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GATE 2021 Biotechnology (BT) Syllabus, Preparation Tips and Books

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Nikkil Visha

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GATE 2021 Biotechnology Syllabus include topics such as Engineering Mathematics, Biotechnology, Recombinant DNA Technology, etc. The Biotechnology syllabus for GATE 2021 has been revised and some more topics are added in the core syllabus. 13% weightage is given to Engineering mathematics, 15% to General Aptitude each and 72% to the core syllabus.

  • The exam will consist of a total of 65 questions and a candidate can score a maximum of 100 marks in the exam. The total time duration to complete the paper will be 3 hours. Check GATE 2021 Exam Pattern
  • Other than BT you can also select one paper from BM/ XL as your second paper because from this year candidates can sit for a maximum of two papers. 
  • GATE Biotechnology Paper is scheduled to be conducted on Feb 13, 2021 (Saturday) in the forenoon session from 9:30- 12:30 hrs.

Biotechnology is covered in various engineering branches like Bioinformatics, Biomedical Engineering, and in biotechnology itself.

All GATE qualified candidates will be able to apply for admission in M.Tech courses at IITs, NITs, etc. Other than admission in prestigious institutes candidates can also apply for  GATE PSU Recruitment  based on their GATE scores. Read the article to know more about revised syllabus of Biotechnology, exam pattern, preparation tips, important books, ad much more. 

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GATE 2021 Biotechnology Syllabus

GATE 2021 Biotechnology Syllabus

GATE Biotechnology paper will have questions from topics:

Section 1 – Engineering Mathematics

  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Differential Equations
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Numerical Methods

Section 2 – General Biotechnology

  • Biochemistry 
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology

Section 3 – Genetics, Cellular, and Molecular Biology

  • Genetics and Evolutionary Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Section 4 – Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

  • Engineering principles applied to biological systems
  • Classical thermodynamics and Bioenergetics
  • Trasnport Processes

Section 5 – Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology

  • Bioreaction engineering
  • Upstream and Downstream Processing
  • Instrumentation and Process Control

Section 6 – Plant, Animal and Microbial Biotechnology

  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Microbes

Section 7 – Recombinant DNA technology and Other Tools in Biotechnology

  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • Molecular tools
  • Analytical tools
  • Computational tools

Direct link to download GATE Biotechnology (BT) Syllabus PDF 

Weightage of Important Topics

Weightage of Topics for GATE 2021 Biotechnology Paper 

  • Sample Question 1: The hexapeptide P has an isoelectric point (pI) of 6.9. Hexapeptide Q is a variant of P that contains valine instead of glutamate at position 3. The two peptides are analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis at pH 8.0. Which one of the following statements is CORRECT?
  • Sample Question 2: In pea plants, the purple color of flowers is determined by the dominant allele while white color is determined by the recessive allele. A genetic cross between two purple flower-bearing plants results in an offspring with white flowers. The probability that the third offspring from these parents will have purple flowers is _______ (rounded off to 2 decimal places).
  • Sample Question 3: DNA synthesis in eukaryotes occurs during which phase of the mitotic cell cycle?

Weightage of Sections/Topics

Important Topics Weightage (Marks)
General Aptitude 10
Engineering Mathematics 10-15
Plant and Animal Biotechnology 15-20
Bioprocess Engineering 10-15
Biotechnology 20-25

Check GATE Paper Analysis

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of BT

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of Biotechnology (BT) Paper

  • Mode of Examination: Online
  • Duration of exam: 3 hours
  • Type of questions: MCQs, MSQs, & NATs 
  • Total Sections: 3 sections i.e. General Aptitude, Mathematics, Subject-based
  • Total questions: 65
  • Total marks: 100 marks
  • Negative marking: for MCQs only
Section  Distribution of Marks   Total Marks Types of questions
General Aptitude 5 questions of 1 mark each
5 questions of 2 marks each
15 marks  MCQs
Subject Paper (BT) + Engineering Mathematics 25 questions of 1 mark each
30 questions of 2 marks each 
85 marks MCQs, MSQ and NATs

Marking scheme

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer
MCQ 1/3 for 1 mark questions
2/3 for 2 marks questions
NAT No negative marking 

Check Detailed GATE 2021 Exam Pattern 

Best Books for Biotechnology

Recommended Books for GATE 2021 Biotechnology

Candidates can practice from some of the best books recommended for GATE mentioned below:

gate books
Book  Author/Publication
GATE Guide Biotechnology G.K.P; Publisher- G.K. Publisher
Biotechnology GATE B.M. Agarwal, Akanksha Singhal, Vidhika Goel; Publisher-Arihant Publications
Biotechnology for CSIR- NET, SET, GATE, JNU, AIIMS, JAM Vinita Thakur; Publisher- Himalaya Publication House

How to Prepare for Biotechnology?

Preparation Tips for GATE 2021 Biotechnology Paper

1. Solving Previous Years Papers

  • It is very important for a candidate to solve previous year papers for Biotechnology so that they can idea regarding the type of questions asked in the exam.
  • It also helps in improving the speed of the candidate.
  • The candidate must practice using a stopwatch to improve the speed.
  • Take a note of the mistakes done and try not to repeat them again.
  • You can also get an idea about how to use the virtual calculator for calculations.

Download GATE Practice Papers

2. Improve Speed and Accuracy

  • First of all, you have to work on the accuracy of the answers. 
  • Once you master accuracy then you can automatically gain speed.
  • Both speed and accuracy matters a lot in the exam. 
  • Your accuracy will help in improving your performance in the exam along with your speed.

3. Do not Mix Topics/Sections

  • Candidates are advised not to juggle between two topics or sections at the same time. By doing so you will lose your concentration and confidence.
  • First complete one topics then move for the next topic.
  • The best way to start your preparation is to begin from the basics. Once your basics topics or sections are clear in mind then you can easily solve other relevant topics easily.
  • Do not panic and try to complete your syllabus 2-3 weeks before the exam so that you have ample time for revisions.

4. Follow a Strict Time Table

Time Allotment Activities to Do
5:00 AM to 8:00 AM Revision of Topics
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 Pick up next/incomplete topic
10:00 PM Revise again

5. Maintain Good Health

  • Candidates are advised not to exhaust or overburden themselves. 
  • Try to take frequent breaks for relaxation of body and mind.
  • Do not come under peer pressure. Focus on your preparation only.
  • Eat healthy, exercise and take proper sleep.

Read Preparation Tips from GATE Toppers

GATE Syllabus Of Other Papers

GATE 2021 Syllabus Of Other Papers

 GATE judges a candidate’s expertise in various fields. Candidates can go through the syllabus of other papers as well from the table below:  

GATE 2021 will have Virtual Calculator for the candidates for doing calculations during the exam. Apart from practicing previous years’ papers, candidates must also learn to use GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator. It was first introduced last in 2019 for the candidates as they brought a physical calculator for making calculations during the exam and also to reduce the chances of cheating through unfair means. Candidates can go through the syllabus of their respective subjects from the links provided above. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques: What is the best study material to prepare for GATE 2021 Biotechnology Syllabus?

Ans: The best study material to prepare for GATE 2021 Biotechnology Syllabus is your notes or books from graduation because the syllabus will be based on graduation level. The authorities will release the syllabus and candidates must follow that syllabus only. Some of the important topics are:

  • General Biotechnology
  • Recombinant DNA Technology
  • Plant and Animal Biotechnology
  • Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology

Ques: GATE 2021 Biotechnology Syllabus will be divided into how many sections?

Ans: There will be 3 sections in GATE 2021 Biotechnology Syllabus:

  • General Aptitude – 15%
  • Engineering Mathematics – 13%
  • Core Subject – 72%

Ques: Will there be negative marking in GATE 2021 Biotechnology paper?

Ans: Yes, there will be negative marking in GATE 2021 Biotechnology paper:

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer
MCQ 1/3 for 1 mark questions
2/3 for 2 marks questions
NAT No negative marking 

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

GATE 2021 : 44 answered questions


Ques. Can I get a seat in PEC Chandigarh (MTech CSE) with a GATE score of 400 Gen in the CAT?

● Top Answer By Arunima Sethi on 05 May 21

Ans. No, it is not possible to get a seat in PEC Chandigarh for M.Tech CSE at the GATE score of 400, being in General Category.  For Round 1, GATE 2020 opening score for CSE was 402 and the closing score was 523.  While, during Round 2, the score was between 379-395 for the General category.  The total seats for CSE at PEC Chandigarh is also limited. There are only 30 seats available for the program, out of which only 19 are for General candidates. Seeing my friend’s experience there, I would strongly recommend you to re-attempt the exam and score well. Try to get an opportunity in top engineering institutes like IITs/NITs.  It is not that PEC is a worse institute, but if you prepare well and give GATE again, you might land into your dream college. Also, a Master's is usually the last stage of academic learning for all. So, it is better to invest your Master's degree time in an excellent institute.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Is a stipend available in PEC Chandigarh University through a valid GATE score card?

● Top Answer By Rohini Mishra on 02 May 21

Ans. To put it short, yes, you do get a stipend at the PEC Chandigarh University, but it depends on certain terms and conditions.  Getting an SGPA of at least 6.5 in the semesters is the most important condition. If it is less than required in any semester, your next stipend will not come for the next adjacent half. If you fail to do so in the 1st semester, the stipend for the second semester would be lost.  If you score SGPA more than 6.5 in the second sem, the stipend of third and fourth in the second semester combined will re-continue.  And if you fail to reach 6.5 in the second sem, the stipend of the third and fourth sem will discontinue. As there are no separate examinations for the 3rd and 4th sem to judge the eligibility of stipend.  The stipend for the first semester is received by the students without any conditions, so you need not worry about this, as this depends on your GATE score. Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What do you prefer, the GATE or the IES?

● Top Answer By Keshav Jindal on 25 Feb 21

Ans. I would prefer GATE or IES because in GATE the ratio is 10:1 whereas in IES the ratio is 300:1. This makes IES a very tough competitive exam but in GATE it is easier to get good marks and rank higher as the paper is easy and less competitive compared to IES.  The IES exam is tougher than GATE because here a candidate has to excel both in academics and personality. In GATE the questions are concept based and it is easier to solve if all the concepts are clear. Also in the GATE exam, there are 65 questions and the time limit is 3 hours but in the IES exam there are 120 questions and the time limit is 2 hours. So you get less time to solve all the questions.  After qualifying for your GATE exam with good marks, you can apply to any of the big companies with higher packages and it also opens your gate to apply for PSU.   After qualifying for your IES exam, you will get a job as an assistant executive engineer and after 3-4 years of experience, you will get promoted to executive engineer post. Then after many years of experience of like 20+ years, you will get Chief Engineer posts.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What is the pattern for the written test for M.Tech at IIT Gandhinagar?

● Top Answer By Kumar Shiwam on 24 Feb 21

Ans. The admission for M. Tech at IIT Gandhinagar is done on the basis of academic records, written test, personal interview, and valid GATE scores. Those students who have a good academic record along with good GATE scores are not supposed to appear in the written test and personal interview.  The pattern of the written test is as follows: 10 questions of General aptitude questions consisting of logical analytical and reasoning ability and engineering mathematics are asked. 15-20 questions are asked related to basic courses in various disciplines up to the third year of an undergraduate program. The total duration of the written test is 1 hour for 80 marks. A total of 40 marks for general aptitude and 40 for basic knowledge. There is a negative marking and very basic questions are asked in the test. For branch subjects, all questions are asked related to SOM, fluid mechanics, etc.  The reservation category will get relaxation in the cut-off marks as per the norms. You will also be entitled to and fro sleeper class train tickets for the shortest route from your hometown to the institute. If you pass the test then you will attend the interview on the same day.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What are the best coaching centres for GATE and IES in Civil Engineering?

● Top Answer By Sabeer Chalana on 23 Feb 21

Ans. There are many coaching centers throughout the country for IES and GATE coaching. However, these 2 institutes enjoy a huge reputation and recognition at the national level due to their experienced faculty and their study material quality. Made Easy: It is one of the best in the field when it comes to GATE and IES coaching. They have the best faculty teaching the subjects for the students.  Their specialty lies in their high quality and concise presentation. One of my friends enrolled in the Delhi center weekend coaching program, which he claimed to be good. Their online test series is one of the best you can opt for. They are prepared keeping the present pattern in mind. The number of students enrolled is hefty and gives you a clear picture of the competition. Some criticize that their teaching lacks depth compared to other institutes. Their courses and tests require analytical knowledge and are more than enough to crack GATE/IES exams. IES Masters: This institute is one of the best in this field and has earned respect for its excellence and quality coaching within a short span of its inception. All the major subjects for all batches are handled by Mr. Kanchan Thakur who is the director of the institute. He has a brilliant command over all the subjects in Civil engineering. The study material of this institute is best and is even recommended for those who choose civil engineering as an optional subject in UPSC exams. One small setback is that other faculties than the director are not on par when compared with the faculties of Made Easy. For the GATE Online test series, you can opt for Made easy test series, and for the IES test series you can opt for IES Masters. If you plan to join made easy to enroll in Super Talent Batch which has all top faculties teaching in this batch. For Classroom coaching for civil engineering in GATE/IES, Super talent batch can be preferred if not then IES Masters. For Postal study course, one can opt for IES masters.Read more
1 Answer


sunny pandey
What is the negative marking?
abdul nazir

Hi Sunny, For GATE 2021, exam pattern has been revised with addition of MSQs and NATs with negative marking pattern as follows:

  • There will be no negative marking for MSQs and NATs
  • For MCQ questions of 1 mark, 1/3 will be deducted for wrong answer
  • For MCQ question of 2 marks, 2/3 marks will be deducted for wrong answer

Find more details at GATE 2021 exam pattern.

Can I study from Pathfinder to prepare for Biotechnology paper also?
abdul nazir

Hi Devisingh, Yes Pathfinder has hard copy version for Biotechnology paper as well which is available at most of the e-commerce websites. The books covers topic as per the syllabus. Also GATE website has mock test series that is available free of cost. Find more details at GATE 2021.

deep jyoti das
Which book is good for the preparation of Genetics and genetics engineering for GATE?
abdul nazir

Hi Deep, Unfortunately in GATE there is no subject of genetics or genetic engineering. There are almost 25 subjects with addition of 2 papers this year. The syllabus for every subject is different and candidates are required to choose 1 subject for the exam. To know details visit GATE recommended books.

shubham sharma
How shall I prepare myself for the exam?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi GATE Exam Preparation tips are as follows:

  1. Understanding the GATE syllabus.
  2. Collect important information and resources.
  3. Begin your preparation with dedication.
  4. Make proper revision notes.
  5. Practice tests and Quizzes.
  6. Solve the papers from previous year.
  7. Study only high quality and relevant books.

For more information, please refer, GATE Exam.

ananya pandey
How many seats are there for general candidates?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, Total number of seats are available in IIT 10957 (approx),and 4944 seats are available for general category students. For more information, please refer, GATE Exam.

What is eligibility criteria to give GATE in this subject?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, To appear in GATE 2021, the eligibility is relaxed from minimum 10+2+4 (appearing) to minimum 10+2+3 (appearing).  Candidates who are pursuing their-year B.Tech or UG course are also eligible to appear for GATE 2021. For more information, please refer, GATE Exam.

ammar zaheer ahmed
Which college in India is best for this?

Hi Ammar

Visit on our official website of Top Biotechnology Colleges of India to find the best colleges in India. You will get all the other retaled details about the college.

uma goenka
Where can I get the sample papers for practice?

Hi Uma

You can visit on our official website of GATE Practice Paper to get the practice paper of the exam. YOu will get all the other details about the exam from preparation tips and the important books.

shubham sharma
Which coaching in India is good for preparation?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi Shubham

You can visit on our official website of GATE Online Coaching Preparation to check some of the best coaching center of GATE in India. You can contact them for more information

fauzia shahid
Which topic is tough with high weightage?

Dear Fauzia Shahid

Greetings from Collegedunia. Every topic is easy as you prepare for GATE Examination 2021 with our question papers and mock tests. You can score good marks when you practice our sample papers. For more information, kindly go through this link – GATE 2021 Preparation Tips 

sabreena mohammad
Can a bsc graduate student apply for gate 2021 exam with biotechnology one of its main
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi Sanreena, Yes, This year, The eligibilty to appear for GATE has been changes. Now, the student with 10+ 2+ 3 educational qualification can aso apply for the examination. For more information, please refer to the following link, GATE 2021.