The GATE examination consists of a single paper of 3 hours duration which contains 65 questions carrying a maximum of 100 marks.
GATE would contain questions of two different types in various papers:
(i) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) 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).
(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. No choices will be shown for this type of questions.
The examination for all the papers will be carried out in an ONLINE Computer Based Test (CBT) mode where the candidates will be shown the questions in a random sequence on a computer screen. The candidates are required to either select the answer (for MCQ type) or enter the answer for numerical answer type question using a mouse on a virtual keyboard (keyboard of the computer will be disabled). Candidates will be provided with blank paper sheets for rough work and these have to be returned back after the examination. At the end of the 3-hour window, the computer will automatically close the screen from further actions.
General Aptitude Questions
All the papers will contain few questions that test the General Aptitude (Language and Analytical Skills), apart from the core subject of the paper.
Types of Questions
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
These questions are objective in nature and each question will have choice of four answers, out of which the candidate has to mark the correct answer. Each question carries 1 or 2 marks questions in all the sections.
Numerical Answer Questions
There will be no choices available for these types of questions. A Numeric Answer question carries 1 or 2 marks questions in all sections. The answer for these questions is a real number to be entered by using mouse and virtual keypad displayed on the monitor. No negative marking for these questions.
a. Recall: These are based on facts, principles, formulae or laws of the discipline. The candidate is expected to be able to obtain the answer either from his/her memory directly or at most from a one-line computation.
b. Comprehension: These questions will test the candidate’s understanding of the basics of his/her field, by requiring him/her to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas.
c. Application: In these questions, the candidate is expected to apply his/her knowledge either through computation or by logical reasoning.
d. Analysis and Synthesis: These can be linked questions, where the answer to the first question of the pair is required in order to answer its successor. Or these can be common data questions, in which two questions share the same data but can be solved independently of one another.
e. Common Data Questions: Multiple questions may be linked to a common data problem, passage and the like. Two or three questions can be formed from the given common data problem. Each question is independent and its solution obtainable from the above problem data/passage directly. (Answer of the previous question is not required to solve the next question). Each question under this group will carry two marks.
f. Linked Answer Questions: These questions are of problem solving type. A problem statement is followed by two questions based on the problem statement. The two questions are designed such that the solution to the second question depends upon the answer to the first one. In other words, the first answer is an intermediate step in working out the second answer. Each question in such linked answer questions will carry two marks.