GATE Syllabus 2021: GATE Syllabus & Exam Pattern

GATE 2021 Syllabus: The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering or commonly known as GATE, is the gateway for engineering students to secure admissions for M.E./M.Tech/Ph.D. at the IITs, NIT’s, IIIT’s and CFTIs or to secure a high profile job in a PSU. GATE is a highly competitive exam where lakhs of engineering graduates appear for the exam to qualify the GATE Exam and thus it requires a thorough understanding of GATE Syllabus for effective preparation strategy. This exam is held once a year, usually in February.

In this article, you will know the detailed Syllabus and Exam Pattern for GATE 2021.

GATE Syllabus 2021

GATE 2020 was successfully conducted by IIT Delhi on February 128 and 9 in online mode. The candidates have to choose one subject out of 25 subjects for the Numerical Answer Type Questions. The exam syllabus for all 25 papers was released by IIT Delhi. GATE comprises of two sections:

  1. General Aptitude Section of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ’s)
  2. Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Subjects For GATE Exam

At present GATE Exam is held in 25 disciplines/subjects. A candidate can appear only in any one paper of the following disciplines.


Engineering Sciences (XE) and Life Science (XL) papers are of general nature. These two papers comprise the following sections.

  • The papers with the codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PI, TF, XE, and Engineering Maths will carry around 15% of the total marks.
  • The General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks and the remaining 70% percentage of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper.
  • The papers with codes AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH and XL, the General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks and the remaining 85% of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper.

GATE Exam Pattern 2021

  • GATE is a 3-hour computer-based test.
  • Candidates are required to attempt 65 questions of 100 marks.
  • 10 questions carrying a total of 15 marks will be of General Aptitude (GA). GA Questions are common to all papers while remaining questions are from the paper opted by the applicant as per his discipline.
GATE Exam Pattern Details
Number of sections
  • General Aptitude
  • NAT based on Choice of engineering branch
Duration of exam 3 hours (60 minutes per section)
Number of questions
  • General Aptitude (GA) – 10 questions (5 of 1 mark & 5 for 2 marks)
  • Paper excluding GG, XE, XL – 55 questions (25 of 1 mark & 30 of 2 marks)
  • Geology & Geophysics (GG) – 55 questions (25 of 1 mark & 30 of 2 marks)
  • Engineering Sciences (XE) – 11 questions (7 of 1 mark & 4 of 2 marks)/ optional subject – 22 questions of 35 marks (9 of 1 mark & 13 of 2 marks)
  • Life Sciences (XL) – 15 questions (5 of 1 mark & 10 of 2 marks)/ optional subject – 20 questions of 30 marks (10 questions of 1 mark & 10 questions of 2 marks)
Language of question paper English
Number of answer choices
  • 4 choices in case of MCQ
  • No choices in case of NAT
Mode of GATE Exam Online
Marking scheme
  • MCQs – 1 mark for each correct answer; 1/3 mark will be deducted every wrong answer.

  • MCQs – 2 marks for each correct answer; 2/3 mark will be deducted for every incorrect response.

  • There is no negative marking for NAT Questions

GATE Exam Pattern 2021: Subject Wise

Paper Code

Exam Pattern

CE, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, AE, AG, BT, CH, MN, MT, TF, XE, PE, ST and PI
  • General Aptitude (GA) – 15%
  • Engineering Mathematics – 15%
  • Subject of the Paper –  70%
AR, CY, EY, XL, GG, MA and PH
  • General Aptitude (GA) – 15%
  • Subject of the Paper – 85%

GATE Marking Scheme

(i) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) carrying 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections.

(ii) Numerical Answer Questions of 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections. For these questions the answer is a real number, to be entered by the candidate using the virtual keypad.

Design of Questions

Paper Code GA Marks Subject Marks Total Marks Negative Marking






15 85 100
  • 1/3 Mark will be deducted for 1 mark question
  • 2/3 Mark will be deducted for 2 marks question
XE (Section A +

any two sections)

15 15+2*35 100
XL (Section P +

any two sections)

15 25+2*30 100

GATE Syllabus 2021

GATE Syllabus For General Aptitude

The General Aptitude (GA) paper is a common section in all GATE Papers. It holds 15% of the total marks. The questions in GA are based on verbal ability and numerical ability. The 2 subsections in the GA section are as follows:

  1. Verbal Ability– The following topics are tested in this section:
  • English Grammar
  • Sentence Completion
  • Verbal Analogies
  • Word Groups
  • Instructions
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Verbal Deduction
  1. Numerical Ability – This section comprises of questions which test the basic mathematical skills of candidates. The following subtopics included in this section are:
  • Numerical computation
  • Numerical Estimation
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Data Interpretation

GATE Syllabus For NAT

GATE Syllabus for each of the subjects for which the candidate applies is given below.

S.No. Papers Download Syllabus
General Aptitude: Common For All Click Here
1 Aerospace Engineering (AE) Click Here
2 Agricultural Engineering (AG) Click Here 
3 Architecture and Planning (AR) Click Here
4 Biotechnology (BT) Click Here


Civil Engineering (CE)

Click Here

Chemical Engineering (CH)

Click Here

7 Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT) Click Here
8 Chemistry (CY) Click Here
9 Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC) Click Here
10 Electrical Engineering (EE) Click Here


Ecology and Evolution (EY)

Click Here


Geology and Geophysics (GG)

Click Here


Instrumentation Engineering (IN)

Click Here


Mathematics (MA)

Click Here


Mechanical Engineering (ME)

Click Here


Mining Engineering (MN)

Click Here


Metallurgical Engineering (MT)

Click Here


Petroleum Engineering (PE)

Click Here


Physics (PH)

Click Here


Production and Industrial Engineering (PI)

Click Here


Textile Engineering and Fibre Science (TF)

Click Here



Click Here


Biomedical Engineering (BM)

Click Here


Engineering Sciences Syllabus (XE) – Any 2 optional sections

Engineering Mathematics (XE A) – Compulsory section

Click Here

Fluid Mechanics (XE B)

Click Here

Material Science (XE C)

Click Here

Solid Mechanics (XE D)

Click Here

Thermodynamics (XE E)

Click Here

Polymer Science & Engineering (XE F)

Click Here

Food Technology (XE G)

Click Here

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (XE H)

Click Here


Life Sciences (XL) – Any 2 optional sections

Chemistry (XL P) – Compulsory section

Click Here

Biochemistry (XL Q)

Click Here

Botany (XL R)

Click Here

Microbiology (XL S)

Click Here

Zoology (XL T)

Click Here

Food Technology (XL U)

Click Here

GATE Syllabus: Overview

Given below are the topics covered in GATE Syllabus:

General Aptitude Syllabus (Common for all papers)
Verbal Ability Numerical Ability
Biomedical Engineering Syllabus (new entrant)
Engineering Mathematics Electrical Circuits
Analog and Digital Electronics Signals and Systems
Measurement and Digital Electronics Sensors and Bioinstrumentations
Medical Imaging System Biomaterials
Human Anatomy and Physiology Biomechanics
Aerospace Engineering Syllabus
Fourier Series Laplace Transforms
Numerical methods for linear and nonlinear algebraic equations Numerical integration and differentiation.
Dynamic stability Euler angle
Equations of motion Aerodynamic forces and moments, stability & control derivatives
Decoupling of longitudinal and lateral-directional dynamics Longitudinal modes; lateral-directional modes.
Orbit transfer In-plane and out-of-plane
Elementary ideas of viscous flows including boundary layers Wind Tunnel Testing
Measurement and visualization techniques Vibration of  beams
Theory of elasticity Equilibrium and compatibility equations
Airy’s stress function
Agriculture Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Farm Machinery
Farm Power Soil and Water Conservation Engineering
Irrigation and Drainage Engineering Agricultural Processing Engineering
Dairy and Food Engineering
Architecture & Planning Syllabus
Architecture and Design Building Materials, Construction and Management
Building and Structures Environmental Planning and Design
Urban Design Urban Planning and Housing
Planning Techniques and Management Services, Infrastructure and Transportation
Biotechnology Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics General Biotechnology
Recombinant DNA Technology Plant and Animal Biotechnology
Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology
Civil Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Structural Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering Water Resources Engineering
Environmental Engineering Transportation Engineering
Geomatics Engineering
Chemical Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Process Calculations and Thermodynamics
Fluid Mechanics and Mechanical Operations Heat Transfer
Mass Transfer Chemical Reaction Engineering
Instrumentation and Process Control Plant Design and Economics
Chemical Technology
Computer Science and Information Technology Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Digital Logic
Computer Organization and Architecture Programming and Data Structures
Algorithms Theory of Computation
Compiler Design Operating System
Databases Computer Networks
Chemistry Syllabus
Physical Chemistry Organic Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Electronics and Communication Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Networks, Signals and Systems
Electronic Devices Analog Circuits
Digital Circuits Control System
Communication Electromagnetics
Electrical Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Electrical Circuits
Electromagnetic Fields Signals and Systems
Electrical Machines Power Systems
Control Systems Electrical and Electronic Measurements
Analog and Digital Electronics Power Electronics
Ecology and Evolution Syllabus
Ecology Evolution
Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology Behavioral Ecology
Geology And Geophysics Syllabus
Geology Geophysics
Instrumentation Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Control Systems
Electrical Circuits Analog and Digital Electronics
Signals and Systems Measurements
Sensors and Industrial Instrumentation Communication and Optical Instrumentation
Mathematics Syllabus
Calculus Linear Algebra
Rear Analysis Complex Analysis
Ordinary Differential Equations Algebra
Functional Analysis Numerical Analysis
Partial Differential Equations Topology
Linear Programming
Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Applied Mechanics and Design
Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Science Material, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering
Mining Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Mine Development Surveying
Geomechanics and Ground Control Mining Methods and Machinery
Surface Environment, Mine Ventilation and Underground Hazards Mine Economics, Mine Planning, System Engineering
Metallurgical Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Thermodynamics and Rate Process
Extractive Metallurgy Physical Metallurgy
Mechanical Metallurgy Manufacturing Process
Physics Syllabus
Mathematical Physics Classical Mechanics
Electromagnetic Theory Quantum Mechanics
Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics Atomic and Molecular Physics
Solid State Physics and Electronics Nuclear and Particle Physics
Production and Industrial Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Genera Engineering
Manufacturing Processes Quality and Reliability
Industrial Engineering  Operation Research an Operational Management
Textile Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Textile Engineering and Fibre Science
XE A (Engineering Mathematics Syllabus)
Linear Algebra Calculus
Vector Calculus Ordinary Differential Equations
Partial Differential Equations Complex variables
Probability and Statistics Numerical Methods
XE B (Fluid Mechanism Syllabus)
Flow and Fluid Properties Kinematics
Integral analysis Differential Analysis
Inviscid flows Dimensional analysis
Internal flows Prandtl boundary layer equations
XE C (Material Sciences Syllabus)
Processing of Materials Characterisation Techniques:
Structure and Imperfections Thermodynamics and Kinetics
Properties of Materials Material types
Environmental Degradation Elements of Quantum Mechanics and Mathematics
XE F (Thermodynamics Syllabus)
Basic Concepts Law of Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics Cycle Thermodynamics Relations
Ideal Gas Mixtures
XE F (Polymer Science and Engineering Syllabus)
Chemistry of high polymers Polymer Characterization
Synthesis and properties Polymer blends and composites
Polymer Technology Polymer rheology
Polymer processing Polymer testing
XE G (Food Technology Syllabus)
Food Chemistry and Nutrition Food Microbiology
Food Products Technology Food Engineering
XL P (Chemistry Syllabus)
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
XL R (Botany Syllabus)
Plant Systematics Plant Anatomy
Morphogenesis & Development Physiology and Biochemistry
Genetics Plant Breeding and Genetic Modification
Economic Botany Plant Pathology
Ecology and Environment
XL S (Microbiology Syllabus)
Historical Perspective Methods in Microbiology
Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: Structure and Function
Microbial Growth Control of Micro-organisms
Microbial Metabolism Microbial Diseases and Host Pathogen Interaction
Chemotherapy/Antibiotics Microbial Genetics
Microbial Ecology
XL T (Zoology Syllabus)
Animal world Genetics
Evolution Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cell Biology Gene expression in Eukaryotes
Animal Anatomy and Physiology Parasitology and Immunology
Development Biology Ecology
Animal Behavior

GATE Syllabus 2021: FAQ’s

Q. What is the Exam Pattern for GATE?
Ans. There is one paper for GATE. However, there are two sections:
General Aptitude Section of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ’s)
Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Q. What will be the type of questions for the GATE Exam?
Ans. There will be 4 choices in case of MCQ and no choice in the case of NAT.

Q. Is there any negative marking for GATE?
Ans. Yes, 1/3 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer for 1 mark.  2/3 mark will be deducted for every 2 marks questions. However, there is no negative marking for NAT Questions

Q. When will the application form for GATE 2021 be released?
Ans. The Application form for GATE 2021 will be released in the 1st week of September 2020.

Download Upcoming Government Exam Calendar 2021


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