Types of Questions & Exam Format for GATE 2018

With the release of official notification, IIT Guwahati, the organising institute of GATE 2018, has also released GATE Exam Pattern. Depending on the GATE Paper, the exam pattern is set. There is no change in exam pattern as per GATE Information Brochure. The exam includes 2 types of Questions - Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) & Numerical Answer Type (NAT).

GATE is scheduled in February 2018. Listed below are some quick facts related to GATE Exam Pattern 2018: 

  • The duration of the exam is 3 hours.
  • The maximum number of questions in GATE 2018 are from the core subject.
  • There is no negative marking for NAT questions.
  • GATE Syllabus is based on the selection of discipline of undergraduate level.
  • GATE exam is held in the online mode. The exam is held for 23 papers.
  • Some questions in GATE carry 1 mark each and some are 2 marks each. 
  • Questions are of 2 types- Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT).
  • There is a total of 65 questions of total 100 marks.
  • The exam carries 3 sections- General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics and specific subject of the paper.

One must note that GATE papers will have General Aptitude as a compulsory section. Also, Engineering Mathematics sections are common to most of the papers.

GATE 2018 will be conducted across India and in 6 international cities. In order to score well, we suggest you be thorough with your GATE Preparation. Dedicate quality time to each of the sections. Read on to know all key details of GATE Exam Pattern.

For GATE Exam Important Pattern 2018

Highlights of GATE Exam Pattern 2018
GATE 2018 Exam DateFebruary 2018 (3, 4, 10, 11)
Timings of Exam9:00 – 12:00 Hrs 14:00 – 17:00 Hrs
Exam ModeOnline
Number of Questions65
Total Marks100
Type of QuestionsMCQs and NAT
Number of Sections

3 (General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics* and Subject Specification Section)

*In place of Engineering Mathematics, Chemistry will be compulsory for Life Science (XL) Paper

Time Duration3 Hours
Sectional Time-LimitNo

Exam Paper with Codes for GATE 2018

At present GATE is held in 23 disciplines/subjects. A candidate can appear only in any one paper of the following disciplines.

CE, CS, EC, EE and ME Papers: Examination may be conducted in multiple sessions due to increase in the number of applicants.

Engineering Sciences (XE) and Life Science (XL) papers are of general nature. These two papers comprise the following sections. For XE Paper, Engineering Mathematics is the compulsory section while for XL, Chemistry is the compulsory section.  

GATE Exam Papers (AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF, and XE)

  • The questions based on the subject of the exam have 70% of the total weight (70 Marks).
  • Engineering Mathematics questions are compulsory and carry 15% of the total weight (15 Marks).
  • The remaining part of GATE Question Paper includes General Aptitude questions (15% of the total weight – 15 Marks).

GATE Exam Papers (AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH and XL )

  • General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks (15 Marks).
  • There is no question from Engineering Mathematics in these papers.
  • Remaining 85% of the total marks will be based on the subject of the paper (85 Marks).

GATE Marking Scheme 2018

For each of the 23 subjects, the paper covers a total of 65 questions of 100 marks. Each paper is divided into subsections and on the basis of it, marking scheme is defined. 

  • From the total of 100 marks, there will be 10 questions of 15 marks covering the entire General Aptitude section (Language and Analytical Skills).
  • For the paper codes –  AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH  and XL, the General Aptitude will cover 15% out of 100 marks, and other 85% of the total question paper will be covered by the subject of the paper.
  • General Aptitude- 5 Questions of 2 Marks each and 5 Questions of 1 Marks each.
  • Subject Knowledge- 25 Questions of 2 Marks each and 20 Questions of 1 Marks each.
  • Remaining 70% weight of total marks is acquired by the subject of the paper.
  • Engineering Mathematics will cover approximately 15% weight out of 100 marks for the paper bearing codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF and XE.
  • Engineering Mathematics- 5 Questions of 2 Marks each and 5 Questions of 1 Marks each.

Negative Marking in GATE Exam Pattern

  • For questions carrying 2 marks, 2/3 marks would be deducted for marking an incorrect answer.
  • MCQs carrying 1 marks each, 1/3 marks would be deducted as a penalty for marking the wrong answer.
  • There is no provision of negative marking in NAT questions.

GATE Exam Pattern GG, XE, and XL

GATE exam pattern for GG, XE and XL papers is somewhat similar to other disciplines of GATE subjects. The question paper will consist of MCQs and NAT questions. 

  • Forgiving the answer to numerical answer questions, choices will not be given. You have to enter the answer by using the virtual keyboard.
  • The answer to NAT may be a real number, signed or unsigned, e.g., 25.06, -25.06, 25, -25 etc.
  • There will be four options for MCQs type questions; candidates must select the most appropriate option.
  • 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.
  • NAT questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates required to make an answer.

The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 25 questions for total 25 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 30 questions for total 60 marks (2 marks for each question)

GATE Exam Pattern for GG (Geology and Geophysics) Paper

Apart from the General Aptitude (GA) section, the Geology and Geophysics (GG) question paper consist of two parts: Part A and Part B.

  • Part A is common for all candidates.
  • Part B consists of two sections: Section 1 (Geology) and Section 2 (Geo-Physics).
  • Candidates will have to attempt questions in Part A and in Part B attempt either Section 1 or Section 2.
  • The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:
    1. Part A consist of 25 questions (MCQs) and carry 1 mark for each question so the total 25 marks (Some questions may be numerical answer type questions)
    2. Part B (Section 1 and Section 2) consists of 30 questions (MCQs Type) 2 mark for each question so the total 60 marks (Some questions may be numerical answer type questions)

GATE Exam Pattern for XE (Engineering Sciences) Paper

There are the following sections which have to be responded to GATE XE paper:

  • Section A – Engineering Mathematics (Compulsory)
  • GA – General Aptitude (Compulsory)
  • Any two of XE section from B to G (as given in the paper code table)

Candidates can select two sections from B to G during the examination after viewing the questions. Candidates can also change the subject in the midway of examination to another optional section, but for this, first of all, deselect one of the previous selected optional subjects from B to G. Only two optional sections can be an answer at a time.

Marking Scheme for GATE XE Paper

This section contains total 33 questions of total 50 marks. In GATE XE paper, the Section - A (Engineering Mathematics) is compulsory. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below: This section contains 11 questions of total 15 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions.

  • 4 questions for total 8 marks (2 marks for each question)
  • 7 questions for total 7 marks (1 mark for each question)

Each of the other sections of XE paper from section B to G contains 22 questions carrying a total of 35 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 13 questions for total 26 marks (2 marks for each question)
  • 9 questions for total 7 marks (1 mark for each question)

GATE Exam Pattern for XL (Life Sciences) Paper

There are the following sections which have to be responded by the candidates in GATE XL paper as given in the below:

  • Any two of XL sections from Q to U
  • Section H – Chemistry (Compulsory)
  • GA – General Aptitude (Compulsory)

Candidates can select two sections from Q to U during the examination after viewing the questions. Only two optional sections can be the answer at a time. Candidates can also change the subject in the midway of examination to another optional section, but for this, the candidates will have to deselect one of the previous selected optional subjects from Q to U initially.

Marking Scheme for GATE XL Paper

This section contains total 35 questions of total 55 marks. This section contains 15 questions of total 25 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below: In GATE XL paper, the Section - P Chemistry (compulsory).

  • 5 questions for total 5 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 10 questions for total 20 marks (2 marks for each question)

Each of the other sections of the XL paper from section Q to U contains 20 questions carrying a total of 30 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 10 questions for total 10 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 10 questions for total 20 marks (2 marks for each question)

Different of Questions in GATE 2018

Questions in GATE are broadly divided into Objective Type (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT). In MCQs, candidates are provideed with 4 choices out of which one answer is correct. A candidate has to mark the correct choice by clicking on the radio button against the option.

Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

  • There will be no negative marking for NAT questions.
  • There won’t be any choices for these questions.
  • NAT includes questions with a value or a real number as their answer.
  • The answer has to be entered using the mouse. 
  • Using the keyboard must be avoided as it will lock your answer panel.
  • NAT questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates required to make an answer.

Questions Based on General Aptitude 

Apart from questions based on the subjects, the paper will also contain the questions to test the ability of your General Ability like- Language and Analytical Skills. 15% weight of total marks is devoted to General Aptitude section in all the papers. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 5 questions for total 5 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 5 questions for total 10 marks (2 marks for each question)

The pattern of questions in GATE exam are explained below:

  1. Recall: This includes questions based on facts, principles, formulae and laws of the discipline. The candidate has to mark an answer either directly from a memory or from one line computation.
  2. Comprehension: These type of questions test the candidate’s basic understanding of the field they belong to. The candidates have to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas in these type of questions.
  3. Application: These are the logical reasoning based questions wherein the candidates have to respond according to their knowledge through computation.
  4. Analysis and Synthesis: In these questions, the candidate is present with data, diagrams, images etc. that require analysis before a question can be an answer. A Synthesis question might require the candidate to compare two or more pieces of inattention. Questions in this category could, for example, involve candidates in recognizing unstated assumptions or separating useful inattention from irrelevant inattention.

Important Topics for GATE (Subject-wise)

Since GATE is a national level entrance examination, candidates must prepare well for it for admissions to the desired college or for recruitment to the desired PSU. Don’t forget to check GATE Paper Analysis for boosting up your GATE Preparation.

Check out the list of important topics from each paper code to aid preparations for GATE:

Important Topics for GATE Civil Engineering (CE)

The candidates must concentrate more on the topics given below while preparing for GATE Exam for Civil Engineering (CE):

  • Strength of Materials
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geo-Technical
  • Highway and Surveying
  • Irrigation and Hydrology

Important Topics for GATE CSE (Computer Science and Information Technology)

The candidates are asked the maximum number of questions from the topics given below in the GATE Exam for Computer Science and Information Technology (CS):

  • Algorithms
  • Database
  • Operating Systems
  • Theory of Computation
  • Programming and Data Structures
  • Computer Organization and Architecture
  • Computer Networks

Important Topics for GATE EE (Electrical Engineering)

There are questions from engineering mathematics and aptitude in this paper code as well while there are few topics from the subject that carry higher weight in the GATE Exam. The important topics from Electrical Engineering are given below:

  • Power Systems
  • Signal and System
  • Control Systems
  • Analog & Digital Electronics
  • Network Theory

Important Topics for GATE ECE (Electronics and Communication Engineering)

This paper code has the maximum weight age of questions based on the subject. The important topics for the preparation of technical questions asked in GATE EC Exam are given below: There are questions based on aptitude and engineering mathematics as well.

  • Communication Systems
  • Network Theory
  • Analog Circuits
  • Control Systems
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Signal and Systems

Important Topics for GATE Mechanical Engineering (ME)

The candidates can check the important topics from the mechanical engineering syllabus for GATE below:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Theory of Mechanics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Industrial Engineering

Important Topics for GATE Instrumentation Engineering (IN)

There are questions on various topics of instrumentation engineering studied during the Bachelor programme in GATE. Candidates can revise the following topics thoroughly to crack the GATE Exam for Instrumentation Engineering:

  • Circuit and Networks
  • Control Systems
  • Transducers
  • Digital Circuits
  • Analog Circuits

Sample Papers GATE Exam 2018 

Solving GATE sample papers are really helpful in enhancing the preparation for the exam. In the table given below, we have provided you a list of paper along with codes and also the available link to sample paper for each subject.

CodePaper/ Subject NamePaper LinkCodePaper/ Subject NamePaper Link
AEAerospace EngineeringGet HereGGGeology and GeophysicsGet Here
AGAgricultural EngineeringGet HereINInstrumentation EngineeringGet Here
ARArchitecture and PlanningGet HereMAMathematicsGet Here
BTBiotechnologyGet HereMEMechanical EngineeringME 01ME 02ME 03 
CECivil EngineeringCE 01CE 02 MNMining EngineeringGet Here
CHChemical EngineeringGet HereMTMetallurgical EngineeringGet Here
CSComputer Sc. and Information TechnologyCS 01, CS 02CS 03PHPhysicsGet Here
CYChemistryGet HerePIProduction and Industrial EngineeringGet Here
ECElectronics and Communication Engg.EC 01EC 02EC 03TFTextile Engineering and Fibre ScienceGet Here
EEElectrical EngineeringEE01EE02XEEngineering SciencesXE- AXE-BXE- CXE-DXE- EXE-FXE- G 
EYEcology and EvolutionGet HereXLLife SciencesXL- HXL-IXL- JXL-KXL- LXL-M

Preparation Books for GATE 2018

There are plenty of GATE preparation books available but the major problem comes in selecting the best ones for MCQs. Though there is not a single book for preparation of all the subjects of a particular branch. A candidate has to refer many subject books to crack the GATE code. Here we have enlisted the best book for boosting your GATE preparation. 

The table below displays name of some of the best-selling books along with their subject and their ISBN number. The ISBN number for each book is stated alongside the name of the books for the convenience of aspirants to buy books.

Name of the SubjectName of the BookISBN Number
Computer Science and Information TechnologyGATE Guide Computer Science and Information Technology9789386309747
Civil EngineeringGATE Guide Civil Engineering9789386309730
Mechanical EngineeringGATE Guide Mechanic Engineering 20189789386309778
Electronics and Communication EngineeringGATE Guide Electronics and Communication Engineering 20189789386309761
Civil EngineeringGATE Civil Engineer (22 year’s Chapter-wise Solved Paper)9789386309785
Electrical EngineeringGATE Guide Electrical Engineering 20189789386309754

FAQs - Exam Pattern GATE 2018

Ques. What is the duration of GATE exam?

Ans. There will be a countdown timer on the top right corner of the screen which will display the time left to complete the exam. On logging off, the answers will be saved automatically.  The duration of GATE exam is 3 hours. As the timer reaches zero, the computer screen will log off on its own.

Ques. What is the Question Palette in the GATE Exam?

Ans. The symbols with their meanings are given below: There is a different symbol to describe the status of questions. The candidates can hide the question palette and move to full screen by clicking on the arrow marks given. The candidates can navigate to different questions by clicking on the respective question number given on the Question Palette. The question palette given on the right side of the computer screen displays the status of the questions.

Ques. How can we respond and save the questions (both MCQ and NAT)?

Ans. To answer MCQs, click on the radio button before the choice. To deselect the answer click again on the same radio button or click on Clear Response button. Click on the button for another option to change the chosen answer.

To answer, NAT, enter the answer using the numerical keypad of the virtual calculator. A decimal response can be entered without mentioning 0 before the decimal point. How to use Virtual Calculator in GATE Click on the clear response button to deselect or clear any answer. To change the answer to any particular question, select the question and then enter the obligatory response using the numerical keypad.

To save the answers, click on Save and Next button. To mark an answer for review, click Mark for Review and Next button. All the answers will, however, be submitted automatically after time is over.

Note: Read the question carefully, if there is any useful data given on the question paper, the candidate must use it to answer the question. If the candidates is unable to find any such data in any question and they required it, they can click on Useful Data option given the top-right side of the screen.


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