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Preparation Strategy for Civil Engineering (GATE)

Competitive Exams guide Published on 24 June 2020

The scope of civil engineers has been rising from the past few years and there have been many job opportunities available for this position. It has been estimated by Global Marketing Insights, Inc that the market size of civil engineering is expected to grow up to $11.72 trillion by the year 2025. Candidates can opt for the PG program for the stream of civil engineering from top IITs. Qualifying with good marks from the reputed IITs will provide many job opportunities from the top MNCs with attractive salary packages. Also, some PSU companies hire civil engineers as well. In order to do so, one needs to prepare for the GATE exam efficiently. GATE preparation for civil engineering is not so tough when planned properly. Let’s discuss the detailed strategy for the study preparation. 

The first step is to know the exam syllabus:

The syllabus for the exam is generally released on the online portal of the IITs that conduct the exam for that particular year. 

General Aptitude (15% weightage):

This section covers the Verbal & Numerical Ability questions like Logical Reasoning, Grammar, sentence completion, word group instruction, Numerical Computation & Estimation, Numerical Reasoning, etc. 

Engineering Mathematics (15% weightage):

This section covers topics like Calculus, Linear Algebra, Numerical Methods, Probability & Statistics, Ordinary Differential Equation & Partial Differential Equation.

Technical Subject (70% weightage): 

This section covers Structural Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Water Resources Engineering and Geomatics Engineering. 

The second step is to know the Reference Books:

There are many reference books available online as well as offline for the GATE aspirants. Before selecting a reference book, it is important to know the credibility of the source. Referring to a wrong or irrelevant source can be a problem as this exam is very tough and each mark is important in order to get into the top institutes. So, before choosing a book it is important to ask for guidance either from a senior faculty or one must check the publishing website for credibility (incase of online books). Some of the top reference books for GATE preparation for civil engineering are as follows:

Reference Books
Name of the Author
Engineering Mathematics
Discrete Mathematics & its Applications.
Higher Engineering Mathematics.
Advanced Engineering Mathematics.
Kenneth Rosen.
B.S Grewal.
Erwin Kreyszig
Structural Engineering 
Theory of Elasticity.
Theory of Structure.
Strength of Materials/Mechanics of Structure. 

Timoshenko & Gere.
Wilbur & Norris, C K Wang.
Gere & Timoshenko, S. Rammamrutham.
Environmental Engineering 
Environmental Engineering.
Water Engineering.
By S.K Garg Part I & Part II.
By B.C Punmia Part I and Part II.
Transportation Engineering 
By Justo Khanna
Geotechnical Engineering
Soil Mechanics 
By Gopal Ranjan & Rao,
S.K Garg, B.C Punmia
Water Resources Engineering
Water Resources
Water & Waste Water
Fluid Mechanics
By S.K Garg
By S.K Garg I & II
By RK Bansal, Fox and Richard.
Geomatics Engineering
Surveying (vol 1,2,3)
B.C Punmia, Ashok Jain and Arun Jain.
General Aptitude 
Quantitative Aptitude & Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning 
R.S Aggarwal

The third step is to Prepare a Time Table:

Gate preparation for Civil Engineering will be effective only when you make the most of your time. For doing that, one needs to prepare a time table for keeping a track of the daily studying routine. Give an equal amount of time to each topic while preparing. A candidate can do the following:

Day 1:

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics: 1 hour 

Section 2: General Aptitude: 1 hour 

Section 3: Technical Subject: 2 hours 

Follow this pattern daily for months before the examination. 

As the exam date approaches, one must increase the number of hours of studying.

For Example,

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics: 2 hours

Section 2: General Aptitude: 2 hours

Section 3: Technical Subject: 4 hours


The fourth step is to practice & Revise:

Candidates can practice through online mock tests which are very effective for understanding the actual exam pattern and time management. There are many mock tests available for each topic of the gate exam. However, practicing will only be beneficial if it is followed by a revision. Revision is the most important part that one neglects while preparing the exam. Revising every day and making notes for the last minute study should be followed every day. 


Gate preparation for Civil Engineering is easy if one follows this routine. Candidates need to note that each IITs have their own cutoffs (streamwise). The main eligibility criteria are to score good gate marks, gate scores and All India Rank. So, it is important that candidates prepare for this exam very efficiently.

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