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GATE 2021 Architecture & Planning Syllabus, Preparation Tips and Books

Exam: 05 Feb `21
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Nikkil Visha

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In the field of architecture, an architectural plan is a design and planning for a building. It also includes architectural drawings, specifications of the design, calculations, time planning of the building process, and other documentation. The syllabus has been revised and is divided into 3 parts i.e. Part A, B1, and B2. 

  • Part A is a common section whereas Part B1 has topics about Architecture and Part B2 has topics about Planning. 
  • The question paper comprises 65 questions of 100 marks. The majority of questions i.e. 55 will be from the core subject syllabus and the remaining 10 questions from General Aptitude Sections.  Check GATE 2021 Exam Pattern
  • The syllabus of architecture does not include the engineering mathematics section which is common for some of GATE disciplines. 
  • If you have opted for AR as your first paper then you can only appear for CE as your second paper in GATE 2021

Candidates who are planning to appear for GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning paper advised to check the complete revised syllabus along with the weightage of important topics, marking scheme, best books, and preparation tips. 

Must Read:  

GATE 2021 Syllabus for Architecture and Planning

GATE 2021 Syllabus for Architecture and Planning will be comprised of 8 sections. Architecture & Design is the most important section of Architecture and Planning. Before starting the preparation of the exam, candidates are advised to go through the complete syllabus for better preparation. Candidates can check the Architecture and Planning syllabus as given below:

GATE AR Syllabus Part A Common

GATE 2021 Syllabus of AR for Part A Common

  • Section 1: Architecture, Planning and Design Architectural  – Graphics; Visual composition in 2D and 3D; Computer application in Architecture and Planning; Anthropometrics; Organization of space; Circulation- horizontal and vertical; Space Standards; Universal design; Building byelaws; Codes and standards;
  • Section 2: Construction and Management  – Project management techniques e.g. PERT, CPM etc. ; Estimation and Specification; Professional practice and ethics; Form and Structure; Principles and design of disaster resistant structures; Temporary structures for rehabilitation;
  • Section 3: Environmental Planning and Design – Natural and man-made ecosystem; Ecological principles; Environmental considerations in planning and design; Environmental pollution- types, causes, controls and abatement strategies; Sustainable development, goals and strategies; Climate change and built environment; Climate responsive design;
  • Section 4: Urban Design, landscape and Conservation – Historical and modern examples of urban design; Elements of urban built environment – urban form, spaces, structure, pattern, fabric, texture, grain etc.; Concepts and theories of urban design; Principles, tools and techniques of urban design; Public spaces, character, spatial qualities and Sense of Place; Urban design interventions for sustainable development and transportation; Development controls – FAR, densities and building byelaws. ; Urban renewal and conservation; heritage conservation; historical public spaces and gardens; Landscape design; Site planning.
  • Section 5: Planning process – Salient concepts, theories and principles of urban planning; concepts of cities - Eco-City, Smart City; Concepts and theories by trendsetting planners and designers; Ekistics; Urban sociology; Social, Economic and environmental cost benefit analysis; Methods of non-spatial and spatial data analysis; Development guidelines such as URDPFI;
  • Section 6: Housing – Housing typologies; Concepts, principles and examples of neighbourhood; Residential densities; Affordable Housing; Real estate valuation;
  • Section 7: Services and Infrastructure – Firefighting Systems; Building Safety and Security systems; Building Management Systems; Water treatment; Water supply and distribution system; Water harvesting systems; Principles, Planning and Design of storm water drainage system; Sewage disposal methods; Methods of solid waste management - collection, transportation and disposal; Recycling and Reuse of solid waste; Land-use – transportation - urban form inter- relationships; Design of roads, intersections, grade separators and parking areas; Hierarchy of roads and level of service; Para-transits and other modes of transportation, Pedestrian and slow moving traffic planning;

GATE AR Syllabus Part B1 Architecture

GATE 2021 Syllabus of AR for Part B1 Architecture

  • Section B1.1: History and Contemporary Architecture – Principles of Art and Architecture; World History of Architecture: Egyptian, Greco-Roman classical period, Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque-Rococo, etc.; Recent trends in Contemporary Architecture: Art nouveau, Art Deco, Eclecticism, International styles, Post Modernism, Deconstruction in architecture, etc.; Influence of Modern art and Design in Architecture; Indian vernacular and traditional Architecture, Oriental Architecture ; Works of renowned national and international architects
  • Section B1.2: Building Construction and Structural systems – Building construction techniques, methods and details; Building systems and prefabrication of building elements; Principles of Modular Coordination; Construction planning and equipment; Building material characteristics and applications; Principles of strength of materials; Alternative building materials; Foundations; Design of structural elements with different materials; Elastic and Limit State design; Structural systems; Principles of Pre-stressing; High Rise and Long Span structures, gravity and lateral load resisting systems
  • Section B1.3: Building Services and Sustainability – Solar architecture; Thermal, visual and acoustic comfort in built environments; Natural and Mechanical ventilation in buildings; Air-Conditioning systems; Sustainable building strategies; Building Performance Simulation and Evaluation; Intelligent Buildings; Water supply; Sewerage and drainage systems; Sanitary fittings and fixtures; Plumbing systems; Principles of internal and external drainage system; Principles of electrification of buildings; Elevators and Escalators - standards and uses

GATE AR Syllabus Part B2 Planning

GATE 2021 Syllabus of AR for Part B2 Planning

  • Section B2.1: Regional and Settlement Planning – Regional delineation; settlement hierarchy; Types and hierarchy of plans; Various schemes and programs of central government; Transit Oriented Development (TOD), SEZ, SRZ etc.; Public Perception and user behaviour; National Housing Policies, Programs and Schemes. ; Slums, Squatters and informal housing; Standards for housing and community facilities; Housing for special areas and needs.
  • Section B2.2: Planning Techniques and Management – Application of G.I.S and Remote Sensing techniques in urban and regional planning; Tools and techniques of Surveys – Physical, Topographical, Land use and Socio-economic Surveys; Urban Economics, Law of demand and supply of land and its use in planning; Graphic presentation of spatial data; Local self-governance, Panchayatiraj institutions; Planning Legislation and implementation – Land Acquisition Act, PPP etc.; Decision support system and Land Information System; Urban geography and econometrics; Management of Infrastructure Projects; Demography and equity in planning
  • Section B2.3: Infrastructure Planning – Process and Principles of Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering; Road capacity and Travel demand forecasting; Traffic survey methods, Traffic flow Analysis; Traffic analyses and design considerations; Traffic and transport management and control in urban areas; Mass transportation planning; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Urban and Rural Infrastructure System Network.

Direct link to download GATE Architecture and Planning (AR) syllabus PDF 

Weightgae of Important Topics

Important Topics in GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning

  • Sample Question 1: A sanitary landfill is provided with High-Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) lining along the ground surface. This is provided primarily to prevent ______?
  • Sample Question 2: The illumination level of a room is 300 lux and the efficacy of the lamps is 60. The Light Power Density (LPD) of the room in Watt/m2 is ______?
  • Sample Question 3: A cone, with a base of 10 cm diameter and axis of 12 cm, is lying on Horizontal Plane (HP) along its generator. The internal angle which the base of the cone makes with the HP is _____ degrees.
Topic Weightage (Marks)
Architecture & Design 20-30
Building and Structures 25-30
Urban Planning and Housing 15-20
Planning Techniques and Management 10-15

Also Check GATE Paper Analysis

Books for Architecture & Planning

Preparation Books for GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning

GATE is considered as one of the toughest exams. Hence, the preparation to qualify GATE should be good. The table is given below represents some important books for preparation of Architecture and Planning Paper:

GATE architecture Book
Book Name Author/ Publisher ISBN Number
How To Crack GATE 2020 Architecture and Planning Ar. Ashok Goel and Ar. Arjun Kamal B074565291
Architect's Guidebook For Competitive Exams Ar. Swapnil Vidhate 9352674847, 978-9352674848
Principles Of Town Planning And Architecture Biswas Hiranmay 938134857X, 978-9381348574
Contemporary Library Architecture: A Planning and Design Guide Ken Worpole -

GATE Exam Pattern of AR

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of Architecture and Planning

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern is defined paper wise depending upon candidates’ branch. 

  • The exam will be held in online mode (Computer Based Test). 
  • GATE  consists of 2 sections namely General Aptitude and specific subject of the paper
  • The total number of questions in the exam is 65.
  • The exam includes 2 types of Questions - Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) & Numerical Answer Type (NAT).
  • Applicants have to attempt all the questions in a duration of three hours. 
  • The maximum number of questions in GATE is from the core subject. 
  • GATE Syllabus will be based on the graduation level. 
  • Negative marking is also applicable. There is no negative marking for NAT but it is applicable for MCQs.  For 1 mark MCQs, 1/3 of the marks is deducted for every wrong answer. Likewise, for 2 marks MCQs, 2/3 marks is deducted
Section  Distribution of Marks   Total Marks Types of questions
GA 5 questions of 1 mark each
5 questions of 2 marks each

     15 marks 

AR- Subject-Based 25 questions of 1 mark each
30 questions of 2 marks each 
    85 marks   MCQs and NATs

Read More GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

How to Prepare for GATE AR Paper?

Preparation Tips for GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning Paper

1. Time Management

  • First of all, candidates should prepare a time table for themself.
  • This way they can divide their time and syllabus easily.
Time Allotment Activities to Do
5:00 AM to 8:00 AM Revise your Notes
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM Take a Break
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM Pick up a Major Topic
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Take a Break
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Take a small test and continue with your topic
10:00 PM Again revise from your notes and sleep early

2. Begin from Easy Topics

  • Candidates are advised to begin from easy topics. 
  • Once your easy topics are over, then you can move towards difficult ones. 
  • Don’t leave easy topics for the end. In the end, only revisions should be done by the candidates. 
  • You can follow the same trick in the exam also. Start solving questions that are easy then move to the difficult ones. 

3. Practice Papers

  • To get an idea about the exam pattern, weightage of questions, difficulty level of questions, etc.
  • After completion of each topic, you must solve the one practice paper.
  • Practice papers will help you in gaining accuracy and speed. 

Download GATE Practice Papers

4. Do’s and Don’ts during Preparation Time

  • Do not panic during the time of preparations. Follow your time table to cover all the topics.
  • Divide your syllabus into months or weeks and try to complete it within the time fixed by you.
  • Take frequent breaks to relax. 
  • Take online tests to judge your preparation level and weak areas. Do not lose your if your score is bad in that.
  • Make hand written notes for revision.

GATE Syllabus of Other Subjects

GATE 2021 Syllabus of Other Subjects

Candidates can check the syllabus of their respective subjects from the links provided in the table below:

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning FAQs

Ques: What will be the major sections in GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning syllabus?

Ans: The eight sections in the syllabus will be:

  • Section 1: Architecture and Design
  • Section 2: Building Materials, Construction, and Management
  • Section 3: Building and Structures
  • Section 4: Environmental Planning and Design
  • Section 5: Urban and Design
  • Section 6: Urban Planning and Housing
  • Section 7: Planning Techniques and Management
  • Section 8: Services, Infrastructure, and Transportation

Ques: What will the weightage of sections and marking scheme in GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning paper?

Ans: The weightage and marking scheme is mentioned below in the table:

Section  Distribution of Marks   Total Marks
GA 5 questions of 1 mark each
5 questions of 2 marks each
15 marks 
AR- Subject-Based 25 questions of 1 mark each
30 questions of 2 marks each 
85 marks

Ques: What section is most important in GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning syllabus?

Ans: Architecture & Design is the most important section of Architecture and Planning. Other sections are also very important but this section is considered one of the major or important sections. 

Ques: What are the best books to prepare for GATE 2021 Architecture and Planning paper?

Ans: Some of the best books are: 

Book Name Author/ Publisher ISBN Number
How To Crack GATE 2020 Architecture and Planning Ar. Ashok Goel and Ar. Arjun Kamal B074565291
Architect's Guidebook For Competitive Exams Ar. Swapnil Vidhate 9352674847, 978-9352674848

GATE 2021 : 38 answered questions


Ques. Which is the best coaching for GATE or IES in Allahabad?

● Top Answer By Aniket Atul Mahulikar on 15 Jan 21

Ans. GATE and IES both exams have almost the same syllabus. If you are residing in Allahabad and looking for the best coaching institute, then you have limited options. Both the papers are highly competitive and require experienced faculty for mentorship.  A few of the coaching institutes have associated industry experts to help GATE or IES aspirants. The top choices from which you can opt for includes:  Mechasoft AIEFA Mechasoft:  It is a good coaching institute with trusted faculty like Mr. A.K. Tripathi. Tripathi Sir is an expert in Control Systems who also teaches some other electronics subjects.  AIEFA:  AIEFA had a collaboration with Gateforum before. Now it’s a separate coaching center. It has poor management and the class schedule is not fixed. They teach in extremely long hours sometimes.  You can also go for self-studies and take the help of online guides. If you find it essential to opt for a coaching institute, you can opt for Mechasoft because the batches are small, and doubt clearing sessions are effective. For online classes, you can opt for Made easy, Times, or Ace academy.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Is it good to prepare for the GATE and the IES simultaneously?

● Top Answer By Sandip Pal on 14 Jan 21

Ans. If you are preparing for IES then you can also simultaneously prepare for GATE as well with just a little extra effort. The syllabus of IES is quite vast as compared to the GATE syllabus. If your primary goal is to crack IES, concentrate more on the IES and study for GATE parallelly. If you are more interested in GATE, you need to make some extra effort. However, if you are equally interested in both you can follow the strategy given below for preparation. IES Preparation:  Read class notes and solve the workbook regularly.  Make short notes for each subject containing formulas, facts, and the new concepts you learned while reading. Solve previous year’s questions for IES and GATE. Note down the important questions you come across. During revision, go through the short notes you made and the questions too.  Give online and offline mock tests regularly.  GATE Preparation: If you follow a smart study plan you can complete the GATE preparation in just one and a half months. The syllabus for GATE is just like a subset of the IES syllabus. Both of them have several topics in common. You can follow this strategy to crack the exam: One month before GATE, thoroughly read all the class notes. Solve previous year’s question paper as much as possible. Take as many mock tests as you can. 10-12 days before the exam, revise the short notes daily. You can prepare for IES for the whole year and do the major chunk of preparation for GATE in the last 1-2 months. One of my friends followed this pattern for his preparation and was successful. But you don’t have to follow this plan blindly, you can make up your own strategy too.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What is the difficulty level of the BITS HD exam compared to the GATE?

● Top Answer By Sahil Sachdeva on 14 Jan 21

Ans. GATE exam focuses on how much the students' concepts are clear and how they can apply them for solving the questions. Most importantly, it contains numerical questions, so it would be better to expect fewer theory questions in the GATE exam. Whereas, BITS HD exam contains the majority of theory questions. You are required to solve more problems in less time. You also have to prepare for aptitude and English. These sections are quite scoring and help to get a better score.  Difficulty Level - Comparison: GATE consists mostly of numerical, while 80 to 90% of the questions in BITS HD are theoretical.  You will hardly find 10 to 15 numerical questions in HD paper out of hundred questions. Numerical questions are not like GATE. These are mostly the formula and solve type. Nevertheless, some numerical may be found very tricky.  You need to have a thorough understanding of your syllabus for BITS HD. Theoretical questions will come from anywhere, and they will test your understanding of the respective topic. BITS HD consists of 15 maths questions that are way more difficult than GATE, 15 general English, and 70 engineering discipline questions. One most important thing to add is that BITS have also started admitting students by accepting their GATE score. If you have a 55+ GATE score, you can get admission to BITS.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What should be the proper strategy to excel in both GATE and ESE simultaneously?

● Top Answer By Angana Nath on 08 Jan 21

Ans. GATE and ESE (Engineering Service Exam) are almost similar, so preparing for one exam ensures complete preparation of at least one portion of the other. Given below is the strategy of preparing simultaneously for GATE and ESE. ESE: Technical Subjects: Read the theory properly and solve ESE objective questions. Solve all the previous year Gate questions of ECE, EE, IN streams. Solve ESE Test series only, do not start with the GATE test series. Non-Technical Subjects: For these subjects, students must put in the daily effort. Each day 15-20 minutes for this is enough. If you keep up this practice sincerely for 5-6 months, there is a good chance you will be able to score more than 300 in ESE prelims.  GATE: Now that ESE is dealt with, go for the GATE test series. As the theory portion has already been covered, start with solving questions. Give at least 10 full syllabus mock tests for GATE.  How to Attempt GATE questions: Attempt all the 1 mark questions. Go for the aptitude and English section. This will provide a break from all the formula questions which have been solved. For the last 30 questions, attempt which questions are easier so that there is time to get back to questions that could not be solved. After the prelims of GATE, you will have 4-5 months to prepare for Mains. In the meantime attempt the previous years’ question paper of UPSC to get an idea about what is asked in the examination. Read standard books to clear basic concepts. Practice is the key to score well in these exams. So, attempt mack-tests for Main as well.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What is the minimum score of GATE one should secure to get into PSUs?

● Top Answer By Poorva Chourasia on 08 Jan 21

Ans. The GATE cutoff for PSU recruitment is quite high. Only top rankers in the GATE examination have a chance of getting a call for an Interview. PSUs invite almost 4 times the candidates they actually recruit. As only the top rankers have the privilege of choosing the company they want to work in. PSU Recruitment Details: More than 50 PSUs recruit students based on their scores in GATE. To be recruited, candidates must score above the GATE-cutoff and also the cut-off mentioned by the company of choice. Some companies directly recruit candidates through their GATE scores while some only shortlist. Some PSUs conduct an additional test for recruiting candidates. Some of the companies that accept PSU scores are AAI, BARC, BBNL, BHEL, BPCL, CEL, CIL, DMRC, NBCC, NTPC, HPCL, ONGC, Powergrid, THDC, etc. PSU-Cutoff: Given below are the branch and category-wise cut-offs for some of the major companies, for PSU-GATE. PSU Branch/Post For General Category HPCL Mechanical  68.45 Civil 70.04 Electrical 58.64 Instrumentation 44.33 E&TC 73.05 Chemical 56.67 ONGC(2019) Geologist 557 Chemist 690 AEE Production Petroleum 703 AEE Cementing Mechanical 895 AEE Electronics 868 Surface Geophysicist 621 Programming Officer 840 AEE Production Chemical 689 AEE Cementing Petroleum 873 AEE Electrical 841 Well Geophysicist 697 AEE Mechanical 856 AEE Drilling Mechanical 845 Transport Officer 899 AEE Instrumentation 730 AEE Reservoir 847 AEE Production Mechanical 867 AEE Drilling Petroleum 803 MM Officer 923 AEE Civil 915 The GATE Cutoff for ONGC may vary with each vacancy. Candidates must score a minimum of 65% in their BTech graduation to appear for GATE. The salaries offered are almost the same for PSUs that recruit through GATE, but the salaries offered to people recruited for senior positions may differ.Read more
1 Answer

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.


koyena biswas
Which topic is essential to have a good score?

Dear Koyena Biswas

Greetings from Collegedunia. The Core Subject that you will choose in GATE Examination except AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, XH, ST, and XL contributing 72% marks out of total marks in GATE Paper. So, prepare well for your core subject. For more details, kindly go through this link – GATE 2020