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Introduction

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an examination conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and the seven Indian Institutes of Technology (at Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) on behalf of the National Coordination Board (NCB)-GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India.


Qualifying in GATE is a mandatory requirement for seeking admission and/or financial assistance to:

  • Master’s programs and direct Doctoral programs in Engineering/Technology/Architecture.

  • Doctoral programs in relevant branches of Science, in the institutions supported by the MHRD and other Government agencies.

  • Even in some colleges and institutions, which admit students without MHRD scholarship/assistantship, the GATE qualification is mandatory.

  • Further, many Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have been using the GATE score in their recruitment process.

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is basically an examination on the comprehensive understanding of the candidates in various undergraduate subjects in Engineering/Technology/Architecture and post-graduate level subjects in Science. GATE will be conducted for 23 subjects (also referred to as “papers”) and it would be distributed over first and second week of February. The GATE examination centres are spread in different cities across India, as well as, at six cities abroad. It would purely be a Computer Based Test(CBT).


The GATE score would reflect the relative performance level of the candidate in aparticular subject, which is quantified based on the several years of examination data. Note that the GATE score is valid for THREE YEARS from the date of announcement of the results.

Structure of Gate and Gate Results :The GATE examination consists of a single online paper of 3-hour duration and they consist of 65 questions for a total of 100 marks. Since the examination is an ONLINE computer based test, at the end of the stipulated time (3-hours), computer will automatically close the screen inhibiting any further action.

Section Weightage and Marks :70% of the total marks is given to the technical section while 15% weightage is given to Engineering Mathematics and 15% weightage is given to General Aptitude.

Section Weightage
Civil Engineering (Technical Section) 70 Marks
Engineering Mathematics 15 Marks
General Aptitude 15 Marks

Exam Pattern :

Section Question No No of Questions Marks Per Question Total Marks
General Aptitude 1 to 5 5 1 5
6 to 10 5 2 10
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mathematics 1 to 25 25 1 25
26 to 55 30 2 60

Question Types :

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) : Carrying 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections. These questions are objective in nature, and each will have a choice of four answers, out of which the candidate has to mark the correct answer(s).

Numerical Answer Type(NAT) :Carrying 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections. For numerical answer questions, choices will not be given. For these questions the answer is a real number, to be entered by the candidate using the virtual keypad. No choices will be shown for this type of questions.

Negative Marking :

Question Type Marks Negative Marking
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 1 0.33
2 0.66
Numerical Answer Type (NAT) 1 Nill
2 Nill

Important Dates :

GATE Online Application Processing System (GOAPS)Website Opens September
Last Date for Submission of (Online) Application (through Website) October
Last Date for Requesting Change of Examination City (an additional fee will be applicable) November
Admit Card will be available in the Online Application Portal(for printing) January
GATE Examination February
Announcement of the Results in the Online Application Portal March

Syllabus for General Aptitude (GA) - (COMMON TO ALL PAPERS)


Verbal Ability : English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction.

Numerical Ability : Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation.


CE - Civil Engineering

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

Linear Algebra : Matrix algebra Systems of linear equations; Eigen values and Eigen vectors.

Calculus : Functions of single variable; Limit, continuity and differentiability; Mean value theorems, local maxima and minima, Taylor and Maclaurin series; Evaluation of definite and indefinite integrals, application of definite integral to obtain area and volume; Partial derivatives; Total derivative; Gradient, Divergence and Curl, Vector identities, Directional derivatives, Line, Surface and Volume integrals, Stokes, Gauss and Green’s theorems.

Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE) : First order (linear and non-linear) equations; higher order linear equations with constant coefficients; Euler-Cauchy equations; Laplace transform and its application in solving linear ODEs; initial and boundary value problems.

Partial Differential Equation (PDE) : Fourier series; separation of variables; solutions of one-dimensional diffusion equation; first and second order one-dimensional wave equationand two-dimensional Laplace equation.

Probability and Statistics : Definitions of probability and sampling theorems; Conditional probability; Discrete Random variables: Poisson and Binomial distributions; Continuous random variables: normal and exponential distributions; Descriptive statistics -Mean, median, mode and standard deviation; Hypothesis testing.

Numerical Methods : Accuracy and precision; error analysis. Numerical solutions of linearand non-linear algebraic equations; Least square approximation, Newton’s and Lagrange polynomials, numerical differentiation, Integration by trapezoidal and Simpson’s rule, single and multi-step methods for first order differential equations.


Section 2: Structural Engineering

Engineering Mechanics : System of forces, free-body diagrams, equilibrium equations; Internal forces in structures; Friction and its applications; Kinematics of point mass and rigid body; Centre of mass; Euler’s equations of motion; Impulse-momentum; Energy methods; Principles of virtual work.

Solid Mechanics : Bending moment and shear force in statically determinate beams; Simple stress and strain relationships; Theories of failures; Simple bending theory, flexural and shear stresses, shear centre; Uniform torsion, buckling of column, combined and direct bending stresses.

Structural Analysis : Statically determinate and indeterminate structures by force/ energy methods; Method of superposition; Analysis of trusses, arches, beams, cables and frames; Displacement methods: Slope deflection and moment distribution methods; Influence lines; Stiffness and flexibility methods of structural analysis.

Construction Materials and Management : Construction Materials: Structural steel -composition, material properties and behaviour; Concrete -constituents, mix design, short-term and long-term properties; Bricks and mortar; Timber; Bitumen.

Construction Management : Types of construction projects; Tendering and construction contracts; Rate analysis and standard specifications; Cost estimation; Project planning and network analysis- PERT and CPM.

Concrete Structures : Working stress, Limit state and Ultimate load design concepts; Design of beams, slabs, columns; Bond and development length; Prestressed concrete; Analysis of beam sections at transfer and service loads.

Steel Structures : Working stress and Limit state design concepts; Design of tension and compression members, beams and beam- columns, column bases; Connections – simple and eccentric, beam-column connections, plate girders and trusses; Plastic analysis of beams and frames.


Section 3: Geotechnical Engineering

Soil Mechanics : Origin of soils, soil structure and fabric; Three-phase system and phase relationships, index properties; Unified and Indian standard soil classification system; Permeability- one dimensional flow, Darcy’s law; Seepage through soils- two-dimensional flow, flow nets, uplift pressure, piping; Principle of effective stress, capillarity, seepage force and quicksand condition; Compaction in laboratory and field conditions; One-dimensional consolidation, time rate of consolidation; Mohr’s circle, stress paths, effective and total shear strength parameters, characteristics of clays and sand.

Foundation Engineering : Sub-surface investigations -scope, drilling bore holes, sampling, plate load test, standard penetration and cone penetration tests; Earth pressure theories -Rankine and Coulomb; Stability of slopes -finite and infinite slopes, method of slices andBishop’s method; Stress distribution in soils -Boussinesq’s and Westergaard’s theories, pressure bulbs; Shallow foundations-Terzaghi’s and Meyerhoff’s bearing capacity theories, effect of water table; Combined footing and raft foundation; Contact pressure; Settlement analysis in sands and clays; Deep foundations -types of piles, dynamic and static formulae, load capacity of piles in sands and clays, pile load test, negative skin friction.


Section 4: Water Resources Engineering

Fluid Mechanics :Properties of fluids, fluid statics; Continuity, momentum, energy and corresponding equations; Potential flow, applications of momentum and energy equations; Laminar and turbulent flow; Flow in pipes, pipe networks; Concept of boundary layer and its growth.

Hydraulics : Forces on immersed bodies; Flow measurement in channels and pipes; Dimensional analysis and hydraulic similitude; Kinematics of flow, velocity triangles; Basics of hydraulic machines, specific speed of pumps and turbines; Channel Hydraulics-Energy-depth relationships, specific energy, critical flow, slope profile, hydraulic jump, uniform flow and gradually varied flow.

Hydrology : Hydrologic cycle, precipitation, evaporation, evapo-transpiration, watershed, infiltration, unit hydrographs, hydrograph analysis, flood estimation and routing, reservoir capacity, reservoir and channel routing, surface run-off models, ground water hydrology -steady state well hydraulics and aquifers; Application of Darcy’s law.

Irrigation : Duty, delta, estimation of evapo-transpiration; Crop water requirements; Design of lined and unlined canals, head works, gravity dams and spillways; Design of weirs on permeable foundation; Types of irrigation systems, irrigation methods; Water logging and drainage; Canal regulatory works, cross-drainage structures, outlets and escapes.


Section 5: Environmental Engineering

Water and Waste Water : Quality standards, basic unit processes and operations for water treatment. Drinking water standards, water requirements, basic unit operations and unit processes for surface water treatment, distribution of water. Sewage and sewerage treatment, quantity and characteristics of waste water. Primary, secondary and tertiary treatment of waste water, effluent discharge standards. Domestic waste water treatment, quantity of characteristics of domestic waste water, primary and secondary treatment. Unit operations and unit processes of domestic waste water, sludge disposal.

Air Pollution : Types of pollutants, their sources and impacts, air pollution meteorology, air pollution control, air quality standards and limits.

Municipal Solid Wastes : Characteristics, generation, collection and transportation of solid wastes, engineered systems for solid waste management (reuse/ recycle, energy recovery, treatment and disposal).

Noise Pollution : Impacts of noise, permissible limits of noise pollution, measurement ofnoise and control of noise pollution.


Section 6: Transportation Engineering

Transportation Infrastructure : Highway alignment and engineering surveys; Geometric design of highways-cross-sectional elements, sight distances, horizontal and vertical alignments; Geometric design of railway track; Airport runway length, taxiway and exit taxiway design.

Highway Pavements : Highway materials -desirable properties and quality control tests; Design of bituminous paving mixes; Design factors for flexible and rigid pavements; Designof flexible pavement using IRC: 37-2012; Design of rigid pavements using IRC: 58-2011; Distresses in concrete pavements.

Traffic Engineering : Traffic studies on flow, speed, travel time -delay and O-D study, PCU, peak hour factor, parking study, accident study and analysis, statistical analysis of traffic data; Microscopic and macroscopic parameters of traffic flow, fundamental relationships; Control devices, signal design by Webster’s method; Types of intersections and channelization; Highway capacity and level of service of rural highways and urban roads.


Section 7: Geomatics Engineering

Principles of surveying : Errors and their adjustment; Maps- scale, coordinate system; Distance and angle measurement- Levelling and trigonometric levelling; Traversing and triangulation survey; Total station; Horizontal and vertical curves. Photogrammetry- scale, flying height; Remote sensing -basics, platform and sensors, visual image interpretation; Basics of Geographical information system (GIS) and Geographical Positioning system (GPS).

Cut off Marks to Qualify in GATE-(out of 100) : Civil Engineering


Year General OBC SC/ST/PH No of Candidates Appeared
2018 26.90 24.20 17.90 1,53,078
2017 28.70 25.80 19.10 1,29,225
2016 25.00 25.50 16.60 1,18,147
2015 25.45 22.90 16.96 1,01,429
2014 26.57 23.91 17.71 90,872
2013 27.13 24.42 18.09 67,472
2012 33.03 29.73 22.02 36,156
2011 25.00 22.50 16.67 29,347
2010 25.01 22.51 16.67 -------

Chapter-wise Analysis ofPrevious Years’ Papers

Subject 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
General Aptitude
1 Mark - - 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
2 Mark - - 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Total Marks - - 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
Engineering Mathematics
1 Mark 2 3 3 3 3 2 5 4 5 4
2 Mark 9 6 5 5 5 4 2 5 4 4
Total Marks 20 15 13 13 13 10 9 14 13 12
Geotechnical Engineering
1 Mark 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 5
2 Mark 10 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 6
Total Marks 23 15 15 15 15 15 15 14 15 15
Environmental Engineering
1 Mark 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 4 4
2 Mark 6 6 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 4
Total Marks 14 14 9 11 10 8 8 8 10 12
Water Resources Engineering
1 Mark 4 3 4 5 4 6 3 5 3 2
2 Mark 11 6 5 5 5 5 6 5 4 5
Total Marks 26 15 14 15 14 16 15 15 11 12
Transportation Engineering
1 Mark 4 2 2 3 3 3 2 2 2 3
2 Mark 7 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 2 2
Total Marks 18 10 8 9 9 9 10 8 6 7
Geomatics Engineering
1 Mark 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3 2
2 Mark 4 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1
Total Marks 9 5 3 3 3 4 5 6 5 4
Structural Engineering
1 Mark 4 6 7 5 7 7 7 6 5 5
2 Mark 18 10 8 7 7 8 8 7 10 9
Total Marks 40 26 23 19 21 23 23 20 25 23
Questions Total 85 60 65 65 65 65 65 65 65 65
Score Total 150 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
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