GATE Life Science Syllabus 2024 | GATE XL Syllabus 2024

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: October 17th, 2023

IISc Bangalore will be releasing the GATE Life Science Syllabus on its official website soon. Candidates who choose Life Science as their subject must check the syllabus to understand the topics that need to be covered for the upcoming exam. Understanding the GATE Life Science syllabus allows you to plan your preparation strategically and get the desired rank.

It is important to know that candidates will have to select topics from the GATE Life Science syllabus as per their choice of subject from all combinations released by the officials. To achieve good marks in the exam, you are suggested to download the GATE Life Science syllabus PDF. This post provides extensive information on the GATE syllabus for Life Science (XL) so that you do not encounter any difficulties studying for the exam.

GATE Life Science Syllabus 2024 Overview

The GATE Life Science syllabus consists of all important topics for the 2024 exam. Candidates will have to prepare each and every topic mentioned in the syllabus carefully to score good marks. GATE Life Science syllabus 2024 for all the subjects consists of three sections which are as follows:

  • Section 1: General Aptitude
  • Section 2: Chemistry (XL-P)
  • Section 3: Life Science subjects

Out of which section-1 and section-2 are compulsory for all the students. The third section of Life Science (XL) includes segments Q to U. From the third section; candidates have to choose any two to attempt in the exam. The segments Q to U are:

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

The detailed GATE Life Science Syllabus 2024 for all the sections is given below.

GATE Life Science Syllabus PDF

The PDF of the GATE Life Science syllabus can be downloaded from the direct link provided below:

GATE Life Science Syllabus PDF Download

General Aptitude Syllabus for GATE Life Science

The General Aptitude section is common in all the GATE Life Science syllabus 2024. This section is divided into- Verbal Ability & Numerical Ability. There are 10 questions in this section, out of which 5 questions have a weightage of 1 mark each and 5 have a weightage of 2 marks each. The topics covered in this section are as follows:



Verbal Ability

English grammar

Sentence completion,


Verbal analogies

Word groups

Critical reasoning

Verbal deduction

Numerical Ability

Numerical computation

Numerical reasoning

Numerical estimation

Data interpretation

GATE Life Science Syllabus 2024- Chemistry (XL-P)

According to the GATE XL syllabus, Chemistry is mandatory, so it is advised to prepare for this subject thoroughly. The topics of the Chemistry section of the GATE Life Sciences syllabus are mentioned below:

  • Atomic Structure and Periodicity
  • Structure and Bonding
  • s, p, and d-block Elements
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Electrochemistry
  • Reaction Kinetics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Structure-Reactivity Correlations and Organic Reaction Mechanisms
  • Chemistry of Biomolecules

Biochemistry (XL-Q) Syllabus

The GATE Life Science syllabus for Biochemistry includes the following topics organization of life, Importance of water, Structure and function of biomolecules, Enzyme kinetics including its regulation and inhibition, Vitamins and Coenzymes; Metabolism and bioenergetics, Biochemical separation techniques, Cell structure and organelles, DNA replication, transcription, and translation, and Immune system.

Botany (XL-R) Syllabus

The botany (XL-R) section of the GATE Life Science syllabus carries various topics like Genome Editing, Plant Breeding, Genetic Modification, Economic and Applied Botany, etc. The Botany section of the GATE syllabus for Life Science includes the following topics:

  • Plant Systematics
  • Plant Anatomy
  • Plant Development, cell, and tissue morphogenesis
  • Plant physiology and Biochemistry
  • Genetics and genomics Cell cycle and cell division
  • Plant Breeding, Genetic Modification, Genome Editing
  • Economic and Applied Botany
  • Plant Pathology
  • Ecology and Environment

GATE Life Science Syllabus – Microbiology (XL-S)

The Microbiology section of the GATE Life Sciences syllabus carries topics like Control of Microorganisms, Microbial Metabolism, Prokaryotic Cells: Structure and Function, and a lot more. Let us see all sections of the Microbiology syllabus, including the following topics:

  • Historical Perspective
  • Methods in Microbiology
  • Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity
  • Prokaryotic Cells: Structure and Function
  • Microbial Growth
  • Control of Microorganisms
  • Microbial Metabolism
  • Microbial Diseases and Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Chemotherapy/Antibiotics
  • Microbial Genetics
  • Microbial Ecology

GATE Life Science Syllabus – Zoology (XL-T)

This section has various important topics Animal Anatomy and Physiology, Parasitology and Immunology, Cell Biology, etc. The GATE Life Science syllabus for Zoology includes the following topics:

  • Animal Diversity
  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Gene expression in Eukaryotes
  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Parasitology and Immunology
  • Development Biology
  • Ecology
  • Animal Behavior

GATE Life Science Syllabus for Food Technology (XL-U)

This is the last and highest-scoring section of the Life Science GATE syllabus. Candidates can score well and achieve a good rank with the help of this section. The GATE Life Science Syllabus 2024 for Food Technology includes the following topics Food Chemistry and Nutrition, Food Microbiology, Food Products Technology, and Food Engineering.

GATE Life Science Exam Pattern

  • Exam Mode: The GATE Life Science exam is a computer-based test (CBT).
  • Sections: The exam consists of three sections- General Aptitude, Chemistry (compulsory), and Life Science subjects(options)
  • Number of Questions: The exam has a total of 65 questions with a total of 100 marks.
  • Type of Questions: The exam consists of three types of questions- Multiple Choice Questions, MSQ, and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions.
  • Duration: The exam duration is 3 hours.
  • Marking Scheme: The marking scheme for the GATE Life Science exam is as follows:
    a. For MCQs: For each correct answer, 1 or 2 marks will be awarded depending upon the question. For an incorrect answer, 1/3 or 2/3 of marks will be deducted depending upon the question.
    b. For NATs: For each correct answer, 1 or 2 marks will be awarded depending upon the question. No marks will be deducted for an incorrect answer.

Here is the pie chart representing the exam pattern of the questions asked in the GATE exam for life Science.


GATE Life Science Books

There are several books that can help candidates prepare for the GATE Life Science exam. Here is the list of important books that will help effectively cover the GATE Life Science Syllabus.

Subject Author
Zoology Stephen A Miller and John P Harley
Chemistry David E Goldberg
Food Technology Neil Morris
Biochemistry Satyanarayana
Botany Singh Pande Jain
Microbiology Micheal Pelczar, E.C.S Chan, Noel R. Krieg

GATE Life Science Eligibility

The GATE Life Science eligibility carries the same criteria as all other 28 disciplines in the exam. Below we have mentioned important criteria candidates must fall under to give the exam:

  • Educational Qualification: The candidate should have completed or be in 3rd year of a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences or a related field such as Biotechnology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Zoology, Botany, or any other relevant discipline.
  • Age Limit: There is no age limit to appear for the GATE exam.
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