GATE Exam Pattern 2020
Sansar.chhikara, 27 Nov 2019, #GATE
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GATE Exam Pattern 2020 - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has released the exam pattern of GATE 2020. Candidates can get to know about the type of questions asked in the exam, total number of questions, marking scheme of the exam, details about negative marking and other important information about the exam through GATE exam pattern 2020. This year, the authorities have also announced a new paper of Biomedical Engineering (BM). The exam pattern of GATE has announced by IIT Delhi through an official brochure PDF. GATE exam will consist of both multiple choice questions and numerical type questions (MCQs & NAT). The marking schemes for different type of questions will be different. One common subject in all the GATE papers will be General aptitude and the other subjects will vary according to the paper for which student is appearing for. With the help of GATE 2020 exam pattern, candidates are able to familiarize themselves with the nature of the exam, type of questions and a lot more related to the entrance test. Read the article below to check complete exam pattern of GATE 2020.
Latest: GATE 2020 admit card will be available from January 3. The official mock test of GATE 2020 is now available.

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GATE Exam Pattern 2020 in Highlights



Exam Duration

3 hours (180 minutes)

Number of Questions


Total Marks


Questions Type

There will be two question types:

  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

  • Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Number of sections

GATE 2020 question paper will comprise of total 3 sections except for AR, CY, GG, EY, XL, PH and MA papers :

General Aptitude Engineering Mathematics (for XL papers it is Chemistry) Subject – Specific section

General Aptitude Section

The GATE paper will also consist of a compulsory General Aptitude (GA) section constituting of 10 questions. 5 of questions among 10 will carry 1 mark and the rest 5 will carry 2 marks each. Therefore, the total marks for this section will be 15 marks.

Marking Scheme

MCQs carrying 1 mark each– 1/3 mark will be cut for every wrong answer.

MCQs carrying 2 marks – 2/3 mark will be cut for every incorrect response.There is no negative marking for Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions

GATE 2020 Exam Pattern - Paper Code Wise Subject Weightage

Paper Code

Exam Pattern

CE, CS, EC, AE, AG, BT, CH, ME, MN, MT, EE, IN, TF, XE, PE, ST and PI

GA (General Aptitude) – 15%

Engineering Mathematics – 15%
Subject of the Paper – 70%

AR, CY, GG, EY, XL, PH and MA

GA (General Aptitude) – 15%
Subject of the Paper – 85%

GATE Exam Pattern 2020 - Marking Scheme

Paper Code

General Aptitude Marks

Subject Marks

Total Marks

Negative Marking





  • 1/3rd Mark will be deducted for 1 mark question

  • 2/3rd Mark will be deducted for 2 mark question

XE (Section A +

any two sections)




XL (Section P +

any two sections)




GATE 2020 Marking Scheme - Other Key Points

  • Engineering Mathematics and General Aptitude will be compulsory sections of GATE 2020 which will include 15% weightage each in total marks in GATE 2020 papers with codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF and XE. The left 70% weightage will be given to the subject selected by the student.

  • In case of GATE 2020 papers AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, ST and XL there will be a compulsory section of General Aptitude (15% of the total marks). The rest 85% weightage will be given to the selected subject.

GATE 2020 Exam Pattern - Important Information

GATE 2020 Papers (Except GG, XE, XL)

GATE Sample Paper

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  • The questions asked in the exam will be multiple choice questions and numerical answer type.

  • GATE 2020 papers will have 15 questions which will carry 1 mark each and 30 questions which will carry 2 marks each.

GATE 2020 Geology and Geophysics Paper (GG)

  • The Geology and Geophysics Paper of GATE 2020 will be divided in two parts namely Part A and Part B.

  • Part A is mandatory for all the candidates

  • Part B will comprise of two sections – Geology (Section I) and Geophysics (Section II)

  • It is upto the candidates which section they want to attempt.

  • Part A of the paper will contain 25 questions carrying 1 mark each. Numerical answer type questions will also be present in this section.

  • Part B (Section I and II) will contain 30 questions carrying 2 marks each.

GATE 2020 Engineering Sciences (XE)

  • This paper will have one mandatory section which all candidates have to attempt i.e., Engineering Mathematics

  • Another compulsory section will be General aptitude which will carry 15 marks.

  • Section A will comprise of 11 questions of total 15 marks. The paper may also contain Some numerical answer type questions..

  • Candidates will have the option to choose any of the section from Section B to H.

  • The sections (B to H) will comprise of 22 questions each carrying 35 marks in total.

GATE Engineering Sciences Paper Pattern


Type of Question

Number of Question

Sub-total (Marks)

Section A (Compulsory)

1 Mark Question



2 Marks Question



Section B to H

1 Mark Question



2 Marks Question



GATE 2020 Life Sciences (XL)

  • Chemistry (Section P) is the compulsory section of the paper which will consist of 15 questions of total 25 marks. This section will also comprise of some Numerical answer type questions.

  • The paper will also have a General Aptitude section of total 15 marks.

  • Apart from Chemistry, the candidates will also have to choose one more section from Q to U. Each of the sections from Q to U will consist of 20 questions carrying total 30 marks

GATE 2020 Life Sciences Paper Pattern


Type of Questions

Number of Questions

Sub-Total (Marks)

Chemistry Section or Section P (Compulsory)

1 mark questions



2 mark questions



Sections Q to U

1 mark questions



2 mark questions



GATE 2020 Paper Codes


GATE 2020 Paper Codes for XE and XL

XE Paper Sections


XL Paper Sections


Engineering Mathematics (Compulsory)


Chemistry (Compulsory)


Fluid Mechanics




Materials Science




Solid Mechanics








Polymer Science and Engineering


Food Technology


Food Technology


Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences


**XE (Engineering Sciences) and **XL (Life Sciences) papers will consist of sections listed in the table above

GATE-exam-patternGATE 2020 Exam Pattern – Design of Questions

GATE 2020 is a relatively tough exam and will test the abilities of students on various grounds. GATE 2020 will test the following abilities of the candidates

  • Recall – The questions asked in the paper will be directly linked to the principles, facts, formula or laws of the paper the student has selected. The memory and computation skills of the student will also be put to tests in the exam.


  • Comprehension – In GATE 2020 there will be questions that will test the basic understanding of the students in their respective fields of study. Students will have to stress on fundamental ideas to draw out simple conclusions.


  • Application – In this particular category, the candidates will be required to apply their computational and logical reasoning skills.


  • Analysis and Synthesis – In this category the questions will be comprise a mix of data, diagrams and images. Students will be able to solve the questions by analyzing the information contained in them.

Important Instructions for GATE 2020

Candidates appearing for GATE 2020 should keep the following instructions in mind before heading out to the examination centre:

  • Physical calculators, wristwatches and mobile phones are strictly prohibited inside the examination centres.

  • For the ease and convenience of students, a virtual calculator will be provided on the screen of the candidates.

How to attempt GATE 2020?

As you all know GATE 2020 will be conducted in completely online mode, the questions will have to be answered on the computer system provided to the candidates. Students will find a question palette on the screen and will have to attempt the exam in a prescribed manner. Given below is all the information you need to know about attempting a real GATE exam.


On the top right screen of the candidates, a clock will be present which will denote the time left with the student to solve the questions. Once the time is over, the question-answer screen will automatically close.

How to navigate to a question?

  • On the right side of the screen students will find a serial wise list of questions.

  • Students can directly navigate to a question by clicking on the question number.

  • The question will be displayed on the screen when the question button is pressed.

How to answer a question?

  • In case of multiple choice questions, candidates will have to click on the particular option to select it.

  • To de-select an option, candidates will have to click on the option again. Candidates can also select the clear response option to de-select any option.

  • In case of numerical type questions, candidates will have to enter the answer through the virtual keyboard present on the screen.

How to save answers?

  • To save an answer, candidates will have to click on the “Save and Next” option given on the screen.

  • If candidates are unsure of their answer they can mark the question for review by selecting “Mark for Review and Next” option.

  • Once the time limit all the answers will be automatically submitted.

GATE 2020 Exam Pattern - Important Points to Note

  • GATE 2020 will be conducted in completely online mode through Computer Based Test mode.

  • The exam will have a duration of 3 hours.

  • There will be two question types in GATE 2020 - Multiple Choice Questions and Numerical Answer Type Questions. All of the questions will be related to the syllabus of GATE 2020.

  • In case of MCQs candidates will have to select one answer from the 4 options given and in NAT questions students will have to enter the correct answer through the virtual keyboard.D

  • Candidates will be provided with a scribble pad for the rough work.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - GATE Exam Pattern 2020

Question: Is there any change in exam pattern of GATE 2020?


GATE 2020 do not have any change in exam pattern. Students can find the complete details about GATE exam Pattern 2020 to know the structure of exam. 

Question: Where can I find the official exam pattern of GATE?


IIT Delhi has released the official GATE exam pattern 2020 to help students prepare for the exam.  

Question: How many questions are in total asked in GATE exam?


GATE paper has a total of 65 questions. 

Question: Will I be provided with any white paper for rough work and calculations during the examination?


A scribble pad will be provided to the candidate that can be used to do the rough work. The candidate has to return the scribble pad after the examination.

Question: Can I use a physical calculator during the examination?


NO. During the online GATE 2020 examination, all candidates will be provided with a virtual scientific calculator which has to be used to answer the questions. Mobile phones, physical calculators, wristwatches, or any other electronic items are NOT permitted inside the examination hall.

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Important reference books for gate and UPSC geology

Ameya Narendra Parkar 10th Dec, 2019
Dear Nirav
I would like to tell you Reference books are really important while preparing for GATE OR UPSC EXAMS
As Matter of fact reference books are important part for any examination.
Reference book will helps you in nourishing your knowledge and concepts and also your understanding of particular subject.
Reference books contains many problems on a single topic which allows you to practice numerous problems for preparation of Examination.

I hope you understand this information.

All the best

2 year drop for GATE exam .............????

Aditi Amrendra Student Expert 9th Dec, 2019

See, its a very tough call to drop for 2 years for GATE and its definitely not advisable but if you don't have any financial burden or any kind of pressure from home then you can do it but again its too risky and you will have to ensure that if you are going thia then you will give your 100% best and get a good rank because then only you will succeed or else the pressure will get upto you you will suffer badly.So, think smartly and decide wisely.

Good Luck

Is 70 marks in GATE is sufficient to get any PSU for electrical for general category?

apuroop sri durgesh 9th Dec, 2019

Hi Syam!

There were no measurements which could enable you to realize what rank/marks will cause you to get set in PSU's. It fluctuates from test to test, relies upon characteristics of the toppers,paper trouble level and selection of hopefuls who scores superior to you.And also it will be based on number of vacancies in PSU that particular year you are appearing for GATE exam. In any case, for a definite sure determination in a PSU then you ought to be in TOP 200.

Check out this link:

Hope this helps!

All the best!


is agriculture biotechnology and biotechnology have different subject code in gate exam?

Avishek Dutta 9th Dec, 2019


There is no extra subject code for agricultural biotechnology in GATE exam. Both the subjects come under the subject code BT.

GATE 2020 for biotechnology will include

  • Engineering Mathematics,
  • Biotechnology,
  • Recombinant DNA Technology,
  • Plant and Animal Biotechnology and
  • Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology...

To get psu jobs throw gate,upto which rank it is possible

apuroop sri durgesh 9th Dec, 2019

Hello Mahesh, we cannot judge for a single rank because through gate passing score, one can be eligible for number of PSU's. There are Miniratnas, Maharatnas and Navaratnas you can opt for basis on you rank of GATE, you can have a clear cutoff for different companies at .

Hope this helps.

Thank you.

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