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GATE 2021: Examination set to see major changes, amendments this time; Check here

For GATE 2021, candidates would be allowed to appear for one or two papers.For GATE 2021, candidates would be allowed to appear for one or two papers.For GATE 2021, candidates would be allowed to appear for one or two papers.For GATE 2021, candidates would be allowed to appear for one or two papers.

GATE 2021: The Graduate Aptitude test in Engineering 2021 (GATE 2021) will see some major changes and important amendments in four aspects of the exam — eligibility or qualification, testing pattern, syllabus and applications, according to a report by IE. The test, according to the website of IIT Delhi, is jointly conducted by seven Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science, on behalf of the Union Ministry of Education. This test is open to candidates who have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Technology or Architecture, or a Master’s degree in any branch of Mathematics, Science, Computer Applications or Statistics. With this test, students who qualify can be eligible to get admission into Master’s or Doctoral programmes in Technology, Engineering or Architecture and for Doctoral programmes in the relevant branches of Science with the MoE.

As per the IE report, here are the changes that GATE 2021 will witness.

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Eligibility or qualifications

This change will now allow candidates who are in the third year of their college to also apply for GATE. Moreover, there is no age limit for the applicants and the limit on the number of attempts has also been lifted. This way, the suitable candidates would be able to apply as many times as they would like to. Apart from this, even the students who have a backlog would be eligible to apply and sit for the examination. The GATE score would now remain valid for a period of three years from the time the candidate appeared.


For GATE 2021, candidates would be allowed to appear for one or two papers. The combinations of two papers have been distinctly categorised as primary and secondary papers. The second paper is required to be from the pre-set combinations already in place as per the recommendation of the GATE committee.

Testing pattern

The exam would be conducted in the CBT (computer-based test) mode and the total number of questions would be 65. Of these, 55 questions would test the technical and engineering mathematics aptitude, while 10 would test the general aptitude. The questions would be divided in three categories.

  1. Multiple choice questions (MCQ): The questions would be objective and each question would account for one or two marks. This is the same as the general MCQ questions. Of the given four options, there will be only one correct answer, and the students would be marked negatively for choosing the incorrect option. In a question for 1 mark, the students would be awarded a negative ⅓ mark for a wrong answer, while for a 2-marker question, an incorrect answer would lead to a deduction of ⅔ marks.
  2. Multiple select questions (MSQ): This is similar to MCQ, but it will not entail any negative marking. Moreover, in this format, of the four options, one or more than one can be correct answers and the students would be required to choose all the options that are correct. While an incorrect answer would not attract any negative marking, selecting a partially correct combination of choices would not lead to any marks being awarded. The questions will remain objective and would account for one or two marks.
  3. Numerical answer type questions (NAT): These would also be one or two-mark questions, and the student would be required to fill in a numerical answer, using the virtual numeric keypad. The students would be provided with the range of the answer as well. At the end of the calculations, students would need to round off their answers. These questions would not attract any negative marking, while at the same time, no partial credit would be awarded.


From the syllabus for GATE 2021, a number of topics have been removed, while some new ones have been added. The new syllabus is more holistic in nature, the report stated, and now various other crucial aspects as would be needed for entrance exams of the stature of GATE, have also been included. Moreover, the topics removed are more in number, and therefore, students would have a lessened syllabus to study from. Two new subjects have been increased in the paper, and so now, the total number of subjects for next year’s GATE now stands at 27.

The two new papers that have been introduced are Environmental Science and Engineering (ES) and Humanities and Social Science (XH). With this, students from the Humanities as well as Commerce streams would also have a chance to enroll and sit for the GATE. This would open a lot of new opportunities for them.

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