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GATE AE: Aerospace Engineering

Last Updated - February 02, 2017

GATE AE (Aerospace Engineering) provides admissions to the Master’s programme in Engineering and Master’s in Sciences in various IITs and other engineering institutes. GATE is one of the toughest exams for engineering aspirants to fulfill their dream of studying in an IIT.

The candidates who have studied AE in their B.Tech programme can also apply for M.Tech admissions in Mechanical or Automobile or Industrial as well. There is no specified age limit for applying for GATE AE.

The online exam for GATE AE is scheduled on February 05, 2017 in the 2nd shift (afternoon shift). There are questions based on general aptitude, engineering mathematics and core subject. There are MCQ and Numerical Answer type Questions in GATE AE Exam.

Every year a large number of applications are received for GATE, but 15% of the total applications are received for GATE AE. Approximately 4000 or above candidates appear for GATE AE exam.

GATE AE Eligibility

Obtaining a B.Tech/B.E. /B.Sc. degree in Aerospace Engineering is not a pre-requisite to seek admissions in M.Tech programme through GATE. Candidates who apply for AE paper through GATE 2017 can apply for M.Tech admissions in Mechanical, Automobile, Industrial, Biotechnology, Physics and Mathematics streams as well apart from admissions to Aerospace Engineering.

IIT Bombay considers B.Tech in Aerospace, Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Electronics, Instrumentation streams for GATE AE Qualifiers admissions in M.Tech. The candidates who are appearing for the B.Tech programme in the current year can also apply for GATE AE 2017. International candidates with the B.Tech degree in the respective discipline or M.Tech/M.E. / M.Sc. in the required science subject are also eligible to apply.

GATE AE Paper Pattern and Syllabus

GATE AE is an online examination conducted in a single shift. It is scheduled on February 05, 2017 in the afternoon shift (02:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m.). GATE AE Paper comprises three sections i.e. Engineering Mathematics (15%), General Aptitude (15%) and Technical Questions (70%). The other important features in GATE AE Exam Pattern are given below:

  • There are 65 questions in total to be solved in 180 minutes. The questions will be in English language only.
  • There are two types of questions in GATE AE Exam- Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type Questions (NAT)
  • There are 10 questions from General Aptitude, 25 questions from Engineering Mathematics and 30 questions from the core subject
  • Out of the 30 questions from the core subject, there are 90% questions from the core topics and 10% questions from the special topics mentioned in GATE AE Syllabus.
  • A virtual calculator aids the calculation part in the exam. It contains all the necessary functions like power (root, square, nth power, nth root), trigonometric (direct and inverse), logarithmic etc.
  • For rough work, candidates are provided with a scribble pad which must be returned after the exam is over.

The GATE AE Syllabus includes 6 major topics from the subjects of undergraduate programme are given below:

AerodynamicsFlight Mechanics
Space DynamicsEngineering Mathematics

GATE AE Books and Question Papers

GATE Question Papers are helpful for the preparation of GATE only if the candidate has completely revised the entire syllabus. The question papers give a rough idea of the GATE Exam Pattern. One must practice from the previous year GATE Question Paper to understand the design of the paper and plan which section to attempt first. The books are the major tool which aid the GATE Preparation of the candidate. The list of GATE Preparation books for various core topics are given below:


The most suitable and helpful books for preparation this section of GATE AE paper are given below:



Flight Mechanics

Flight mechanics is one of the most important topics in the GATE AE paper. The books which include the entire GATE AE Syllabus and questions are given below:



Engineering Mathematics

This subject covers 15% of the GATE AE Question paper. Practice for this section from the topics given below:



The maximum number of questions are asked from this topic in the technical section of the GATE AE Question paper. The books which will aid the preparation of this topic to score well in GATE 2017 are given below:




Important Topics in GATE AE

There are special topics for every topic included in GATE Syllabus. 10% of the subject based questions are asked from the special topics. Candidates have to focus on the topics included in GATE Syllabus for Aerospace and also the special topics included in each topic. The list of important topics from core topics and special topics are given below:

  1. Engineering Mathematics
  • Important Topic- Calculus
  • Special Topics- Fourier Series, Laplace Transforms, Numerical methods for linear and nonlinear algebraic equations, Numerical integration and differentiation
  1. Flight Mechanics
  • Important Topic- Airplane performance
  • Special topics- Dynamic stability: Euler angles; Equations of motion; aerodynamic forces and moments, stability & control derivatives; decoupling of longitudinal and lateral-directional dynamics; longitudinal modes; lateral-directional modes
  1. Space Dynamics
  • Important topic- Determination of Trajectory and orbital period in simple cases
  • Special topics- Orbit transfer, in-plane and out-of-plane
  1. Aerodynamics
  • Important Topic- Basic fluid mechanism, Airfoils and  wings, Compressible flows
  • Special Topics- Elementary ideas of viscous flows including boundary layers; Wind Tunnel Testing: Measurement and visualization techniques
  1. Structure
  • Important Topics- Aircraft stability
  • Special Topics- Vibration of beams, Theory of elasticity: Equilibrium and compatibility equations, Air’s stress function
  1. Propulsion
  • Important Topics- Turbines, Axial Compressors, Centrifugal Compressors and Rocket Propulsion
  • There are no special topics in this section.

GATE AE Cutoff

The GATE Cutoff for Aerospace Engineering varies for different institutes for different categories. The candidates are selected for M.Tech admissions through GATE Scores and are also recruited to various PSUs.

Out of 100, one is expected to get more than 30 marks to qualify for GATE while for admissions to premier institutes, candidates must score more than 50 marks out of 100. The previous year GATE Cutoff mentioning the All India rank for admissions to Aerospace Engineering is given below:

IISc, BangaloreME750690650650700
IIT, KharagpurM.Tech.606611395328NA
IIT, KanpurM.Tech.500470450450400
IIT, MadrasM.Tech.700680650650650
(BE/B.Tech >= 80 %)
IIT, BombayM.Tech.380342253253252
IIST, KeralaM.Tech.677671580580550
DIAT, MaharashtraM.Tech.620600580580550
IIEST, West BengalM.Tech.350310253253250
BIT, JharkhandME300276242242220
MIT, ChennaiME300280260260220

GATE Participating Colleges

Candidates can seek admission to M.Tech. / M.E. / M.Sc. programme in various IITs and other engineering institutes. The total seat intake of these institutes vary every year. As per the analysis, these institutes offer 44-48 seats each but only 15-20 candidates qualify the GATE AE Cutoff. The seats which are left are filled by candidates of other streams or sponsored candidates. The list of institutes is given below:

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc, Bangalore)IIST, Thiruvananthapuram
IIT, Bombay (IITB)DIAT, Pune (Defence Institute of Advanced Technology)
IIT, Kanpur (IITK)MIT, Chennai (Madras Institute of Technology)
IIT, Kharagpur (IITKgp)BIT, Mesra (Birla Institute of Technology)
IIT, Madras (IITM)IIEST, Shibpur (Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology)
JNCASR, Bangalore (Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research) 

GATE AE Admissions

GATE 2017 enables candidates to seek admission in their desired IITs or other renowned engineering institutes to the M.Tech/ M.E programme. The IISc, IITB, IITM and IITKgp offer direct admissions to the M.E. / M.Tech. Programme through GATE Scores.

The admission process for GATE is an online process which commences in the month of March 2017. Candidates have to fill online applications to apply for the admission process and no hard copies must be sent.

IIT, Kanpur organizes a separate admission test (written) for admissions to the M.Tech. The ratio of the GATE Score and marks obtained in the admission test is 3:2 (approximately). For admissions, 70% weightage is given to GATE Scores and 30% is given to the admission test. The candidates with All India Rank up to 250 are called for the admission test.

The DIAT and IIST offer admissions to the master’s programme through admission test or interview. Candidates with AIR equal to or above 100 are called for the admission test or interview.

MIT, Chennai offers admissions through GATE and TANCET. The higher preference is given to the candidates who qualify GATE 2017 with good scores than TANCET qualifying candidates. As compared to other participating colleges MIT offers better opportunities. BIT, Mesra has released 12 seats for admissions to the M.Tech programme through GATE 2017.

Opportunities after GATE

Obtaining a good score in GATE 2017 entitles the candidates with various opportunities enlisted below:

  • After obtaining a valid GATE Scorecard, IITM, IISc and JNCASR offer research based programmes at Master’s level (M.S.). The candidates who qualify GATE with a good score are called for the written admission test or interview.
  • IITB, IITM offer direct admissions to integrated doctoral programme (PhD) after B.E. / B.Tech. The admission process includes a written test or interview after the GATE Exam.
  • Candidates can apply for Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, Transport Engineering and Computers in various IITs.
  • Candidates are offered scholarships in research labs. DRDO offers JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) to the qualified candidates.
  • ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) offers opportunity of Project Assistance. There are many opportunities as project assistance, project engineer, junior research fellow etc. at Industrial Research and Consultancy Centre (IRCC) at IITB.
  • Similar opportunities are available at IITM and IITK in Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (CS&IR).



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