GATE Mathematics Preparation Tips

    Swati Mishra Swati Mishra
    Content Curator

    GATE is a national level entrance examination for admissions to PG programs like M.Tech, ME, etc. The scores are accepted by more than 900+ institutes across India. This year, GATE 2020 will be conducted on February 1, 2, 8, and 9 in two sessions. Mode of the examination will be computer-based.

    GATE Preparation TipsGATE SyllabusGATE Practice Papers

    A lot of changes were introduced in GATE exam last year. But, for this year, IIT Madras has introduced Statistics as a new subject. There are three sections in the test viz.

    • General Aptitude
    • Engineering Mathematics
    • Mathematics

    Check Changes Introduced in GATE 

    Let us have a look at some smart tips to prepare for this examination and to ace the mathematics section.

    Exam Pattern of Mathematics

    • GATE Math exam will consist of 65 questions of 100 marks spread over the three sections i.e. General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics and Physics.  
    • The exam will consist of MCQs and NAT (Numerical Aptitude Questions)
    • There is no provision of negative marking in NAT questions.
    • MCQs carrying 1 marks each, 1/3 marks would be deducted as a penalty of marking the wrong answer.
    • For questions carrying 2 marks, 2/3 marks would be deducted for marking an incorrect answer.

    Read More GATE Exam Pattern

    GATE MA Preparation Tips

    Given below are some basic tips to prepare better for the mathematics paper. Read on!

    Tip 1:  Being thorough with the syllabus and important topics:

    First and foremost it is important to have a fair idea and understanding of the syllabus and have a knack for the important topics in mathematics. Some of the important areas to focus in mathematics are –

    TopicImportant Topics
    Linear AlgebraEigen values and vectors, rank and determinant of matrices, linear equations
    CalculusLimit, maxima and minima, gradient and divergent
    Differential EquationsFirst order linear and non-linear equations, Cauchy’s and Euler equations
    Complex AnalysisAnalytic Functions, Cauchy- Riemann Equations & Taylor series
    Numerical MethodsNewton-raphson method and Integration by trapezoidal and Simpson’s rules
    Probability and statisticsJoint and conditional probability, uniform, exponential and normal distributions

    Tip 2: Practice, practice and more practice

    There is a popular saying “Practice makes a man perfect”, this especially holds true when preparing for mathematics for GATE. Maths is a scoring stream and hence, the more you practice the more accuracy you will build up which will raise your scores. Start your preparation by working on the basics and practice questions as many questions as possible through reference books, study materials from coaching classes and also by solving ample number of model papers and tests.

    Tip 3: Choosing the right reference books

    Reference books and study materials play a very crucial role in GATE Preparation. Thus, it is essential and necessary to select the right kind of books that will help you in preparing properly for GATE mathematics.

    For topics like linear algebra and calculus, one can refer to the standard NCERT books. Some of the most popular and recommended books for GATE preparation are:

    GATE Mathematics Reference Books
    Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
    Higher Engineering MathematicsBandaru Ramana
    Higher Engineering MathematicsBS Grewal
    Advanced Engineering MathematicsErwin Kreyszig
    Advanced Engineering MathematicsRK Jain
    Advanced Engineering MathematicsHK Dass

    If you are someone who prefers to prepare from e-books rather than these physical printed books then, a lot of e-books are also available for practicing GATE Mathematics. Some of these common e-books are:


    Tip 4: Have a proper study plan

    Dedication is very important in order to crack any examination. In order to stay dedicated and committed towards your goal, it is better to have a proper study plan in place.

    Make monthly, weekly as well as an overall study plan. Prepare a proper timetable and try to stick to it religiously. Make small daily targets and try to achieve them. It is advisable to dedicate at least 4-5 hours on GATE preparation every day among which at least 1-2 hours should be dedicated to Mathematics as it is problem-solving area and needs a lot of practice.

    Study plans also ensure that your preparation is going in right direction as you can focus properly and also allocate equal time to all the topics. Start by focusing on scoring and important topics first and then gradually focus on other remaining topics. Do not forget to allocate time to solve model test papers also in your study schedules.

    Tip 5: Solve mock tests and other practice papers

    In order to ensure whether your preparation is going on a right track or not, it is very important to test yourself. And the best way to ensure whether your preparation is up to the mark or not is through online tests, assessments and mock tests. There are many types of test series available online, consisting of daily practice tests, weekly tests and also national level mock tests. You can solve these papers and get a strong hold on the subject. Also, do not forget to have a look at the previous year question papers so that one can understand which type of questions can be expected in the examination.

    Tip 6: Identifying your strong and weak areas

    It’s important to note what you’re strong and weak areas are and the best way to do this is through solving a lot of test papers. Analyse all your exam results and identify which are the weak areas and try to focus more on those topics. But one must ensure that strong areas should not be completely neglected as overconfidence is also bad. Hence, having a proper balance is important. 

    Tip 7: Preparing list of important formulae

    Always try and maintain a separate notebook to note down all the important concepts and formulae. While revising topics, this will come handy to you and since formulae are very important in mathematics you can keep going through these formulae’s at any point of time and they will be on your fingertips till the actual exam.

    Tip 8: Revising regularly

    Revising whatever you have studied has equal importance as preparation. If you prepare everything but do not revise it thoroughly you may end up forgetting few things in the exam. So, it’s very crucial to have a regular revision of whatever you prepare especially your weak areas so that you will not forget those concepts later during the exam.

    Tip 9: Focus on speed and accuracy

    Since GATE is a time-based examination speed and accuracy is also very important. It is important to build up speed so students should allocate extra time to work on increasing calculation and approximation skills every day as this will build up speed and help you in solving questions faster and quicker in the exam.

    Tip 10: Take help of online sites and mobile apps

    We live in an era of digitization where everything is accessible on smartphones and laptops. You can download some of the free mobile apps for GATE preparation to access study materials and also solve mock tests and practice papers in them. Some of the most popular apps are

    • GradeUp
    • EduRev
    • Gate Exam Prep
    • GATE (Maths + Aptitude)
    • Gate Made easy
    • Gate video guide
    • Gate virtual calculator
    • GATE solved papers and solutions

    There are some great websites also available online from where students can prepare for difficult topics. Some of the best websites to prepare for GATE Mathematics are:

    Website 1: NPTEL (

    Website 2: Khan Academy website (

    YouTube videos and other video channels:

    Visual medium is also a very helpful medium of preparation especially for those who prefer studying on their own. To understand a topic more easily and clearly, students can also go through videos of a particular topic on YouTube or other similar websites to get a better understanding of that area or topic.

    There are several videos available online nowadays to understand topics and gain more clarity on them. Some of these also teach you with direct shortcuts to solve the problems quickly and also share tips on how to remember the formulae’s and concepts easily. These shortcuts will help you in time reduction and you will be able to solve questions more quickly and easily.

    To conclude here is a gist at all the quick tips to have in mind before starting preparation:

    • Always have a proper study plan in place
    • Focus on getting the basics right first
    • Don’t rush towards completing the entire syllabus and exhausting yourself instead focus on important and scoring areas first.
    • Solve as many mock tests and practice papers as possible.
    • Practice atleast 20-30 questions on each topic that your prepare so that you can get perfection. 
    • Select which topics to be started preparing first.
    • Revise whichever topic you study so that you do not forget it and keep revising until you master it.
    • Try penning down all important concepts and formulae separately.
    • At least dedicate 1-2 hours only on mathematics as a part of your preparation.
    • Make small study schedules and challenge yourself to some daily targets and try to achieve them.
    • Be confident and remain dedicated and focused towards your goal. As motivation is the biggest thing which keeps inspiring you to remain committed towards your goal.

    We hope these tips and tricks will help you in facing the most crucial and one of the most scoring areas of GATE examination.

    All the Best!!



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