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GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering (IN) Syllabus, Preparation Tips and Books

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Nikkil Visha

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GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Syllabus is majorly divided into 10 major sections that are based on the principle and operation of measuring instruments used in fields of design, configuration of automated systems, etc. Further, the GATE 2021 paper will be divided into 3 sections namely General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics, and core subject.

  • The weightage of Core Syllabus i.e. Instrumentation syllabus is 72%, 15% of General Aptitude, and 13% of Engineering Mathematics. Check GATE 2021 IN Exam Pattern
  • All those candidates who are appearing for IN paper can also appear for the second paper. You have 3 options to select the second paper i.e. EC/ EE/ PH. 
  • GATE Instrumentation engineering paper will be held on Feb 6, 2021 (Saturday) in the forenoon session from 9:30- 12:30 hrs.

GATE conducting body i.e IIT Bombay has released the official notification regarding the revised syllabus at their official website. After qualifying the exam, candidates can take admission in M.Tech courses offered at IITs, NITs, etc. Other than M.Tech admissions, candidates can apply for  GATE PSUs Recruitment. Read the article to know about the revised syllabus, preparation tips, exam pattern, important books, and much more. 

Must Read: 

GATE Instrumentation Engineering Syllabus

GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Syllabus

GATE syllabus for Instrumentation Engineering divided into 10 sections with topics that need to be covered. Candidate can check the Syllabus for GATE Instrumentation Engineering in detailed as given below:

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

  • Linear Algebra, Calculus, Differential equations, Analysis of complex variables, Probability and Statistics, Numerical Methods. 

Section 2: Electricity and Magnetism

  • Coulomb's Law, Electric Field Intensity, Electric Flux Density, Gauss's Law, Divergence, Electric field and potential due to point, line, plane and spherical charge distributions, Effect of dielectric medium, Capacitance of simple configurations, Biot‐Savart’s law, Ampere’s law, Curl, Faraday’s law, Lorentz force, Inductance,
  • Magnetomotive force, Reluctance, Magnetic circuits, Self and Mutual inductance of simple configurations.

Section 3: Electrical Circuits and Machines

  • Voltage and current sources: independent, dependent, ideal and practical; v-i relationships of resistor, inductor, mutual inductance and capacitor; transient analysis of RLC circuits with dc excitation.
  • Kirchoff’s laws, mesh and nodal analysis, superposition, Thevenin, Norton, maximum power transfer and reciprocity theorems.
  • Peak-, average- and rms values of ac quantities; apparent-, active- and reactive powers; phasor analysis, impedance and admittance; series and parallel resonance, locus diagrams, realization of basic filters with R, L and C elements. transient analysis of RLC circuits with ac excitation.
  • One-port and two-port networks, driving point impedance and admittance, open-, and short circuit parameters.
  • Single phase transformer: equivalent circuit, phasor diagram, open circuit and short circuit tests, regulation and efficiency; Three phase induction motors: principle of operation, types, performance, torque-speed characteristics, no-load and blocked rotor tests, equivalent circuit, starting and speed control; Types of losses and efficiency calculations of electric machines.

Section 4: Signals and Systems

  • Periodic, aperiodic and impulse signals; Laplace, Fourier and z-transforms; transfer function, frequency response of first and second order linear time invariant systems, impulse response of systems; convolution, correlation. Discrete time system: impulse response, frequency response, pulse transfer function; DFT and FFT; basics of IIR and FIR filters.

Section 5: Control Systems

  • Feedback principles, signal flow graphs, transient response, steady-state-errors, Bode plot, phase and gain margins, Routh and Nyquist criteria, root loci, design of lead, lag and lead-lag compensators, state-space representation of systems; time-delay systems; mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic system components, synchro pair, servo and stepper motors, servo valves; on-off, P, P-I, P-I-D, cascade, feedforward, and ratio controllers.

Section 6: Analog Electronics

  • Characteristics and applications of diode, Zener diode, BJT and MOSFET; small signal analysis of transistor circuits, feedback amplifiers. Characteristics of operational amplifiers; applications of opamps: difference amplifier, adder, subtractor, integrator, differentiator, instrumentation amplifier, precision rectifier, active filters and other circuits. Oscillators, signal generators, voltage controlled oscillators and phase locked loop.

Section 7: Digital Electronics

  • Combinational logic circuits, minimization of Boolean functions. IC families: TTL and CMOS. Arithmetic circuits, comparators, Schmitt trigger, multi-vibrators, sequential circuits, flipflops, shift registers, timers and counters; sample-and-hold circuit, multiplexer, analog-todigital (successive approximation, integrating, flash and sigma-delta) and digital-toanalog converters (weighted R, R-2R ladder and current steering logic). Characteristics of ADC and DAC

Section 8: Measurements

  • SI units, systematic and random errors in measurement, expression of uncertainty - accuracy and precision index, propagation of errors. PMMC, MI and dynamometer type instruments; dc potentiometer; bridges for measurement of R, L and C, Q-meter. Measurement of voltage, current and power in single and three phase circuits; ac and dc current probes; true rms meters, voltage and current scaling, instrument transformers, timer/counter, time, phase and frequency measurements, digital voltmeter, digital multimeter; oscilloscope, shielding and grounding.

Section 9: Sensors and Industrial Instrumentation

  • Resistive-, capacitive-, inductive-, piezoelectric-, Hall effect sensors and associated signal conditioning circuits; transducers for industrial instrumentation: displacement (linear and angular), velocity, acceleration, force, torque, vibration, shock, pressure (including low pressure), flow (differential pressure, variable area, electromagnetic, ultrasonic, turbine and open channel flow meters) temperature (thermocouple, bolometer, RTD (3/4 wire), thermistor, pyrometer and semiconductor); liquid level, pH, conductivity and viscosity measurement.

Section 10: Communication and Optical Instrumentation

  • Amplitude- and frequency modulation and demodulation; Shannon's sampling theorem, pulse code modulation; frequency and time division multiplexing, amplitude-, phase-, frequency-, pulse shift keying for digital modulation; optical sources and detectors: LED, laser, photo-diode, light dependent resistor and their characteristics; interferometer: applications in metrology; basics of fiber optic sensing.

Direct link to download GATE Instrumentation Engineering (IN) syllabus PDF 

Weighate of Important Topics

Important Topics for GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering

  • Sample Question 1: Consider a circuit comprising only resistors with constant resistance and ideal independent DC voltage sources. If all the resistances are scaled down by a factor 10, and all source voltages are scaled up by a factor 10, the power dissipated in the circuit scales up by a factor of ___________ .
  • Sample Question 2: An 8-bit weighted resistor digital-to-analog converter (DAC) has the smallest resistance of 500 Ω. The largest resistance has a value ___________ kΩ.
  • Sample Question 3: 

Weightage of Topics/Sections

Topic Number of Question Marks Difficulty Level
Networks 7 10 Easy
Control Systems 4 7 Easy
Signal And Systems 5 8 Easy
Digital and Micro Processor 7 11 Moderate
Analog Circuits 6 10 Tough
Communication Systems 4 6 Tough
Transducer 5 7 Moderate
Measurements 5 8 Moderate
Optical Instrumentation 4 6 Moderate
Engineering Mathematics 8 12 Moderate
General Awareness 10 15 Easy
Total 65 100 Moderate

Check Detailed GATE IN Paper Analysis

GATE Exam Pattern of IN

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of Instrumentation Engineering

  • Mode of Examination: Online
  • Duration of Exam: 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
Section    Total Marks
General Aptitude 15% of the total marks
Engineering Mathematics 13% of the total marks
Subject-Based (IN) 72% of the total marks

Marking scheme

  • Correct Answer: 1 or 2 Marks
  • Negative Marking: For MCQs only
Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer

1/3 for 1 mark questions

2/3 for 2 marks questions

NATs, MSQs No negative marking 

Check Detailed GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

Best Books for GATE IN

Best Books for GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering

IN Books
Title of the book Name of the Author/ Publication
GATE 2020: Instrumentation Engineering Previous Solved Papers GKP
Instrumentation Engineering GATE 2020 Arihant Experts
GATE 2020 – Guide – Instrumentation Engineering GKP

How to Prepare for GATE IN Paper?

Preparation Tips for GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Paper

1. Start Using Virtual Calculator

  • ​Candidates must practice on virtual calculators so that you can develop a habit of using the same.  
  • If you will start using it from the time of your preparation then you can save a lot of time during the exam.

2. Start from Basic Concepts

  • Start with the basic concepts or topics. 
  • Once your basics are clear, you can easily solve the other topics.
  • Refer to the book that is easy to understand and learn.
  • Preparation time is the best time to brush up your skills and memorizing all the important topics.

Read  Preparation Tips from GATE Topper

3. Make a Proper Time Table

Time Allotment Activities to Do
5:00 AM to 8:00 AM Revision of Important Topics
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM Take a Break
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM Pick up a Major Topic
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Take a Break
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Continue with your Topic/Start new Topic
10:00 PM Again Revise important topics/Sleep early

4. Solve Practice Papers

  • Solving the practice papers is one of the best methods to get familiar with exam pattern, type of questions, difficulty level, etc.
  • By solving more questions papers you can get an idea that which questions should be solved first.
  • Candidates are advised not to panic if they are not able to solve the questions. 
  • You can observe your weak areas and work on them.

Download GATE Practice Papers

5. Maintain Accuracy with Speed

  • Maintaining good speed while solving the questions is very important.
  • Accuracy is also very important to crack the exam.
  • You can practice mock tests to achieve the same.
  • If you are not able to maintain a good speed then you should focus on maintaining the accuracy level of your answers.

GATE Syllabus Of Other Papers

GATE 2021 Syllabus Of Other Papers

Candidate can check the syllabus of other subjects of GATE in the table below: 

Candidates can go through the syllabus of their respective subjects by clicking on the provided above in the table. The knowledge of GATE syllabus is important before starting the preparations. Candidates are advised to focus on the syllabus prescribed by the authorities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering Syllabus FAQs

Ques: What was the difficulty level of previous year GATE Instrumentation Engineering papers?

Ans: As per students who had appeared in previous years the difficulty level of GATE Instrumentation Engineering paper is moderate. Topic-wise difficulty based on the experience of candidates is mentioned below:

  • Network, Control System, Signal and System, General Awareness – Rated Easy
  • Digital and Micro Processor, Transducer, Measurements, Optical Instrumentation, Engineering Mathematics – Rated Moderate
  • Analog Circuits, Communication Systems – Rated Tough

Ques: What will be the sectional weightage of GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering syllabus?

Ans: The sectional weightage of GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering syllabus is as follows:

Section    Total Marks
General Aptitude 15% of the total marks
Engineering Mathematics 13% of the total marks
Subject-Based (IN) 72% of the total marks

Ques: Will there be any negative making in GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering paper?

Ans: Yes. There will be negative marking for incorrect MCQs whereas for incorrect NAT questions no negative marking will be there. 

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer

1/3 for 1 mark questions, 2/3 for 2 marks questions

NATs No Negative Marking

Ques: Do I need to prepare some other topics also to score well in GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering paper?

Ans: No. There is no need to study other than the topics mentioned in the official syllabus. The syllabus of GATE Instrumentation Engineering paper is based on the graduation level. If you follow the syllabus prescribed by authorities then you can score very good marks. There is no need to study any extra topic. However, to clear your basic concepts you can go through those topics that are mentioned in the syllabus. 

Ques: What is the best way to complete GATE 2021 Instrumentation Engineering syllabus?

Ans: You can complete your syllabus by using your graduation level books or notes. You can also refer to some other books also like Instrumentation Engineering GATE 2020 – by Arihant. 

*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


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


ashish singh
What is the cutoff of this paper for general category students?
abdul nazir

Hi Ashish, GATE cut off varies annually and it also varies with different subjects and different category as well. Also for 2021 GATE is scheduled to be conducted in February 2021 and cut off will be released after declaration of result. Find more at GATE 2021 exam.

saurav kumar
Can I get the list of colleges where I can admission in instrumentation engineering course?
abdul nazir

Hi Saurav, There are colleges offering thois stream across India and few of them are:

  • IIT New Delhi
  • IIT Kharagpur
  • NIT Trichy
  • BIT Ranchi
  • MAHE Manipal
  • DTU New Delhi
  • NIT Silchar

To knwo more list of colleges viist GATE 2021 participating colleges.

koyena biswas
Do I need to submit any kind of document while enrolling for any online mock test paper series?
abdul nazir

Hi Koyena, No documents or fee is required to access and attempt mock test series which is available on the official website. These can be attempted by anyone even those who have not registered for the exam. Find details at GATE Mock test.

shiya devi
Which topic in this paper is considered as important and carries highest weightage?
abdul nazir

Hi Shiya, There are basically 3 sections of which first 2 are mandatory to attend for every student, however 3rd section is related to core subject specific questions and it carries maximum weightage of almost 70%. Out of 27 subjects this year you need to choose subject as core one. To get more details visit GATE 2021 exam pattern.

What will be the counselling procedure?
abdul nazir

Hi Devisingh, GATE conducts CCMT and COAP counselling process for admission to NITs and IITs respectively. Both are centralised admission process which is manadatory for admission to respective institutes.

GATE CCMT will commence in May 2021 tentatively while COAP registration will begin in March 2021. To get more details visit GATE counselling 2021.

shiya devi
Can I give the only online next year?
abdul nazir

Hi Shiya, GATE 2021 will be conducted in CBT mode and it will have few changes in the pattern. The guidelines have been shared via notification on the official website. Further details of the next exam will be updated in similar way on the official website. To check details visit GATE 2021.

riya gupta
How shall I prepare myself for the exam?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi GATE Exam Preparation tips are as follows:

  1. Understanding the GATE syllabus.
  2. Collect important information and resources.
  3. Begin your preparation with dedication.
  4. Make proper revision notes.
  5. Practice tests and Quizzes.
  6. Solve the papers from previous year.
  7. Study only high quality and relevant books.

For more information, please refer, GATE Exam.

md hussain ansari
How many seats are there for general candidates?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, Total number of seats are available in IIT 10957 (approx),and 4944 seats are available for general category students. For more information, please refer, GATE Exam.

mohammed najamuddin
What is eligibility criteria to give GATE in this subject?
bhagyashri kene
Which college in India is best for this?

HI Bhagyashri

Visit on our official website of Top Intrumentation Engineering Colleges of India  to find the best colleges in India. You will get all the other details related to the college.

ankur jain
Will the exam take place online only?

Hi Ankur

The exam mode is online. You can visit on our official website of GATE Exam Pattern and Syllabus. You will get all the the exam preparation tips and important details about the exam. 

rinki mahapatra
Do I need to bring anything other than ID proof and admit card on exam center?

HI Rinki

You need to bring your admit card and an ID Proof for verification at the exam center. You can’t bring anything else except pen and other stationary. For more details visit on our official website of GATE Exam Center.