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GATE Exam Pattern for Civil Engineering 2024

GATE Exam Pattern for Civil Engineering

GATE Exam Pattern for Civil Engineering 2024

Aspiring civil engineers, gear up for essential insights into the newly unveiled exam structure. This comprehensive guide deciphers the updated pattern, highlighting key changes and offering expert tips to ace the exam with confidence. Stay tuned to unravel the intricacies of the GATE 2024 exam format tailored specifically for Civil Engineering. Whether you’re a seasoned candidate or a newcomer, this blog equips you with the knowledge to navigate the exam’s challenges successfully. Let’s embark on this journey towards GATE 2024 preparation excellence!


Verbal Aptitude: Basic English grammar: tenses, articles, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, verb-noun agreement, and other parts of speech Basic vocabulary: words, idioms, and phrases in context. Reading and comprehension Narrative sequencing.

Quantitative Aptitude: Data interpretation: data graphs (bar graphs, pie charts, and other graphs representing data), 2 and 3-dimensional plots, maps, and tables Numerical computation and estimation: ratios, percentages, powers, exponents and logarithms, permutations and combinations, and series Mensuration and geometry Elementary statistics and probability.

Analytical Aptitude: Logic: deduction and induction; Analogy: Numerical relations and reasoning. Spatial Aptitude: Transformation of shapes: translation, rotation, scaling, mirroring, assembling, and grouping Paper folding, cutting, and patterns in 2 and 3 dimensions.


Linear Algebra: Matrix algebra; Systems of linear equations; Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors.

Calculus: Functions of single variable; Limit, continuity and differentiability; Mean value theorems, local maxima and minima; Taylor series; Evaluation of definite and indefinite integrals, application of definite integral to obtain area and volume; Partial derivatives; Total derivative; Gradient, Divergence and Curl, Vector identities; Directional derivatives; Line, Surface and Volume integrals.

Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE): First order (linear and non-linear) equations; higher order linear equations with constant coefficients; Euler-Cauchy equations; initial and boundary value problems.

Partial Differential Equation (PDE): Fourier series; separation of variables; solutions of one- dimensional diffusion equation; first and second order one-dimensional wave equation and two-dimensional Laplace equation.

Probability and Statistics: Sampling theorems; Conditional probability; Descriptive statistics – Mean, median, mode and standard deviation; Random Variables – Discrete and Continuous, Poisson and Normal Distribution; Linear regression.

 Numerical Methods: Error analysis. Numerical solutions of linear and non-linear algebraic equations; Newton’s and Lagrange polynomials; numerical differentiation; Integration by trapezoidal and Simpson’s rule; Single and multi-step methods for first order differential equations.


System of forces, free-body diagrams, equilibrium equations; Internal forces in structures; Frictions and its applications; Centre of mass; Free Vibrations of undamped SDOF system.


Bending moment and shear force in statically determinate beams; Simple stress and strain relationships; Simple bending theory, flexural and shear stresses, shear centre; Uniform torsion, Transformation of stress; buckling of column, combined and direct bending stresses.


Statically determinate and indeterminate structures by force/ energy methods; Method of superposition; Analysis of trusses, arches, beams, cables and frames; Displacement methods: Slope deflection and moment distribution methods; Influence lines; Stiffness and flexibility methods of structural analysis.


 Construction Materials: Structural Steel – Composition, material properties and behaviour; Concrete – Constituents, mix design, short-term and long-term properties.

Construction Management: Types of construction projects; Project planning and network analysis – PERT and CPM; Cost estimation.


Working stress and Limit state design concepts; Design of beams, slabs, columns; Bond and development length; Prestressed concrete beams.


Working stress and Limit state design concepts; Design of tension and compression members, beams and beam- columns, column bases; Connections – simple and eccentric, beam-column connections, plate girders and trusses; Concept of plastic analysis – beams and frames.


Soil Mechanics: Three-phase system and phase relationships, index properties; Unified and Indian standard soil classification system; Permeability – one dimensional flow, Seepage through soils – two – dimensional flow, flow nets, uplift pressure, piping, capillarity, seepage force; Principle of effective stress and quicksand condition; Compaction of soils; One- dimensional consolidation, time rate of consolidation; Shear Strength, Mohr’s circle, effective and total shear strength parameters, Stress-Strain characteristics of clays and sand; Stress paths.

Foundation Engineering: Sub-surface investigations – Drilling bore holes, sampling, plate load test, standard penetration and cone penetration tests; Earth pressure theories – Rankine and Coulomb; Stability of slopes – Finite and infinite slopes, Bishop’s method; Stress distribution in soils – Boussinesq’s theory; Pressure bulbs, Shallow foundations – Terzaghi’s and Meyerhoff’s bearing capacity theories, effect of water table; Combined footing and raft foundation; Contact pressure; Settlement analysis in sands and clays; Deep foundations – dynamic and static formulae, Axial load capacity of piles in sands and clays, pile load test, pile under lateral loading, pile group efficiency, negative skin friction.


Properties of fluids, fluid statics; Continuity, momentum and energy equations and their applications; Potential flow, Laminar and turbulent flow; Flow in pipes, pipe networks; Concept of boundary layer and its growth; Concept of lift and drag.

Hydraulics: Forces on immersed bodies; Flow measurement in channels and pipes; Dimensional analysis and hydraulic similitude; Channel Hydraulics – Energy-depth relationships, specific energy, critical flow, hydraulic jump, uniform flow, gradually varied flow and water surface profiles.

Note: Impact of Jets and Turbines, Hydraulic Pumps have been removed from the GATE syllabus.


Hydrologic cycle, precipitation, evaporation, evapo-transpiration, watershed, infiltration, unit hydrographs, hydrograph analysis, reservoir capacity, flood estimation and routing, surface run-off models, ground water hydrology – steady state well hydraulics and aquifers; Application of Darcy’s Law.


Types of irrigation systems and methods; Crop water requirements – Duty, delta, evapo-Transpiration; Gravity Dams and Spillways; Lined and unlined canals, Design of weirs on permeable foundation; cross drainage structures.


Water and Waste Water Quality and Treatment: Basics of water quality standards – Physical, chemical and biological parameters; Water quality index; Unit processes and operations; Water requirement; Water distribution system; Drinking water treatment.

Sewerage system design, quantity of domestic wastewater, primary and secondary treatment. Effluent discharge standards; Sludge disposal; Reuse of treated sewage for different applications.

Air Pollution: Types of pollutants, their sources and impacts, air pollution control, air quality standards, Air quality Index and limits.

Municipal Solid Wastes: Characteristics, generation, collection and transportation of solid wastes, engineered systems for solid waste management (reuse/ recycle, energy recovery, treatment and disposal).

Transportation Engineering

Transportation Infrastructure: Geometric design of highways – cross-sectional elements, sight distances, horizontal and vertical alignments.

Geometric design of railway Track – Speed and Cant.

Concept of airport runway length, calculations and corrections; taxiway and exit taxiway design.

Highway Pavements: Highway materials – desirable properties and tests; Desirable properties of bituminous paving mixes; Design factors for flexible and rigid pavements; Design of flexible and rigid pavement using IRC codes.

Traffic Engineering: Traffic studies on flow and speed, peak hour factor, accident study, statistical analysis of traffic data; Microscopic and macroscopic parameters of traffic flow, fundamental relationships; Traffic signs; Signal design by Webster’s method; Types of intersections; Highway capacity.


Principles of surveying; Errors and their adjustment; Maps – scale, coordinate system; Distance and angle measurement – Levelling and trigonometric levelling; Traversing and triangulation survey; Total station; Horizontal and vertical curves.

Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing – Scale, flying height; Basics of remote sensing and GIS.


GATE 2023 set-1

Engineering Mathematics


Irrigation & Hydrology


Fluid Mechanics


Environmental Engineering


Structural Analysis


Geotechnical Engineering


Transportation Engineering


Geomatics Engineering




Steel Structures


General Aptitude


Construction Materials & Management


Engineering Mechanics


Solid Mechanics


GATE Marking Scheme

The marking scheme of the examination is such that the students are awarded 1 or 2 marks for each correct answer in the paper. Only selected types of questions carry negative marking.

Negative Marking in GATE

According to the GATE exam pattern 2024, multiple-select questions and NAT questions have no negative marking assigned to them. There will be a negative marking for a wrong answer in the MCQ question only. The detailed marking scheme is mentioned in the table below.

Type of Questions

Marking Scheme

Multiple-choice Questions

For 1-mark MCQ, 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.

For 2-mark MCQ, 2/3 marks will be deducted for a wrong answer.

Multiple-select Questions

1 or 2 marks; No negative marking

Numerical-answer Type Questions

1 or 2 Marks; No negative marking

Unattempted Questions

0 marks


How to prepare for GATE

  • The GATE paper contains 65 questions of 100 marks.
  • The GATE Exam contains two sections –
    1. Core Engineering Subjects – 55 Questions of 85 Marks
    2. General Aptitude – 10 Questions of 15 Marks
  • Types of Questions –
    1. MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)
    2. MSQs (Multiple Select Questions)
    3. NAT (Numerical Answer Type)
  • Pick any subject of your choice to kick off your GATE Preparation. It is advisable not to skip any of them.
  • To ensure you maximise your efforts & channel all your efforts to enhance your preparation, you should follow the below steps:
  1. Attend lectures regularly: These can be lectures in your college/coaching classes or even free lectures you are watching on YouTube but ensure to consistently keep studying. A lot of the students do not pay attention during the lectures & thus end up spending more time while self-studying for the same subject.
  2. Create short notes per subject: For every subject you study, create a small list of formulas, important points or even your mistakes. This will help you revise the subject quickly in the future.
  3. Revise notes after finishing the subject: Ensure to revise all the notes which you have created for the subject after completing any subject. Creating notes & not using them for revision is as good as not creating notes. Use them for revision regularly.
  4. Solve all Previous Years Papers: Ensure that you solve all previous year’s papers while studying for the individual subjects. They are very important for your exam preparation.
  5. Practice Engineering Maths & General Aptitude Regularly It is a very common mistake to underestimate General Aptitude. Do not make that mistake. General aptitude & Maths is something which you should be practising regularly & should not wait for all subjects to get over till you start them.
  6. Finish complete syllabus till October: Keep a goal of completing your entire syllabus by the month of October. This will give you ample time for revision, solving practice problems & attempting test series.
  7. Start solving Full Test from November: You should keep in mind that after October in the months on November, December & January you should be only taking full length tests (Mock Tests). Do not make the mistake of taking topic wise tests this close to your GATE Exam.
  8. Identify weak topics & clear your doubts: Identify your weak topics & prepare specifically for them. Get your doubts cleared regarding those subjects/topics. Ensure that as you approach towards your GATE Exam you have very few weak topics.
  9. Revision by short notes or important topics: Before the GATE Exam once your full syllabus is complete, only refer to your own short notes & important topics. Do not try to cover the full syllabus in the last month before the GATE Exam.

How to Effectively and Efficiently Revise all your subjects

Revision is the most important part of your preparation. Since the GATE Exam has such a vast syllabus it is very important to keep revising what you have studied to ensure that you do not forget it over time.

So how should you revise for subjects? We would recommend the following:

  1. Upon completion of the first subject, revise it completely.
  2. Upon completion of the second subject, revise the first & second subject completely.
  3. Upon completion of the third subject, revise all previous subjects completely.
  4. Upon completion of the last subject, revise all the subjects again.

This method will ensure that you are always up to date with your syllabus & even if you studied the first topic 6 months back, you also got a chance to revise it 10 more times than other subjects

In conclusion, a clear understanding of the GATE exam pattern is essential for Civil Engineering aspirants preparing for 2024. The pattern’s focus on technical knowledge, problem-solving, and application underscores the need for comprehensive preparation. Time management, subject mastery, and strategic practice are key to success. Stay updated with the latest syllabus and marking scheme, and make use of mock tests to simulate the exam environment. Remember, a disciplined study approach aligned with the pattern can maximise your chances of achieving a remarkable score and realising your academic and professional aspirations. Good luck on your GATE journey!

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