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GPAT 2021 Preparation Tips and Guideline

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Atul Yadav

Exam prep master

GPAT 2021 requires a candidate to be thorough with everything he has learned in the B Pharm course. Aspirants must hence have a good preparation strategy to crack the exam.

  • GPAT preparation can be done by using different techniques to study, solving previous years’ questions and mock papers.
  • Aspirants should be thorough with GPAT Exam Pattern to prepare well for the exam.
  • Focus on all important chapters covered in Pharmacology as 25- 30% questions are asked from this section.
  • Around 4-5 numerical problems are asked every year so practice solving these questions.
  • Some basic and conceptual questions from organic and physical chemistry based on 10+2 level are also asked.

The standard of the entrance exam has increased many folds over the last few years. This is why now students must prepare for the exam with double zeal. Cracking GPAT 2021 requires hard as well as smart work and determination, to go past through the hurdle of difficult questions.

GPAT 2021 is a common entrance test serving as a portal for applicants seeking admission into M Pharm programs offered by the best pharmacy schools of India. It is a very competitive exam due to the growing scope of the pharmacy field.

Clearing GPAT 2021 requires thorough preparation for the exam. In this article, we have mentioned certain GPAT 2021 preparation tips and tricks which can help you do well in the exam.

Exam Pattern & Syllabus

GPAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

In order to score well in the exam, aspirants must know the GPAT Syllabus and exam pattern.

  • It is an online test (computer-based) which has 125 objective questions.
  • The duration of the exam is 3 hours. Every correct answer is awarded +4 marks and a penalty of 1 mark is charged for wrong answers.
  • The exam has questions based on topics covered at the B Pharm level.
  • Applicants should mainly cover chapters from 5 main sections- Pharm Analysis, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacognosy, Pharmacology, and Pharmaceutics.

Subject-wise Prep Tips

GPAT Preparation Tips as per various Subjects

Cracking GPAT was easier when it used to be conducted with GATE by the IITs earlier. It was very much templatized and there were certain set pieces of questions which were repeated every year. However, now the level of unpredictability has increased in the exam. That is why students should study all topics thoroughly. The preparation tips candidates can use for each section are given below:


This is a very theoretical section. Applicants must read the chapters comprehensively and make micro notes based on it. These micro notes can help in last-minute revision.

From the analysis of previous years’ exam papers, it can be seen that the most asked drugs from this section are Senna, Morphine, and Vinca. Individuals must study all the concepts of these drugs; understand their mechanisms and their effects & uses. It is best to devote recurrent time periods to Pharmacognosy so that candidates do not forget the concepts and details.

Important topics in this section are-

  • Glycosides
  • Alkaloids
  • Volatile Oils
  • Resins
  • Tannins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Tissue culture
  • Herbal drugs

Recommended books for Pharmacognosy:

  • Pharmacognosy by C K Kokate
  • The complete guide for Pharmacognosy by Trease and Evans


Many students find this section very interesting. Topics from this section carry a lot of weightage in GPAT 2021. Aspirants must study drug interaction and mechanisms as well as unique side effects of drugs (not general side effects like body pain). For the chapter of Classification of drugs, candidates can use acronyms to remember the names. For eg:  

  1. Semisynthetic derivatives: Atropine Methonitrate, Homatropine, Hyoscine butyl bromide, Ipratropium bromide, Tiotropium Bromide (AHITH)
  2. Quaternary compounds: Propantheline, Clidimium, Oxyphenonium, Pipenzolate methyl bromide, Isopropamide, Glycopyrrolate (PCO PIG)

Important topics in this section are:

  • Oncology (drugs for chemotherapy, upcoming technologies, etc.)
  • Neuropharmacology and rare diseases
  • Cardiovascular and Blood products

Recommended books:

  • Essentials of Medical Pharmacology by K D Tripathi

Pharmaceutical Analysis

This section is relatively easy and only requires an understanding of concepts. Aspirants must practice solving numerical problems. Note down formulae and mug it up.

Important topics are:

  • UV, IR and NMR
  • Mass Spectroscopy
  • Chromatography
  • Polarography and Polarimetry
  • Flame Photometer
  • Conductometry
  • Amperometry
  • Potentiometry

Recommended books:

  • Spectroscopy and Titration by Chatwal
  • Chromatography by Remington

Pharmaceutical Chemistry

The questions asked from this section are very basic and only require conceptual clarity. Applicants should focus on organic chemistry in this section. Study electrophilic, nucleophilic reactions (substitution and addition) and intermediate reactions.

Important topics are:

  • SAR of steroids
  • Nomenclature and a chemical moiety of the medicinal drugs

Recommended books:

  • Basic Organic Chemistry by Morrison Boyd
  • Medicinal chemistry by S N Pandey


This section is very essential for all students appearing in GPAT 2021. Candidates should begin this section by studying the formulation of tablets and emulsions. They must go through different techniques of sterilization. There can also be some numerical problems which can be asked from this section. Individuals must focus on the following topics:

  • Pharmaceutical jurisprudence & ethics
  • Surface and Interfacial Phenomena
  • Rheology
  • Kinetics and Drug Stability
  • Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics

Recommended books:

  • The Theory and Practice of Industrial Pharmacy by Liebermann and Lachman

Prepare better with GPAT Sample Papers

Preparation tips

General Preparation tips

  • Every year there are 6- 8 questions based on spectroscopy- Mass spectrometry, UV, IR, and NMR spectroscopy. Students must read these chapters thoroughly.
  • Make separate notes for the classification of drugs and the schedules of the drugs. Generally, 3-4 questions on herbal drugs are asked every year to go through the chapter of herbal and indigenous drugs.
  • The frequency of numerical problems is increasing in GPAT every year. Individuals must attempt these problems for scoring good marks in GPAT 2021. Most of the numerical are asked from biopharmaceutics, depression in freezing point, allegation method, and dose on the basis of body weight and age.
  • Applicants must solve mock papers and previous years’ papers which helps them understand the pattern of GPAT 2021 better.
  • For other topics such as Dispensing Pharmacy, identify focus areas through old question papers. Make notes of key points collected from reference books.

Thing to carry at GPAT 2021 Exam center

Candidates are required to carry few things along with the GPAT 2021 Admit Card in order to be allowed inside the exam center. Given below are the important documents to carry at GPAT exam center.

  • GPAT Admit card – All candidates are required to carry the hard copy of GPAT 2021 Admit Card otherwise they will not be allowed inside test center.
  • GPAT Undertaking – Candidates are issued an undertaking along with the admit card. They have to make sure they fill in all the details and carry it to the exam center
  • Valid ID card – Candidates will have to carry a photo identity proof issued by a competent authority preferably from a govt body like driving license, PAN card Aadhar Card or Voter’s card.
  •  Passport size Photograph – A passport size photograph will be required at the test center and candidates will have to paste it on the attendance sheet.
  • PwD Certificate – Candidates with benchmark disabilities will have to carry a PwD certificate to the exam center in order to get a scribe and extra time during the exam.

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

GPAT 2021 : 3 answered questions


Ques. How should I get a good rank in the GPAT?

● Top Answer By Supriya Sarkar on 16 Jan 21

Ans. Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test is a computer-based online national level entrance exam held for Masters in Pharmacy by National Testing Agency. GPAT is a competitive exam and in order to get into a good college, you need a good rank. Exam Tips for GPAT: The only way to crack any entrance exam is to practice question papers and sample papers. You must look up last year’s question papers and try to solve as many as possible before the final exam. Understanding the concepts thoroughly is better than rote learning. You should try to read all the concepts diligently so that you can understand them properly and apply them. Refer to the books listed on the GPAT website and use the books by foreign authors for your preparation. Try to remain confident and patient. Entrance exams can be tough and you need to prepare nicely in order to get a great rank, thus, believing in yourself and your ability is extremely important.  Focus on some important subjects like Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy. These are tough subjects but you can score well in them. Keep in touch with your professors while preparing for the exam. Your teachers can guide you and help solve all your doubts and queries. Another important tip is to practice test series. Test series are available online, you can practice them and improve your chances. Having a healthy mindset is important so prepare carefully and diligently.  Important details about GPAT 2021: Category GPAT Exam 2021 Courses offered Masters in Pharmacy Exam Date 22/27 February 2021 Duration of the Exam 3 hours Timing of the Exam 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM or 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM Mode of Exam Computer- Based Test Medium of Exam English Clearing GPAT allows you to seek admission in over 800 institutes for post-graduation in pharmacy. Thus, a good rank can be beneficial in the long run.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What should be my GPAT score to get into NIPER Mohali or any top 40 colleges in India?

● Top Answer By Mohit Sarohi on 16 Jan 21

Ans. For admissions in post-graduate programs at NIPER, candidates have to qualify for the GPAT exam to appear for NIPER- JEE exam. A good GPAT rank is not an important requirement for NIPER- Mohali. Admissions are based upon NIPER- JEE rank.  Following are a few important details for NIPER- JEE: This exam is conducted every year for admissions to postgraduate courses like M. S, M. Pharma, M.Tech Pharma, and M.B.A Pharma. It is a computer-based online exam The exam consists of 125 multiple choice objective questions. The total weightage of the exam is 500 marks. For every correct answer, you are rewarded one mark. For every incorrect answer, 0.25 mark is deducted. The duration of the exam is 2 hours. In case of other top colleges for pharmacy, a good GPAT score is important. The GPAT cutoff depends on various parameters such as the level of difficulty of the exam, competition, and the total number of candidates. GPAT cutoff for 2020: Category Cutoff 2020 General 163 OBC 131 SC 103 ST 76 EWS 104 If you wish to seek admission in NIPER or any of the top colleges for Pharmaceuticals, try to score well in both entrance exams because the competition is tough.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What are the most common mistakes done in the GPAT that lowers your score?

● Top Answer By Aniket Atul Mahulikar on 16 Jan 21

Ans. Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test or GPAT exam is conducted every year for admissions to Masters in Pharmacy programs, by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Important details regarding GPAT Exam: Category GPAT Exam Administering Body National Testing Agency Purpose Masters in Pharmacy  Mode of Examination Computer-Based Exam Frequency Annual Common Mistakes and Preparation Tips: The most common mistake made by GPAT aspirants is to skip topics like Medicinal Chemistry. This is a scoring subject so try to cover it properly to get a good rank. The best way to prepare for the GPAT exam is to have a proper timetable. Try to make a timetable you will adhere to so that you can prepare consistently. Preparing in order to clear the cutoff is another common mistake. Many aspirants try to score just enough to clear the cutoff which is not a great idea as cutoffs tend to differ every year. Try to prepare in a holistic manner and cover all the aspects.  Not covering the numerical aspect of the exam syllabus can significantly impact your rank. Being overconfident in your ability is a huge mistake. If you have covered the entire syllabus, then try to solve last year’s question papers and sample papers to check your progress.  Blindly reading reference books like Lachman, Goodman, etc without understanding them is the most common mistake. Also, avoid making certain books like Pearson or Inamdar, your main reference material. Not making notes is another common mistake. Try to make notes for all the topics so that your revision is completed on time for the exam. The best way to prepare for the GPAT exam is to avoid these common mistakes and to study all the given topics. Keep practicing and solving question papers frequently to overcome the time limitations during the examination.Read more
1 Answer