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GATE 2020 Life Sciences (XL) Answer Key, Question Paper & Analysis

Last Updated - July 12, 2019

GATE Answer Keys 2020 (XL) will be announced at GOAPS portal by IIT Madras. Download the question paper and answer key from the official website.

  • This year, the engineering exam was conducted on February 2 in a single session.
  • The coordinating body will announce GATE 2020 Result by March 16 at gate.iitm.ac.in. The results will be released in the form of scores.
  • For this year, the cut off for GATE is expected to range in between 28 – 30 marks.
  • Candidates qualifying the exam will have a choice to go for a Masters degree or can apply to the topmost PSUs offering Engineer Trainee posts. Read about PSU Recruitment through GATE

GATEPaper Analysis Brief

  • XL - S Microbiology was moderate in nature with questions based on Microbial interactions, Molecular approaches to microbial taxonomy. 
  • In XL - T Zoology, questions were asked from evolution, Cell Biology, Ecology, Gene expression in Eukaryotes.
  • XL-P (Compulsory for all XL candidates) Chemistry based on questions from Ionic and covalent bonding, s, p and d Block Elements.
  • In Sections – XL-Q Biochemistry, XL-R Botany and XL - U Food Technology, questions were of easy to moderate level.  Check GATE XL Paper Analysis

Steps to Check GATE Answer Key (XL)

  1. Visit the official website of GATE i.e. gate.iitm.ac.in
  2. Enter the required credentials i.e. Enrollment ID, Registration Number and Date of Birth
  3. GATE XL Answer key will be displayed on your screen.
  4. Check and download it for future reference.

How to challenge GATE Answer Key?

  1. Log into GATE Online Application Processing System.
  2. Go through the guidelines given carefully.
  3. Agree by checking on the declaration. 
  4. Click on the “Contest Answer Key" tab to be able to pay and mail objections related to the answer.
  5. INR 500 has to be paid via online portal provided for every question. NRI candidates of GATE will have to pay the US $10 per question being challenged.
  6. It is important to use the correct question number given in the question paper to challenge.
  7. Attach a justified proof for challenging the answer key.

GATE Life Sciences (XL) Response Sheet 

GATE Response Sheets are the individual candidates’ answers to the questions in GATE. Candidates can access their individual response sheet in the following steps:

  • Visit Official website i.e. gate.iitm.ac.in
  • Enter candidate’s login credentials to the GOAPS.
  • Click the "View Response" tab.
  • Candidate’s Response to the GATE Question Paper would appear on-screen in pdf format.
  • Download, save and obtain print of the response sheet

How to Estimate GATE score using the Answer Key?

Candidates can estimate their GATE Score using the Answer Key in the following manner:

  • Add the scores of the correct answers and deduct the scores lost for incorrect answers.
  • Please note that the NAT questions will not have negative marking.
  • The exhibit below tabulates the scoring system for GATE. Candidates can follow the rule stated below to estimate their scores using the Answer Key.
1 Mark Question2 Mark Question
MCQ+1 for Correct Answer -1/3 for Incorrect Answer+2 for Correct Answer -2/3 for Incorrect Answer
NAT+1 for Correct Answer+2 for Correct Answer
GATE ScoreMCQ Score+ NAT Score

Check GATE Counselling Procedure


GATE Life Sciences (XL) Paper Analysis

Section P: Chemistry (Compulsory)

Atomic structure and periodicity: Planck’s quantum theory, wave particle duality, uncertainty principle, quantum mechanical model of hydrogen atom, electronic configuration of atoms and ions. Periodic table and periodic properties: ionization energy, electron affinity, electronegativity and atomic size.

s.p. and d Block Elements: Oxides, halides and hydrides of alkali, alkaline earth metals, B, Al, Si, N, P, and S. General characteristics of 3d elements. Coordination complexes: valence bond and crystal field theory, color, geometry, magnetic properties and isomerism.

Section Q: Biochemistry

Biochemical separation techniques: ion exchange, size exclusion and affinity chromatography, Characterization of biomolecules by electrophoresis, UV-visible and fluorescence spectroscopy and Mass spectrometry.

Cell structure and organelles; Biological membranes; Transport across membranes; Signal transduction; Hormones and neurotransmitters.

Section R: Botany

Plant Systematics: Major systems of classification, plant groups, phylogenetic relationships and molecular systematics.

Economic Botany: A general account of economically and medicinally important plants- cereals, pulses, plants yielding fibres, timber, sugar, beverages, oils, rubber, pigments, dyes, gums, drugs and narcotics. Economic importance of algae, fungi, lichen and bacteria.

Section S: Microbiology

Historical Perspective: Discovery of microbial world; Landmark discoveries relevant to the field of microbiology; Controversy over spontaneous generation; Role of microorganisms in transformation of organic matter and in the causation of diseases.

Control of Micro-organisms: Effect of physical and chemical agents; Evaluation of the effectiveness of antimicrobial agents.

Section T: Zoology

Animal world: Animal diversity, distribution, systematics and classification of animals, phylogenetic relationships.

Evolution: Origin and history of life on earth, theories of evolution, natural selection, adaptation, speciation.

Section U: Food Technology

Food Products Technology: Processing principles: thermal processing, chilling, freezing, dehydration, addition of preservatives and food additives, irradiation, fermentation, hurdle technology, intermediate moisture foods. 


GATE Previous Year Life Sciences (XL) Qualifying Marks

GATE 2020 Cut off score is the minimum score that candidates need to secure in order to qualify the entrance test. Note that, GATE Cut Offs will be separate for qualifying the exam and for admissions. The admissions cut-off will vary for each participating institute as it is dependent on the number of seats available at a particular institute as well as the number of applicants therein.

Here we have tabulated the qualifying marks for the Life Sciences paper from the last three years. Candidates should bear this in mind that the Qualifying Cut-off will vary on the basis of the difficulty level of exam and the total number of applicants.

Category/YearGeneralOBCSC/ST/PWD
201731.0427.9320.69
201625.823.217.2
201528.4825.6318.99

Check GATE Participating Colleges with Fees


GATE XL Answer key and Question Paper

YearLife Science
2019XL-P, Q, R, S, T, UQuestion PaperAnswer Key​ (All Sections)
2018Chemistry (XL-P)Question Paper (Includes GA)Answer Key (All Sections)
Biochemistry (XL-Q)Question Paper
Botany (XL-R)Question Paper
Microbiology (XL-S)Question Paper
Zoology (XL-T)Question Paper
Food Technology (XL-U)Question Paper

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