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Preparation Tips for GATE 2020

Updated On - July 23rd 2019 by SUJATA GAUR

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 hard nut to crack. Candidates who will be highly motivated and have a clear vision of their goal will only be able to score in the exam.

To crack GATE 2020, candidates must have a proper strategic plan that they may follow while preparing for the exam. Following other’s strategy will not do any good them. 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 EligibilityGATE Exam PatternGATE Cutoff

GATE 2020 Highlights

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

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


July 15, 2019GATE 2020

GATE 2019 Topper Tips by Prak ..

Prakhar Singh, an engineering graduate of IIT Bomb ...




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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