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GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme and Weightage

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IIT Bombay has released the new exam pattern for all the 27 disciplines of GATE. As per the new exam pattern, candidates can now sit for a maximum of two papers. If a candidate is appearing for GATE EC as their primary paper then you can also appear for either IN or PH. 

  • The weightage of 3 major sections has also been changed. Now, the weightage of Engineering mathematics is 13%, General Aptitude is 15% and of EC syllabus is 72%. 
  • GATE paper from now onwards will have three types of questions i.e. multiple-choice (MCQs), multiple select questions (MSQs), and numerical answer type (NAT). Check GATE 2021 Electronics & Communication Syllabus
  • The paper will be divided into three parts and consists of 65 questions in total. Negative marking does not apply to NAT and MSQ questions. 

GATE finds its reputation as one of the country's and the world's most successful assessments for admission to many top institutes. The recent times have seen the use of GATE scores to employ graduate engineers in entry-level roles at Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). You can find all of the details for the GATE Electronics and Communications exam pattern, weightage of sections, marks distributions, and much more in this article.

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Highlights of GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Exam Pattern

  • GATE 2021 EC paper has 3 types of MCQs, MSQs, and NAT.
  • The MCQs will have 4 options out of which you will have to choose 1 correct answer.
  • NAT questions will require you to give a numerical value as the answer.
  • MSQ could have more than one correct option.
  • Objective type questions will be awarded 1 and 2 marks according to the marks assigned.
  • -1/3 and -2/3 marks will be deducted for every incorrect answer to an objective type question according to the marks assigned.
Electronics and Communication Engineering Paper Code EC
Exam Mode Online
Total Marks 100
Number of Questions 65
Types of Questions MCQs, MSQs, and NAT
Number of Sections 3 (General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics, Electronics and Communication Engineering Subject Questions)
Weightage by Section General Aptitude – 15% of total marks Engineering Mathematics – 13% of total marks Electronics and Communication Engineering Subjects – 72% of total marks
Total Time Duration 3 hours (180 minutes)
Sectional Time-Limit None

Why is the knowledge of Exam Pattern important?

GATE holds a top position among the country's most competitive tests. In order to apply for admissions to the best post-graduate programs and career opportunities, thousands of students from across India seek this test. GATE EC is quite a challenging paper to answer.Understanding the paper pattern during the period of study planning can be very helpful.

The paper pattern highlights the duration of the test, the form and number of questions that will be presented in the examination, the weightage of each segment, and the marks allocated to each topic that will be evaluated. Awareness of the paper pattern will therefore be very useful, because you can organize your study time for every subject and section according to the allocated marks. 

Quite clearly, more preparation will have to be done for the most important sections with the highest allocation of marks. The paper pattern goes hand-in-hand with attempting mock papers and will help prepare you for the actual exam.

Details of EC Exam Pattern

Details of GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Exam Pattern

Mode of Paper: 

  • GATE EC is a computer-based paper that is administered for 3 hours. English is the language used for the examination.
  • In GATE EC, the maximum marks are 100 and the total number of questions is 65. 

Type of Questions: 

  • GATE EC will consist primarily of Multiple Questions of Choice (MCQs), Multiple Select Questions (MSQs), and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions. 
  • MCQs are objective questions presented in all sections, bearing 1 or 2 marks each. Each question will have 4 options, with 1 being 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.

Sections in Paper

  • GATE EC consists of three sections
  • General Aptitude with 15 % of the total marks
  • Engineering Mathematics with 13% of the total marks
  • Electronics and Communication Engineering Subject Questions with 72% of the total marks. 

Know More GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

Marking Scheme of GATE EC

GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Paper Marking Scheme

Discipline Subject Number of Questions Marks
Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC) General Aptitude 10 15
Engineering Mathematics 10 13
Electronics and Communication Engineering Subjects 45 72
Total 65 100

Important Topics in GATE EC

Important Topics of GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Paper 

Section 1- General Aptitude

1. Numerical Ability – Numerical Computation, Numerical Estimation, Numerical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

2. Verbal Ability - English Grammar, Verbal Analogies, Vocabulary

Section 2 – Engineering Mathematics

1. Linear Algebra

2. Calculus

3. Differential Equations ( ODE and PDE)

4. Vector Analysis 

5. Complex Analysis

6. Numerical Methods

7. Probability and Statistics

8. Limits and Continuity 

Section 3 – Electronics and Communication Engineering Subjects

1. Networks

2. Signals and Systems

3. Electronic Devices and Circuits

4. Analog Circuits

5. Digital Circuits

6. Control Systems

7. Communications

8. Electromagnets

Previous Year Sample Questions

Sample Questions from Important GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication

Section 1 – General Aptitude 

Q. 1. “If you give him the last ______ of the cake, you will make sure that there is lasting _____ in our house today.”

Q.2. A 1.5 m tall person stands 3m away from a lamp post. The lamplight at the top of the post casts her shadow. Twice her height is the length of the shadow. 

How much is the lamp post height in meters?

(A) 1.5 (B) 3 (C) 4.5 (D) 6

Sections 2 and 3 – Engineering Mathematics and Electronics and Computer Engineering Subject Questions 

Q. 1. A good trans-impedance amplifier has

(A) low input impedance and high output impedance.

(B) high input impedance and high output impedance.

(C) high input impedance and low output impedance.

(D) low input impedance and low output impedance.

Q.2. An op-amp based circuit is implemented as shown below.

Assume that the op-amp is ideal. What is the voltage (in volts, correct to one decimal place) at node A, connected to the negative input of the op-amp as indicated in the figure?

Download GATE Electronics & Communication Engineering Practice Papers

Weightage Important Sections

Weightage of Different Sections in GATE 2021 Electronics & Communication Engineering 

Section 1 – General Aptitude

Section Topics Weightage (2019) Paper 2018 (Weightage)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
General Aptitude Data Interpretation 5+5 15 5+5 15
Numerical Computation
Numerical Reasoning
English Grammar
Verbal Reasoning

Section 2 – Engineering Mathematics

Section Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Engineering Mathematics Linear Algebra 6+3 12 6+4 14
Differential Equations
Vector Analysis
Complex Analysis
Numerical Methods
Probability and Statistics
Limits and Continuity

Section 3 – Electronics and Communication Engineering Subjects

a. Networks


Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Networks Filters, AC and DC Circuits 1+2 5 2+3 8
Network Equations and Solution Methods
Network Theorems and transformation
Steady-state equation and Analysis
Time-domain Analysis
Two-port networks

b. Signals and Systems 

Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Signals and Systems Basics of Signals and Systems 2+3 8 3+2 7
Responses and Stability
Fourier Series
Sampling Theorem
DFT and its application

c. Electronic Devices and Circuits

Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Electronic Devices and Circuits Semiconductors 3+5 13 4+4 12
Carrier Transport
Basics of Transistor and MOSFETS
Diodes and its application
IC Fabrications

d. Analog Circuits

Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Analog Circuits Amplifiers 1+5 11 2+3 8
Single-stage BJT and MOSFET Amplifiers
Circuit Analysis and applications
Simple diode and Wave Shaping Circuits
Operational Amplifiers
Op-amp and voltage Reference Circuits
Timers and Filters

e. Digital Circuits

Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Digital Circuits Combinational Circuits 4+1 6 3+4 11
Data Converters
Number Systems
Semiconductor Memories
Sequential Circuits

f. Control Systems 

Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Control Systems Basics of Control System 2+4 10 2+3 8
Compensators and Controllers
Feedback Principle and Frequency Response
Nyquist stability and Analysis
Routh Hurwitz and Various Plots
State Space Analysis
Time Domain Analysis
Transfer Function

g. Communications 

Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Communications Types of Modulation and Demodulation 3+4 11 1+4 9
Spectrums and Receivers
Modulation Schemes and Decoding
Digital Communication
SNR, BER and Band
Information Theory
Multiplexing and Digital Coding Techniques
Random Processes and Variables

h. Electromagnetics 

Subject Topics Weightage (2019) Weightage (2018)
Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks Number of Questions (1 Mark + 2 Marks) Total Marks
Electromagnets Antenna and Wave Propagation 3+3 9 2+3 8
Maxwell's equations
Radar and optical fibers
Transmission Lines
Waves and Properties

Check GATE Electronics & Communication Engineering Paper Analysis

What is Electronics and Communication and its Scope?

GATE Electronics and Communication Discipline develops passive electrical components. Under this discipline, there are various subfields including signal processing, telecommunications engineering, electromagnetics, control engineering, computer engineering, and VLSI design engineering, and instrumentation engineering.

Scope after GATE 2021 EC Paper

The number of students answering GATE in Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC) is growing rapidly every year. This is because the Master's courses now require a GATE score and all of the PSUs also employ through GATE. 

Some students are interested in pursuing M.Tech from IITs / NITs in various streams such as Communication Systems, Analog Circuits, Electromagnets, Digital Circuits, Networks, and Control Systems; while others try to get a job at PSUs such as IOCL, HPCL, RITES, EIL, NHAI, and DMRC, to name a few. Thus, the significance of the GATE EC exam and the different opportunities through GATE are important to understand.

1. Job opportunities in top PSUs

  • Nearly 100 PSUs working in the country such as IOCL, ONGC, HPCL, NHAI, DMRC, BHEL, SAIL, NTPC, consider the GATE score as an important criterion for electronics and communication engineer recruitment. 
  • A career at a good PSU means you will keep in touch with recent advances in engineering and work on exciting country development projects, along with having benefits of the security provided by government jobs. Check PSU Recruitment through GATE

2. Study M.Tech after GATE 2021

  • One of the most common ways to proceed is to apply for M.Tech at the IITs, IISc, and NITs after the GATE test has been cleared. This can be an important step for students who have dreamt of studying at top institutes like IITs and NITs in the country. 
  • During the two years of your Master's program, you will also be eligible for the MHRD stipend, provided you have a strong GATE score. 
  • Also, if you apply to other state, regional or private colleges that do not have GATE scores as their primary selection criteria, having a good GATE score would still give you an advantage over the other candidates. 
  • Upon completing M.Tech, you can apply to private jobs with good packages in the electronics and communication domain.  Check GATE 2021 COAP Counselling

Important Instructions to Candidates

Important Instructions to Candidates

1. GATE Admit Card must be brought with at least one original and legitimate proof of photo identification (Aadhar Card, Passport, College ID, PAN Card, Driver's License, Voter ID, or Employer ID) to the examination center. 

2. GATE Admit Card will only be considered legitimate if there is a clearly visible signature and a photograph of the applicant. 

3. Candidates are expected to report to the exam venue 60 minutes before the scheduled examination time. 

4. Candidates will only be permitted to take the exam if their qualifications are verified by the exam center's officials. 

5. Candidates are allowed to take their allotted seats 35 minutes before the scheduled exam time.

6. Candidates will be permitted to start reading the test instructions 20 minutes before the scheduled exam time. 

7. After 09:30 AM for the morning session and after 02:30 PM for the afternoon session, no applicant will be permitted to enter the examination center. 

8. Candidates are not permitted to leave the exam hall until the test finishes. 

9. There will be a virtual scientific calculator for the exam on the computer screen. 

10. There will be scribble pads available for the rough work. Before starting any rough work, candidates will need to write their names and registration numbers on the pads. After the test, these pads must be returned to the invigilator.

11. GATE does not allow cell phones, personal calculators, or other electronic devices into the allotted exam hall. 

12. There is no need to carry documents, charts, or tables into the exam hall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques: Are there any changes in the marking scheme of GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication Engineering paper?

Ans: No. There are no changes introduced in the marking scheme. The marking scheme is as mentioned in the table below:

Type of question

Negative marking for wrong answer

Marking for correct answer


1/3 for 1 mark questions

2/3 for 2 marks questions

1 or 2 marks


No negative marking 

1 or 2 marks

Ques: How many sections are there in GATE 2021 Electronics and Communication paper and what is the weightage of each section?

Ans: There  three sections in the question paper are:

  • General aptitude
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • The subject selected by the candidates (Mechanical Engineering Subjects)

General Aptitude carrying 15% of the total marks, Engineering Mathematics carrying 13% of the total marks, and Mechanical Engineering Subject Questions carrying 72% of the total marks.

Ques: What is the difficulty level of questions in Electronics and Communication papers?

Ans: Based on the paper analysis of the previous year, the difficulty level of the paper was moderate and candidates can expect the same in the coming exam. The application forms for GATE 2021 will release in the month on September 14, 2020 and candidates are advised to start their preparation from today so that they can crack the exam.

Ques: What type of questions will be asked in GATE 2021?

Ans: From this year, 3 types of questions will be asked in GATE 2021. 

  • Multiple Select Questions – MSQs
  • Multiple Choice Questions – MCQs
  • Numerical Answer Type – NAT

*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


karan rathod
Has there been any change in the syllabus?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, No official notification has been declared in the syllabus of GATE Exam yet.

mihika gulhane
Is the syllabus same for Electronics and communication and Electronics and telecommunication branches.

Hello Mihika, greetings from Collegedunia. Yes, the syllabus is same as both of them are same.