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GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering (ME), Preparation Tips and Books

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Nikkil Visha

Exams Prep Master

Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest branches and its history goes way long back to the inception of Engineering. GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering is majorly divided into 4 sections. The syllabus of ME has been revised by the authorities for GATE 2021

  • In GATE ME paper, the majority of questions i.e 72% are from core subject syllabus and 15% from General Aptitude and 13% from Engineering Mathematics. The paper consists of 65 questions worth 100 marks.  Check GATE 2021 ME Exam Pattern
  • GATE 2021 has been scheduled for Feb 5-7 & 12-14, 2021. Along with the release of exam dates it has been announced that from this year candidates can sit for 2 papers which could increase the level of competition. 
  • If you have opted for ME as the first paper then you will only have one option for the second paper or discipline i.e. XE. 

Candidates should note that the maximum number of applications in GATE are filled for Mechanical engineering paper which means competition is very high in this field. Only  GATE 2021  qualifying candidates will become eligible to get admissions offered at IITs, NITs, etc. Read the article to know more about the revised GATE 2021 syllabus for mechanical engineering, important topics, and books. 

Must Read:  

GATE Mechanical Engineering Syllabus

GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering

Section 1: Engineering mathematics

The section comprising of arithmetical questions, Engineering mathematics’ main aim is to test the applicant’s ability to understand complex concepts of mathematics involved in Engineering with ease and their application into problems.

  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Differential equations
  • Complex variables
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Numerical Methods

Section 2: Applied Mechanics and Design

The Branch deals with the application of concepts of mechanics into complex situations. Closely looked, the branch explores the response of bodies or systems of bodies under the action of external forces. Let’s look at the Applied Mechanics & Design.

  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Theory of Machines
  • Vibrations
  • Machine Design

Section 3: Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences

Archimedes observed deviation in the mechanics of fluid and forces acting on them long before the term ‘engineering’ was coined. Following the footsteps of Archimedes- Leonardo Da Vinci, Issac Newton, and Blaise Pascal paved the way for Fluid Mechanics with their groundbreaking inventions and indisputable Theories. 

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Thermodynamics
  • Applications
  • Turbomachinery

Section 4: Materials, Manufacturing, and Industrial Engineering

Considered the nerve of Mechanical Engineering, Material Science deals with the discovery and design of new elements, with an emphasis over solids. Manufacturing Engineering deals with intricacies of manufacturing processes and other considerations involved in it. Industrial Engineering deals with the work culture of Industries and mechanical processes involved with a clear depiction of Managing roles needed.

  • Engineering Materials
  • Casting, Forming and Joining Processes
  • Machining and Machine Tool Operations
  • Metrology and Inspection
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Production Planning and Control
  • Inventory Control
  • Operations Research

Direct link to download GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering PDF

Weightage of Important Topics

GATE 2021 Mechanical Engineering – Weightage of Important Topics

  • Sample Question 1:
  • Sample Question 2:

Weightage of Topics/Sections

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 ME Paper Analysis

GATE ME Exam Pattern

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of Mechanical 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 2021 Exam Pattern

Best Books for Mechanical Engineering

Important Books for GATE 2021 Mechanical Engineering Paper

GATE Preparation Books for Mechanical Engineering Author
Mechanical Vibration GK Grover
Design Of Machine Elements VB Bhandari
Engineering Mechanics SS Bhavikatti
Fluid Mechanics RK Bansal

Check More GATE ME Books 

How to Prepare for GATE ME Paper?

Preparation Tips for GATE 2021 ME Paper

1. Know your Syllabus and Exam Pattern

  • First, go through your syllabus. Download a copy of the syllabus for future reference.
  • Check the exam pattern to get a better idea about marking scheme, weightage of sections, etc.
  • Divide your syllabus in increasing order of difficulty level so that you can [re[are your preparation plan based on the difficulty level of topics.
  • Go through your syllabus again and again so that you won't miss any important topic.

2. Practice Virtual Calculator

  • Students must practice the use of a virtual calculator because it is always better to prepare in advance.
  • Using  GATE 2021 virtual calculator  from the time of your preparation will also help you in saving a lot of time in the exam. 

3. Work on your Speed and Accuracy

  • To improve speed and accuracy, you must practice more and more practice papers or online tests.
  • Candidates must solve 1-2 practice after every 3 days. 
  • You will also come to know about the exam pattern, difficulty level of questions, type of questions asked in the paper, etc.

Download GATE Practice Papers

4. Time Management

  • Candidates must prepare for the exam for 6-8 hours a day.
  • Do not leave any topic for the end. Try to complete all the topics on time.
  • Candidates are advised to do revisions 1-2 hours daily. This will help you in memorizing importing topics.

5. Regular Revisions

  • Regular revision sessions will help you to remember all the important points during the time of examination.
  • Do not overburden yourself. Take frequent breaks and revise topics when do not feel right to start a new topic.
  • Make handwritten notes for revisions.
  • Take a quick look at these notes before appearing for the exam to refresh the memory.

GATE Syllabus Of Other Papers

GATE 2021 Syllabus Of Other Papers

Rated as one of the best branches to pursue higher studies in, the stream is the first option for most of the engineering interested candidates and their guardians as well. Unarguably the elite, Mechanical Engineering deals with the complexities and intricacies of an automobile, power sector, manufacturing science, and other construction-related fields. Simply put, Mechanical is required almost everywhere- whether a tool needs to be manufactured, an automobile needs to be modified or a building or heavy machinery needs to be built. To pursue a career in this field candidates must prepare well for the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering FAQs

Ques: What is the right source to get GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering?

Ans: Students can use the direct link mentioned above for GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering pdf released by IIT Bombay. 

Ques: There are four major topics in GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering. Is it compulsory to prepare for all the sections or there will be any choice?

Ans: No. There will be no choice. In order to qualify GATE you have to prepare all the topics mentioned in the syllabus. There is no need to cover extra topics other than those mentioned in the syllabus unless that topic is helping you in understanding the basics. All the questions will be asked from the syllabus provided by the authorities. 

Ques: What are the major topics in GATE 2021 Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering?

Ans: Depending upon the weightage of topics some of the important sections are mentioned below:

  • Engineering Mathematics – 9 questions
  • Manufacturing Science – 10 questions
  • Thermal Science – 9 questions

If you prepare these 3 sections property then you can score around 20 to 25 marks. 

Ques: Which books are best for Fluid Mechanics?

Ans: All the candidates are advised to refer there graduation level books and notes. Those books will help you in understanding the basic concepts very easily. Other than that to prepare for the fluid mechanic's section you can refer to R.K. Bansal's books on Fluid Mechanics. 

Ques: What will be the marking scheme of GATE Mechanical Engineering paper?

Ans: The marking scheme of GATE Mechanical Engineering will be the same as other papers. 


1/3 for 1 mark questions

2/3 for 2 marks questions

NATs No negative marking 

*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


Where can I find the cutoff for general candidates for JRF?
rinki mahapatra
Which book is good for preparation of physics?
abdul nazir

Hi Rinki, There are many books available for preparation of Physics and some of them are:

  • Concepts of Physics by HC Verma
  • Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick and Walker
  • CSIR/NET Physics by Arihant Publications

Find more books and preparation tips at GATE recommended books.

uma goenka
Can I prepare fo statistics like that for mechanical engineering?
abdul nazir

Hi Uma, Ebery subject has different syllabus and accordingly the preparation strategy may also vary. There are different books available for practising along with previous year question papers. Also before the exam, you will be able to attempt mock test papers from the official website of GATE. Find other details at GATE 2021 preparation.

sunny pandey
Which book is best for preparation of calculus?
abdul nazir

Hi Sunny, There are several books available in online as well as offline mode that helps in preparation of topics under quantitative aptitude. Also, there are numerous other resources including previous year question papers and mock test series that enable you to cover major syllabus. To know more details visit GATE recommended books.

sadim ansari
In a year, how any times does GATE exam occurs?
common admission test

Hii Sadim, Greetings from collegedunia. Gate exam is conducted once in an year and GATE 2021 is scheduled to be held on February 6, 7, 13, and 14, 2021 in two sessions, Forenoon and Afternoon Session. For more details Click Here

deep jyoti das
Can I give the only online next year?
abdul nazir

Hi Deep, For 2021, the exam will be conducted in online CBT mode in February 2021. As far as next year exams are concerned, it will be specified in the exam notification on the official website at the right time. Before applying for the test, make sure that you follow all the eligibility norms. To get more details visit GATE 2021.

fauzia shahid
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.

shivkumar dama
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.

laxmi mishra
What is eligibility criteria to give GATE in this subject?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, To appear in GATE 2021, the eligibility is relaxed from minimum 10+2+4 (appearing) to minimum 10+2+3 (appearing).  Candidates who are pursuing their-year B.Tech or UG course are also eligible to appear for GATE 2021. For more information, please refer, GATE Exam.

divakar sharma
Which college in India is best for this?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, GATE exam is conducted for admission to MTech programmes offered by many private and government institutes like IITs, NITs, IIITs, and GFTIs. For more information, please refer, GATE Exam.

ananya pandey
In which colleges can I take admission in this course?
fauzia shahid
For how long can I use my GATE score?

HI Fauzia

Your GATE Score is valid of 3 years which means you can use your score to get admission in any colleges for 3 years after that you need to sit for the next GATE exam if your score gets outdated. For more information visit on our official webiste of GATE EXAM.