The GATE examination or the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, is one of the biggest exams conducted in the country. It is meant as an entrance for Post Graduation for students with a science background, specifically for engineers. The top engineering colleges in the country take turns in conducting the exam on a nationwide level. In 2017, IIT Roorkee had fulfilled this responsibility in the month of February, when the exam is usually held. The exam was organised by IIT Guwahati in February, 2018 and it is believed that in 2019, IIT Madras is going to take up the mantle. While not a be-all of entrance exams, GATE scores definitely matter, for candidates are shortlisted for the top institutions according to their scores in the exam. However, once shortlisted, students must prepare themselves for further rounds of entrance and interviews.
GATE is a lifeline for most engineering students wishing to pursue a higher degree and qualification before getting a job and joining a company. The following is a comprehensive list of all things you need know about the GATE exam:
- What is the GATE?
The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering tests the skills of any engineering who has a graduation degree. His or her aptitude towards the subject is tested so that they can be properly judged and put into a college that they deserve to go to for their Master’s degree. A student’s capabilities are tested in the exam, problem-solving abilities and understanding specific to the subject are tested. The exam is conducted jointly by the Indian Institutes of Technology scattered across the country and by the Indian Institute of Science located in Bangalore. Each year, one of these institutions take up the bulk of responsibility to successfully conduct the exam.
- Where can you get admission through GATE?
The scores at GATE are used to publish a merit list which awards a final score rank to each student, by their scores and weightage calculation. This list is used for the CCMT or the centralised counselling method for getting admission into the NITs or the National Institute of Technology institutes in India.
Once the GATE results are out, the students need to apply individually to the IITs of their choice. On the basis of these applications, the IITs bring out their merit list with a list of candidates who are eligible. More rounds of entrance examinations and interviews follow which the student needs to clear to call himself or herself an IIT-ian.
State-level counselling is also held by the GATE scores, for central and state engineering science colleges. Most State-run colleges take students for the MTech course by GATE merits. The details of State counselling are announced shortly after the results are out.
Meritorious GATE candidates are also eligible for financial aid and scholarships. This is how the students are absorbed into the very best institutions for their Master’s degree.
- What is the cut-off marks at GATE?
Admission to IITs is the primary aim for most people who take the GATE exam and with good reason, for they are as prestigious institutions to get into for your Master’s as they were for the Bachelor’s degree. The cut-off that will get you into IIT varies from year to year. Your final GATE scores must be above 600 to even hope for admission in one of the Institutes.
What must be remembered is that students are merely shortlisted by the IITs by the GATE scores to begin the admission process. This is then accentuated by several rounds of written tests and personal interviews before being taken into the institute as a Master’s degree student. The Top IITs often require a final score greater than 740 in GATE. To get admission in any the of the IITs, you definitely need a 700+ score.
- GATE application process
The application form for the Graduation Aptitude Test for Engineering is to be filled online. Over the last few years, the entire transaction is moved online with no scope for offline form fill up. No long queues for the collection of forms are necessary, and the process is now completely hassle-free and convenient. Go to the GOAPS or the Gate Online Application Processing System to get started with the application process.
The submission of the forms is also restricted to the online forum. To successfully apply you will need to submit certain documents. Access to a scanner is essential for this part of the submission process. Original documents are to be scanned, and the soft copies need to be sent along with your application form.
- What are the documents needed for the application process
Have a soft copy of a recent passport size picture of the applicant available. The standard size of 4.5 cm× 2.5cm is to be maintained. Ask the photo studio to send you the picture in a jpeg format. Additionally, make sure that the background to your picture is either white or light coloured.
Secondly, you will need your signature available in soft copy. Take a blank sheet of paper and get the applicant’s signature in blue ink. Scan the page and save it in 2cm× 7cm size, also in the jpeg format.
If you have completed your B.Tech degree, keep a scanned copy of the degree certificate ready. If you are still in your final year, make sure you have a scanned copy of a certificate from the principal of your institution allowing you to take the GATE examination.
If the applicant is from a reserved category, scanned copies of relevant certificates will also be necessary for the process of application.
- The application fee for GATE
The application fee for the General Aptitude Test for Engineers is set at Rs. 1500. This is a non-refundable amount. Female candidates and candidates from reserved categories are eligible to pay Rs. 750 only.
The examination is the only GATE-way for legitimate admission to top colleges for a Master’s degree in Engineering. However, every student from an engineering background should take the exam for the scores may be necessary for future as well.