Everything You Need to Know About GATE


As most of the people know GATE is a competitive exam. When one wants to know about this test; it might be tedious to find everything about it in one place. This article addresses this problem and provides one with almost everything to know about GATE. Specifically, it explains about GATE, its organizers, eligibility, validity, opportunities for GATE qualified students, syllabus, and pattern. This journal presents only computer science paper syllabus. However, a reference to official webpage will be provided where one can find syllabus for the rest of the papers and more information regarding GATE.

About GATE and Its Organizers

GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) which is being conducted jointly by one IISc namely Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) namely IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee. Moreover, it is a national level examination, and Computer Based Test (CBT) means it can only be taken through a computer and not available in pen and paper mode. Besides, there are 27 papers (also referred as “subjects”) available for a candidate who is taking the test in 2021.

An important point to note is GATE is organized and conducted by any of the 8 institutes listed above. Each institute will get the chance to conduct it once in 8 years in rotational cyclic manner. The following table shows the year and the corresponding institute which conducted GATE in that year from 2013.

Year Organizing Institute
2021 IIT Bombay
2020 IIT Delhi
2019 IIT Madras
2018 IIT Guwahati
2017 IIT Roorkee
2016 IISc Banglore
2015 IIT Kanpur
2014 IIT Kharagpur
2013 IIT Bombay


Like most of the qualifier tests GATE is also having eligibility criteria. One must meet the following requirements to be eligible for taking GATE examination.

  • Minimum Academic Qualification:
    One must be studying 3rd or higher years of any undergraduate degree or has completed any degree in Engineering/ Technology/ Architecture/ Science/ Commerce/ Arts which is approved by government.
  • Age Limit:
    There is no age limit.

Validity and Opportunities

From the date of announcement of results the score (GATE 2021 score) will be valid for 3 YEARS.

Qualifying GATE can unlock gates to many opportunities. Because, GATE score is a mandatory requirement for getting an admission into postgraduate programs such as Master’s and Doctoral in India. Moreover, it can make one to stand out when it comes to financial assistance and government scholarships / assistantships. Though it depends on the admission criteria of an institute. As some of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) use GATE score for hiring people. Apparently, A valid and high GATE score will be very useful for getting into a PSU. Besides, several Indian and foreign universities use it for admissions.

Text Books for GATE
Subject Name Text Book1 Text Book2
Computer Networks “Computer Networks” by Andrew S Tanenbaum “Computer Networks: A Top – Down Approach” by FOROUZAN
Compiler Design Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools by Ulman “Compiler Design” by O G Kakde
Theory of computation Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation by Ulman An Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata by Peter Linz
Computer organization Computer System Architecutre by M. Morris Mano “Computer Architecture and Organization by John P. Hayes
Digital Logic Design “Digital Circuits and Logic Design” by A P Godse and U A Baksh Digital Logic and Computer Design” by M Morris Mano.
DBMS Database Management Systems by Raghu Ramakrishnan Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation, and Management by Thomas Connolly
Data Structures Classic Data Structures, Samantha Fundamentals of Data Structures in C , Sahni
C Programming C Programming Language, Dennis Ritche Let Us C by Yashavant Kanetkar
Desgin analysis of algorithms Introduction To Algorithms Thomas H.. Cormen Algorithm Design, Jon Kleinberg
Operating Systems Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles, by William Stallings Operating Systems concepts, Galvin

Sylabus of CS Paper

  1. Engineering Mathematics
    • Discrete Mathematics:
      One and first order logic. Sets, relations, functions, partial orders and lattices. Monoids, Groups. Graphs: connectivity, matching, coloring. Combinatorics: counting, recurrence relations, generating functions.
    • Linear Algebra:
      Matrices, determinants, system of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, LU decomposition.
    • Calculus:
      PropositionalLimits, continuity and differentiability. Maxima and minima. Mean value theorem. Integration.
    • Probability and Statistics:
      PropositionalRandom variables. Uniform, normal, exponential, poisson and binomial distributions. Mean, median, mode and standard deviation. Conditional probability and Bayes theorem.

  2. Digital Logic
    Boolean algebra. Combinational and sequential circuits. Minimization. Number representations and computer arithmetic (fixed and floating point).

  3. Computer Organization and Architecture
    Machine instructions and addressing modes. ALU, data‐path and control unit. Instruction pipelining, pipeline hazards. Memory hierarchy: cache, main memory and secondary storage; I/O interface (interrupt and DMA mode).

  4. Programming and Data Structures
    Boolean algebra. Combinational and sequential circuits. Minimization. Number representations and computer arithmetic (fixed and floating point).

  5. Algorithms
    Searching, sorting, hashing. Asymptotic worst-case time and space complexity. Algorithm design techniques: greedy, dynamic programming and divide‐and‐conquer. Graph traversals, minimum spanning trees, shortest paths

  6. Theory of Computation
    Regular expressions and finite automata. Context-free grammars and push-down automata. Regular and context-free languages, pumping lemma. Turing machines and undecidability.

  7. Compiler Design
    Lexical analysis, parsing, syntax-directed translation. Runtime environments. Intermediate code generation. Local optimization, Data flow analyses: constant propagation, liveness analysis, common subexpression Elimination.

  8. Operating System
    System calls, processes, threads, inter‐process communication, concurrency and synchronization. Deadlock. CPU and I/O scheduling. Memory management and virtual memory. File systems.

  9. Databases
    ER‐model. Relational model: relational algebra, tuple calculus, SQL. Integrity constraints, normal forms. File organization, indexing (e.g., B and B+ trees). Transactions and concurrency control.

  10. Computer Networks
    • Concept of layering:
      OSI and TCP/IP Protocol Stacks; Basics of packet, circuit and virtual circuit-switching
    • Data link layer:
      framing, error detection, Medium Access Control, Ethernet bridging
    • Routing protocols:
      Shortest path, flooding, distance vector and link state routing; Fragmentation and IP addressing, IPv4, CIDR notation, Basics of IP support protocols (ARP, DHCP, ICMP), Network Address Translation (NAT)
    • Transport layer:
      flow control and congestion control, UDP, TCP, sockets
    • Application layer protocols:
      DNS, SMTP, HTTP, FTP, Email

Exam Pattern of CS Paper

Feature   Description
Mode of Examination Computer Based
Duration 180 Minutes (3 Hours)
Sections General Aptitude (GA) and Subjective (CS)
Type of Questions (A) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
(B) Remaining types
1. Multiple Select Questions (MSQ) and/or
2. Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions
Number of Questions Out of 65 questions
  • 10 questions are allocated to GA
  • 55 questions are subjective
Distribution of Marks Out of 100 marks, 15 marks have been given to General Aptitude Section, 13 marks have been to Engineering Mathematics, and 72 marks have been given to Subject questions.
Marking Scheme All of the questions will be of 1 mark or 2 marks
Negative Marking
  • For a wrong answer chosen in a MCQ, there will be negative marking. For 1-mark MCQ, 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer. Likewise, for 2-mark MCQ, 2/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.
  • There is NO negative marking for a wrong answer in MSQ questions. However, there is NO partial credit for choosing partially correct combinations of choices or any single wrong choice.
  • There is NO negative marking for a wrong answer in NAT questions. Also, there is NO partial credit in NAT questions.


IIT Delhi. (n.d.)..GATE Official Website, IIT Delhi..Retrieved on November 13, 2020 from. http://gate.iitd.ac.in/
Eligibility. (2020, August, 7). GATE 2021 Official Website - IIT BOMBAY.. https://gate.iitb.ac.in/eligibility.php
Information Brochure..(2020,.September,.9). GATE 2021 Official Website - IIT BOMBAY.. https://gate.iitb.ac.in/brochure.php
IIT Bombay. (2020). Information Brochure 2021 (Version 3.0)..IIT Bombay... https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-XqQ2FP5kh1vp-aQ3FhAvTqjFGp5H-IN/view.