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GATE 2021 Ecology & Evolution (EY) Syllabus, Books and Preparation Tips

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Nikkil Visha

Exams Prep Master | Updated On - Jul 23, 2021

All the questions in GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 are of the graduation level with 85% of the syllabus is from the core subjects. The rest of the 15% is from the General Aptitude section. The candidates who opt for Ecology and Evolution (EY) as their first paper in GATE 2022 can apply for Life Sciences (XL) as their second paper. Check GATE Exam Pattern 2022

GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 consists of questions from five different topics namely- Ecology, Evolution, Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology, Behavioural Ecology, and General Aptitude. The candidates are advised to attempt a good amount of mock tests for GATE 2022 to secure the desired scores in the first attempt. Check GATE Mock Tests

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GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022

The GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 is based on graduation level. Applicants are advised to check the complete syllabus before starting the preparation of the exam. 

Section 1: Ecology

  • Fundamental concepts: Abiotic and biotic components; scales (population, species, community, ecosystems, biomes); niches and habitats
  • Population ecology: Population growth rates (density dependent/independent); metapopulation ecology (colonization, persistence, extinction, patches, sources, sinks); age- structured populations
  • Interactions: Types (mutualism, symbiosis, commensalism, competition, parasitism, predation, etc); ecophysiology (physiological adaptations to abiotic environment); prey- predator interactions (Lotka-Voltera equation etc)
  • Community ecology: Community assembly, organization and succession; species richness, evenness and diversity indices, species-area relationships; theory of island biogeography
  • Ecosystems structure and function: trophic levels and their interactions; nutrient cycles; primary and secondary productivity. 

Section 2: Evolution

  • History of Evolutionary thought: Lamarckism; Darwinism; Modern Synthesis
  • Fundamentals: Variation; heritability; natural selection; fitness and adaptation; types of selection (stabilizing, directional, disruptive)
  • Diversity of life: Origin and history of life on earth; diversity and classification of life; systems of classification (cladistics and phenetics)
  • Life history strategies: Allocation of resources; trade offs; r/K selection; semelparity and iteroparity
  • Interactions: Coevolution (co-adaptations, arms race, Red Queen hypothesis, co- speciation); prey-predator interactions (mimicry, crypsis, etc)
  • Population and Quantitative genetics: Origins of genetic variation; Mendelian genetics; Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; drift; selection (one-locus two-alleles model); population genetic structure (panmixia, gene flow, FST); polygenic traits; gene-environment interactions (phenotypic plasticity); heritability
  • Molecular evolution and phylogenetics: Neutral theory; molecular clocks; rates of evolution; phylogenetic reconstruction; molecular systematics
  • Macroevolution: Species concepts and speciation; adaptive radiation; convergence; biogeography

Section 3: Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology

  • Mathematics and statistics in ecology: Simple functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, etc); concept of derivatives and slope of a function; permutations and combinations; basic probability (probability of random events; sequences of events, etc); frequency distributions and their descriptive statistics (mean, variance, coefficient of variation, correlation, etc).
  • Statistical hypothesis testing: Concept of p-value; Type I and Type II error, test statistics like t-test and Chi-square test; basics of linear regression and ANOVA.

Section 4: Behavioural Ecology

  • Classical Ethology: Instinct; fixed action pattern; imprinting; learnt behavior; proximate and ultimate questions
  • Sensory ecology: Neuroethology; communication (chemical, acoustic and visual signaling); recognition systems
  • Foraging ecology: Foraging behaviour; optimal foraging theory
  • Reproduction: Cost of sex; sexual dimorphism; mate choice; sexual selection (runaway selection, good-genes, handicap principle, etc); sexual conflict; mating systems; parental care
  • Social living: Costs and benefits of group-living (including responses to predators); effect of competition (scramble and contest) on group formation; dominance relationships; eusociality; kin selection; altruism; reciprocity; human behaviour.

Section 5: Applied Ecology & Evolution

  • Biodiversity and conservation: Importance of conserving biodiversity; ecosystem services; threats to biodiversity; invasive species; in-situ conservation (endemism, biodiversity hotspots, protected areas); ex-situ conservation; conservation genetics (genetic diversity, inbreeding depression); DNA fingerprinting and DNA barcoding
  • Disease ecology and evolution: Epidemiology; zoonotic diseases; antibiotic resistance; vector control
  • Plant and animal breeding: Marker assisted breeding; genetic basis of economically important traits
  • Global climate change: Causes; consequences; mitigation

Direct link to download GATE Ecology and Evolution (EY) syllabus PDF 

GATE Ecology & Evolution Exam Pattern 2022

GATE Exam Pattern 2022 differs for all the 27 papers. Here is the exam pattern of Ecology & Evolution 2022: 

  • GATE Ecology and Evolution (EY) consist of 6 sections namely General Aptitude, Ecology, Evolution, Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology, and Behavioural Ecology. 
  • GATE EY will be held in online mode (Computer Based Test) in multiple shifts.
  • GATE EY Question Paper 2022 will comprise a total of 65 questions worth 100 marks. 
  • In GATE EY there will be two types of questions namely- Multiple Choice type (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT).
  • The maximum number of questions in GATE EY will be from the core subject.
  • The duration of GATE EY will be 3 hours.

GATE Ecology and Evolution Marking Scheme 2022

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer Marking for correct answer
  • ⅓ for 1 mark questions.
  • ⅔ for 2 marks questions.
1 or 2 marks
NATs No negative marking  1 or 2 marks

GATE Ecology and Evolution Syllabus 2022: Weightage of Topics 

Given below is the estimated sectional weightage of GATE EY 2022. The students are advised to go through the following. This will enable them to plan their preparation strategy.

Parts No. of Questions Score per Question
General Aptitude 5 1
5 2
Core Subject 25 1
30 2
TOTAL 65 -

Check GATE Previous Year Paper Analysis

GATE Ecology and Evolution Preparation 2022

  • Prepare Time Table: Candidates must schedule their daily time as per their convenience. They must devote 6-8 hours of time fo preparations only. It does not mean you have to study continuously for 8 hours. You can take breaks in between and plan your preparation according to that.
  • Prioritize your syllabus: You can prioritize your syllabus based on the difficulty level, number of topics, etc. Setting up the priority totally depends on candidates that in what order they would like to cover their syllabus. 
  • Take Mock Tests: Candidates must take mock tests to get a better idea about the type of questions and difficulty level of questions. They can also judge their level of performance and preparation. You can also work on your weak areas after appearing for mock tests. Candidates are advised to take the mock tests when their whole syllabus is over. Download GATE Practice Papers
  • Do not Panic: Candidates must complete their syllabus on time and save the last 1-2 weeks for revisions. If you are not able to do so then there is no need to panic. You can go through your notes for quick revision before 3-4 days of the exam also. Revisions are the best way to memorize things.
  • Stay Motivated: Along with hard work, candidates have to stay motivated also. Have faith in yourself and keep preparing for the exam. Do not compare yourself with others. Concentrate on your preparation plan. 

GATE Books for Ecology & Evolution 2022 

Books Author/Publisher
Test & Evaluation: Life Sciences / Biotechnology Pranav Kumar, Pathfinder Academy
Animal Behavior: Mechanisms, Ecology, Evolution Lee C Drickamer, McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts Rudi Jansma, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers
Organic Evolution (Evolutionary Biology) Veer Bala Rastogi, Medtech
Games of Life: Explorations in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Karl Sigmund, Dover Publications

Also Check GATE 2022 Recommended Books

GATE EY Previous Year Question Paper 2022

Given below are the links for GATE EY Previous Year Question Papers along with their answer key. The students are advised to go through the following to improve the skill set. 

Year Link for GATE EY Question Paper Link for GATE EY Answer Key
2021 Check Here Check Here 
2020 Check Here  Check Here 
2019 Check Here  Check Here 
2018 Check Here  Check Here 
2017 Check Here  Check Here 

GATE Ecology & Evolution Sample Questions

Ques. The importance of sleep is often overlooked by students when they are preparing for exams. Research has consistently shown that sleep deprivation greatly reduces the ability to recall the material learnt. Hence, cutting down on sleep to study longer hours can be counterproductive.

Which one of the following statements is the CORRECT inference from the above passage?


Sleeping well alone is enough to prepare for an exam. Studying has lesser benefits.


Students are efficient and are not wrong in thinking that sleep is a waste of time.


If a student is extremely well prepared for an exam, he needs little or no sleep.


To do well in an exam, adequate sleep must be part of the preparation.

Answer: D

Ques. Let X be a continuous random variable denoting the temperature measured. The range of temperature is [0, 100] degree Celsius and let the probability density function of X be f(x) = 0.01 for 0 ≤ X ≤ 100.

The mean of X is _____









Answer: D

Ques. Seven cars P, Q, R, S, T, U and V are parked in a row not necessarily in that order. The cars T and U should be parked next to each other. The cars S and V also should be parked next to each other, whereas P and Q cannot be parked next to each other. Q and S must be parked next to each other. R is parked to the immediate right of V. T is parked to the left of U.

Based on the above statements, the only INCORRECT option given below is:


There are two cars parked in between Q and V.


Q and R are not parked together.


V is the only car parked in between S and R.


Car P is parked at the extreme end.

Answer: A

Ques. Animal species can vary in whether dispersal is more likely among male offspring (male-biased), female offspring (female-biased), or similar between the sexes. Dispersal in birds and mammals is most commonly


female-biased and male-biased, respectively.


female-biased and similar between the sexes, respectively.


male-biased and female-biased, respectively.


similar between the sexes, and female-biased respectively.

Answer: A

Check GATE Practice Papers

GATE 2022 Syllabus of Other Subjects

Candidates who are planning to appear for GATE 2022 can check the syllabus of their preferable subjects from the links provided in the table below: 

GATE Ecology & Evolution Syllabus 2022 FAQs

Ques: What will be major sections in the GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 syllabus?

Ans: GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 syllabus will include General Aptitude and core subject. The syllabus will be based on the topics studied at the graduation level. The maximum number of questions will be asked from the core subject and the remaining questions are from general aptitude.

Ques: What will be the marking scheme in GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 and what will be the weightage of each section?

Ans: The question paper of GATE EY 2022 will have a total of 65 questions worth 100 marks. 

Subjects Allocation of Marks Marks
General Aptitude 15% of total marks 15
Subject Questions 85% of total marks 85

Ques: Do we get an option to select either ecology or evolution in GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans: No. There will be no such option. Ecology and evolution is one subject and candidates will have to attempt all the questions related to these subjects. General Aptitude and engineering mathematics are also compulsory to attempt.

Ques: How many topics are there in the GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans: The core syllabus of GATE Ecology and Evolution 2022 will be divided into 5 parts or sections:

  • Section 1 – Ecology
  • Section 2 – Evolution
  • Section 3 – Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology
  • Section 4 – Behavioural Ecology
  • Section 5 – Applied Ecology & Evolution
  • General Aptitude

Ques: Which other subject can be chosen along with Ecology & Evolution in GATE EY 2022?

Ans. Candidates who are planning to appear for GATE EY paper as their first paper in GATE 2022 can only opt for GATE Life Sciences (XL) as their second paper. 

Ques: What is the overall difficulty level and paper analysis of GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans. The difficulty level of GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 is moderate. Check GATE Paper Analysis to find the detailed analysis of GATE Ecology and Evolution 2022. 

Ques: Which is the subject code for GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans. The subject code for GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 is EY. The candidates are advised to go through the eligibility criteria before appearing for GATE 2022. Check GATE Eligibility Criteria 2022 

Ques: What is the distribution of questions in the GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans. GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 question paper will consist of 65 questions worth 100 marks and candidates need to solve the paper in three hours. The general aptitude section will have questions worth 10 marks and the core subjects will be for around 55 marks. 

*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 : 11 answered questions


Ques. What is the GATE cut off for MS by research program at IIT Madras mechanical branch?

● Top Answer By Kunal Patil on 23 Jul 21

Ans. There is no cut-off score of GATE which is needed for MS by research at IIT Madras mechanical branch. IIT Madras follows a three-step process for admitting students. GATE Initial Screening - You will need at least 65% in your undergraduate and a decent GATE score of around 600+ to get a call for the written exam. This GATE score changes each year based on the number of applicants, the difficulty level of the exam, and various other factors. Written Examination - A written offline or online test will be conducted by the institute next. The syllabus is the same as that of GATE. Interview - If you qualify the cut-off score set internally for the written exam, you will sit for an interview with a panel of professors. Now finally after the whole process is completed, they will release results and offer admissions. The weightage followed by the institute for the final merit list is as follows. Undergraduate percentage - 20% GATE Score - 40% Interview - 40% So, there is no fixed cut-off GATE score for MS at IITM. Read more
1 Answer

Ques. How did you prepare for signal and systems for the GATE?

● Top Answer By Aniket Ranjan on 08 Jan 21

Ans. While there is no set rule for preparing for the signal and systems module of GATE, there are usually two routes or a combination of both that is advised to students. You can either focus on theoretical books and samples like Julius O Smith to study or you can follow online learning tutorials like Edx open software to get clear concepts. Preparation Tips: To begin with, students must always have an in-depth understanding of the foundation subjects. This means starting your study module from between will only cause you to have unclear concepts. It is an exceptionally important topic, and hence students must focus on understanding the concept of Impulse Response and Convolution. Learn the impact of shifting and scaling operations on the waveform to understand continuous and discrete-time signals. For problem-solving questions, it is important to focus on Properties of transforms, analysis and synthesis equations, and common transform pairs. If you have the time, try to learn about all the properties since it can be asked as a direct question. The Fourier transform and Laplace transform are two very important concepts that can contribute to higher marks because of its direct approach. Students must also study the final value and initial value theorem with stability verification. The idea of stability and causality in Z Transform and Laplace can be very scoring if system properties need to be identified from the pole-zero plot. Students can also practice drawing two separate types of waveforms keeping sampling frequency and Nyquist frequency in mind. The concepts of Nyquist Rate, Nyquist Frequency, and Band-Pass sampling theorem are all incredibly important. Study Material: For practicing and learning materials students can find the following. Main Text Book by Schaum series Signal Systems by Prof SC Dutta Roy or Oppenheim Kreatryx Practice Question booklets GATE questions from previous years Signals & Systems has the highest weightage of marks and so it can easily become a high-scoring subject if prepared well. Practicing a large number of problems while understanding core concepts is mandatory to get a score in the subject. Keeping these points in mind will surely help students in getting a good score in signals and systems for GATE.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What German Universities give admissions through GATE?

● Top Answer By Indrita Ganguly on 08 Jan 21

Ans. German Universities are a great option for Indian students that are looking for well-designed academic courses in Engineering and Technology on a master’s level. While the main exams that are required for admissions in German Universities are mandatory TOEFL scores and GRE in some institutions, there are some universities that also accept GATE scores. Universities across Germany focus more on students’ academic performance as opposed to entrance test scores. Students are required to submit a subject-wise score sheet where they are then assessed based on the average credit score for each subject. Additionally, GATE scores only help add to your academic transcripts and increase your credibility for admissions. Students are selected based on their overall profile, including SOP, Resume, credit work, academic transcripts, work experience, entrance test scores, and more. There are two major Universities in Germany where GATE scores are valid and can be submitted to enhance your profile. Technical University of Munich (TUM): Known to be one of the leading universities in Germany, TUM accepts GATE scores and require Indian students to additionally provide relevant IELTS or TOEFL scores along with it. Students can apply for master’s programs in the faculty of Civil Engineering and Survey, Mechanical Engineering, Information Technology, and Electrical Engineering with a valid GATE score. Apart from having good scores in GATE and TOEFL, students are also required to have relevant scores in a BTech degree in order to be considered for admissions at TUM. The application process at the institute for the September semester begins in January. RWTH Aachen University: The university offers degrees in collaboration with the Imperial School of London and offers admissions for Master’s programs based on relevant IELTS/TOEFL and GATE scores. The main faculties that accept GATE scores are Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Geophysics, Computer Engineering, and Automotive Engineering. Students are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study in engineering. Students must have a minimum score of 90 percentile in GATE. Applications for the summer semester begin in September and the winter semester begins in March. The given information should be helpful for students looking to apply to Universities in Germany with GATE scores.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Can I get admissions to IIT’s without GATE?

● Top Answer By Bhavya Rawal on 08 Jan 21

Ans. GATE is an online competitive exam conducted for qualification to ME, MTech, or P.hD. programs for admissions in top institutions like IIT, NIT, IIIT, and other institutes in India. It is conducted on the behalf of NCB and the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India. For admissions in any of the IIT branches, students have a few other alternatives to get qualified than just appearing for GATE. Admissions can be given under the given circumstances: Eligibility: Students who have graduated in Engineering with a degree from IIT are exempted from appearing for GATE examinations and can directly apply and appear for a written test. Students who have completed their BTech degree from another university but have a minimum CGPA of 8.0 and above consistently in the last two years, need not appear for GATE. These students can directly appear for the written test and personal interview round. Institute: Students who have an Engineering degree from a Centrally Funded Technical Institute (CFTI) and have a high CGPA of above 8.0 can be exempted from appearing for GATE. The criteria are only accessible within certain campuses of IIT depending upon the branch of study chosen. Sponsored category: Some IIT campuses also offer direct admissions under the sponsored category for top industry personnel or for individuals in academia. For high-level academicians, admissions to Master’s or Ph.D. programs can be done under the Quality Improvement Program (QIP). Integrated Course: For students who do not want to appear for GATE but are still looking at a master’s degree from IIT, you can opt for the 5-year integrated program (MTech+PhD). In order to be eligible for admissions to this program, students must mandatorily have a CGPA of 7.5 and above in a relevant field of Engineering. Furthermore, students who have more than 2 years of work experience and are working for companies that have any links with IIT and sponsor students for master’s courses can be exempted from providing GATE scores for admissions.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Which is the best option for the GATE CSE branch in Bangalore: Ace Academy, Gate Forum, Gate Academy, or Ravindra Babu Ravula's GATE videos?

● Top Answer By Aniket Atul Mahulikar on 04 Dec 20

Ans. For GATE preparation in Bangalore, given the choice between Ace Academy, GATE Forum, Ravindra Babu Ravula’s GATE videos, and Gate Academy and Ravindra Babu Ravula’s videos will be the best option. Ravindra Babu Ravula’s GATE videos: High-quality video lectures that explain concepts in a lucid manner. He teaches to make your own logic instead of memorizing technical concepts without understanding. It has lower fees compared to other options. You can see his videos at any time according to your convenience. It is the perfect solution for working professionals who are thinking of taking the GATE. If you are comfortable studying alone in your own home, then subscribing to Ravindra Babu Ravula’s GATE videos is a no-brainer. From the above points, the order of preference would be Ravindra Babu Ravula’s GATE videos>>> Ace academy>>Gate forum>Gate Academy.Read more
1 Answer


How many fields in engineering is available with GATE paper

Dear Pradeepraj

Greetings from Collegedunia. IIT Bombay is conducting the GATE 2021 Examination in all 27 subjects of Engineering. It is expected to be conducted in February, 2021 and the cut-off will be released in the month of March 2021. For more details, kindly go through this link – GATE Cut-Off 2021

uma goenka
How many fields in engineering is available with GATE paper

Dear Uma Goenka

Greetings from Collegedunia. The GATE Examination 2021 is conducted for 27 subjects and you have the choice to select 2 subjects for Paper 2 while Paper 1 General Aptitude. For more details, kindly go through this link – GATE 2021 Syllabus & Pattern

I am a GATE 2021 aspirant from Biotechnology background. Should i also study GK and Reasoning?
rakhisree chatterjee


Preparation Tips for GATE 2021 Biotechnology Paper

  1. Solving Previous Years Papers. 
  2. Improve Speed and Accuracy. 
  3. Do not Mix Topics/Sections. 
  4. Follow a Strict Time Table. 
  5. Maintain Good Health.
Can I get ebooks of the subject online or is it not available?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, Yes, You can download the ebooks online from any coaching center’s website.

saurav kumar
Which topic must be focused more to get a good score?

Dear Saurav Kumar

Greetings from Collegedunia. The topics from core subjects contribute to 72% marks out of total marks. So, the focus should be on core subjects by the Applicants to get a good score in GATE Examination. For more details, kindly go through this link – GATE 2021 Syllabus