Amaze Academy

Qualifying GATE 2024(Civil) In 3 Months


GATE One of the toughest examinations conducted in India for the admission into Mtech programs in IITs and NITs and also for recruiting young engineers into various PSUs.

“Qualifying GATE in 3 months” , you may be thinking, is it possible to do that? The answer is “YES”but only if you follow this simple strategy.

GATE is an online 3hrs examination which consists of 65 questions for 100 marks. The nature of questions are multiple choice questions of both single and multiple answer type and numerical answer type questions in which you have to type the numerical answer of the question in the given field.

How many Marks do you need to Qualify GATE in civil Engineering?

The cut off marks depend on various factors including the number of students appearing , level of question paper etc…

Previous year cut off marks for UR category are as follows:



2021: 29.2





So generally a score of 35+ is more than enough for you to qualify the GATE Examination. For students belonging to reservation category the cutoffs will be lesser than that of UR Cutoff. Questions carry either 1 or 2 marks. And for every wrong answer ⅓ or 2/3 marks will be deducted respectively.


Let us see the mark distribution of various subjects in civil engineering

Strength of materials and structural analysis : 10 – 13 marks

Engineering Mathematics : 1 – 2 marks

Aptitude and Reasoning : 15 marks

RCC : 5 – 6 marks

Steel Structure  : 3 – 4 marks 

Fluid Mechanics and OCF : 7-8 marks

Irrigation and Hydrology : 5 – 6 marks

Geotechnical Engineering : 15 marks 

Environmental Engineering : 10 – 11 marks

Transportation Engineering : 10 – 11 marks

Construction Project Management and materials : 3 – 4 marks

Surveying : 4-5 marks

*Note : This is an approximate marks distribution based on analyzing previous year papers.

How to TOP GATE-2024 within a time span of 3 months?

There are some topics in each subject from which chances of questions coming for GATE Examination is very high. Those portions you must study without skipping even a small point. Let us see such topics.

Engineering Mathematics : In this subject one or two questions from the topic matrix and eigen values are generally asked. You can cover this within 1 or 2 days very easily. Practice a variety of problems from this. Numerical methods(Eg: Newton’s Raphson, Bisection method , Gauss elimination , Simpson and Trapezoidal rule, Euler’s and Runge Kutta method) are also important and at the same time an easiest topic which you must focus on. Easy to moderate level questions from limits(using L’Hospital rule) and derivatives(including partial derivatives)are usually asked. Maxima and Minima is also an important topic as far as GATE is concerned. Questions asking to find degree and order of differential equations , finding complementary and particular solutions of a differential equation, Curl, Divergence and Directional derivatives , Integration & its applications( like finding area between curves), vector calculus, Fundamental and basic level problems from Probability and statistics (like binomial , poisson’s  and normal distribution) are also expected to come. If your basics are crystal clear within a week or max of 2 weeks you can complete the entire engineering mathematics portions especially focusing on the topics mentioned above. 

General Aptitude : This portion carries 15 marks and one of the most important also. Questions are simple in nature and one with basic mathematics skill and knowledge in English can easily solve all the questions. You can make use of text books related to Aptitude of SSC , IBPS for preparing and do maximum no of mock tests also to get accustomed to various varieties of problems. English language based questions will be mainly to find the correct synonym or antonym of a word , testing fundamental knowledge in English grammar can make use of any book used for the preparation of English language in various competitive examinations. 

Strength of Materials and Structural Analysis:

Most important topics are : 

  • Stress and strain , (E,G,K,1/m) relationship , Temperature stresses and compatibility conditions.
  • Mohr’s circle and stress transformation
  • BMD and SFD
  • Bending stresses and shear stress in beams
  • Deflection of beams 
  • Theory of columns
  • Hoop and longitudinal stresses in thin cylinder
  • In determinancies ( Static and Kinematic) in frames and trusses
  • Strain energy
  • Analysis of trusses ( method of Joints , section and shortcut techniques)
  • Deflection in determinate frames and trusses by unit load method or castigliano’s technique
  • Method of consistent deformation , Slope deflection and moment distribution method (fundamentals and conceptual problems)
  • Arches and cables (Focus mainly on 3 hinged arches. From cables you may be asked to find maximum and minimum tension in cables)
  • ILD and its applications ( Focus more on stress functions due to UDL and wheel loads)
  • Developing Flexibility and Stiffness matrix


 Along with preparation try to solve numerical questions that are related to the above topics. Questions are generally not lengthy but will test your basic knowledge and ability to apply the concepts that you have learned. Recommended books are Structural analysis by Devdas Menon and SOM by Punmia.

Fluid Mechanics and Open Channel Flow

  Most important topics are : 

  • Basic properties of fluids , Pressure and its units , Problems related to manometers , Force acting and its Center of pressure in (inclined , horizontal , vertical and curved surfaces) due to static liquid , Buoyancy and flotation ( Equilibrium conditions are very important and fundamental problems of flotation , Stability of floating body problem)
  • Fluid Kinematics ( Problems to check Continuity of equation , acceleration ( both local and convective), velocity potential and stream functions , Circulation and vorticity )
  • Fluid Kinetics ( Bernoulli’s equations , Problems and its application (Venturimeter problem both horizontal and inclined) , forces in bends of pipe)
  • Laminar flow in pipes and plates ( Discharge , Avg Velocity , Head Loss , Power required, pipe flow problems)
  • Boundary layer theorem ( Focus on laminar BL)
  • Drag and Lift forces ( Numericals)
  • Dimensional Analysis ( Geometrical and kinematic similarity, mainly Reynolds number and Froude’s number based problems)
  • Open Channel Flow ( Uniform flow , Hydraulically efficient channel ,Specific energy , Critical Depth and Mim energy in Rectangular and Triangular channel , GVF and surface profiles , Hydraulic JUmp ( mainly Rectangular frictionless channel))

The above portions can be easily completed within a time schedule of 1-2 weeks(if your basic knowledge in mechanics is good). You can refer to books written by RK Bansal and PM Modi.


Most important topics are : 

  • Problems on errors in chain surveying
  • Problems on compass surveying ( declination , local attraction , closure error etc..)
  • Traversing ( Problems , errors in traversing , finding omitted measurements , bowditch and transit method)
  • Leveling problems ( HI and rise and fall method , reciprocal leveling , errors and problems related to it , sensitivity of bubble tube)
  • Trigonometric leveling ( problems)
  • Tacheometry problems
  • Problems from photogrammetry ( Height of flight , Coordinates , Relief displacement , Number of photographs).

Focus and practice more numerical questions. Surveying by B.C Punmia is a recommended book. You can cover the entire portions within a timespan of 5-7 days.

Steel structures

Most important topics are : 

  • Bolted and welded connections (problems)’
  • Eccentric connections ( in plane and out plane) both in bolts and welds
  • Tension members ( including lug angles and shear lag effect)
  • Compression members ( effective height of columns as per is 800:2007, finding Pcd based on slenderness ratio and buckling class , column bases ( dimension and thickness) , Built up members )
  • Flexural Members ( Beams , load carrying capacity determination , web buckling and crippling)
  • Plate girder and stiffeners 
  • Gantry girder( deflection and impact load)

Do previous year GATE and ESE Questions from steel structures once you complete the subject (at least the above portins) , Recommended book is steel structures written by SK DUGGAL. Focus more on plastic analysis and connections.


Most important topics are : 

  • Basics of limit state method.
  • Finding neutral axis and moment of resistance of beams.
  • Shear stress and shear reinforcement calculations.
  • Torsion and reinforcement calculations.
  • Doubly reinforced beam analysis (LSM).
  • T and L Beams ( effective flange width and analysis).
  • Columns ( axial load carrying capacity of short columns subjected to axial compression and minimum eccentricity).
  • Footings ( Bending moment , one way shear and 2 way shear calculations).
  • One way and two way slabs ( both restrained and unrestrained).
  • Imp IS456:2000 Provisions.
  • Basics of mix design and nominal mixes.

Focus more on the topics mentioned above. Mark imp points in IS 456:2000. Understand LSM properly before going into analyzing problems, Study the significance of assumptions given in the limit state of collapse, Don’t skip Prestressed concrete . Every year questions come from this topic.


Recommended books are RCC by Devdas Menon and Unnikrishna Pillai , PSC by Krishnaraju. 1-2 weeks are required to cover RCC(provided your knowledge in subjects like SOM and SA is good). Focus more on the topics mentioned above.

Hydrology and Irrigation

Most important topics are : 

  • Precipitation ( Average rainfall calculation , Optimum no of rain gauge , Missing rainfall calculation , Hyetograph , mass curve and IDF )
  • Evaporation ( Pan evaporation ) , Infiltration ( Horton’s equation and Phi index based problems) 
  • Run Off ( Hydrograph based problems like finding runoff depth , area of catchment , UH from DRH and vice versa , base flow calculations etc..)
  • Return Period of floods and probability of occurrence.
  • Ground water hydrology ( darcy’s law ,specific yield , capacity and retention ,  Dupit and Thiems equation , recuperation test based problems )
  • Irrigation techniques , Border strip method problem , soil water relationship , frequency of irrigation , (B,D,Delta relationship) , Discharge of canal required , (CIR , NIR , FIR , GIR ) , Irrigation efficiencies
  • Canal Design : Kennedy and Lacey theorem(more imp)
  • Canal regulation works
  • Exit gradient based on khosla theory and thickness of floor based on bligh’s creep theory problems.
  • Diversion works and cross drainage works (theoretical mainly)


For Hydrology you can refer book written by Subramaniam and  irrigation and water power Engineering  by BC Pumia. Practice previous year questions of ESE and GATE. 

Construction Project management and Materials

Most important topics are : 

  • Construction of Network diagrams
  • PERT (Probability based problems)
  • CPM  (Project duration , critical path , floats)
  • Crashing 
  • Cement + Aggregate + Concrete + Timber + Clay products+Miscellaneous building materials(lime,mortar etc..)  

Recommended books : Building materials by SK Duggal and Construction Project management by Neeraj Jha. Network diagrams are an important portion and questions to find the project duration and critical paths are asked in every GATE Examinations.


Geotechnical engineering

Most important topics are : 

  • Types of soils , Relationship between properties ,  embankment and borrow pit problem
  • Measurement of density , water content and specific gravity , Particle size distribution , relative density , atter-berg limits and classification of soil ( as per Indian code)
  • Permeability , Seepage and Effective stress  based problems ,  quick sand condition , anisotropic soil parameters
  • Compaction, Tests, Equipments 
  • Consolidation based theories and problems ( settlement calculation , time required for settlement, NC OC Clays , pre-consolidation etc..)
  • Shear stress( Finding shear strength by mohr’s coulomb equation , principal stresses , various tests ( direct shear , triaxial , vane shear , UCS), drainage conditions( CD,UU,UC) , skempton’s pore pressure parameters , graphs , stress paths)
  • Vertical stress ( Boussinesq equation , newmark chart and approximate load dispersion method)
  • Earth pressure problems ( Active passive and at rest based on rankine’s theory both in cohesion less and cohesive soils)
  • Foundation engineering ( Terzaghi , Skempton, Meyerhoff theories and bearing capacity calculation of isolated footing , Bearing capacity of strip, square, circular and rectangular footing , effect of water table(shortcut method also), plate load tests and settlement calculation(for both cohesive and cohesionless soil), pile load calculation by static , engineering news and hiley’s formula, group piles(efficiency) , negative skin friction and under reamed piles problems , SPT , SCPT tests
  • Soil exploration techniques and samplers ( Area ratio , inside and outside clearance) , GI and soil stabilization techniques.

You can refer to books written by authors like Arora , Punmia etc on Geotechnical engineering. Do previous year questions of ESE and GATE. Since Geotechnical carries a large amount of weightage in GATE , you are not supposed to skip any topics.

Transportation Engineering

Most important topics are : 

  • Geometric design of highways ( Sight distance, Super elevation , Grade compensation , widening of roads , camber , set back distance , transition curve design , Summit and vertical curve’s length).
  • Highway materials (Subgrade , Aggregates and Bitumen(tests)), Marshall’s design mix and stability.
  • Design of flexible pavement as per IRC 37:2012(Modified CBR Method).
  • Design of rigid pavement ( various stresses , critical locations , joints and bars provided).
  • Geometric design of railways (Gradient , Superelevation , Cant deficiency and excess, grade compensation , design of transition curves).
  • Basic runway length of airports and corrections.
  • Taxiway design and minimum radius calculation.


Imp book : Highway engg by Khanna and Justo. Do problems from every topic mentioned above. Try Pyqs of GATE and ESE

Environmental Engineering

Most important topics are : 

  • Population forecasting and water demand calculations , power required for pumping
  • Quality parameters of water (physical,chemical and biological)        ( Alkalinity , Hardness , PH , MPN calculations are very important)
  • Water treatment ( Plain sedimentation problems to determine settling velocity , detention time, surface overflow rate etc.. are asked frequently , coagulation using alum (problems are also important) , mixing chamber design ) , Filtration ( SSF,RSF,PSF , Problems to find number of filters , backwashing parameters , head loss in RSF) , Disinfection(Chick’s law, chlorination techniques, chlorine demand and dosage , Breakpoint chlorination , concentration of HOCL and OCl- , Contact time & dosage based problem , miscellaneous treatments such as removal of hardness, fluorine , salinity), distribution systems.
  • Waste Water Engineering( Sewer design using manning’s formula ,quality parameters , BOD ,COD, Thod, BOD Calculation , 5 dayBOD and its variation with temperature , Dilution principle , Streeter Phelps equation , sewer appurtenances)
  • Sewage treatment ( Head loss in screens , Grit chamber design , PST ,Trickling filter and ASP Various parameters , numerical problems and its working , Oxidation pond , sludge digestion ,Septic tank ( various parameters and numerical problems)
  • Solid waste treatment ( Various techniques for disposals and numericals) , Air pollution ( Various pollutants , Plumes , Numericals and Treatment units)


You can refer to books written by B.C Punmia on environmental engineering. Environmental Engg is an important subject as far as GATE is concerned.Do previous year questions along with your preparation.

Important tips

  • Use virtual calculators to solve problems.
  • Practice GATE and ESE Previous year questions.
  • Focus more on the topics mentioned above.
  • Do Online test series as much as you can.
  • Make short notes.


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