What is the difference between the GATE and PSUs?

By Mrinmay Ganguly|Updated : August 4th, 2021

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), ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) are some of the eminent PSUs in which students from all over India dream of securing a job.

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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 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 in top universities and colleges like IITs, IIMs, 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

PSUs do not follow a set procedure for the selection of candidates as it depends on the number of vacancies that are available in a particular year. Sometimes, a PSU might not release any vacancy due to the non-availability of vacant positions.

On the other hand, the selection procedure of the GATE exam is predetermined. One of the educational institutes among the IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IISC Bangalore, IIT Roorkee, and IIT Madras organize it every year.

Eligibility Requirements GATE and PSUs

Only the candidates who have completed BE, BTech, or Master's degree in the relevant field of science can appear for the GATE exam. PSUs recruit graduates from different disciplines but the number of vacancies depends upon the nature of the PSU.

For example, a PSU like ONGC needs more engineers than the State Bank of India that generally recruits accountants. The candidates who have completed their graduation in medicine, management, law, and other professional fields can also apply for the relevant positions at various PSUs.

Advantages of GATE and PSUs

Clearing a GATE exam does not guarantee a job but allows candidates to apply for doctoral or postgraduate programmes at the top educational institutes like IIT, IIM, IISc, etc. They can also get enrolled in international universities to complete their studies.

The recognized educational institutions consider candidates who have cleared the GATE exam for the positions like Assistant Professor, Professor, etc. Also, they can apply for various jobs that are available in the public sector.

If a candidate clears a PSU exam, he will get a chance to work in the public sector. The candidates who get freshly recruited by a PSU usually have to undergo a training period that can last from 6 months to 12 months. Upon completion of the training programme, they will need to complete a probation period that lasts from 6 months to a year. The performance of a candidate in the probation period will decide whether he gets a permanent position in the PSU or not


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 than 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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Mrinmay GangulyMrinmay GangulyMember since Jun 2021
Associate in GATE Team
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MuralijnaniJul 15, 2021

Gate has no age limit

PraveenJul 15, 2021

Your article need correction. There's no age limit for gate.

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