GATE, Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, is an exam that comprehensively tests the aptitude of undergraduate students in science and other engineering subjects. It is conducted by the various Indian Institutes of Technology along with the Indian Institute of Science on behalf of the National Coordination Board-GATE which comes under the Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Human Resource Development under the Government of India. GATE tests the knowledge of Bachelor’s degree level students in their chosen field. Students studying in the final year of their bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Technology or Architecture are eligible to write this exam. GATE is one of the toughest exams since the aptitude of almost 30 undergraduate subjects is tested in a three-hour exam. Only 15% of the students, who write the examination, qualify.
Intent of the examination
The intended purpose of conducting GATE was to have a common entrance exam for various post-graduation programs including Master of Technology, Masters of Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy. Once a student is qualified, he/she, along with admission in a reputed post graduation institute in that particular subject, will also be given financial assistance by the Ministry of Human Resources Department of the Government of India. One of the most competitive exams in India, the scores of the examination is also recognized in many colleges abroad including the Nanyang University of Technology in Singapore.
The GATE examination is currently conducted for 23 subjects. These subjects include Aerospace Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Architecture and Planning, Biotechnology, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Chemistry, Electronics and Communication Technology, Electrical Engineering, Ecology and Evolution, Geology and Geophysics, Instrumentation Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Physics, Production and Industrial Engineering, Textile Engineering and Fiber Science, Engineering Sciences and Life Sciences.
The results are often declared within a month and are valid for 3 years. These exams test your complete knowledge in a subject. Getting a good score in GATE is not an easy feat. Studying for the examination takes up to 5 to 6 months of hard work dedicated to just studying that subject. These months of hard work will ensure that a student is technically sound on that subject.
Professional Scope after clearing GATE
- PSU’s and Govt. Undertakings: The GATE examination is the only way to measure an engineer’s calibre. The GATE exam scores are also used by various PSUs or Public Service Undertakings for recruitment. The Indian Oil Corporation was the first Public Undertaking Service Company to recruit students for jobs using the GATE scores. This recruitment process was because, for a long time in India, these PSUs had a lot of trouble recruiting as more than 1,00,000 students applied while there were hardly any jobs for 1000 of them. These Public Service Undertakings include Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bharat Electronics Limited, Gas Authority of India Limited, etc. These jobs are much coveted by engineering graduates. In-depth knowledge of the subject and a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of engineering is required to get a job in these reputed Public Service Undertaking companies. A very few students get these jobs.
- Research Fellowship: Qualifying the GATE examination is also a necessity for being eligible for the Junior Research Fellowship award in CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) laboratories. The research positions in the research and development centres are only given to those with a Master’s in technology degree. Students, who couldn’t pursue their dream of doing the bachelor’s in technology in the reputed Indian Institutes of Technology, can do their Masters in these institutes through the GATE examination.
GATE scores come in the percentile form. This means that the rank is relative to all the other students who appear for this exam. Your overall rank depends not only on your score but the scores of all the others who wrote the examination that year. The number of students opting to write the GATE exam is only growing every year. In 2008, only around two lakh students wrote the exam while 2013 saw almost 8 lakh students appearing for the same. This number is only rising ever since.
Private companies do not take into account GATE scores. However, studying for GATE gives you a great amount of knowledge as you put in almost triple the number of efforts as you would pass the examinations conducted by the college. Thus, it gives you a definite edge as compared to the other students. This edge will help you get a job in your core field of study. It is a tremendous help for all your future endeavors, interviews and for achieving your personal career goals.