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GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme and Weightage of Topics

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Nikkil Visha

Exams Prep Master

The exam pattern of GATE Electrical Engineering has been revised for this year. As per the new exam pattern, candidates can now sit for a maximum of two papers. Also, the weightage of the core subject syllabus has been changed to 72% from 70% and of engineering mathematics to 13% from 15%. The weightage of general aptitude syllabus is the same i.e. 15%. 

  • If you are planning to appear for GATE EE as your first paper then you can only opt for IN as your second paper. On the other hand, if you have opted for GATE IN as your first paper then you can select for paper from EC/ EE/ PH. 
  • The syllabus of GATE Electrical Engineering has also been revised with the addition of various new topics. The candidates are suggested to refer to the syllabus while preparing for GATE as it will help you in building a good preparation strategy. Check GATE 2021 EE Syllabus

GATE EE exam pattern includes details like mode of examination, total questions, sections in the paper, marking scheme, and other information beneficial for the candidates appearing for the exam. Candidates can read the article to know more about exam pattern, marking scheme, weightage of topics, and much more. 

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Highlights of GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering Exam Pattern

  • Question types will be Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), Multiple Select Questions (MSQs), and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions. There will be negative marking for MCQs but not for NAT questions
  • GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering paper has three parts including General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics, and Subject-specific part.
  • GATE Subject Wise Weightage for Electrical Engineering will assist the GATE aspirants to create a strong and beneficial preparation strategy to score higher in the GATE 2021 Electrical Exam.
Feature Description
Exam Duration 3 hours (180 minutes)
Number of Questions 65
Total Marks 100
Questions Type There will be two question types: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions
Total sections 3: General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics and subject paper
Weightage by Section General Aptitude – 15% of total marks Engineering Mathematics – 13% of total marks Civil Engineering Subjects – 72% of total marks

Why is Knowledge of Exam Pattern important?

Knowing the exam pattern of GATE 2021 will assist the candidates to understand all the important details about the question paper which in turn will help them to prepare in a better way. The official brochure will be released by IIT in the PDF format and the candidates appearing for this exam must stay aware that the GATE 2021 consists of multiple-choice questions, Multiple Select Questions and numerical type questions (MCQs, MSQs & NAT). Also, the overall marking schemes for different papers vary from each other and the candidates are suggested to check for it individually.

According to the latest GATE exam pattern, General aptitude subjects will remain the same in all the question papers while other subjects will vary based on the GATE paper candidate opt for.

GATE is designed to test the candidates’ abilities in various grounds and to test their abilities, the paper will be designed in the following way:

  • The questions asked in the GATE 2021 paper will be directly linked to the basic principles, facts, formula, or laws of the paper which the candidates have selected.
  • There will be questions that will judge the basic understanding of the students appearing for the test in their respective fields of study. Therefore, the candidates must pay a detailed focus on the fundamental ideas to draw out simple conclusions.
  • The candidates are supposed to apply their computational and logical reasoning skills while giving the answers to the solutions.
  • The questions will include a combination of data, diagrams and images, and the candidates are expected to solve the questions by analyzing the information contained in them.

GATE EE Exam Pattern

Details of GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering Exam Pattern

Type of Question

  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
  • Numerical Answer Type (NAT)
  • Multiple Select Questions (MSQs) ​

Sections: There will be three sections in the question paper including:

  • General aptitude
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Subject selected by the candidates
Paper Exam pattern
GATE Electrical Engineering GA (General Aptitude) – 15% Engineering Mathematics – 13% The subject of the Paper – 72%

General Aptitude Section: Every paper will include a general aptitude part which all the candidates are expected to attempt. The section will have 10 questions. Out of the 10 questions, 5 questions carries weightage of one marks while the rest of the 5 questions will be of 2 marks. The total marks of the section will be 15 marks.

Total Questions: 65 Questions

Know More GATE 2021 Exam Pattern 

Details of Marking Scheme

Marking Scheme of GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering

  • Marking Scheme: For 1 Mark MCQs, one-third marks will be deducted for every wrong attempt while for 2 Mark MCQs two-third marks will be deducted in case the candidates give wrong answers. The answers that are left unanswered, no marks will be given nor any marks will be deducted.
  • Negative marking: No marks will be deducted for the wrong answers in Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions and MSQs. 

The subject wise weightage in GATE EE paper is:

Discipline Subject Number of Questions Marks
Civil Engineering (CE) Engineering Mathematics 10 13
General Aptitude 10 15
Civil Engineering Subjects 45 72
Total 65 100

Marking Scheme:

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer Marking for correct answer
MCQs 1/3 for 1 mark questions 2/3 for 2 marks questions 1 or 2 marks
NATs No negative marking  1 or 2 marks

List of Important Topics

Important Topics of GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering Paper

Subject Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics

Linear Algebra

Different Equations


Difficult Variables



Transform Theory

Electrical Engineering

Electric Circuits

Electromagnetic Fields

Signals and Systems

Electrical Machines

Control Systems

Sample questions from Important Topics

Question carrying one marks

  • Q.1 Ramesh, an __________________ writer, passed away in 2000.

(A) imminent (B) prominent (C) eminent (D) dominant

Correct answer is C

  • Q.2 ____ I permitted him to leave, I wouldn’t have had any issue with him being absent, _____ I?

(A) Had, wouldn’t (B) Have, would (C) Had, would (D) Have, wouldn’t

Correct answer is C

  • Q.3 An employee noticed that the hour hand on the office clock had moved by 225 degrees during his stay at the office. For how long did he stay in the factory?

(A) 3.75 hours (B) 4 hours and 15 mins (C) 8.5 hours (D) 7.5 hours

Correct answer is D

Question carrying two marks

  • Q.1 The set of equations x + y + z = 1; ax – ay + 3z = 5; 5x − 3y + az = 6 has infinite solutions, in case a = (A) −3 (B) 3 (C) 4 (D) −4

Correct answer is C

  • Q.2 A harmonic function is analytic if it satisfies the Laplace equation. If u(x, y) = 2x; 2 − 2y; 2 + 4xy is a harmonic function, then the conjugate harmonic function v(x, y) is

(A) 4xy − 2x, 2 + 2y, 2 + constant (B) 4y, 2 − 4xy + constant (C) 2x, 2 − 2y, 2 + xy + constant

(D) −4xy + 2y, 2 − 2x, 2 + constant

Correct answer is A

  • Q.3 The variable x takes a value between 0 and 10 with a uniform probability distribution. The variable y takes a value that varies from 0 and 20 with a uniform probability distribution. The probability of the total of variables (x + y) to be more than 20 is (A) 0 (B) 0.25 (C) 0.33 (D) 0.50

Correct answer is B

 Download GATE Instrumentation Engineering Practice Papers

Weightage of Important Topics

Weightage of Important topics in GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering 

  • In GATE 2021, General Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics will be compulsory sections which will hold almost 28% weightage in total marks in GATE papers including Electrical Engineering as well.
  • The remaining 72% weightage is given to the subject opted by the GATE aspirants.

General Aptitude

Section Topics Paper 2019 (Marks weightage) Paper 2018 (Marks Weightage)
Verbal Ability Verbal Analogies Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks)- 5+5 Total Weightage- 15 Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks)- 2+2 Total Weightage- 6
English Grammar
Numerical Ability Numerical computation Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks)- 3+3 Total Weightage- 9 -
Numerical Estimation
Numerical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

Engineering Mathematics

Section Topics Paper 2019 (Marks weightage) Paper 2018 (Marks Weightage)
Engineering Mathematics Linear Algebra Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks)- 6+3 Total Weightage- 12 Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks)- 4+5 Total Weightage- 9
Differential equations
Complex variables Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks)- 3+3 Total Weightage- 9 -
Probability and Statistics
Numerical Methods

Electrical Engineering

Topic Number of Questions Total Marks
Signal and System  6 9
Electromagnetic  2 3
Electric Machines  8 12
Analog Circuits  5 8
Digital Circuits 2 2
Network Theory 6 10
Power System  8 13
Control System 5 8
Power Electronics  7 11
Electrical Measurement 2 3

Overall Marking Scheme

Stream Subject Number of Question Marks
Electrical Engineering (EE) Engineering Mathematics 10 15
General Aptitude 10 15
EE Subjects 45 70
Total 65 100

Check GATE EE Paper Analysis

Books for Electrical Engineering

Best Books for GATE 2021 Electrical Engineering

Referring to the right kind of books and study materials is important as it help the students in improving their preparations. The students preparing using the right books have higher chances of securing good marks in the exam. Following are some of the topic-wise list of some books that will help the students in their GATE 2021 preparations.

  • Signals and Systems- By Oppenheim
  • Control Systems- By Nagrath Gopal
  • Advanced Engg Maths- By Kreyszig
  • Digital Design- By Morris Mano

Know More Best Books for GATE 2021

What is Electrical Engineering & its Scope?

  • The students preparing for the GATE Electrical Engineering exam need to study harder to get a seat in a master’s program. 
  • The study of the application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism, is being referred to as Electrical Engineering and the graduates post completing their course can explore wider job opportunities in hardware companies, large power plants, etc. 
  • GATE exam acts as a gateway to get admission in top engineering colleges in India like IITs, NITs or IIITs that can help them to get booming job opportunities post completing their studies. 
  • Also, Electrical Engineering graduates can pursue postgraduate engineering courses (MTech) in Electrical Engineering to get expertise in their particular field.
  • The flourishing career is only possible in case the candidates follow a very effective study plan and beat the competition as almost 10 lakh candidates take part in GATE 2020 which will grow in 2021.

Important Instructions for candidates

Important Instructions for candidates

  • GATE will be taken only in online mode (Computer Based Test mode).
  • The entire duration of the exam is 3 hours. All the questions asked in the GATE 2021 will be based on the syllabus pattern announced by IIT.
  • There will be two types of questions including multiple-choice questions and Numerical Answer Type Questions that are asked in the exam.
  • While attempting MCQs, the candidates are supposed to select one answer from the given 4 options while in the NAT questions, the candidates are supposed to mention the correct answer through the virtual keyboard.
  • Candidates will also be offered a scribble pad for doing the rough work and calculations.
  • Try solving more question papers and sample papers so that you can develop an understanding of the course pattern.
  • Take more online mock tests that will ace your preparations.

Things prohibited inside GATE exam center 

  • Physical calculators, wristwatches, and mobile phones are strictly prohibited inside the examination centers.
  • For the ease and comfort of the candidates, a virtual calculator will be offered to the candidates.

The candidates preparing for the GATE exam are advised to check the paper pattern and guidelines that needs to be followed on exam day. Knowing the GATE pattern beforehand will offer numerous benefits to the students in GATE preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques: Is there any change in the type of questions to be asked in GATE Electrical Engineering Paper?

Ans: GATE EE paper will primarily consist of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Multiple Select Questions (MSQs) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions. 

  • MCQs are objective questions that carry 1 or 2 marks in all sections. Every question will have 4 choices out of which only 1 is the correct answer. 
  • NAT questions carry 1 or 2 marks in all sections. The answers to these questions are numerical values that are to be entered using a virtual keypad. No choices are given for these questions.
  • In MSQs, questions will have a choice of four answers. Out of which, one or more than one choice(s) are correct.

Ques: How many questions will be there in the paper?

Ans: There will be a total of 65 questions. From general aptitude 10 questions, from engineering mathematics 10 questions, and the remaining question will be asked from core subject syllabus. 

Ques: What is the difference between NAT and MCQs?

Ans: MCQs are the multiple-choice questions. In this type of question, you will have 4 options and you have to select the right option. Whereas in NAT there will be no option and candidates have to calculate the answer and write their answer by using the virtual keyword. 

Ques: What is the weightage 3 sections in GATE Electrical Engineering Paper? 

Ans: The weighatge of GATE Electrical Engineering has been revised this year.

  • GA (General Aptitude) – 15%
  • Engineering Mathematics – 13%
  • The subject of the Paper – 72%

Ques: Are there any changes in GATE Electrical Engineering Syllabus? 

Ans: Yes. GATE Electrical Engineering syllabus has been revised with the addition of some new topics. Also some of the topics are removed so all the candidates are advised to check the revised syllabus before starting their preparation. 

*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


ashish singh
Does it include the complete syllabus of BE?

Dear Ashish Singh

Greetings from Collegedunia. The complete syllabus of B.E is included in the GATE Examination in various specializations. It contributes to a weightage of 15% marks out of total marks. For more details, kindly go through this link – GATE 2021 Syllabus