The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an all-India examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. GATE is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur,Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) on behalf of the National Coordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India.
The GATE score of a candidate reflects the relative performance level of a candidate. The score is used for admissions to various post-graduate education programs (e.g. Master of Engineering, Master of Technology, Doctor of Philosophy) in Indian higher education institutes, with financial assistance provided by MHRD and other government agencies. Recently, GATE scores are also being used by several Indian public sector undertakings (i.e., government-owned companies) for recruiting graduate engineers in entry-level positions. It is one of the most competitive examinations in India.
The examination is of 3 hours duration, and contains a total of 65 questions worth a maximum of 100 marks. From 2014 onward, the examination for all the papers is carried out in an online Computer Based Test (CBT) mode where the candidates are shown the questions in a random sequence on a computer screen. The questions consist of both multiple choice questions (four answer options out of which the correct one has to be chosen) and numerical answer type questions (answer is a real number, to be entered via an on-screen keypad and computer mouse). Candidates are provided with blank paper sheets for rough work and these have to be returned after the examination. At the end of the 3-hour window, the computer automatically closes the screen from further actions.
GATE, for long, has been known to test the Engineering basics in a smart way. Complaints of "lengthy" problems have been rare. But the task of mastering an entire course of Engineering (around 30 undergraduate subjects) for a three-hour test, itself gives the test a certain level of toughness. Each year, only around 15% of all appearing candidates qualify. High percentiles (more than 99th percentile, in some cases) are required to get admission in M.Tech. or M.E. degree programs in Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, or get shortlisted for job interviews in Indian public sector undertakings.
The rules for qualifying marks have varied from year to year. The qualifying marks (out of 100) are different for different subjects as well as categories. From the past records it can be analysed that qualifying marks in mechanical stream are as follows:
|General (GN)||25+(1-5) marks|
|OBC||90% of general category's qualifying mark.|
|SC and ST||2/3 (i.e., 66.67%) of general category's qualifying mark|