GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023 PDF: Important Topics, Subject-wise Topics

By Abhinav Gupta|Updated : October 12th, 2022

GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023 is divided into General Aptitude (GA) and topics from Chemistry (CY). The paper will be divided between GA and CY at 5% and 85%, ration respectively. Knowing the syllabus is the primary step to preparing for the GATE Chemistry exam. Thus, below we have simplified the GATE Chemistry syllabus and other important points that you must know.

It is unlikely that the administering committee would update the GATE Chemistry syllabus 2023, and it is likely to remain the same as in the previous exam. Candidates are advised to check the GATE syllabus for Chemistry (CY) before appearing for the upcoming examination.

Table of Content

GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023

To get good marks on the Chemistry exam, it is strongly advised that you prepare in accordance with the syllabus. The GATE Chemistry syllabus 2023 will include questions on topics including kinetics, transition elements, radioactivity, lanthanides and actinides, stereochemistry, pericyclic reactions, photochemistry, etc. in addition to general aptitude questions. The GATE Chemistry syllabus 2023 is divided into three major subjects:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

The detailed topic-wise GATE Chemistry syllabus is as follows:

Section 1: Physical Chemistry

Group Theory

Point groups and character tables, Hybrid orbital construction using symmetry aspects, Internal coordinates and vibrational modes, Symmetry elements and operations, and Symmetry adapted a linear combination of atomic orbitals (LCAO-MO).


Thermochemistry, Thermodynamics laws, functions and their relationships, Mixing Thermodynamics, Statistical thermodynamics, Raoult’s Law and Henry’s Law, Clausius- Clapeyron equation, Chemical potential, Relationship between Electrode potential & thermodynamic quantities, Absolute entropy, Phase rule, One component (CO2, H2O, S) and two-component systems (liquid-vapour, liquid-liquid, and solid-liquid), Azeotropes & eutectics, Partial molar quantities, Ideal and Non-ideal solutions, Equilibrium constant dependence on pressure & temperature, Ionic mobility & conductivity, Standard electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, and Fugacity, activity & activity coefficients.


Quantum mechanics postulates, Operators, Molecular structure & Chemical bonding, Valence bond theory, LCAO-MO theory application to H2+, H2, Hydrogen & hydrogen-like atoms, Multi-electron atoms, MOT theory of homonuclear and heteronuclear diatomic molecules, Dirac bra-ket notation, Approximation Methods (Variation method and secular determinants, First-order perturbation techniques), Hermite polynomials, Atomic units, Slater determinants, Schrödinger’s time-dependent & independent equations, Born interpretation, Pauli exclusion principle, Rotational motion (angular momentum operators, rigid rotor), Hybrid orbitals.


Diatomic and polyatomic molecular vibrational, Raman, rotational, and electronic spectroscopy, coefficients of Einstein, Atomic spectroscopy, Line broadening, Term symbols and spectral details, Russell-Saunders coupling, Nuclear magnetic resonance principles, Origin of selection rules, Transition moment integral and molar extinction coefficient & oscillator strength relationship.


Theory of transition state, Fast reaction kinetics (flow methods & relaxation methods), Photochemical & photophysical processes kinetics, Polymerization Kinetics, Effects of kinetic isotopes, Elementary, opposing, consecutive, and parallel reactions, Unimolecular reactions, Concepts of catalysis & enzyme catalysis, Diffusion controlled reactions, Complex reactions mechanisms, Approximation of steady-state, Potential energy surfaces and classical trajectories, Saddle points concept.

Surfaces and Interfaces

Langmuir, Freundlich and BET isotherms, Self-assembly, Surface tension, viscosity, and catalysis (mechanism of Langmuir-Hinshelwood), Colloids, micelles, and macromolecules’ physical chemistry, Physisorption & Chemisorption.

Section 2: Organic Chemistry

Organic Synthesis

Atom economy and Green Chemistry, Protection and deprotection of functional groups, Concepts of multistep synthesis, Selectivity in organic synthesis (chemoselectivity, regioselectivity, and stereoselectivity), Concepts of asymmetric synthesis, Uses of Li, Zn, Cu, B, Mg, Sn, P, Si, and S based reagents in organic synthesis, Synthesis, reactions, mechanisms, and selectivity, Carbon-carbon bond formation through coupling reactions (Hiyama, McMurry, Tsuji-Trost, Kumada, Sonogoshira, Suzuki, Negishi, Stille, olefin metathesis, and Heck), Carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond forming reactions through enolates (including boron enolates), enamines, and silyl enol ethers.

Reaction Mechanism

Basic mechanistic concepts, Nucleo- & electrophilic substitution reactions, Linear free-energy relationship, Reactive intermediates, In addition reactions to carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom (N and O) multiple bonds, Elimination reactions, Methods to determine reaction mechanisms with the help of kinetics, products identification, intermediates & isotopic labelling, and Molecular rearrangements.


Homo-, enantio- and diastereotopic atoms, faces & groups, Geometrical & optical isomerism, Acyclic and cyclic compounds’ conformational analysis, Stereoselective and stereospecific synthesis, Chirality & symmetry of organic molecules about chiral centres & absolute configurations, Configurational and conformational effects, atropisomerism, & neighbouring group participation on reactivity and selectivity or specificity.


Chemical structural features of lipids, steroids, proteins, carotenoids, nucleic acids, alkaloids, and terpenoids, Mono-saccharides & di-saccharides (structure, reaction, & properties), Chemical synthesis and structure of peptides, and Physicochemical properties of amino acids.

Pericyclic Reactions & Photochemistry

Norrish type-I and II cleavage reaction, Photochemistry of alkenes, arenes, and carbonyl compounds, Electrocyclic, cycloaddition & sigmatropic reactions, Orbital correlations (FMO & PMO treatments, Woodward-Hoffmann rule), Di-π-methane rearrangement, Photooxidation & photoreduction, and Barton-McCombie reaction.

Heterocyclic Compounds

Furan, quinoline, pyridine, thiophene, isoquinoline, indole, and pyrrole (Structure, preparation, properties, and reactions).

Experimental Techniques in Organic Chemistry

Chromatographic techniques application (thin-layer, column, HPLC & GC), IR, UV-visible, NMR & Mass spectrometry application in determining the structure of organic molecules, and Polarimetry.

Section 3: Inorganic Chemistry

SubjectsGATE Chemistry Syllabus

Main Group Elements

Industrial synthesis of main group elements compounds, Shapes & Reactivity of oxides, sulfides, oxoacids, hydrides, nitrides, halides, boron nitride, phosphazenes, boranes, silicones, borazines, carboranes, and silicates, Noble gases, pseudo halogens, and interhalogen compounds chemistry, Acid-base concepts and principles, Sulphur, Carbon, and phosphorus allotropes.

Transition Elements

Energy level diagrams in CFSE, CFT, various crystal fields, and Jahn-Teller distortion, Coordination chemistry (structure & isomerism), Transition metal complexes and their magnetic properties, Bonding theories (VBT, CFT, & MOT), Ray-Dutt & Bailar twists, Electronic spectra of transition metal complexes, Metal-metal multiple bonds, Reaction mechanisms (kinetic & thermodynamic stability, substitution & redox reactions).

Lanthanides & Actinides

Recovery, spectra, periodic properties, & magnetic properties.


Organometallic reaction types, fluxionality in complexes of organometallics, Metal-alkyl, metal-carbonyl, metal-olefin, and metal-carbene complexes and metallocene, 18-Electron rule, Heterogeneous catalysis - Ziegler-Natta polymerization, Fischer- Tropsch reaction, Homogeneous catalysis - hydroformylation, metathesis and olefin oxidation, hydrogenation, and acetic acid synthesis.


Bragg’s law, Band theory, Crystal systems and lattices, Crystal packing, Ionic crystals, Miller planes, Crystal defects, Spinels, metals, and semiconductors, Structures of AX, AX2, ABX3 type compounds.

Instrumental Methods of Analysis

Electro- and thermoanalytical methods, UV-visible, X-ray crystallography, Fluorescence and FTIR spectrophotometry, Chromatography including GC and HPLC, NMR and ESR, atomic absorption, and Mössbauer (Fe and Sn) spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry.

Bioinorganic Chemistry

Oxygen binding, Ion (Na+ and K+) transport, Nitrogen fixation, Electron transfer reactions, Transport and utilization, and Metalloenzymes containing Mg, Mo, Fe, Co, Cu, and Zn.


Radioactivity detection, fission & fusion processes, half-life of radioactive elements and Decay processes.

GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023 PDF

Candidates can download the GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023 PDF which includes a comprehensive description of the important topics. To effectively study for the exam, it is advisable that candidates retain the GATE Chemistry Syllabus PDF saved on their devices and even keep a paper copy of the same.

Download GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023 PDF

Other Important GATE Topics
GATE Physics SyllabusGATE Mechanical Syllabus
GATE Civil Engineering SyllabusGATE Electrical Engineering Syllabus
GATE CSE SyllabusGATE ECE Syllabus


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FAQs on GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023

  • With the GATE Chemistry syllabus 2023, you need to ensure proper planning and prioritization, cover all topics in detail and do multiple revisions. Have ample time in your hands for practice tests and general aptitude.

    1. Solve examples, exercises, and practice questions from each chapter.
    2. Start solving past GATE papers and mock tests at least 2-3 months before the exam date.
    3. Keep a timer.
    4. Practice using online calculators.
  • The level of the GATE Chemistry Syllabus 2023 is moderate to difficult based on analysis of past years’ papers. The syllabus is based on the B.Sc. Chemistry program at central universities in India.

  • You can plan your schedule for studying the GATE Chemistry syllabus around the following broad lines:

    • Prepare a daily topic-wise study schedule:
    • 8-10 hours of night sleep
    • 30-60 minutes for light exercise, yoga, and meditation.
    • At least 7 hours for Chemistry subjects.
    • At least 1.5-2 hours for GA topics.
    • Take 10-minute breaks every 1 or 1.5 hrs.
  • Candidates opting for Chemistry for GATE 2023 can opt for Chemical Engineering (CH) or Life Science (XL) as their second paper.

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