What is the difference between the GATE and PSUs?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: October 17th, 2023

The Difference between the GATE and PSU– GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. It is an exam that most candidates who aspire to pursue overseas study or higher studies after their graduation appears for. The doors of the PSU recruitment will also get opened for you once a candidate clears the GATE exam. PSU stands for Public Sector Undertakings and it refers to those companies that are either regulated completely by the government or a majority of their stakes are owned by the government. For example, BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited), BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited), and ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) are some of the eminent PSUs in which students from all over India dream of securing a job. 

Therefore, the difference between GATE and PSU is quite clear. While GATE is a competitive exam that you can give for various reasons, including PSU recruitment, PSU is an organization that releases vacancies for government jobs every year. One of the ways of getting placed in a PSU is by clearing the GATE exam. Now that the basic differences between the two have been cleared, let’s dig into some interesting and deeper facts about them.

Key Differences between GATE and PSU

GATE is an exam for admission to postgraduate programs, while PSUs recruit engineering graduates for government jobs. GATE scores are valid for three years, while PSUs conduct their own entrance exams.





GATE Exam is conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) via a computer-based test in selected Indian cities

PSU refers to those companies where the government owns a stake of at least 51%

Age Limit

There is no age limit for GATE Exam

The maximum accepted age by PSUs while recruiting is 35 years


The candidates who manage to clear this exam can get recruitment to top universities and colleges like IITs, IITs, NITs, etc. It is also considered to be an important qualification while recruiting candidates for PSU jobs.

By working in a PSU, a candidate can expect to earn a high salary along with other perks like medical insurance, incentives based on performance, benefits after retirement, and much more.


The candidates who have completed their BTech/BE or MSC in a programme related to the GATE exam paper they are planning to apply for can appear for this exam

The eligibility criteria can vary from one PSU to another. However, the candidates must at least hold a graduate degree in a field that is closely related to the vacancy positions released by a PSU. GATE scores are taken into account while selecting the candidates for the positions that need them to have technical knowledge.

Exam Pattern

GATE is an online computer-based test comprising MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) and Numerical Questions in which the candidates need to answer 65 questions in 180 minutes

PSUs also select candidates through their competitive exams. Some PSUs ask the candidates to apply with their CV to shortlist them for the written test while some allow everyone to appear for the test.


This test can be either offline or online as it depends upon the position and PSU. After clearing the test, a candidate may need to go through group discussions or interviews for securing the job.


The candidates who have cleared the GATE exam might be directly called for the interview or group discussion rounds.

Now, let’s see some interesting facts about GATE and PSU that may help you to understand their differences better:

Selection Process of GATE and PSUs

The selection process for GATE involves qualifying for the exam with a minimum cut-off score set by the participating institutes. After the exam, candidates need to apply separately to each institute with their GATE scorecard, and admission is based on the institute’s criteria, such as performance in an interview or group discussion.

For PSUs, candidates need to qualify for the entrance exam, which may consist of multiple stages such as a preliminary exam, main exam, and interview. The exam is followed by a shortlisting process based on the candidate’s performance, and the selected candidates are called for a final interview round. The selection is based on the candidate’s combined performance in all stages of the selection process.

Eligibility Requirements GATE and PSUs

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for admission to postgraduate programs in engineering and technology. To be eligible for GATE, candidates must have completed or be in their final year of a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, technology, or architecture.

Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) also use GATE scores for recruitment to various technical and managerial positions. Apart from the GATE score, candidates must also meet the age, educational, and other eligibility criteria specified by the respective PSUs. Some PSUs may also conduct additional tests or interviews as part of their recruitment process.

Advantages of GATE and PSUs

Graduate Aptitude Tests in Engineering (GATE) and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) offer various advantages to candidates. Some of these advantages are:

Advantages of GATE

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a highly prestigious examination in India that provides a gateway to numerous opportunities for aspiring engineers. One of the significant advantages of GATE is that it opens up a plethora of opportunities for candidates to pursue postgraduate studies in engineering and technology across various institutions in India and abroad.

  1. GATE score is valid for three years, and it can be used for admission to postgraduate programs in engineering and technology across various institutions in India.
  2. GATE is also recognized by several government organizations and PSUs for recruitment to technical and managerial positions.
  3. GATE score is considered by many universities abroad for admission to their postgraduate programs.
  4. GATE-qualified candidates are eligible for scholarships and financial aid for their postgraduate studies.

Advantages of PSUs

  1. PSUs offer job security, as they are owned by the government and have stable operations.
  2. PSUs offer attractive pay packages, along with various benefits and allowances.
  3. PSUs provide opportunities for career growth and professional development.
  4. PSUs offer a chance to work on important and challenging projects that have a significant impact on society.


The benefit of working in a PSU is the higher job security it provides as compared to private companies and MNCs. Though top MNCs provide as much or even higher salaries as PSUs, the wide range of benefits associated with government jobs make them more attractive. Also, during an economic crisis or pandemic, the chances of a government employee losing his job are fewer as compared to the employee who works in a private firm.

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