GATE Question Paper Pattern

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The examination for the papers with codes AE, AG, AR, BT, CE, CH, CY, GG, MA, MN, MT, PH, TF, XE and XL will be organised ONLINE using computers where the candidates need to select the answer for each question using a mouse. In case of all the other papers (CS, EC, EE, IN, ME & PI), the exam will be organised OFFLINE in whicih candidates will have to mark the correct choice on an Optical Response Sheet (ORS) by darkening the correct bubble against each question.

All the papers will have a total of 65 questions carrying 100 marks, In that 10 questions carrying total of 15 marks are in General Aptitude (GA). The remaining of 85% of the total marks is devoted to the syllabus of the paper as mentioned in the syllabus section.

GATE 2013 would comprise questions of four different types in various papers:


Multiple choice questions carrying 1 or 2 marks each; Each of the multiple choice objective questions in all papers and sections will contain four answers of which one correct answer is to be marked.

Common data questions (which are also MCQs)

Where two successive questions use the similar set of input data.


Statement for Common Data Questions for instance for Questions 48 and 49 in Main Paper:

Let X and Y be jointly distributed random variables such that the conditional distribution of Y, given X = x, is uniform on the interval (x − 1, x + 1).

Let E (X) = 1 and Var (X) = 5/3.

First question using common data:

  1. The mean of the random variable Y is

    1. ½

    2. 1

    3. 3/2

    4. 2

    Second question using common data:

  2. The variance of the random variable Y is

    1. ½

    2. 1

    3. 2

Linked answer questions (which are also MCQs)

Where the answer to the first question in the pair is required to answer its successor.

Example: Statement for Linked Answer Questions, for instance, for Questions 52 and 53 in Main Paper:

An Ecoli cell of volume 10 − 12 cm3 contains 60 molecules of lac-repressor. The repressor has a binding affinity (Kd) of 10 − 8 M and 10 − 9 M with and without lactose respectively, in the medium.

First question of the pair:

  1. The molar concentration of the repressor in the cell is-

    1. 0.1 nM

    2. 1 nM

    3. 10 nM

    4. 100 nM

    Second question of the pair:

  2. Therefore the lac-operon is-

    1. repressed and can only be induced with lactose.

    2. repressed and cannot be induced with lactose.

    3. not repressed.

    4. expressed only when glucose and lactose are present.

Numerical answer questions

Where the answer is a number to be entered by the candidate using the mouse and a virtual keypad that will be given on the screen.

Design of Questions

The questions in a paper aim to test the crucial abilities:


These are solely dependent on facts, principles, formulae or laws of the discipline of the paper. The candidate needs to get the answer either from his or her memory of the subject or at most from a one-line computation.


  1. During machining maximum heat is produced-

    1. in flank face

    2. in rake face

    3. in shear zone

    4. due to friction between chip and tool


These questions aim to examine the candidate's knowledge of the basics of his or her field, by inducing them to draw simple conclusions from basic fundamental ideas.


  1. A DC motor needs a starter in order to

    1. develop a starting torque

    2. compensate for auxiliary field ampere turns

    3. limit armature current at starting

    4. provide regenerative braking


In these questions, the candidate is expected to apply his or her knowledge either through computation or by logical reasoning.


  1. The sequent depth ratio of a hydraulic jump in a rectangular channel is 16.48. The Froude number at the beginning of the jump is:

    1. 5.0

    2. 8.0

    3. 10.0

    4. 12.0

Analysis and Synthesis

These can be linked answer questions, where the answer to the first question of the pair needs to be in order to answer its successor or these can be common data questions, in which two questions share the same data but can be solved independently of each other.

Common data based questions: Two questions are linked to a common data problem, passage and the like. Each question is independent and its solution is obtainable from the above problem data or passage (Answer of the previous question is not required to solve the next question). Each question under this group will comprise of two marks.

Linked answer questions: These questions are of problem solving type. A problem statement is followed by two questions based on the problem statement. The two questions are well prepared in such a manner that the solution to the second question depends upon the answer to the first one. The first answer is an ultimate step in working out the second answer. Each question in such ‘linked answer questions’ will carry two marks.

Examples of each of this design will be mention in the types of questions above:

The questions will be dependent on four logics may be a mix of single stand alone statement/phrase/data type questions, combination of option codes type questions or match items type questions.

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