GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is conducted every year at a national level. Total eight institutes including IIS Bangalore and seven IITs are responsible for jointly conducting this test on behalf of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) of Indian Government. The representatives from all administering institutes form a GATE committee, which regulates the exam as well as the results.
The main purpose of this test is to identify brilliant students for admission to Master’s Programs in Engineering, Technology, Architecture and Pharmacy. Apart from Indian educational institutes, few institutes in Germany and Singapore also consider GATE score as an evaluation measure for admission to their Master’s Programs. GATE score is considered as a criterion for awarding government scholarships, fellowships and assistantships in engineering institutes.
The following candidates are eligible to appear in this exam:
- Bachelor’s degree holders in Engineering, Technology, Architecture and Pharmacy along with final or pre-final year students can apply.
- Master’s degree holders from any branch of Science, Statistics, Mathematics and Computer applications along with final or pre-final year students are also eligible.
- Students in the second, third or fourth year of four-year Integrated Master’s degree program or in the third, fourth or fifth year of Five-year Integrated Master’s degree program and Dual Degree program in Engineering and Technology are eligible.
- Those candidates who have got other qualification equivalent to B.Tech/B.E. (such as AMIE) from recognized professional institutes are also eligible.
The GATE exam contains 60 multiple-choice questions with four choices in each question. The duration of paper is 3 hours and maximum marks are 100. Negative marking is also there for wrong answers. There is one paper for every branch and a candidate can choose any one of them as per his discipline.
The result is declared in terms of actual marks, GATE score, Percentile and All India Rank. The GATE scorecard is valid for two years. The GATE score is in the range of 0 to 1000 and is calculated by using a special formula that considers average score and standard deviation of all candidates in current and the previous years. A score of 800 and above is considered as outstanding. In terms of percentile, 96 and above is considered a good score for applying to IITs. A percentile of 85-96 is good for admission to TOP RECs.
Thus, GATE is a mandatory exam for students who are aspiring to do specialization in a certain area. Various reputed R&D institutes require M. Tech and/or PhD as qualification criteria for their research positions. The opportunities in this sector are promising as many foreign companies are outsourcing their research activities to Indian institutes.