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Things you need to Know about GATE Scores

Updated on 22 June 2020
Competitive Exams guide
7 min read 0 views
Updated on 22 June 2020

GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is conducted annually primarily for candidates who want to pursue their PG programs from reputed universities. It is held jointly by the seven IITs and IISc on behalf of the National Coordination Board. Apart from securing admissions into IITs and NITs, clearing a GATE opens tons of opportunities to candidates. Applying for higher studies or jobs in foreign universities, opting for teaching jobs, fellowships into IIMs and CISR, etc. Clearing the exam requires a lot of effort and dedication with proper study preparation. Before starting that, one needs to know about the GATE scorecard and plan to score the marks effectively in order to make the full of opportunities that GATE provides. 

A GATE scorecard consists of the following:

  1. Gate Scores
  2. Raw Marks 
  3. Qualifying marks scored based on the caste i.e SC/ST/PwD/General
  4. All India Rank 
  5. The total number of Aspirants 

Candidates are evaluated based on these criteria after which it is decided whether they are eligible to get an admission or secure a job. Note that many universities, IITs, NITs and companies held interviews and GD round after the candidate has scored good GATE marks. Candidates are often confused between the GATE scores, marks, AIR and qualifying marks. Let’s discuss each of these points to gain a better understanding. 

GATE scores are calculated by the organizations that held the exam for that particular year i.e. IITs or NITs. These scores are calculated out of 1000 that are normalized for each of the 25 subjects. The reason to normalize the marks is that there are many aspirants who attend the exam so the paper is divided into 3-4 time slots. Each of these question sets is different and the difficulty level might vary. So, in order to make the process fair, these scores are used to rank and compare the students in different time slots. 

Example, the formula to calculate the GATE score in 2020 is:

Here, M = Marks obtained by the candidates (These marks are the combination of actual marks scored for one session and normalized marks for multiple sessions) 

Mq = Marks obtained for general category students (qualifying marks)


 Mt= Mean marks i.e. top 0.1% or top 10. Incase of multiple sessions, all the marks are included. 

Sq = 350, score assigned to Mq


St = 900, score assigned to Mt

So what is a good GATE score? A good GATE score is the one that helps you to achieve your admissions into IITs or NITs, study abroad or to get a high-income job. Generally, GATE scores of up to 800 and above are the entry point to get admission in top institutes. As it is calculated out of 1000, the more closer marks to 1000 the better for the candidates. 

What are GATE marks? GATE marks are calculated out of 100. There are a total of 65 questions (MCQ & NAT) weighing for 100 marks. There are MCQ’s carrying both 1 mark and 2 marks each. For every wrong answer ⅓ marks are deducted (for MCQs carrying 1 mark each). On the other hand, for MCQ’s carrying 2 marks each, for every wrong answer ⅔ marks are deducted. There is no negative marking in NAT questions. Marks ranging from 80-100 will give you the advantage to secure into top IITs or universities. 

What is the GATE rank? GATE rank, also known as the All India Rank is determined by the marks obtained by the students. For Example, an AIR of 400 or below is the top rank to get into some top institutes. Therefore, lower rank means getting more good opportunities. 

Also, the qualifying marks for candidates varies according to the caste for each subject. For Example, the qualifying marks for Aerospace Engineering in 2018 for the General category were 34.4, for OBC (NCL) 30.9 and for SC/ST/PwD 22.9. 

Candidates need to remember that clearing a GATE exam depends on many criterias and so in order to score the best, one needs to take into consideration the above discussed factors. Note that GATE scores are valid for up to 3 years and there is no age limit to attempt the exam. Also, institutes and companies have their own cut-offs for admissions and recruiting the candidates. Hence one needs to check the cut-offs of the institutes and companies they wish to apply. 


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