What is GATE score? Know thoroughly about its calculation and significance.

What is GATE score? Know thoroughly about its calculation and significance.

What is GATE score? Know thoroughly about its calculation and significance.

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering or GATE is conducted every year jointly by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) on behalf of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India.

Typically the paper consists of 65 questions for 100 marks. 10 questions are of General Aptitude and remaining covers the Technical Section and Engineering Mathematics. The questions can be of two types: – Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT). The questions can carry one or two marks.

The GATE score forms the basis for admissions into various Masters (M.E., M. Tech., M.S.)and Doctoral (PhD) programmes in the institutions supported by the MHRD and other Government agencies. GATE is mandatory for obtaining the financial assistance or stipend. Further many of the Public Sector Undertakings have been using GATE score for their recruitment process.

Also read, “Why should you prepare for GATE? ” to know about various opportunities after GATE.

Owing to various opportunities after GATE, the competition is increasing exponentially year after year. One who delicately prepares for the exam, should know every aspect of the exam. The performance of the GATE Exam is indicated in terms of GATE score which is used for all post exam processes. So understanding GATE score completely becomes very much important.

Why GATE score and not GATE marks are considered for the admissions?

GATE Marks

These are the actual marks obtained by any candidate in the particular year. As Gate Paper is of 100 marks hence these are the obtained marks out of 100.


It is serial number of the candidate according to the merit list for particular subject (stream) during specific year. It is also called AIR i.e. All India Rank. For example if you have got AIR 1 then you are the topper amongst all the candidates appearing for that subject (stream) in the given year.

Why GATE score?

Basically the validity of GATE score is for three years (Ref:- Official website). So you can apply into any college for higher studies on the basis of previous GATE marks.
Let us say there are two students A and B applying for the same seat in certain college. ‘A’ s applying on the basis GATE marks of the current year while ‘B’ is seeking admission on the basis of previous year performance.
Now there should be a system so that both of these candidates are equally scrutinized and hence GATE score comes into the picture. GATE score takes care of relative performances on the single scale.

How GATE score is calculated?

The GATE score is calculated out of 1000 and formula used for calculation as mentioned in the official GATE website is as follows:-

GATE\:SCORE=S_q+\left(S_t-S_q\right)\frac{M-M_q}{{\overline M}_t-M_q}

In the above formula

M is the actual marks obtained by the candidate out of 100. In case of multi-session papers these marks are normalized to take into account any variation in
the difficulty levels of the question papers across different sessions. The formula used for the normalization is mentioned below.

Mq is the qualifying marks for the general category in the particular stream. Organizing institute decides the qualifying marks for each stream (subject). In GATE 2018 qualifying marks for general category in each stream will be 25 (out of 100) or (µ+σ), whichever is larger. Here, µ is average while σ is standard deviation of marks of all the candidates who appeared for the particular paper.

$latex {\overline M}_t$ is the average marks of top 10 or top 0.1% of the candidates in particular stream. In case multi-session papers for the stream (subject), all the sessions are considered.

Sq is the GATE score if a student just qualifies the exam. In other words it is GATE score when marks obtained, M equal to Mq. Sq is assigned as 350. (Ref:- GATE Brochure 2018)

St is the average GATE score of a student among top 10 or top 0.1% from any stream. In other words it is GATE score when marks obtained, M equal to {\overline M}_t. St is assigned as 900. (Ref:- GATE Brochure 2018)

Normalization of marks for multi session papers

Due to large number of applicants, GATE may be conducted in multi sessions for some streams. In such case suitable normalization is applied to take into account the variation in difficulty levels of papers across different sessions.

It completely depends on the organizing IIT that which method is used for normalization. In GATE 2018, following formula is used for the normalization marks of jth candidate in ith session.

{\widehat M}_{ij}=\frac{\overline M_t^g-M_q^g}{{\overline M}_{ti}-M_{iq}}\left(M_{ij}-M_{iq}\right)+M_q^g

Mij is the actual marks obtained by the jth candidate in ith session.
\overline M_t^g is the average marks of top 0.1% of the candidates considering all sessions for that stream.
M_q^g is the sum of mean and standard deviation marks of the candidates in the paper considering all sessions.
{\overline M}_{ti} is the average marks of the top 0.1% of the candidates in the ith session.
Miq is the sum of the mean marks and standard deviation of the ith session.

Few Examples

Consider the case like – Gate score 600 means how many marks?

Merely using the GATE score, you cannot calculate the marks obtained by that candidate. You should also provided with- Which year are you considering? What were the qualifying marks at that year? What were the average marks obtained by top 10 (or 0.1%) students appeared for the paper? What were the gate score assigned to Sq and St?

Let us say, we are dealing with year 2018 and assume that average marks by top 10 (or 0.1%) students in particular paper are 75. Sq is assigned 350 while St is assigned as 900 by the organizing committee. Thus


After calculation, marks obtained i.e. M would be 47.72 marks (or around it). Similar calculations can be done for – Gate score 700 means how many marks? Gate score 800 means how many marks?

In 2016, AIR 124 in Civil Engineering had Gate score 847, AIR 70 in Instrumentation Engineering had GATE score 768 while AIR 96 in Computer Science secured GATE score 856.

Good luck!

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