitions of probability, sampling theorems, conditional probability; mean, median, mode and standard deviation; random variables, binomial, Poisson and normal distributions. Numerical Methods: Numerical solutions of linear and non-linear algebraic equations; integration by trapezoidal and Simpson’s rules; single and multi-step methods for differential equations.

Section 2: Applied Mechanics and Design Engineering Mechanics: Free-body diagrams and equilibrium; trusses and frames; virtual work; kinematics and dynamics of particles and of rigid bodies in plane motion; impulse and momentum (linear and angular) and energy formulations, collisions. Mechanics of Materials: Stress and strain, elastic constants, Poisson's ratio; Mohr’s circle for plane stress and plane strain; thin cylinders; shear force and bending moment diagrams; bending and shear stresses; deflection of beams; torsion of circular shafts; Euler’s theory of columns; energy methods; thermal stresses; strain gauges and rosettes; testing of materials with universal testing machine; testing of hardness and impact strength. Theory of Machines: Displacement, velocity and acceleration analysis of plane mechanisms; dynamic analysis of linkages; cams; gears and gear trains; flywheels and governors; balancing of reciprocating and rotating masses; gyroscope. Vibrations: Free and forced vibration of single degree of freedom systems, effect of damping; vibration isolation; resonance; critical speeds of shafts. Machine Design: Design for static and dynamic loading; failure theories; fatigue strength and the S-N diagram; principles of the design of machine elements such as bolted, riveted and welded joints; shafts, gears, rolling and sliding contact bearings, brakes and clutches, springs.

Section 3: Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences Fluid Mechanics: Fluid properties; fluid statics, manometry, buoyancy, forces on submerged bodies, stability of floating bodies; control-volume analysis of mass, momentum and energy; fluid acceleration; differential equations of continuity and momentum; Bernoulli’s equation; dimensional analysis; viscous flow of incompressible fluids, boundary layer, elementary turbulent flow, flow through pipes, head losses in pipes, bends and fittings. Heat-Transfer: Modes of heat transfer; one dimensional heat conduction, resistance concept and electrical analogy, heat transfer through fins; unsteady heat conduction, lumped parameter system, Heisler's charts; thermal boundary layer, dimensionless parameters in free and forced convective heat transfer, heat transfer correlations for flow over flat plates and through pipes, effect of turbulence; heat exchanger performance, LMTD and NTU methods; radiative heat transfer, StefanBoltzmann law, Wien's displacement law, black and grey surfaces, view factors, radiation network analysis. Thermodynamics: Thermodynamic systems and processes; properties of pure substances, behaviour of ideal and real gases; zeroth and first laws of thermodynamics, calculation of work and heat in various processes; second law of thermodynamics; thermodynamic property charts and tables, availability and irreversibility; thermodynamic relations. Applications: Power Engineering: Air and gas compressors; vapour and gas power cycles, concepts of regeneration and reheat. I.C. Engines: Air-standard Otto, Diesel and dual cycles. Refrigeration and air-conditioning: Vapour and gas refrigeration and heat pump cycles; properties of moist air, psychrometric chart, basic psychrometric processes. Turbomachinery: Impulse and reaction principles, velocity diagrams, Pelton-wheel, Francis and Kaplan turbines.

Section 4: Materials, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering Engineering Materials: Structure and properties of engineering materials, phase diagrams, heat treatment, stress-strain diagrams for engineering materials. Casting, Forming and Joining Processes: Different types of castings, design of patterns, moulds and cores; solidification and cooling; riser and gating design. Plastic deformation and yield criteria; fundamentals of hot and cold working processes; load estimation for bulk (forging, rolling, extrusion, drawing) and sheet (shearing, deep drawing, bending) metal forming processes; principles of powder metallurgy. Principles of welding, brazing, soldering and adhesive bonding. Machining and Machine Tool Operations: Mechanics of machining; basic machine tools; single and multi-point cutting tools, tool geometry and materials, tool life and wear; economics of machining; principles of non-traditional machining processes; principles of work holding, design of jigs and fixtures. Metrology and Inspection: Limits, fits and tolerances; linear and angular measurements; comparators; gauge design; interferometry; form and finish measurement; alignment and testing methods; tolerance analysis in manufacturing and assembly. Computer Integrated Manufacturing: Basic concepts of CAD/CAM and their integration tools. Production Planning and Control: Forecasting models, aggregate production planning, scheduling, materials requirement planning. Inventory Control: Deterministic models; safety stock inventory control systems. Operations Research: Linear programming, simplex method, transportation, assignment, network flow models, simple queuing models, PERT and CPM.

Computer Science and Information Technology

Section1: Engineering Mathematics Discrete Mathematics: Propositional and first order logic. Sets, relations, functions, partial orders and lattices. Groups. Graphs: connectivity, matching, coloring. Combinatorics: counting, recurrence relations, generating functions. Linear Algebra: Matrices, determinants, system of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, LU decomposition. Calculus: Limits, continuity and differentiability. Maxima and minima. Mean value theorem. Integration. Probability: Random variables. Uniform, normal, exponential, poisson and binomial distributions. Mean, median, mode and standard deviation. Conditional probability and Bayes theorem. Computer Science and Information Technology

Section 2: Digital Logic Boolean algebra. Combinational and sequential circuits. Minimization. Number representations and computer arithmetic (fixed and floating point).

Section 3: Computer Organization and Architecture Machine instructions and addressing modes. ALU, data‐path and control unit. Instruction pipelining. Memory hierarchy: cache, main memory and secondary storage; I/O interface (interrupt and DMA mode).

Section 4: Programming and Data Structures Programming in C. Recursion. Arrays, stacks, queues, linked lists, trees, binary search trees, binary heaps, graphs.

Section 5: Algorithms Searching, sorting, hashing. Asymptotic worst case time and space complexity. Algorithm design techniques: greedy, dynamic programming and divide‐and‐conquer. Graph search, minimum spanning trees, shortest paths.

Section 6: Theory of Computation Regular expressions and finite automata. Context-free grammars and push-down automata. Regular and contex-free languages, pumping lemma. Turing machines and undecidability.

Section 7: Compiler Design Lexical analysis, parsing, syntax-directed translation. Runtime environments. Intermediate code generation.

Section 8: Operating System Processes, threads, inter‐process communication, concurrency and synchronization. Deadlock. CPU scheduling. Memory management and virtual memory. File systems.

Section 9: Databases ER‐model. Relational model: relational algebra, tuple calculus, SQL. Integrity constraints, normal forms. File organization, indexing (e.g., B and B+ trees). Transactions and concurrency control.

Section 10: Computer Networks Concept of layering. LAN technologies (Ethernet). Flow and error control techniques, switching. IPv4/IPv6, routers and routing algorithms (distance vector, link state). TCP/UDP and sockets, congestion control. Application layer protocols (DNS, SMTP, POP, FTP, HTTP). Basics of Wi-Fi. Network security: authentication, basics of public key and private key cryptography, digital signatures and certificates, firewalls.

Syllabus for General Aptitude (GA)


Verbal Ability: English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction.

Numerical Ability: Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation.

Sample Questions: Verbal Ability

Q.1. Choose the appropriate answer to complete the following sentence:

To those of us who had always thought him timid, his --------- came as a surprise.

(A) Intrepidity (B) inevitability (C) inability (D) inertness

Ans. (A)

Q.2. Choose the appropriate answer to complete the following sentence:

Medicine is to illness as law is to _________

(A) discipline (B) anarchy (C) treason (D) etiquette

Ans. (B)

Q.3. Read the following paragraph :

“The ordinary form of mercury thermometer is used for temperature ranging from –40o F to 500o F. For measuring temperature below –40o F, thermometers filled with alcohol are used. These are, however, not satisfactory for use in high temperatures. When a mercury thermometer is used for temperature above 500o F, the space above the mercury is filled with some inert gas, usually nitrogen or carbon dioxide, placed in the thermometer under pressure. As the mercury rises, the gas pressures is increased, so that it is possible to use these thermometers for temperatures as high as 1000o F.”

With what, besides mercury, would a thermometer be filled if it was designed to be used for measuring temperature of about 500o F?

(A) Pyrometer (B) Inert gas (C) Iron and brass (D) Gas

Ans. (B)

Q.4. The cost of manufacturing tractors in Korea is twenty percent less than the cost of manufacturing tractors in Germany. Even after transportation fees and import taxes are added, it is still cheaper to import tractors from Korea to Germany than to produce tractors in Germany.

Which of the following assertions is best supported by the above information?

(A) Labour costs in Korea are twenty percent below those in Germany.

(B) Importing tractors into Germany will eliminate twenty percent of the manufacturing jobs in Germany.

(C) The costs of transporting a tractor from Korea to Germany is more than twenty percent ofthe cost of manufacturing the tractor in Korea.

(D) The import taxes on a tractor imported from Korea to Germanyis less than twenty percentof the cost of manufacturing the tractor in Germany.

Ans. (D)

Numerical Ability

Q.5. In a survey, 3/16 of the people surveyed told that they preferred to use publictransport while commuting daily to office. 5/8 of the people surveyed told that theypreferred to use their own vehicles. The remaining 75 respondents said thatthey had no clear preference. How many people preferred to use publictransport?

(A) 75 (B) 100 (C) 125 (D) 133

Ans. (A)