GATE 2020 Preparation Tips, Books and Study Material

    Aanchal Thakur Aanchal Thakur
    Exam Prep Master

    GATE is a national level examination which is taken by more than 9 lacs candidates every year for higher education and research opportunities. Cracking such an exam is a challenging task. Highly motivated candidates with a clear vision of their goal will only be able to score well in the exam.

    To crack GATE 2020, candidates must have a proper strategic plan. This strategy should be subjective and based on one’s own abilities and limitations. There are many coaching institutes that offer a proper path for the aspirant but it is not the only way to score in the exam. Therefore, we have come up with some essential tips that candidates may follow to ace GATE 2020 without coaching.

    GATE 2020 Highlights

    • GATE 2020 will be held in Computer Based mode on February 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2020.
    • IIT Delhi will be the conducting authority of GATE 2020 examination.
    • Biomedical Engineering is a newly added subject in the list of 25 subjects.

    GATE 2020 Biomedical Engineering – Preparation Tips 

    Since Biomedical Engineering is a new addition for GATE 2020 examination, here are some Preparation Tips and the Detailed Syllabus of the paper for the assistance of the candidates planning to appear for the same:

    • Set short term goals: There should be an organized chart for daily, weekly and monthly targets instead of long term non-realistic goals.
    • A strong conceptual base: As a future biomedical engineer, your capacity to understand scientific and mathematical principles is important. As you explore the fields of math and science in preparation for the exam, challenge yourself and make an extra effort to excel in these fields and not just qualify them. 
    • Constant Revision: Revise what you study on a daily basis instead of piling up and keeping long term revision plans. Frequent revisions save a lot of time and help in building a strong conceptual base. Make charts or notes to keep a track of formulas for last-minute revisions.
    • Put your Practice to Test: Take topic wise and overall mock tests to know where you stand in terms of application. Analyse each of your mock tests and and rectify the mistakes especially the conceptual ones. 
    • Balance is a must: Keep a balance between work and play. This will help in maintaining your interest in the syllabus and level of productivity. Take frequent breaks in the beginning and gradually reduce the frequency of breaks once the concentration ability is all built up. Deal with the preparation process with patience, as shortcuts aren’t the solution.
    • Appropriate Information and Awareness: Before beginning to craft a preparation starategy candidates must be aware of the syllabus and other related information. An organized schedule considering one’s strengths and weaknesses in various topics will have better and long lasting results on the actual performance. The syllabus for GATE 2020 Biomedical Engineering paper is tabulated below:

    S. No.

    Section Name

    Topics Included


    Engineering Mathematics

    Linear Equations, Calculus, Different Equations, Analysis of complex variables, Probability and Statistics, Numerical Methods


    Electrical Circuits

    Voltage and current sources: independent, dependent, ideal and practical; v-i relationships of resistor, inductor, mutual inductor 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 power; phasor analysis, impedance and admittance; series and parallel resonance, locus diagrams, realization of basic filters with R, L and C elements


    Signals and Systems

    Continuous and Discrete Signal and Systems: Periodic, aperiodic and impulse signals; Sampling theorem; 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; basics of IIR and FIR filters.


    Analog and Digital 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 op amps: difference amplifier, adder, subtractor, integrator, differentiator, instrumentation amplifier,buffer. Combinational logic circuits, minimization of Boolean functions. IC families: TTL and CMOS. Arithmetic circuits, comparators, Schmitt trigger, multi-vibrators, sequential circuits, flip flops, shift registers, timers and counters; sample-and-hold circuit, multiplexer. Characteristics of ADC and DAC (resolution, quantization, significant bits, conversion/settling time); basics of number systems, microprocessor and microcontroller: applications, memory and input- output interfacing; elements of data acquisition systems


    Measurements and Control Systems

    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. Basics of control engineering – modeling system: transfer function and state-space model, stability analysis:time domain and frequency domain analysis.


    Sensors and Bioinstrumentation

    Types of Instruments: Resistive-, capacitive-, inductive-, piezoelectric-, Hall Effect sensors and associated signal conditioning circuits; Optical sources and detectors: LED, Photo-diode, p-inandavalanchephotodiode (APD), light dependent resistor and their characteristics; basics of magnetic sensing; Interferometer: applications in metrology; basics of fiber optic sensing. Basics of LASERs. Origin, nature, and types of Biosignals, Principles of sensing physiological parameters, types of transducers and their characteristics, Electrodes for bioelectric signals, Bioelectric signals and their characteristics. Biopotential Amplifiers, Noiseandarte facts and their management, Electrical Isolation (optical and electrical) and Safety of Biomedical Instruments. Generation, Acquisition, and signal conditioning and analysis of biosignals: ECG, EMG, EEG, EOG, Blood ERG, PCG, GSR. Principles of measuring blood pressure, Core temperature, volume & flow in arteries, veins and tissues – Lung volumes, respiration and cardiac rate


    Human Anatomy and Physiology

    Basic elements of the human body-musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, circulatory system, excretory system, endocrine system, nervous system, digestive, nervous, immune, integumentary, and reproductive systems, Basics of cell and molecular biology.



    Engineering Mechanics,Hard Tissues, Soft Tissues, Human Joints and Movements: Skeletal joints, Biofluid mechanics


    Medical Imaging Systems

    Basic physics and Instrumentation of medical images in X-Ray, Ultrasound, CT, MRI, PET, FMRI, SPECT, and their characteristics.



    Basic properties of biomaterials, biocompatibility, bioactivity, biodegradable materials, Fundamentals of implants and medical devices, drug delivery carriers, scaffolds for tissue engineering

    How to Prepare for GATE 2020 without Coachings?

    There are certain factors that the GATE aspirants need to keep in mind while preparing for the exam. We have formulated a few strategies opted by the previous year toppers that candidates may follow to ace the exam.

    Start Your Preparation Early

    Candidates must start their preparation early by doing so, they will be able to compile all the necessary study material and create a proper plan that they may follow during their course of preparation. Preparing a layout and then working accordingly will cut-shot the time wasted while being confused about how to start their preparation

    • During this phase, candidate must analyze the time required on each subject and divide the number of days that they may give on a particular subject for thorough preparation.
    • Candidate must create a hierarchy of the subjects he/she will cover.
    • Follow what you have planned throughout your preparation phase.

    Go through the Syllabus First

    Another foremost step that candidates must do is to have a clear idea of GATE Syllabus that needs to be covered. GATE is a high-level exam and therefore, there is vast syllabus that candidates need to cover. In order to cover the overall syllabus without missing any topic, candidates must go through the syllabus provided on the official website of GATE 2020. Candidates must try to cover those topics first from which the possibilities of questions asked are higher.

    Tabulated below is the GATE 2020 Syllabus for each stream along with the paper code.

    Paper CodeSyllabusPaper CodeSyllabus
    AEAerospace EngineeringPHPhysics
    AGAgricultural EngineeringPIProduction and Industrial Engineering
    ARArchitecture and PlanningSTStatistics
    BMBiomedical EngineeringTFTextile Engineering and Fiber Science
    BTBiotechnologyXE - AEngineering Mathematics
    CECivil EngineeringXE - BFluid Mechanics
    CHChemical EngineeringXE - CMaterial Science
    CSComputer Science and Information TechnologyXE - DSolid Mechanics
    CYChemistryXE - EThermodynamics
    ECElectronics and Communication EngineeringXE - FPolymer Science and Engineering
    EEElectrical EngineeringXE - GFood Technology
    EYEcology and Evolution XE - HAtmospheric and Oceanic Science
    GGGeology and GeophysicsXL - PChemistry
    INInstrumentation EngineeringXL - QBiochemistry
    MAMathematicsXL - RBotany
    MEMechanical Engineering XL - SMicrobiology
    MNMining EngineeringXL - TZoology
    MTMetallurgical EngineeringXL - UFood Technology
    PEPetroleum Engineering

    Get a Clear Understanding of Exam Pattern

    Along with the syllabus, candidates must be aware of GATE paper pattern and its trending changes. Having an idea about the exam pattern prior to taking the final test will help them to solve the paper with ease. Though the pattern remains the same each year, the structure of paper may differ. An idea about the number of questions asked and the questions with higher weightage may increase the chance to score high. Go through the highlights of GATE Exam Pattern given below.

    GATE 2020 Exam Pattern Highlights
    Exam Duration3 Hours
    Total Questions65
    Total Marks100
    Types of QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions Numerical Answer Types Questions
    SectionsGeneral Aptitude (Common for all streams) Engineering Mathematics (Chemistry for XL Papers) Stream Specific Subject
    Marking Scheme1 Mark MCQs - ⅓ marks will be deducted for the wrong answer 2 Marks MCQs - ⅔ marks will be deducted for each wrong answer No marks will be deducted for unattempted question No negative marking for NAT questions

    Topic-wise Weightage in GATE 2020

    The distribution of each topic in the paper will help a candidate in prioritizing the topic which needs to be covered first. Topics with higher weightage must be prepared thoroughly. It will be a good strategy to ace the exam. This could be done by going through the previous year question paper and analyzing the trending changes. Also, go through the section-wise weightage of GATE exam given below.

    Paper CodePercentage Weightage
    CE, CS, EC, AE, AG, BT, CH, ME, MN, MT, EE, IN, TF, XE, PE, ST, PIGeneral Aptitude - 15% Engineering Mathematics - 15% Paper Subject - 70%
    AR, CY, GG, EY, XL, PH, MAGeneral Aptitude - 15% Subject Paper - 85%

    Choose Trusted Reference Books

    Books are the most trusted source of GATE preparation, they will definitely help in every way. Candidates must not pick any random book for their preparation. It is recommended that candidates must go for the books referred by GATE Toppers. Below given are the top-recommended books for GATE 2020.

    General AptitudeA Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Aggarwal
    MathematicsHigher Engineering Mathematics by B.S Grewal
    Mechanical EngineeringMachine Design by VB Bhandari Engineering Mechanics by Bhavikatti Fluid Mechanics by RK Bansal Heat Transfer by Cengal and Holman
    Industrial EngineeringIndustrial Engineering by O P Khanna, Buffa, and Sarin
    Manufacturing EngineeringProduction Technology: Manufacturing Processes, Technology and Automation by R.K. Jain
    Computer Science and Information TechnologyC Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie
    Civil EngineeringBasic Structural Analysis, C.S. Reddy
    Electrical EngineeringElectrical Power Systems by CL Wadhwa
    Electronics and Communication EngineeringPrinciples of Communication Systems by Goutam Saha, Herbert Taub, Donald Schilling
    StatisticsStatistics for Machine Learning by Pratap Dangeti

    Check other GATE Recommended Books for all Subjects

    Time Management

    Time Management plays a major role while preparing for the exam. GATE aspirants should utilize each second effectively. Proper time division for covering the syllabus, practicing sample papers and last-minute preparation should be done so that the candidate does not miss anything before attempting the paper.

    Keep Your Concepts Strong

    Having a stronghold on the basics of the topics can help in performing much better in the exam. Candidates must have deeper conceptual knowledge on the frequently asked topics. The easiest way to keep command on basics is: Prepare short notes of formulas, concepts and compile it at a single place. Make it your habit of going through the short notes before starting your preparation each day.

    Practice Mock Tests

    Mock Tests are the best source for GATE preparation. If taken seriously, it has its own benefits that candidates may get to know while attempting the question paper. Once the candidates have covered all the syllabi, they must take as many mock tests as possible. Mock tests are similar to the final test that candidates will give. One mock test each day will benefit the candidates in the following way:

    • It will enhance a candidate’s problem-solving efficiency.
    • Mock test improves the chances of error.
    • Solving mock tests will give candidates an idea about the type of questions asked frequently.
    • Many times it happens that the questions asked in mock tests come as it is in the question paper.
    • Mock test boost confidence in the GATE aspirant.

    Toppers’s Preparation Mantra to Crack GATE 2020

    Topper’s preparation strategies are the tried and tested method to score in GATE exam which can be fruitful for the upcoming GATE aspirants. Check for the preparation strategy opted by the previous year toppers to crack GATE exam.

    Topper NameAll India RankPreparation Tips
    Vikash RajAIR 1 in Petroleum EngineeringCheck Here
    Muvvala VenkataAIR 13 in Electronics and Communication EngineeringCheck Here
    Gaurav SrivastavaAIR 27 in Electrical EngineeringCheck Here
    Prakhar SinghAIR 1 in Civil EngineeringCheck Here

    GATE 2020 Preparation FAQs

    Ques. From which subject I should start my preparation?

    Ans. In the starting, the first important thing is that should have your focus in the preparation only. So that you should start from the easy subject which you can easily remember this will help you to build your confidence level. If you choose the difficult subject it may ruin for confidence level which will later impact on your preparation strategies.

    Ques. How many hours should I dedicate to my studies?

    Ans. It depends upon your preparation. If you have done your subjects well during college time then you may study for 3 - 4 hours. If you are beginner then the extra effort will be needed.

    Ques. Is it enough to prepare from a single book?

    Ans. It depends on the subject, some subjects can be prepared well from one book. But the GATE Syllabus is such vast that some subjects syllabus is not covered by the single book. There you need various books for your preparation.

    Ques. How much time is needed to complete the Syllabus?

    Ans. It also depends on you and your preparation. If have give exam earlier also then you can prepare for it in 3 – 4 months. If You are a beginner then you may take up to 6 - 7 months for your preparations.

    Ques. From which material I should Prepare?

    Ans. You can use the following material for preparations:

    • You can choose a good coaching institute material, there are lots of coaching institute that provide their study material to the students for some cost.
    • You can also prefer textbooks which are for your basic engineering books. They cover lots of topics and you can also easily understand from those books
    • You can also study from the video lectures. There are free video lectures from various well-known lecturers of big institutes available on Youtube. NPTEL is one such example. It is a channel from IIT lecturers which freely provide information on various engineering subjects.
    • You also use online study material available from various educational websites.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College




    Divyanshi Jain

    What is the minimum score of GATE to get admission in M.Tech (Mechanical Engineering) in IITs?

    14 Mar, 2019 15:19
    Komal Chawla

    Hey Divyanshi, Yes, Here’s the name of some IIT institutes which gives admission through GATE score:

    • IIT Madras
    • IIT Patna
    • IIT Kharagpur
    • IIT Bombay
    • IIT Delhi

    14 Mar, 2019 15:48

    i want model papers much more for my practice

    06 Mar, 2017 11:59

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