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GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator, Use and Benefits of Virtual Calculator

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Nikkil Visha

Exams Prep Master

One of the most sought-after exams for a career in the engineering field in India is GATE which is scheduled to be conducted from Feb 5-7 & 12-14, 2021. The online registration process will start from September 14, 2020. Every year thousands of students appear for this exam to try their luck for admissions into the best engineering colleges across India.

  • GATE 2021 Virtual calculator will be provided to all candidates appearing for the entrance examination for their calculations. 

  • The exam pattern of GATE includes numerical questions that require lengthy calculations hence GATE Virtual has been introduced. Check GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

  • As the candidates will not be allowed to use a physical calculator, they will have to use the virtual calculator during the exam.

  • The Question Paper will be set within the consideration of the requirement of a virtual calculator by the authorities, which will not be an issue for the candidates if practiced well beforehand. 

The idea of using a virtual calculator in GATE exam was adopted in the year 2015 but it was not implemented in the 2015 examination. But in 2016 the exam conducting body that is IISc, Bangalore implemented the use of GATE Virtual Calculator instead of any kind of physical calculator. So it has become very important for candidates to have a good command over virtual calculator so they can do calculations easily. 

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Importance of Virtual Calculator

What makes GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator important?

The fact that physical calculators can’t be used during the exams makes it evident that you need to learn to use an online virtual calculator. While there is not much difference between the online virtual calculator and the physical calculator, getting familiar with the online virtual calculator can make things easier during the exams. Being used during the exam really makes it important for the candidates to get used to online virtual calculators.

  • The online scientific calculator would be helpful for the candidates for solving problems quickly. 

  • They don’t need to write down the numerical values on the paper every time and calculate, just have to solve on the screen.

  • This Online scientific calculator will be available for all the candidates who will attend GATE 2021 i.e. same calculator for all. 

  • While in the case of physical calculators, some candidates have more functioning calculators than others. Such candidates always have an advantage over the other candidates.

This method will also help the candidates during exam time whose calculator stops working and will also help those who forgot to carry their scientific calculator with them to the exam center.

Download GATE Practice Papers

Features of Virtual Calculator

Features of GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator

  • The right side of the virtual calculator contains all the keys for simple operations while scientific calculation keys are on the left hand side.

  • There is no need for a shift key and inverse key as inverse functions have separate keys.

  • All function keys are grouped together.

  • Candidates need not to press SHIFT or INV keys since the inverse functions have separate keys.

  • Trigonometric functions and Hyperbolic functions will be grouped together.

  • The inverse functions will be placed below the respective functions.

  • At the top of the virtual calculator, two display boxes will be provided. The top box will indicate the sequence of the keys pressed during calculation for reference.

  • The second box indicates the actual values entered or obtained after calculations.

Instructions for using Calculator

Instructions for using GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator

Candidates appearing for GATE 2021 can check below things to keep in mind while using the virtual calculator.


  • Be sure to press [C] before starting a new calculation.

  • Use the predefined operations such as p (Pi), log, Exp to save time during calculation.

  • Use memory function for calculating cumulative totals. As listed below.
    [M+]: Will add displayed value to memory
    [MR]: Will recall the value stored in memory
    [M-]: Subtracts the displayed value from memory

  • Be sure to select the angle unit before beginning any calculation.

Note: By default, the angle unit is set as degree.


  • Do not perform multiple operations together.

  • Leave parentheses unbalanced.

  • Change the angle unit while performing a calculation.

Limitations of Virtual Calculator

What are the Limitations of GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator?

  • The output for a factorial calculation is limited up to 14 digits.

  • The keyboard operation will be disabled.

  • The output for Logarithmic and Hyperbolic calculations is limited up to 5 digits.

  • Modulus operation performed on decimal numbers with 15 digits would not be precise. Use mod operation only if the number comprises less than 15 digits.

  • The range of values supported by the calculator is 10(-323) to 10(308).

Practice Virtual Calculator

Practice GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator

Candidates must practice the calculation on a virtual calculator before exam so that they will be familiar with use of the same. 

  • This online virtual calculator will be a part of the online test system for GATE 2021. 

  • Candidates must start the use of online Virtual Calculator as soon as possible. 

  • Candidates must know that they will not be allowed to carry a calculator with them to the examination hall for GATE 2021 examination.

  • Candidates are advised to get sufficient practice on this virtual calculator so that your GATE examination proceeds without a hitch.

  • Make sure that you familiarize yourself with all its aspects and functions. 

  • Pick up speed and learn all the keys where they are placed and have command on them so that they are not new for you on the day of the exam.

Example of Some Calculation Using GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator
Arithmetic Calculations To calculate 70 + 55 x 85 candidates must enter 70, +, 55, *, 85, =
Function value To calculate 2 + log(60) x 10 candidates must enter 60, log, *, 10, +, 2, =
Sin, cos, tan Calculations To calculate sin(25) or cos(25) or tan(25) candidates must enter 25, sin or cos or tan

Check GATE 2021 Syllabus

Download Virtual Calculator App

Download GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator Application

Candidates can easily download GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator Application on your mobile phone by visiting the Play Store provided in the Android Phones. 

  • After downloading the application you can use it not only for practicing calculation but there are various other helpful features that you can use. 

  • You can also check the detailed syllabus of all the subjects from this application.

  • You can also attend tutorials of Arithmetic functions, Logarithmic functions, Trigonometric functions, and much more. 

With the help of GATE Virtual Calculator Application specially designed for android phones you can easily practice the calculations on the same so that you can get familiar with its use which will help you in saving time during the time of examination. 

GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

Know your GATE 2021 Exam Pattern before Using Virtual Calculator

GATE 2021 will be a 3 hour computer based test where candidates will have to attempt 65 questions carrying 100 marks. 10 questions will be asked from General Aptitude are common to all papers while remaining questions are from the paper opted by the applicant. The exam pattern for all 25 papers that consist of both multiple-choice questions and numerical type questions.

  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ): These questions are objective in nature, and each will have four answers, out of which the candidate has to mark the correct one.

  • Numerical Answer Questions (NAQ): For these questions, the answer is a real number, to be entered by the candidate using the virtual keypad. No choices will be shown for these questions.

  • Multiple Select Questions (MSQ): These questions are objective in nature. Each question will have a choice of four answers. Out of which, one or more than one choice(s) are correct. However, there are no partial marks awarded for choosing partially correct combinations of choices or any single wrong choice.

  • There will be no negative marking in NAT and MSQ questions.

  • Questions carrying 1 mark each, 1/3 marks will be deducted as a penalty of marking the wrong answer.

  • For questions carrying 2 marks, 2/3 marks will be deducted for marking an incorrect answer.

As per the exam paper pattern, 15% weight of marks will be given to Engineering Mathematics for the paper codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PI, TF, XE whereas 15% to General Aptitude and remaining 70% to subject paper.

For paper codes AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, and XL the General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks and the remaining 85% of the toAnchortal marks are for the subject paper.

Know More GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator FAQs

Question: How to calculate simple arithmetic problems using GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator?

Ans. To calculate the simple arithmetic problem like 70 + 35 x 5 candidates must enter 70, +, 35, *, 5, = . This way you can do your calculations.

Question: Can I use GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator to do fractional calculations?

Ans. No. GATE 2021 virtual calculator can only be used for decimal numbers calculation. You cannot use it for doing fractional calculations. Questions with fractional numbers should be solved by candidates on their own. 

Question: Is GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator helpful to solve quadratic equations or matrix operations?

Ans. No. GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator is not meant for such calculations. Candidates have to perform such calculations manually. 

Question: What type of calculations can be done using GATE 2021 Virtual Calculator?

Ans. The following can be solved using the same:

  • Arithmetic Problems

  • Log functions problems

  • Trigonometry problems

  • Root Values

  • Cube values or cube roots

  • Square roots

  • Factorial values

  • Exponential Values

  • 10x values

*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 : 44 answered questions


Ques. Can I get a seat in PEC Chandigarh (MTech CSE) with a GATE score of 400 Gen in the CAT?

● Top Answer By Arunima Sethi on 05 May 21

Ans. No, it is not possible to get a seat in PEC Chandigarh for M.Tech CSE at the GATE score of 400, being in General Category.  For Round 1, GATE 2020 opening score for CSE was 402 and the closing score was 523.  While, during Round 2, the score was between 379-395 for the General category.  The total seats for CSE at PEC Chandigarh is also limited. There are only 30 seats available for the program, out of which only 19 are for General candidates. Seeing my friend’s experience there, I would strongly recommend you to re-attempt the exam and score well. Try to get an opportunity in top engineering institutes like IITs/NITs.  It is not that PEC is a worse institute, but if you prepare well and give GATE again, you might land into your dream college. Also, a Master's is usually the last stage of academic learning for all. So, it is better to invest your Master's degree time in an excellent institute.Read more
1 Answer

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
1 Answer

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