GATE Exam Pattern 2020: Check Paper Pattern, Marking Scheme

GATE exam pattern 2020 will include the number of questions, types of questions and marking scheme for all the 25 papers of GATE. Candidates who wish to appear for GATE 2020 need to familiarise themselves with the exam pattern, syllabus and the marking scheme.

In all the papers, there will be a total of 65 questions carrying 100 marks, out of which 10 questions carrying a total of 15 marks are in General Aptitude (GA). In the papers bearing the codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PI, TF and XE, the Engineering Mathematics will carry around 15% of the total marks, the General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks and the remaining 70% percentage of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper. In the papers bearing the codes AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH and XL, the General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks and the remaining 85% of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper.

Since a candidate is allowed to appear in only one of the 25 papers for which GATE 2020 exam will be held, they have to carefully make a choice of the paper they wish to write.

A candidate is expected to appear in a paper appropriate to the discipline of his/her qualifying degree. However, s/he is free to choose any paper according to his/her admission plan, keeping in mind the GATE eligibility criteria of the institutions in which he/she wishes to seek admission. For more details regarding the admission criteria in any particular institute, the candidate is advised to refer to the websites of that institute.

GATE Exam Pattern 2020 Highlights

GATE Exam Structure Details
Number of sections General Aptitude and the choice of engineering branch
Duration of exam 180 minutes (60 minutes per section)
Number of questions General Aptitude (GA) – 10 questions (5 of 1 mark & 5 for 2 marks)

Paper excluding GG, XE, XL – 55 questions (25 of 1 mark & 30 of 2 marks)

Geology & Geophysics (GG) – 55 questions (25 of 1 mark & 30 of 2 marks)

Engineering Sciences (XE) – 11 questions (7 of 1 mark & 4 of 2 marks)/ optional subject – 22 questions of 35 marks (9 of 1 mark & 13 of 2 marks)

Life Sciences (XL) – 15 questions (5 of 1 mark & 10 of 2 marks)/ optional subject – 20 questions of 30 marks (10 questions of 1 mark & 10 questions of 2 marks)

Language of question paper English
Number of answer choices 4 choices in case of MCQ

No choices in case of NAT

Mode of examination Online
Marking scheme Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) – +1 & 2 marks for the correct answer; 1/3 mark will be deducted for 1 mark questions and 2/3 mark will be deducted for 2 marks questions

Numeric Answer Type (NAT) – +1 & 2 marks for the correct answer; no negative marking

Paper wise GATE 2020 Exam Pattern

GATE 2020 would contain different types of questions in various papers:

(i) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) carrying 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections. These questions are objective in nature, and each will have a choice of four answers, out of which the candidate has to mark the correct answer(s).

(ii) Numerical Answer Questions of 1 or 2 marks each in all papers and sections. For these questions the answer is a real number, to be entered by the candidate using the virtual keypad. No choices will be shown for this type of questions.

Design of Questions

Paper Code

Exam Pattern

CE, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, AE, AG, BT, CH, MN, MT, TF, XE, PE, ST and PI
  • General Aptitude (GA) – 15%
  • Engineering Mathematics – 15%
  • Subject of the Paper –  70%
AR, CY, EY, XL, GG, MA and PH
  • General Aptitude (GA) – 15%
  • Subject of the Paper – 85%

GATE Marking Scheme

Paper Code GA Marks Subject Marks Total Marks Negative Marking
CE, CH,

CS, CY, EC,

EE, AE, AR, AG,

BT, EY, GG,

IN, MA, ME, PH, PI, TF,

MN, MT, PE, ST

15 85 100
  • 1/3 Mark will be deducted for 1 mark question
  • 2/3 Mark will be deducted for 2 mark question
XE (Section A +

any two sections)

15 15+2*35 100
XL (Section P +

any two sections)

15 25+2*30 100

The questions in a paper may be designed to test the following abilities:

(i) Recall: These are based on facts, principles, formulae or laws of the discipline of the paper. The candidate is expected to be able to obtain the answer either from his/her memory of the subject or at most from a one-line computation.

Paper wise Marking Scheme of GATE 2020

  • For 1-mark multiple-choice questions, 1/3 marks will be deducted for a wrong answer. Likewise, for 2-marks multiple-choice questions, 2/3 marks will be deducted for a wrong answer. There is no negative marking for numerical answer type questions.

General Aptitude (GA) 

  • In all papers, GA questions carry a total of 15 marks. The GA section includes 5 questions carrying 1 mark each (sub-total 5 marks) and 5 questions carrying 2 marks each (sub-total 10 marks).

GATE paper (excluding GG, XE and XL)

  • These papers would contain 25 questions carrying 1 mark each (sub-total 25 marks) and 30 questions carrying 2 marks each (sub-total 60 marks). The question paper will consist of questions of multiple choice and numerical answer type.
  • For numerical answer questions, choices will not be given. Candidates have to enter the answer (which will be a real number, signed or unsigned, e.g. 25.06, -25.06, 25, -25 etc.) using a virtual keypad. An appropriate range will be considered while evaluating the numerical answer type questions so that the candidate is not penalized due to the usual round-off errors.

GG (Geology and Geophysics) 

  • Apart from the General Aptitude (GA) section, the GG question paper consists of two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A is common for all candidates. Part B contains two sections: Section 1 (Geology) and Section 2 (Geo-physics). Candidates will have to attempt questions in Part A and either Section 1 or Section 2 in Part B.
  • Part A consists of 25 multiple-choice questions carrying 1-mark each (sub-total 25 marks and some of these may be numerical answer type questions). Each section in Part B (Section 1 and Section 2) consists of 30 multiple choice questions carrying 2 marks each (sub-total 60 marks and some of these may be numerical answer type questions).

XE Paper (Engineering Sciences)

  • In XE paper, Engineering Mathematics section (Section A) is compulsory. This section contains 11 questions carrying a total of 15 marks: 7 questions carrying 1 mark each (sub-total 7 marks), and 4 questions carrying 2 marks each (sub-total 8 marks). Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions.
  • Each of the other sections of the XE paper (Sections B through G) contains 22 questions carrying a total of 35 marks: 9 questions carrying 1 mark each (sub-total 9 marks) and 13 questions carrying 2 marks each (sub-total 26 marks). Some questions may be of numerical answer type.

XL Paper (Life Sciences)

  • In XL paper, Chemistry section (Section H) is compulsory. This section contains 15 questions carrying a total of 25 marks: 5 questions carrying 1 mark each (sub-total 5 marks) and 10 questions carrying 2-marks each (sub-total 20 marks). Some questions may be of numerical answer type.
  • Each of the other sections of the XL paper (Sections I through M) contains 20 questions carrying a total of 30 marks: 10 questions carrying 1 mark each (sub-total 10 marks) and 10 questions carrying 2 marks each (sub-total 20 marks). Some questions may be of numerical answer type.

Note on Negative Marking for Wrong Answers

For a wrong answer chosen for the multiple choice questions, there would be negative marking. For 1-mark multiple choice questions, 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer. Likewise, for 2-mark multiple choice questions, 2/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer. However, there is no negative marking for a wrong answer in numerical answer type questions.

Scroll to Top