GATE Exam Pattern 2020 - Type of Questions, Marking Scheme, Exam Duration and More

GATE 2020 exam will be conducted for 25 engineering subjects by IIT Delhi. Candidates can appear for only one of the 25 GATE engineering papers. The GATE 2020 exam will be conducted in an Online Computer Based Test (CBT) mode where the candidates will be shown the questions on a computer screen.

GATE 2020 Exam Duration

All the papers of the GATE 2020 exam will be for 3 hours duration and they consist of 65 questions for a total of 100 marks. Since the examination is an ONLINE computer-based test, at the end of the stipulated time (3-hours), computer will automatically close the screen inhibiting any further action.

GATE Exam Pattern 2020

Exam Mode

Online Computer-based

Number of Questions 

65

Total Marks 

100

Question Pattern

MCQs and NAT

Negative Marking for MCQs

1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer

Negative Marking for NAT

No Negative marks

Number of Sections

3 Sections ( Engineering Mathematics / Chemistry, General Aptitude, Subject Specification Section)

General Aptitude: The GATE examination for each paper makes it mandatory to include a section on General Aptitude. This

General Aptitude (GA) section consists of 10 questions out of which 5 questions carry 1 mark each, and the remaining 5 carry 2 marks each thus reaching to a total of 15 marks.

Engineering Mathematics: The GATE examination makes it mandatory to denote a section of engineering mathematics. For XL papers, GATE examination includes chemistry in place of engineering mathematics.

Subject-specific section: This section is denoted for questions related to the specific branch of study.

GATE Exam Pattern 2020: Key Highlights

  • The GATE 2020 examination is a computerised test that will be conducted in online mode.
  • The GATE question paper will consist of two types of questions: Multiple choice questions (MCQs) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions
  • All the questions will be displayed on a computer screen randomly and not according to any specific pattern based on priority.
  • In case of MCQ type questions, the candidates are expected to select the correct answer, while for numerical answer type, the candidate is expected to input the numerical answer with the help of a virtual keyboard. This is to keep in mind that the keyboard to the computer will be disabled and students can only input their answers by taking the computer mouse and choosing the letters from a virtual keyboard displayed on the screen.
  • The GATE examination duration is of 3 hours, and the candidates are expected to complete the test within the given time frame. After the allotted three hours pass by, the computer screen will shut down automatically thus limiting the candidates from getting any extra time.
  • A scribble pad will be provided to each candidate during the exam. The candidate can use the scribble pad to perform calculations and all the necessary rough work related to the test.
  • Each question paper will contain questions related to General Aptitude (GA) in addition to subject-specific questions.
  • Each candidate will be provided with an online virtual calculator to conduct calculations for various mathematical and scientific questions.

GATE Marking Scheme for AE, AG, BM, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF and XE

  • Engineering Mathematics will carry around 15% of the total marks
  • General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks
  • the remaining around 70% of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper

GATE Marking Scheme for AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, ST and XL

  • General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks
  • the remaining 85% of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper

Usage of Calculator in GATE 2020 Exam

In GATE 2020 Exam Personal Calculators, wristwatches, mobile phones or any other electronic devices are not allowed. 

To solve problematic questions, there will be a virtual calculator will be available on the computer screen during the GATE online exam.

Marking Scheme – Distribution of Marks and Questions

General Aptitude (GA) Questions

  • 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).

Question Papers other than GG, XE and XL

  • 25 questions carrying 1-mark each (sub-total 25 marks)
  • 30 questions carrying 2-marks each (sub-total 60 marks) 
  • consisting of both the MCQ and NAT Questions

GG (Geology and Geophysics) Paper

Apart from the General Aptitude (GA) section, the Geoglogy and Geophysics question paper consist of two parts: Part A and Part B. 

GG Paper Part A

  • Compulsory for all the candidates
  • 25 questions carrying 1-mark each (sub-total 25 marks and some of these may be numerical answer type questions)

GG Paper Part B 

  • Contains two sections: Section 1 (Geology) and Section 2 (Geophysics)
  • Candidates will have to attempt questions in Part A and questions in either Section 1 or Section 2 of Part B. 
  • Either section of Part B (Section 1 and Section 2) consists of 30 questions carrying 2-marks each (sub-total 60 marks and some of these may be numerical answer type questions).

XE Paper (Engineering Sciences) 

A candidate appearing in the XE paper has to answer the following:

General Aptitude

5 Questions - 1 mark each

5

5 Questions - 2 marks each

10

Engineering Mathematics

7 Questions - 1 mark each

7

4 Questions - 2 marks each

(Some questions may be of  numerical type)

8

XE Sections B to H

9 Questions - 1 mark each

9

13 Questions - 2 marks each

(Some questions may be of numerical answer type)

26

XL Paper (Life Sciences) 

A candidate appearing in the XL paper has to answer the following:

General Aptitude

5 Questions - 1 mark each

5

5 Questions - 2 marks each

10

Chemistry

5 Questions - 1 mark each

5

10 Questions - 2 marks each

(Some Questions may be of  numerical type)

20

XL paper (Sections Q through U)

10 Questions - 1 mark each

10

10 Questions - 2 marks each

(Some questions may be of numerical answer type)

20

Types of Questions in GATE  (MCQs and NAT)

Questions in GATE are broadly divided into Objective Type (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT). In MCQs, candidates are provided with 4 choices out of which one answer is correct. A candidate has to mark the correct choice by clicking on the radio button against the option. 

Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions 

  • NAT includes questions with a value or a real number as their answer. 
  • NAT questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates need to make an answer. 
  • The answer has to be entered using the mouse, Keyboard should be avoided as it lock your answer panel. 
  • There will be no negative marking for NAT questions.

How to attempt Multiple Choice Questions?

  1. There are 1-mark MCQs and 2 mark MCQs in the GATE examination question paper.
  2. Questions are an objective type which comes with a set of four options.
  3. Candidates are expected to select the correct option by taking the mouse cursor to the appropriate answer and clicking on the box beside it.

How to attempt Numerical Answer Type questions?

  1. Each of the Numerical Answer Type questions carries 1 mark or 2 marks in all the papers and sections.
  2. These are called Numerical Type questions because their answers are in the form of real numbers.
  3. The candidate is expected to enter the numerical answer to these types of questions by using their mouse over a virtual keyboard that will be displayed on the screen.
  4. The hardware keyboard connected to the computer will be disabled by the authorities.
  5. The answer to these questions can be either an integer (4,13,51 ) or a decimal number (for example 12.34, 56.4 etc.)
  6. The candidates will not be offered a set of options for the Numerical Answer Types questions.

After attempting each answer, the aspiring candidates are expected to save the answer and go to the next question. The candidate can navigate through a section of the question paper by using the navigation arrows displayed on the screen.

GATE Examination consists of two types of questions:

  • Multiple choice questions: These questions are the ones which are provided with four answer options to choose from. Out of these four options, only one is the correct and most appropriate answer to that particular question. Aspiring candidates are expected to choose the correct answer from the set of options provided for each Multiple-choice question. Any wrong attempt will lead to a deduction of 1/3 marks for 1 mark MCQs and 2/3 marks for 2 marks MCQs.
  • Numerical Answer Type: The GATE examination question paper also consists of the Numerical Answer Type questions in which the candidate must input a number for the answer to a particular question. This answer can be an integer or a decimal number. The candidates are expected to enter the numerical in the space provided after each answer by using the mouse cursor over a virtual keyboard.

The questions of GATE examination are designed in such a way, so the mentioned abilities can be considered for apt analysis of the candidates:

  • Recall: The basic structure of the question paper is loaded with facts, principles, formulas etc. The candidate is expected to possess a strong memory to be able to answer all the questions related to the use of all the facts, principles and formulas.
  • Comprehension: This is to examine the basic understanding of the concepts by the students.
  • Application: This part will test the understanding of various computational and logical reasoning by the students.
  • Analysis and Synthesis: These questions include a pictorial representation of data in the form of images and diagrams. For a synthesis question, there can be a requirement of conducting a comparison study between two or more pieces of information provided.

    Important Things to Notice in GATE Exam

    • The scorecard of GATE examination is valid for up to 3 years.

    GATE for International candidates is conducted in countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates.

    FAQs related to GATE exam pattern

    Q. What type of questions asked in GATE 2020 Exam?

    A. In GATE 2020 exam, there are two types of questions are asked - one is Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) - Choose the correct answer from four options; second is Numerical Answer Type Questions - where answer need to enter containing value or numerical data.

    Q. How many papers can one attempt in GATE exam?

    A. In GATE exam, only one paper is allowed for each candidate. Candidate needs to choose any one paper from the list of 25 subjects.

    Q. What is the exam duration of GATE 2020 exam?

    A. GATE 2020 exam duration is 3 hours in total.

    Q. What is the GATE examination mode - Online or Offline?

    A. Online! GATE 2020 exam will be online mode, candidates need to select and enter the answers online. So GATE exam will be computer-based exam.

    Q. What is Numerical Answer Type (NAT) in GATE exam?

    A. NAT questions are answered by entering the numerical value that makes the final answer.

    Q. How many questions asked in GATE exam?

    A. In GATE exam, there are total 65 Questions are asked for 100 Marks.

    Q. Is there any negative marking in GATE 2020 Exam?

    A. Yes, there is negative marking in GATE 2020 Exam. If question carries 1 mark - 1/3rd marks will be deducted for wrong answers. If question carries 2 marks - 2/3rd marks will be deducted for wrong answers.

    Q. Is the calculator allowed in GATE exam?

    A. No, Calculators are not allowed in the GATE exam. Instead, candidates can use the virtual calculator provided in the computer screen.

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