A complete breakdown of the GATE Exam pattern 2023

  • 25 Jul, 2022
  • Sudharshan T
A complete breakdown of the GATE Exam pattern 2023


Any aspirant planning to take the GATE exam 2023 needs to understand more beyond the subjects and technical knowledge. The technical knowledge or the subject matter makes up only 50 % of the preparation, and the other 50% lies in strategizing preparation and the approach to preparation that would make any GATE aspirant successful. Knowing the syllabus and understanding the exam pattern plays a vital role in GATE exam preparation more than you know

1. How important is the GATE exam pattern? 

We can say that the importance of understanding the GATE exam pattern and syllabus is underestimated in some aspirants. Aspirants that are committed and serious about the exam measure all the possible ways to progress in the preparation. Decoding the GATE exam pattern will give exceptional insights to the students that will form the basis for the preparation. The syllabus and the weightage of questions in the GATE exam will help students prioritize the subject matter in a meaningful way.

2. 2023 GATE Exam pattern - A snapshot 

Few of the most fundamental things you should know about GATE 2023 are listed below:

Exam duration - The duration of the exam will be 180 minutes (3 hours)

Type of questions - 1. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), 2. Multiple Select Questions (MSQ), 3. Numerical Answer Type (NAT)

Number of questions - 65 questions altogether for 100 marks. 10 questions out of these 65 questions are from General Aptitude. 3 hours for the exam takes roughly 2.7 minutes to answer each question.

Number of Sections: There are 3 sections in the GATE exam: General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics, and Subject Specific. This is the usual pattern for the GATE exam. However, these sections differ for papers with paper codes such as AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, XH, and XL papers.

Marking Scheme:

There is negative marking for the MCQs and no negative marking for the MSQs and NATs. For every wrong answer chosen in a 1-mark MCQ, 1/3rd of the mark will be marked negative. And for every wrong answer selected for the 2-mark MCQ, 2/3rd of the mark will be marked negative. This marking scheme is universal for all papers.

2023 GATE exam pattern - The intricacies

Let us discuss the other aspects of the 2023 GATE exam pattern.

CBT and New Subjects: The GATE exam 2023 is conducted online as a CBT (Computer-Based Test). So, aspirants must understand how it works and become well-versed in attending CBTs. Aspirants can practice CBTs through mock exams, which can also benefit the revision. There are 29 papers in which the GATE exam is conducted. Until 2022, there were only 27 papers. GATE exam has added two subjects this year which will be discussed below.

Design of Questions: The GATE exam tests an individual in all the aspects of cognition when it comes to approaching the GATE exams. These are the abilities that are tested in an individual.

  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Comprehension
  • Recall
  • Synthesis

Other essential aspects of the exam pattern are tabulated below.

Distribution of Questions in all papers excluding GG, AR, CY, EY, PH, MA, and XL

Engineering Mathematics: 13 Marks

Subject Questions: 72 Marks

General Aptitude: 15 Marks

Distribution of Questions in CY, AR, GG, EY, PH, MA, XH, and XL

Questions from Specific Subject: 85 Marks

General Aptitude: 15 Marks

Total Marks

100 Marks

Marking Scheme

All questions will be 1 or 2 marks

3. What are the new subjects that are added?

The GATE exam has added two more new papers this year, which are

1. Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture

2. Geomatics Engineering.

This makes it 29 papers in total for the GATE 2023 exam compared to 27 papers in the old model. Individuals take all the exams to get admission into IITs, NITs, and CFTIs, which are Centrally Funded Technical Institutions in the country.

4. What is the Marking scheme for GATE 2023? 

The generic pattern of the marking scheme is mentioned above. However, the subject's marking schemes and weightage vary depending on the paper.

In the 2023 GATE exam, the General Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics will have a weightage of 15% out of the 100 marks. This applies to the GATE papers with paper codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF, and XE. The other 70% will be weighted to the subject selected by the student.

For the paper codes AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, ST, and XL, there will only be one compulsory section of General Aptitude with 15% weightage of the total 100 marks. The remaining 85% weightage will be given to the subject selected by the student.

The weightage for the papers is tabulated below for your reference.   

GATE Paper Code

General Aptitude (GA) Marks

Subject Marks

Total Marks





AR [Part A + Part B (B1: Architecture or B2: Planning)]


60 + 25


GE [Part A + Part B (Section I or Section II)


55 + 30


GG [Part A + Part B (Section 1: Geology or Section 2: Geophysics)]


25 + 60


XE (Section A + Any TWO Sections)


15 + (2 x 35)


XH (Section B1 + Any ONE Section)


25 + 60


XL (Section P + Any TWO Sections)


25 + (2 x 30)


5. How does GATE coaching help in breaking down the GATE exam pattern? 

Individuals preparing for the GATE exam on their own need to find all these insights through extensive research, which might take up their valuable preparation time. Signing up with the GATE coaching center will save you that time as they present you with all the necessary information to strategize your preparation. Also, they go beyond the mile by strategizing your preparation and making it easy for you to crack the exam.

6. About VISHWA

VISHWA is one of the renowned GATE institutes that offers an extensive range of courses for the GATE exams. VISHWA offers different variants of its SMART GATE courses that cater to different use cases. VISHWA provides free counseling to the aspirants to understand their requirements and help them with the right course for their GATE exam preparation. Get in touch with us to learn more about VISHWA.

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