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Trends in a GATE Exam

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Competitive Exams guide Published on 22 June 2020

GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is an exam that was first started in 1984 by IISc Bangalore. It is an online exam that was started primarily for students who want to pursue their masters or Ph.D. However, in the upcoming years GATE was made as an eligibility to enter into the top universities, IITs and NITs. In the initial years, the exam was based on a subjective pattern which further changed to MCQs and NAT. There were many changes added down the line to the entire exam. Apart from the primary concept of getting into IIT and NITs, many PSU companies started to consider GATE for recruiting candidates. In fact, from the past few years GATE has become a necessity for entering into a good PSU company. Though some companies conduct their own private examination, GATE is still the prominent one and is important for getting into top companies. 


Other opportunities through GATE includes Fellowships in IIMs and CISR, teaching jobs, higher studies abroad, etc. There has been a noticeable growth in the number of students appearing for GATE since the opportunities increased. It is observed that this year the number of students has been decreased to around 8 lakhs as compared to the past three years (2017- 9.22 lakhs, 2018- 9.92 lakhs & 2019- 9.27 lakhs). The officials assume that the increase in the Mtech fees could be the reason for the decline in students. GATE has been made international from the year 2017 to countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. The main motive for making this exam available to foreign students was to bring more diversity and culture in the Indian country. It will thus help students to learn in a better environment.  


With the rising population and competition, the level of the exam has gradually been increased. The exam pattern has changed to a more complex syllabus from the past few years to increase the competition. The motive of this is that only deserving candidates get a chance to enter into the top IITs and NITs. The exam pattern covers questions related to general aptitude and the stream for which the candidate has applied. Over the years, there has not been much of a change in the syllabus apart from a few little improvisations. The GATE syllabus is released each year on the online portal of the IITs conducting the exam for that particular year. 


The GATE score has been made valid for students for a period of 3 years from the past few years. It means that students who want to apply for their further education are eligible to apply anytime during the duration of 3 years after their GATE examination. In case the candidate is opting for a PSU job, the GATE score is valid for that particular year only. Earlier, there were a total of 24 subjects for GATE but last year i.e. in 2019, the officials have added an extra subject which is Biomedical Engineering. This subject can be opted by individuals who wish to make a career in the Biomedical Field. There has been seen a high number of applicants in the stream of Medical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electronics & Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology. On the other hand, fewer students have appeared for the Biomedical Engineering since it has been introduced from the last year. 


A GATE scorecard consists of GATE scores, marks, All India Rank and qualifying marks according to the caste i.e. SC/ST/PWD/OBC/General. Gate scores are calculated out of 1000 whereas GATE marks are calculated out of 100. The GATE score is normalized so that it would be fair to shortlist the candidates based on the multiple sessions. As with the rising number of candidates appearing for the exam, it is held in different time slots with different paper sets. 


The GATE aspirants have eventually increased over the years which has opened a lot of opportunities for individuals. The future of these exams is extremely beneficial to individuals who want to seek their PG programs and get high-income jobs from top MNCs. Talking about the PSU jobs, it is still a debate for whether to conduct GATE from the next year or to opt totally for privatization.


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