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GATE 2018 Life Sciences (XL) Answer Key, Question Paper & Analysis

Last Updated - March 12, 2018

GATE 2018 Life Sciences (XL) Paper was successfully held on February 3, 2018. The paper consisted of general aptitude and conceptual domain knowledge in about 65 questions carrying 100 marks, of which 10 questions will be based on general aptitude and the remaining questions would be based on the subject. Here is a brief look at some of the important takeaways for GATE 2018.

The Official GATE 2018 Answer key and Question Paper has been released – 

Life Sciences (XL) Paper Sections
Chemistry (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
  • XL - S Microbiology was moderate in nature with questions based on Microbial interactions,Molecular approaches to microbial taxonomy.Check GATE XL Paper Analysis
  • 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 Cut off 2018 
  • GATE Result will be declared on March 17, 2018.

Post declaration of results, GATE Participating Institutes will announce their separate GATE Cut Offs. On the basis of GATE cut offs, the participating institutes (other than IITs, NITs, CFTIs) will release their merit lists for admission through GATE. 

GATE 2018 Life Sciences (XL) Answer Key

GATE answer keys with correct solutions to the Life Sciences (XL) question paper, among other papers will be published on the official website, by the examination authority soon after the scheduled exam date. Candidates can access their individual response sheets through candidate login on the GOAPS (GATE Online Application Processing System), to check the answers that they submitted in the exam, against the official answer keys.

Candidates can access, download and check their GATE response sheet, question papers and answer keys for each paper/subject, session-wise, estimate scores and also file objections to the answer key through their individual login in GOAPS.

GATE 2018 Life Sciences (XL) Response Sheet 

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

  • Visit Official website of GATE i.e. gate.iitg.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

GATE 2018 Life Sciences (XL) Answer Keys 

GATE Answer Keys will contain the correct solutions/answers to the questions asked in the GATE Papers. Please note that the Answer Keys will be released provisionally in the first place, and later released with changes incorporated (if any) on the basis of valid challenges from the candidates. Candidates can access their subject-specific Answer Keys in the following steps:

  • Click on the ‘Answer Key’ link tab on the candidate dashboard.
  • Select the Life Sciences (XL) paper and the relevant answer key.
  • The answer key is displayed on-screen
  • Download, save and obtain prints of the answer key.

Candidates have the option of raising objections to the answer keys released provisionally. The steps involved in doing so are listed below:

  • Visit Official website of GATE.
  • Enter candidate’s login credentials to the COAP.
  • Click ‘Contest Answer Key’ tab to carefully read the ‘Guidelines’ for challenging the Answer Key.
  • Check the declaration stating that guidelines for challenging the GATE Answer Key have been understood and agreed to.
  • Click the “Contest Answer Key" tab to proceed to payment option. For each question challenged, a fee of INR 500 (USD 10 for NRI candidates) has to be paid using either Net Banking or Credit/Debit Cards through the integrated payment gateway.
  • Use the exact question number mentioned in the question paper to submit the challenge. Upload appropriate justification to the challenge and hit submit.

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

GATE 2018 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 fibers, 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 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 2018 Life Sciences (XL) Qualifying Marks

GATE 2018 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

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