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

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Nikkil Visha

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IIT Bombay has revised the exam pattern of GATE 2021 by allowing the candidates to sit for a maximum of two papers. So if you are planning to appear for GATE IN paper then you can also appear for EC/ EE/ PH. The decision has been taken to boost interdisciplinary studies. 

  • Along with that, the syllabus of GTAE IN has also been revised. The major sections of GATE 2021 IN include Engineering Mathematics, General Aptitude, Measurements, Analog Electronics, Electrical Circuits, Control Systems, Digital Electronics. Check Here  GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Syllabus
  • The paper will have a total of 65 questions i.e. MCQs, MSQs, and NATs. There will be no negative marking in the case of MSQs and NAT questions. 
  • Also, if you are appearing for GATE EC or EE or PH as your first paper then you can opt for IN as your second paper. 

The candidates planning to appear for the GATE engineering exam are advised to go through the latest syllabus and exam pattern while preparing for the test. Candidates obtaining high marks in GATE 2021 can apply for admission in various engineering colleges. Read the article to know about GATE 2020 IN Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme, weightage. Sample questions, the scope of after Instrumentation Engineering, etc

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Highlights of GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Exam Pattern 

  • In the GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering exam, 72% weightage is given to the Instrumentation Engineering section, 15% to General Aptitude and 13% to Engineering Mathematic.
  • There will be no minimum or a maximum age limit to appear for the GATE 2021 examination.
  • The eligibility to get admission in M.Tech course through GATE score differs from the participating institute to institute.
  • The candidates are allowed to appear for the exam unlimited times as there is no limit on the number of attempts to appear or apply for GATE.
Feature Description
Mode of the exam Online
Duration of the Exam A total of 3 hours (180 minutes)
Number of Questions 65
Total Marks 100 Marks
Question Type
  • MCQ 
  • MSQ
  • Numerical based Questions
Total sections
  • General Aptitude
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Subject-specific part (Instrumentation Engineering section)
Marking Scheme
  • For 1 Mark MCQs (1/3rd marks will be deducted for wrong answers)
  • For 2 Mark MCQs (2/3rd marks will be deducted).
  • There will be no negative marking

Why Knowledge of Exam Pattern is important?

Knowing the latest exam pattern of GATE 2021 is important as it can prove beneficial for the candidates planning to get a seat in the top-most engineering colleges and universities across the country. The official brochure released by IIT is useful for the candidates and it will help them in preparing as per the latest exam pattern, also the candidates can take the reference of the last years’ sample paper as well so that they can prepare more productively.

GATE exam is designed to shortlist the candidates for various master’s programs in engineering.

  • The instrumentation engineers are expected to learn a lot of theories and formulas so they can get a basic understanding of all the concepts which will help them in clearing all their concepts and topics as per the GATE IE syllabus.
  • The more you give GATE Instrumentation Engineering practice papers, the better understanding you will develop. The candidates can also take more mock tests so that they can understand their weaknesses and stronger points as well.
  • The students must have a focus on their weaknesses which is only possible in case you are familiar with the latest exam pattern.

Knowledge of the GATE syllabus helps the students to move in the right direction and moving on the path of success will become easier in case you are completely aware of the GATE Instrumentation Engineering.


GATE IN Exam Pattern

Details of GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Exam Pattern

Time Duration:

  • GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering will be a 3-hour long computer based test. 
  • The exam will be conducted in English language only.

Total Marks:

  • The total marks in GATE CE are 100 and the total number of questions is 65.

Type of Question: 

  • There will be three types of questions that will come in the exam including MCQ, MSQ and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions.
  • The paper will comprise a general aptitude section that all the candidates have to attempt. It will have 10 questions out of which half of the questions carries a weightage of 1 mark while the other half will be of 2 marks.
  • In MSQs, questions will have a choice of four answers. Out of which, one or more than one choice(s) are correct.

Number of Sections: 

There will be three sections in the question paper including:

  • General aptitude
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Subject selected by the candidates (Instrumentation Engineering)
  • Engineering Mathematics carrying 13% of the total marks, General Aptitude carrying 15% of the total marks, and Instrumentation Engineering subject carrying 72% of the total marks.

Know More  GATE 2021 Exam Pattern 


Details of Marking Scheme

GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Marking Scheme

  • For the MCQs that hold one mark; 1/3rd marks will be deducted for the incorrect attempts while the MCQs questions carry 2 marks, the deduction will be of two-third marks.
  • Negative marking: No marks will be deducted in case the candidates give wrong answers in Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions.
  • Zero marks will be deducted for unanswered/unattempted questions
  • In GATE 2021, General Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics will be compulsory sections which together hold 28% weightage.
  • The Instrumentation Engineering holds the major 72% weightage in the GATE Mechanical Engineering exam.
Paper Exam pattern Number of Questions Marks
Instrumentation Engineering (IE) GA (General Aptitude) 10 15
Engineering Mathematics 10 13
Instrumentation Engineering 45 72
Total 65 100

Marking scheme:

Type of Question Negative marking for wrong answer Marking for correct answer
MCQs ⅓ for 1 mark questions ⅔ for 2 marks questions 1 or 2 marks
NATs/MSQ No Negative Marking 1 or 2 marks

List of Important Topics

Important Topics of GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Paper

The whole syllabus of Instrumentation Engineering syllabus is divided into different sections including Engineering Mathematics, Measurements, Analog Electronics, Electrical Circuits, Control Systems, Digital Electronics, Signal and Systems, Sensors, and Industrial Instrumentations & Communication and Optical Instrumentation.

Different topics come under each of the sections out of a few important topics are mentioned below.

Subject Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics
  • Algebra Linear
  • Differential Equations
  • Analysis of Complex Variables
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Numerical Methods
Circuits Electrical Voltage and current sources, inductor, mutual inductor and capacitor; transient analysis of RLC circuits with dc excitation. Impedance and admittance, realization of main filters with R, L and C elements, driving point impedance, admittance, open-, and short circuit parameters.
Signals and Systems
  • Periodic, aperiodic and impulse signals
  • Fourier and z-transforms
  • Frequent response of main linear time-invariant systems,
  • Impulse response of systems; convolution, correlation. Discrete-time system: impulse
  • Response
  • Frequent response
Control Systems Feedback principles, Routh and Nyquist criteria, root loci, design of lead, state-space representation of systems, time-delay systems, hydraulic and pneumatic system components, etc.
Analog Electronics Main features of applications of the diode, Zener diode, small-signal analysis of circuits, amplifiers feedback, applications of op amps, etc.
Digital Electronics Combinational logic circuits,sequential circuits, multi-vibrators, sample-and-hold circuit, Multiplexer,sequential circuits,Schmitt trigger, minimization of Boolean functions, analog digital,integrating, flash and sigma-delta) and digital-to- analog converters, etc.
Measurements Systematic and random problems in measurement, expression of uncertainty - accuracy and precision index, propagation of errors. bridges of measuring R, L and C, Q-meter, Measurement of voltage, current and power in single and three phase circuits, etc

Check GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Syllabus 


Weightage of Important Topics

Subject Wise Weightage of GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Topics

Topic GATE 2020 GATE 2019 GATE 2018
Engineering Mechanics 15% 10% 14%
Network Theory 8% 8% 9%
Signals & Systems 8% 8% 8%
Control Systems 13% 14% 13%
Analog Electronics 9% 11% 9%
Digital Circuits 8% 8% 8%
Measurements 12% 5% 10%
Transducers 8% 9% 8%
Optical Instrumentation 4% 7% 6%

Topics wise weightage

Topics Expected Number of questions Expected Marks
Engineering Mechanics 4 6
Mechanics of Material 7 11
Machine Design 2 3
Theory of Machines 5 8
Heat Transfer 4 7
Fluid Mechanics 6 9
Manufacturing Engineering 8 11
Industrial Engineering 2 4

Besides the above-mentioned topics, many other topics are important and students must study dedicatedly.

Check  GATE Instrumentation Engineering Paper Analysis

Sample Questions from important GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering major topics

Ques 1. The fishermen, _______ the flood victims owed their lives, were rewarded by the minister.

(A) whom

 (B) to which

 (C) to whom

 (D) that

Correct answer: (C) to whom

Ques 2. A few students were not involved in the strike. If the mentioned statement is right, which of the following conclusions is /are logically correct?

1. Some that were linked in the strike were students.

2. None of the students were involved in the strike.

3. Some who were not involved in the strike were students.

4. At least one of the students was involved in the strike. 

(A) 1 and 2

 (B) 4

 (C) 3

 (D) 2 and 4

Correct answer: (B) 4 

Ques 3 The radius as well as the height of a circular cone increases by 10%. The percentage hike in its volume is ______.

(A) 17.1 

(B) 21.0 

(C) 33.1 

(D) 72.8

Correct answer: (C) 33.1

Ques 4. A piezoelectric transducer with sensitivity of 30 mV/kPa is expected to be used in the range varying from 0 kPa to 100 kPa. The readout circuit has peak noise amplitude of almost 0.3 mV and measured signals more than the full pressure ranges are encoded with 10 bits. The smallest pressure which emits a non-zero output, in units of Pa, would be almost

(A) 10

(B) 100 

(C) 240 

(D) 300

Correct answer: (B) 100

Ques 5. A 100 W light source produces uniformly in all directions. A photodetector with a circular active area whose diameter is 2 cm is placed 1 m away from the source, normal to the incident light. If the responsivity of the photodetector is 0.4 A/W, Calculate the photo-current generated in the detector, in units of mA?

(A) 1 

(B) 4 

(C) 100 

(D) 400

Correct answer: (A) 1

Ques 6. A resistance-meter consists of five measurement range-settings that varies from 200 Ω and 2 MΩ in multiples of 10. The meter calculates resistance of a device by calculating a full-range voltage of 2 V across the device by passing an appropriate constant current for each range-setting. In case a device having a resistance value ranging between 8 kΩ to 12 kΩ and a maximum power rating of 100 μW is to be measured safely with this meter, the option for range-setting on the meter for best resolution in measurement, in kΩ, is

(A) 2 

(B) 20 

(C) 200 

(D) 2000

Correct answer: (C) 200

Download  GATE Instrumentation Engineering Practice Papers


Best Books for GATE IN

Books Recommended for GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering

During preparation for the GATE exam, it is important that the candidates must choose the right kind of books for studying. The list of the referred books for Instrumentation Engineering is mentioned below:

  • Mathematics- Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Erwin Kreyszig, Gate Engineering Mathematics by Made Easy (Authors)
  • Network Theory (Engineering Circuit Analysis - Steven M. Durbin)
  • Analog Electronics - Behzad Razavi; GATE - Electronics & Communication (by R K Kanodia)
  • Digital Electronics- Solved last year questions - EC and IN streams

What is Instrumentation Engineering and its scope?

Instrumentation engineering is a part of the engineering and the instrumentation engineers work for the industries to improve productivity, reliability, safety, optimization, and stability. The instrumentation engineers are mainly responsible for integrating the sensors with the recorders, transmitters, displays or control systems. They can design or specify installation, wiring, and signal conditioning and are responsible for calibration, testing and maintenance of the system as well.

  • The candidates getting high marks in their GATE exam can apply for admission at various engineering colleges that play an important role in having a futuristic career ahead.
  •  Also, the instrumentation engineers can pursue postgraduate engineering courses (MTech) in Instrumentation Engineering so that they can boost their expertise in this particular field. 
  • There are wider job opportunities for instrumentation engineers in India and abroad in industries like Public/Private firms, R&D organizations, steel plants, cement manufacturing companies, among others. Check  COAP Counselling

Scope for GATE 2021 IN

  • Instrumentation Engineers may design devices like dynamometers for measuring aircraft sensors, blood glucose monitors, torque, and smoke detectors.
  • They may also develop electrocardiograph equipment and computed tomography scanners or may work on security systems.
  • They also play an important role in every successful aeronautical research project.
  • There are various employment opportunities in manufacturing firms, biomedical companies, defense contractors, government, or private engineering firms.

Job opportunities for Instrumentation Engineers

 Instrumentation Engineers may find employment in industries that improve stability, efficiency, and safety of automated processes. Apart from the below mentioned industrial sectors, they also find employment in companies that utilize specialized instruments for their day-to-day operation. Check  GATE PSU Recruitment 

Public/Private Firms Steel Plants
Thermal Power Plants Cement Manufacturing Companies
R&D Organizations Chemical Companies and similar industries

Important Instructions for candidates

Important Instructions for candidates

  • GATE 2021 exam will be an online exam (Computer Based Test mode).
  • The entire duration of the GATE 2021 will be 3 hours and all the questions will be based on the latest exam pattern.
  • The candidates appearing for the GATE 2021 need to carry an Admit Card in addition to the original valid photo identity proof with them at the examination hall.
  • Scribble pads will be offered to the GATE 2021 candidates inside the examination hall by the invigilators for doing rough work. Make sure that the candidates are writing their name and registration number on the pad given to them.

Things not allowed inside GATE 2021 exam center

  • Carrying a mobile phone or any other electronic device inside the examination center is not allowed.
  • Also, carrying any kind of printed or hand-written textual material, inside the exam center is prohibited.

All these guidelines will help the GATE candidates to give their exam smoothly, all the GATE aspirants must adhere to these instructions carefully so that they can accurately give their exam. The candidates appearing for the GATE exam are suggested to carefully check the GATE exam pattern.

Hard work, dedication, and efforts are the keys to prepare effectively for the exam that can GATE aspirants to reach to the heights of success. So start preparing yourself for the GATE 2021 exam and leave no stone untouched to taste the sweetness of success

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE 2021 IN Exam Pattern FAQs

Ques: What will be the marking scheme in GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering paper?

Ans: For the MCQs that hold one mark; 1/3rd marks will be deducted for the incorrect attempts while the MCQs questions carry 2 marks, the deduction will be of two-third marks. Negative marking: No marks will be deducted in case the candidates give wrong answers in Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions. Zero marks will be deducted for unanswered/unattempted questions.

Type of Question Negative marking for wrong answer Marking for correct answer
MCQs ⅓ for 1 mark questions ⅔ for 2 marks questions 1 or 2 marks
NATs/MSQs No Negative Marking 1 or 2 marks

Ques: What will be the major section for GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering paper?

Ans: There will 3 major sections in GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering paper: General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics, and Core subject. Further, these 3 major sections will be divided into sub-sections. The majority of syllabus and questions will be asked from the core subject that is 70% and the remaining 30% will be from general aptitude and engineering mathematics. Candidates can refer to the table below to know more about the exam pattern:

Paper Exam pattern Number of Questions Marks
Instrumentation Engineering (IE) GA (General Aptitude) 10 15
Engineering Mathematics 10 13
Instrumentation Engineering 45 72
Total 65 100

Ques: What will be the type of questions in GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering paper?

Ans: There will be three types of questions that will come in the exam including MCQ, MSQ and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions. The paper will comprise a general aptitude section that all the candidates have to attempt. It will have 10 questions out of which half of the questions carry a weightage of 1 mark while the other half will be of 2 marks. Engineering Mathematics is a compulsory section containing 10 questions that carry a total of 15 marks. Remaining 70 marks will be given to the core subject questions.

Ques: What books should I refer for GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering preparation?

Ans: Candidates can refer to their graduation books or notes because the syllabus of GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering paper will be based on the level of graduation. However, for better preparations candidates can also refer to these books:

  • Mathematics- Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Erwin Kreyszig, Gate Engineering Mathematics by Made Easy (Authors)
  • Network Theory (Engineering Circuit Analysis - Steven M. Durbin)
  • Analog Electronics - Behzad Razavi; GATE - Electronics & Communication (by R K Kanodia)
  • Digital Electronics- Solved last year questions - EC and IN streams

*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 : 43 answered questions

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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