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GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC) Syllabus, Preparation Tips and Books

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Nikkil Visha

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GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Engineering Syllabus includes 3 sections namely General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics, and core subject topics. The weightage of the core subject syllabus in the exam is 72% and 13% of Engineering Mathematics &  15% for General Aptitude. To score good marks in GATE 2021 candidates should prepare from the revised syllabus of Electronics and Communications Engineering​. 

Electronics and Communications Engineering is an engineering field that deals with electronic devices, circuits, communication equipment like transmitter, receiver, integrated circuits (IC). Candidates choosing EC as their first paper can either sit for IN or PH as their second paper based on the revised exam pattern. Check GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

GATE Electronics and Communication Engineering paper is scheduled to be conducted on Day 3 i.e., Feb 7, 2021 (Sunday) in the afternoon session from 15:00- 18:00 hrs. 

After scoring good marks in GATE 2021, candidates can apply for M.Tech courses offered at IITs, NITs, etc. Moreover, they can also apply for  GATE PSU Recruitment  process. The validity of scores is 3 years from the date of announcement of results. Candidates are advised to go through the article to know more about revised syllabus, exam patterns, books, and preparation tips.

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GATE 2021 EC Syllabus

GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Engineering Syllabus

Electronics and Communications Engineering syllabus is divided into 8 sections. The detailed syllabus is as follow:

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

  • Linear Algebra: Vector space, basis, linear dependence and independence, matrix algebra, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, rank, solution of linear equations- existence and uniqueness.
  • Calculus: Mean value theorems, theorems of integral calculus, evaluation of definite and improper integrals, partial derivatives, maxima and minima, multiple integrals, line, surface and volume integrals, Taylor series.
  • Differential Equations: First order equations (linear and nonlinear), higher order linear differential equations, Cauchy's and Euler's equations, methods of solution using variation of parameters, complementary function and particular integral, partial differential equations, variable separable method, initial and boundary value problems.
  • Vector Analysis: Vectors in plane and space, vector operations, gradient, divergence and curl, Gauss's, Green's and Stokes’ theorems.
  • Complex Analysis: Analytic functions, Cauchy’s integral theorem, Cauchy’s integral formula, sequences, series, convergence tests, Taylor and Laurent series, residue theorem.
  • Probability and Statistics: Mean, median, mode, standard deviation, combinatorial probability, probability distributions, binomial distribution, Poisson distribution, exponential distribution, normal distribution, joint and conditional probability.

Section 2: Networks, Signals, and Systems

  • Circuit analysis: Node and mesh analysis, superposition, Thevenin's theorem, Norton’s theorem, reciprocity. Sinusoidal steady state analysis: phasors, complex power, maximum power transfer. Time and frequency domain analysis of linear circuits: RL, RC and RLC circuits, solution of network equations using Laplace transform.
  • Linear 2-port network parameters, wye-delta transformation.
  • Continuous-time signals: Fourier series and Fourier transform, sampling theorem and applications.
  • Discrete-time signals: DTFT, DFT, z-transform, discrete-time processing of continuous-time signals. LTI systems: definition and properties, causality, stability, impulse response, convolution, poles and zeroes, frequency response, group delay, phase delay.

Section 3: Electronic Devices

  • Energy bands in intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, equilibrium carrier concentration, direct and indirect band-gap semiconductors.
  • Carrier transport: diffusion current, drift current, mobility and resistivity, generation and recombination of carriers, Poisson and continuity equations.
  • P-N junction, Zener diode, BJT, MOS capacitor, MOSFET, LED, photo diode and solar cell.

Section 4: Analog Circuits

  • Diode circuits: clipping, clamping and rectifiers.
  • BJT and MOSFET amplifiers: biasing, ac coupling, small signal analysis, frequency response.
  • Current mirrors and differential amplifiers.
  • Op-amp circuits: Amplifiers, summers, differentiators, integrators, active filters, Schmitt triggers and oscillators.

Section 5: Digital Circuits

  • Number representations: binary, integer and floating-point- numbers.
  • Combinatorial circuits: Boolean algebra, minimization of functions using Boolean identities and Karnaugh map, logic gates and their static CMOS implementations, arithmetic circuits, code converters, multiplexers, decoders.
  • Sequential circuits: latches and flip-flops, counters, shift-registers, finite state machines, propagation delay, setup and hold time, critical path delay.
  • Data converters: sample and hold circuits, ADCs and DACs.
  • Semiconductor memories: ROM, SRAM, DRAM.
  • Computer organization: Machine instructions and addressing modes, ALU, data-path and control unit, instruction pipelining.

Section 6: Control Systems

  • Basic control system components; Feedback principle; Transfer function; Block diagram representation; Signal flow graph; Transient and steady-state analysis of LTI systems; Frequency response; Routh-Hurwitz and Nyquist stability criteria; Bode and root-locus plots; Lag, lead and lag-lead compensation; State variable model and solution of state equation of LTI systems.

Section 7: Communications

  • Random processes: autocorrelation and power spectral density, properties of white noise, filtering of random signals through LTI systems.
  • Analog communications: amplitude modulation and demodulation, angle modulation and demodulation, spectra of AM and FM, superheterodyne receivers.
  • Information theory: entropy, mutual information and channel capacity theorem.
  • Digital communications: PCM, DPCM, digital modulation schemes (ASK, PSK, FSK, QAM), bandwidth, inter-symbol interference, MAP, ML detection, matched filter receiver, SNR and BER.
  • Fundamentals of error correction, Hamming codes, CRC.

Section 8: Electromagnetics

  • Maxwell's equations: differential and integral forms and their interpretation, boundary conditions,wave equation, Poynting vector.
  • Plane waves and properties: reflection and refraction, polarization, phase and group velocity, propagation through various media, skin depth.
  • Transmission lines: equations, characteristic impedance, impedance matching, impedance transformation, S-parameters, Smith chart.
  • Rectangular and circular waveguides, light propagation in optical fibers, dipole and monopole antennas, linear antenna arrays.

Direct link to download GATE Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC) syllabus PDF 

Weightage of Important Topics

GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Engineering – Important Topics & Weightage

  • Sample Question 1:
  • Sample Question 2:

Weightage of Sections/Topics

Section 1 Mark 2 Mark No.of Ques
Engineering Mathematics  5 4 9
Engineering Mechanics 0 2 2
Strength of Materials 5 4 9
Design of Machine Elements 0 1 1
Theory of Machines 1 2 3
Vibrations 0 1 1
Fluid mechanics 4 3 7
Thermal Science 5 4 9
Heat Transfer  1 1 2
Manufacturing Science 4 6 10
Industrial Engineering 0 2 2
Verbal Ability 3 2 5
Numerical Ability 2 3 5

Check Detailed GATE EC Paper Analysis

GATE 2021 EC Exam Pattern

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of Electronics and Communication Engineering

  • Exam Mode: Online
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Types of questions: MCQs and NAT
  • Sections: 3 sections – General Aptitude, Mathematics and Subject-based
  • Total questions: 65 questions
  • Total marks: 100 marks
  • Negative Marking: For MCQs only
Section  Total Marks
General Aptitude 15% of the total marks
Engineering Mathematics 13% of the total marks
Subject-Based (ME) 72% of the total marks

Marking scheme

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer

1/3 for 1 mark questions

2/3 for 2 marks questions

NATs No negative marking 

Read More GATE Exam Pattern 

Important Books for GATE EC

GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Engineering Syllabus – Best Books

Book Name Author/Publisher
Microelectronic Circuits: Theory and Applications Adel S. Sedra, Kenneth C. Smith, Edition: 6
Fundamentals of Electric Circuits Charles K. Alexander, Matthew N. O. Sadiku, Edition: 5
Automatic Control Systems Benjamin C. Kuo, Edition: 9
Digital Logic and Computer Design M. Morris Mano, Edition: 1
Principles of Communication Systems Goutam Saha, Herbert Taub, Donald Schilling, Edition: 3

Check More GATE EC Books 

How to Prepare for GATE EC Paper?

Preparation Tips for GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Engineering Paper

1. Division of Syllabus

  • Candidates should divide their syllabus based on priority. There are various factors to set the priority like on the basis of difficulty level, on the basis of weightage of marks, etc.
  • With a proper division of syllabus, it will become easy to cover the syllabus in a particular period of time.
  • The main motive to divide the topics or sections is that you can easily complete the syllabus when divided into small portions. 

2. Set Right Targets

  • Candidates must set some targets. For example, you can set a target that I will complete 6 topics in a particular week. This is also called a target based study plan and when you fulfill one target then it gives you a feeling of achievement which in return boost your level of confidence. 
  • Do not overburden yourself and set up easy targets.

Read Preparation Tips of GATE Topper

3. Time Divison

Time Allotment Activities to Do
5:00 AM to 8:00 AM Revision Time
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM Take a Break
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM Start new Topic
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Take a Break
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Complete the remaining topic
10:00 PM Again go through your Notes 

4. Practice Papers

  • Practice papers will help you in getting an idea about the exam pattern, type of questions asked the paper, difficulty level of questions, weightage given to topics or sections, etc.
  • You can also improve your speed and accuracy.
  • Candidates should practice 1-2 papers in every 3-4 days.
  • Do not get demotivated if you are not able to solve the questions. Observe your weaker areas and try to work on them.

Download GATE Practice Papers

5. Confidence and Motivation

  • Keep yourself motivated and believe in yourself.
  • Do not compare yourself with your friends. Focus on your preparations.
  • Try to avoid distractions like T.V, social media, etc.
  • Take frequent breaks for relaxation and keep up the good health.

Syllabus Of Other Papers

Candidates who are planning to appear for GATE can go through the syllabus of their respective subjects from the links provided in the table above. 

*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 : 42 answered questions


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

Ques. Which will be a better career for ECE engineers, IBPS SO or PSU via the GATE?

● Top Answer By Vaishnavi Agrawal on 19 Feb 21

Ans. Some of my friends work in both the departments and based on their experience, I can answer this. If you look at the position of an IBPS SO, it's that of a specialist officer. You'd technically be a network administrator of all of the intra networks of the bank. You'd be a database administrator/database manager who would have the entire intra network of that particular bank under your supervision.  Now if you look at the PSU job, you'd be someone who would be responsible for sustaining the technicalities concerning PSU. Your enquiry on which one is better entirely is up to you and where your interest lies. While some might opt for GATE which concerns their core subjects entirely, others simply might find their area of interest in networking. So, decide for yourself and choose what suits you and not the rest.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What is the difference between IES and GATE?

● Top Answer By Himani Arora on 17 Feb 21

Ans. GATE and IES, are very well known among graduate engineers. The IES exam is carried out annually by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the GATE exam is administered by Bangalore's Indian Institute of Science (IISc) or any of the seven IITs. Syllabus and paper pattern: The complete engineering syllabus is covered by the IES exam, while GATE covers a portion of this syllabus and some other topics useful for higher studies.  While GATE tests problem-solving ability, IES tests conceptual capability.  The IES exam paper contains questions of the objective and subjective type and a total of 4 papers, while the GATE exam paper only contains questions of the objective type and only 1 paper.  Only in the subjective paper, a calculator is allowed. Difficulty Level & Duration: It will be much more difficult to solve the questions you will face in GATE than in IES.  In a single problem, GATE questions require you to apply many concepts. For that, you should have good problem-solving skills.  While most of the questions asked in IES are direct formula or a single concept based. In GATE, in 3 hours, you have to solve 65 questions that are approximately 2.5 minutes per question.  On the other hand, you have 120 questions in 2 hours to solve in IES. So, 1 minute per question which means you get nearly 2.5 times more “time” per question in GATE. But the difficulty level compensates for it. Category of PSUs and Job Scope: UPSC conducts IES examination to recruit candidates under the Govt for different engineering departments (mechanical, electrical, civil, and E&T).  Around India, The departments you get through IES are Indian Railway Service of Engineers, Indian Railway Stores Service, Indian Ordnance Factories Service AWM/JTS., Central Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Service, Geological Survey of India Engineering Service Gr ‘A’, Central Engineering Service (Roads), Gr ‘A’, Central Water Engineering Service Gr ‘A’, Indian Defence Service of Engineers, Central Power Engineering Service Gr ‘B’ and so on. The GATE exam is organized for higher studies (, PH. Ed. etc) and for placements in PSUs and Govt. Organizations. From the above-mentioned factual information, the difference between the two should be clear. Rest all depends on your choice what you opt for.Read more
1 Answer


ammar zaheer ahmed
What is the exam pattern?
abdul nazir

Hi Ammar, In 2021 GATE exam, 2 subjects have been added making it to a total of 27 subjects to choose from. Students have choice to sttend 1 or maximum 2 papers.

  • GATE will be an online test of 3 hour duration with total 65 questions of 100 marks
  • There will be 3 sections of General Aptitude, Mathematical Engineering and Core subject specific
  • There will be addition of Multiple Select Question and Numerical Answer Type Questions with no negative marking

To get more details visit GATE 2021 exam pattern.

kunal thakrar
What is the marking scheme?
common admission test

Hii kunal, GATE 2021 consists of 65 questions carrying 100 marks.  For MCQ type questions +1 or 2 marks will be awarded for correct answers whereas 1/3 marks will be deducted for 1 mark question and 2/3 for 2 mark questions. No negative marking is there in NAT and MSQs. For more details Click Here

How many questions are asked in this section?

Hi Harssham

There are total 65 question in the Electronics and Communication Engineering total 100 marks. You will be given 3 hourse for the exam. Visit on our official website of GATE Exam Pattern and Syllabus for more details.

rohan bharti
What is the cutoff of electronics and communication engineering?

Hi Rohan

You can visit on our official website of GATE Cutoff to check the cut off list of different colleges and for all the category student. You will get all the other details about the exam.

anuj singh chauhan
Has there been any reduction or addition in the syllabus?

Dear Anuj Singh Chauhan

Greetings from Collegedunia. Yes, IIT Bombay has revised the syllabus of GATE Examination 2021. It has introduced two new subjects that are Environmental Science and Engineering (ES) and Humanities and Social Sciences (XH) have been added as new papers, increasing the total of GATE 2021 subjects to 27 from 25. Students with a background in Humanities can apply for GATE 2021. For more details, kindly go through this link – GATE 2021 Syllabus