GATE Exam Pattern

By Himanshu Bajpai|Updated : January 30th, 2023

IIT Kanpur has released the official notification of the exam along with the schedule and GATE exam pattern. Candidates applying for one of 29 papers are advised to check the GATE Exam Pattern 2023 before making the study plan. Furthermore, candidates must understand the exam pattern before preparing for the upcoming examination.

In this article, aspirants will find the changes in the GATE paper pattern 2023 and marking scheme, as they must know what type of questions can fetch good marks and where they can avoid silly mistakes. Let us check the GATE exam pattern in the upcoming sections.

Table of Content

GATE Exam Pattern 2023

The pattern of questions according to the GATE exam pattern 2023 is divided into multiple-choice questions (MCQ), multiple select questions (MSQ), and numerical answer type (NAT) questions. The exam duration of the paper is 3 hours. Moreover, you can check the detailed information about paper-wise GATE weightage and the marking schemes below.

The pattern of all papers helps in knowing the question type, marking scheme & weightage of the questions in the examination. Thus, candidates have much time to go through the GATE exam pattern to make an effective champion study plan before the examination date. The detailed GATE paper pattern is provided for the following branches.

GATE Exam Pattern Highlights

GATE 2023 will be an online exam for a duration of 3 hours, consisting of 65 questions with 100 marks. The types of questions included according to the GATE exam pattern 2023 are MCQ, NAT, and MSQ. MCQs were introduced last year, with no negative marking and multiple answers. Find the highlights of the GATE paper pattern below in detail.

GATE Paper Pattern 

Events

Details

Exam‎ Duration

3 Hours

Examination Mode

Computer-Based Test (Online)

Type of Question

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

Multiple Select Questions (MSQ)

Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Total Number of Questions

65

Total Marks

100

The GATE exam is a single-paper online examination of three hours, with 65 questions having a total of 100 marks. The question paper will consist of multiple-choice questions (MCQ), multiple select questions (MSQ), and numerical answer type questions (NAT). According to the GATE exam pattern AE, AG, BT, BM, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF, ST, and XE papers, the weightage of marks is divided into three sections.

  • Engineering Mathematics will carry around 13% of the total marks, that is 13 marks.
  • The General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks, that is, 15 marks.
  • The remaining 72% of the total marks is devoted to the paper's subject (technical section), 72 marks.

According to the GATE exam pattern AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, XH, and XL papers, the weightage of marks is divided into two sections.

  • The General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks, that is, 15 marks.
  • The remaining 85% of the total marks are devoted to the paper's subject, that is 85 marks.

GATE Paper Pattern

The GATE question papers of various subjects consist of compulsory and optional sections. The GATE paper pattern for various subjects and their marking scheme is provided below.

GATE Paper Pattern 2023 for AE, AG, BM, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, ES, IN, ME, MN, MT, NM, PE, PI, TF, and ST

The GATE exam pattern for the paper codes AE, AG, BM, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, ES, IN, ME, MN, MT, NM, PE, PI, TF, and ST is provided in the table below. Further, you can also check the sectional weightage of the exam.

Sections

Weightage

General Aptitude

15%

Engineering Mathematics

13%

Core Discipline

72%

There will be 55 questions from core discipline and engineering mathematics, in addition to the 10 questions in the General Aptitude section. Each of the 25 questions will be worth one mark, while the remaining 30 will be worth two marks each.

Subjects

Number of Questions

Marks per Question

Total Marks

AE, AG, BM, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, ES, IN, ME, MN, MT, NM, PE, PI, TF, and ST

25

1

25

30

2

60

Total

55

-

85

GATE Paper Pattern 2023 For CY, EY, MA, and PH

The GATE exam pattern for the CY, EY, MA, and PH consists of General Aptitude and Core Discipline. The sectional marking scheme for these subject codes has been tabulated below.

Subjects

Number of Questions

Marks per Question

Total Marks

CY, EY, MA, and PH

25

1

25

30

2

60

Total

55

-

85

GATE Paper Pattern 2023 For Geomatics Engineering (GE)

Geomatics Engineering is a new paper IIT Kharagpur added in 2022. The GATE exam pattern for Geomatics Engineering has three sections: General Aptitude, Part A, and Part B. The sectional weightage of the exam is provided in the table below.

Sections

Number of Questions

Marks per Question

Total Marks

General Aptitude

10

(5 x 1) + (5 x 2)

15

Part A

36

(17 x 1) + (19 x 2)

55

Part B: Sections I and II

16

(8 x 1) + (11 x 2)

30

Total

55

-

100

GATE Paper Pattern For Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NM)

The GATE exam pattern 2023 for Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering consists of two sections- General Aptitude and Core Discipline. The sectional weightage of the exam is provided in the table below.

Sections

Number of Questions

Marks per Question

Total Marks

General Aptitude

10

(5 x 1) + (5 x 2)

15

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

55

(25 x 1) + (30 x 2)

85

GATE Paper Pattern For Geology and Geophysics (GG)

The GATE exam pattern 2023 for Geology and Geophysics consists of three sections- General Aptitude, Part A, and Part B. Part B is further divided into two sections- Section 1 (Geology) and Section 2 (Geophysics). The sectional weightage of the exam is mentioned below.

Sections

Sub-section

Number of Questions

Marks of Question

Total Marks

General Aptitude

-

10

1 or 2

15

Part A

-

25

1

25

Part B

Geology

30

2

60

Geophysics

30

2

60

GATE Paper Pattern 2023 For Engineering Science (XE)

The GATE exam pattern 2023 for Engineering Science consists of three sections- Section A (Engineering Mathematics) and General Aptitude are required portions, whereas applicants must pick any two from sections B-H. The various subjects under these sections include:

  • XE-B – Fluid mechanics
  • XE-C – Material Science
  • XE-D – Solid mechanics
  • XE-E – Thermodynamics
  • XE-F – Polymer Science and Engineering
  • XE-G – Food technology
  • XE-H – Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

The sectional marking scheme of the exam is mentioned below.

Sections

Total Number of 1-Mark Questions

Total Number of 2 Mark Questions

Total Number of Questions

Total Marks

General Aptitude

5

5

10

15

Section A (Engineering Sciences)

7

4

11

15

Section B

9+9

13+13

22+22=44

35+35= 70

Total

30

70

65

100

GATE Paper Pattern For Humanities and Social Science (XH)

The GATE XH paper was established, allowing students with a humanities background to apply for the exam. The paper is divided into three sections. General Aptitude and B1 (Reasoning and Comprehension) are mandatory sections, and applicants must pick one of the C1-C6 options. The C1-C6 includes the following topics:

  • XH–C1: Economics
  • XH–C2: English
  • XH–C3: Linguistics
  • XH–C4: Philosophy
  • XH–C5: Psychology
  • XH–C6: Sociology

The detailed marking scheme for the exam is provided in the table below.

Sections

Total Number of 1-Mark Questions

Total Number of 2 Mark Questions

Total Number of Questions

Total Marks

General Aptitude

5

5

10

15

B1* (Reasoning and Comprehension)

5

10

15

15

C1-C6(Any one of these)

20

20

40

60

Total

30

70

65

100

GATE Paper Pattern 2023 For Life Science (XL)

The GATE XL paper is divided into three components. Candidates must attempt General Aptitude and Section P (Chemistry), which are compulsory while choosing two from sections Q-U.

  • Biochemistry (XL-Q)
  • Botany (XL-R)
  • Microbiology (XL-S)
  • Zoology (XL-T)
  • Food Technology (XL-U)

The following is a detailed marking scheme for the GATE XL exam.

Sections

Total Number of 1- Mark Questions

Total Number of 2 Mark Questions

Total Number of Questions

Total Marks

General Aptitude

5

5

10

15

Section P (Chemistry)

5

10

15

15

Section Q-U

10+10

10+10

20+20

30+30

Total

30

70

65

100

GATE Marking Scheme

According to the GATE exam pattern 2023, the marking scheme of the examination is such that the students are awarded 1-2 marks for each correct answer in the paper. The marking scheme is explained below.

  • General Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics will be mandatory sections in GATE 2023, with each receiving 15% of the total points in papers with codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF, and XE. The student's chosen subject will receive 70% of the weighting.
  • There will be a mandatory section of General Aptitude in the GATE 2023 question papers for AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, ST, and XL (15 percent of the total marks). The chosen subject will receive the remaining 85% of the weighting.

Negative Marking in GATE

According to the GATE exam pattern 2023, multiple-select questions have no negative marking. There will be a negative marking for a wrong answer in an MCQ. The detailed marking scheme is mentioned in the table below.

Type of Questions

Marking Scheme

Multiple-choice questions

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

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

Multiple-select questions

No negative marking

Numerical-answer type questions

No negative marking

GATE Exam Papers Subject Codes

The GATE exam will be conducted on 29 subjects (papers). The table below shows the examination list of papers and paper codes. A candidate can appear in any one or two papers of the upcoming GATE examination. Further, the table provided below consists of codes for different papers in the examination.

GATE Paper

Code

GATE Paper

Code

Aerospace Engineering

AE

Instrumentation Engineering

IN

Agricultural Engineering

AG

Mathematics

MA

Architecture and Planning

AR

Mechanical Engineering

ME

Bio-medical Engineering

BM

Mining Engineering

MN

Biotechnology

BT

Metallurgical Engineering

MT

Civil Engineering

CE

Petroleum Engineering

PE

Chemical Engineering

CH

Physics

PH

Computer Science and Information Technology

CS

Production and Industrial Engineering

PI

Chemistry

CY

Statistics

ST

Electronics and Communication Engineering

EC

Textile Engineering and Fibre Science

TF

Electrical Engineering

EE

Engineering Sciences

XE

Environmental Science Engineering

ES

Humanities Social Sciences

XH

Ecology and Evolution

EY

Life Sciences

XL

Geology and Geophysics

GG

  

Type of Questions in GATE

The GATE exam will consist of three questions: multiple-choice, multiple-select, and numerical. Let's look at the type of questions usually asked in the examination.

  • Recall: These are based on facts, principles, formulae, or laws of the discipline. The candidate is expected to obtain the answer directly from his/her memory or, at most, from the one-line computation.
  • Comprehension: These questions will examine the candidate's knowledge of the basics of his/her field/course by requiring him/her to draw simple conclusions from basic concepts.
  • Application: In these questions, the candidate must apply his/her expertise through computation or logical reasoning.
  • 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 Synthesis question might require the candidate to compare two or more pieces of information.

What is Two Paper in GATE?

According to the GATE exam pattern 2023, a candidate can choose one or two subjects before appearing for the examination. The candidate must select the subjects based on the subjects he/ she has attained a graduate degree. A candidate may appear in one or two topic papers. Candidates who pick two exams must choose from a list of approved combinations, subject to infrastructure and date availability.

Let us check the allowed combinations along with the first paper mentioned in the table below. 

Codes of First Paper

Codes of Second Paper

Codes of First Paper

Codes of Second Paper

AE

NM/ XE

IN

BM/ EC/ PH/ EE

AG

ES/ GE/ XE/ XL

MA

CS/ GE/ PH/ ST

AR

CE/ GE

ME

AE/ CH/ NM/ PI/ XE

BM

BT/ EC/ IN/ XL

MN

GE/ GG/ XE

BT

BM/ XL

MT

PH/ XE

CE

AE/ AR/ ES/ GE/ NM/ XE

NM

AE/ CE/ XE

CH

PE/ XE

PE

CH/ GG/ XE

CS

EC/ GE/ MA/ PH/ ST

PH

EC/ GE/ GG/ IN/ MA/ MT/ ST/ XE

CY

XE/ XL

PI

ME/ MT/ XE

EC

IN/ PH/ EE/ CS/ GE

ST

MA/ PH

EE

EC/ IN/ PH

TF

XE

ES

AG/ CE/ GE

XE

AE/ AG/ CH/ ME/ MN/ MT/ PE/ PI/ TF/ NM

EY

XL

XH

ST

GE

CE/ GG/ ES/ MN

XL

BM/ BT/ CY/ EY

GG

GE/ MN/ PE/ PH/ XE

  

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FAQs on GATE Exam Pattern

  • The GATE exam pattern 2023 consists of three sections: 

    • General Aptitude (15 marks)
    • Engineering Mathematics (13 marks)
    • Core Subject (72 marks)
  • Yes. A candidate can appear up to two papers in GATE 2023. Two paper combinations can be chosen from the GATE information brochure list on the official website.

  • The GATE exam pattern for Civil Engineering is divided into three sections Engineering Mathematics which will carry around 13%, General Aptitude section carrying 15%, and the remaining 72% percentage of the total marks for subject related topics.

  • Candidates get 3 hours to finish the exam according to the GATE exam pattern 2023. Candidates must finish the whole examination, which includes questions on several topics.

  • According to the GATE paper pattern, there is no sectional time. Candidates must complete the whole examination, which includes all three sections, in three hours.

  • According to the GATE exam pattern 2023, the exam is divided into three types of questions: multiple-choice questions (MCQ), multiple select questions (MSQ), and numerical answer type (NAT) questions.

  • The GATE exam pattern for physics consists of two sections- General Aptitude and core discipline. The exam consists of 10 questions of 15% weightage from General Aptitude and 55 questions worth 85% from physics.

  • The GATE paper pattern for Electrical Engineering consists of questions asked from the following three sections.

    • General Aptitude
    • Engineering Mathematics
    • Topics from Electrical Engineering
  • The GATE exam has negative marking for MCQs. For every incorrect 2-mark question, 2/3 marks are deducted and for every incorrect 1-mark question, 1/3 marks are deducted. However, there is no negative marking for MSQ and NAT questions.

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