In this article, you will learn about CS & IT GATE exam pattern, syllabus, tips & guidelines to crack GATE Exam

GATE CS & IT Syllabus – 2018

The first piece of advice to any GATE aspirant is ‘know your syllabus’. CE, EE, EC, ME and CS are vast subjects and before you delve into preparation, you need to know the extent of questions you could be asked. This is your superset.

Equally important is to know what topics make frequent appearances in the exam you plan to appear for. Being familiar with the types of questions that appear frequently in exams and the areas they pertain too can help you tremendously in your preparation.

Section1: Engineering Mathematics

Discrete Mathematics: Propositional and first order logic. Sets, relations, functions, partial
orders and lattices. Groups. Graphs: connectivity, matching, coloring. Combinatorics:
counting, recurrence relations, generating functions.

Linear Algebra: Matrices, determinants, system of linear equations, eigenvalues and
eigenvectors, LU decomposition.

Calculus: Limits, continuity, and differentiability. Maxima and minima. Mean value
theorem. Integration.

Probability: Random variables. Uniform, normal, exponential, poisson and binomial
distributions. Mean, median, mode and standard deviation. Conditional probability and
Bayes theorem.

Computer Science and Information Technology

Section 2: Digital Logic
Boolean algebra. Combinational and sequential circuits. Minimization. Number
representations and computer arithmetic (fixed and floating point).

Section 3: Computer Organization and Architecture
Machine instructions and addressing modes. ALU, data‐path and control unit. Instruction
pipelining. Memory hierarchy: cache, main memory, and secondary storage; I/O
interface (interrupt and DMA mode).

Section 4: Programming and Data Structures
Programming in C. Recursion. Arrays, stacks, queues, linked lists, trees, binary search
trees, binary heaps, graphs.

Section 5: Algorithms
Searching, sorting, hashing. Asymptotic worst-case time and space complexity.
Algorithm design techniques: greedy, dynamic programming and divide‐and‐conquer.
Graph search, minimum spanning trees, shortest paths.

Section 6: Theory of Computation
Regular expressions and finite automata. Context-free grammars and push-down
automata. Regular and contex-free languages, pumping lemma. Turing machines and

Section 7: Compiler Design
Lexical analysis, parsing, syntax-directed translation. Runtime environments. Intermediate
code generation.

Section 8: Operating System
Processes, threads, inter‐process communication, concurrency and synchronization.
Deadlock. CPU scheduling. Memory management and virtual memory. File systems.

Section 9: Databases
ER‐model. Relational model: relational algebra, tuple calculus, SQL. Integrity constraints,
normal forms. File organization, indexing (e.g., B and B+ trees). Transactions and
concurrency control.

Section 10: Computer Networks
The concept of layering. LAN technologies (Ethernet). Flow and error control techniques,
switching. IPv4/IPv6, routers and routing algorithms (distance vector, link state). TCP/UDP
and sockets, congestion control. Application layer protocols (DNS, SMTP, POP, FTP, HTTP).
Basics of Wi-Fi. Network security: authentication, basics of public key and private key
cryptography, digital signatures, and certificates, firewalls.


GATE 2017 Set-1Set-2Average
Engineering Mathematics
1815 17
General Aptitude 1515 15
Programming & DS

11 1412.5
Computer Networks 95 7
Theory of Computation8 98
Operating System 666
4 7 5.5
Computer Organization 11 69.5

Compiler Design 644.5
Digital Logic 411 7.5

GATE CS & IT Tips and Guidelines

Do’s for GATE Exam

  • Solve at-least last 10 years Previous Papers. It will make you get the idea about the type of Questions being asked in the Exam.
  • Focus more on 2 mark questions. They boost your Score exponentially
  • Practice as many Mock-tests as you can (that too as per the Standard pattern of the Gate Exam)
  • Keep your fundamentals and concepts clear. The Questions asked in the GATE Exam are mostly based on the fundamental concepts.
  • By giving these you will actually know about question pattern and gain experience for giving objective kind of test and also you will be able to measure your standard as per another student so that you can change yourself better to crack the exam.
  • Prepare easy subject first

Don’ts for GATE Exam

  • Don’t waste your time studying stuff that is out of syllabus.
  • Don’t lose your hope and confidence in preparation.
  • Don’t discuss the doubts just before the Exam at the Exam Centre.
  • Don’t start your preparation with hard subjects.
  • Don’t Waste your time in reading all the books on a single topic.

Before Exam

  • NEVER OMIT ANY subject. I find most students omit a subject based on the weightage. The problem with this approach is often it happens that the subject you omit will have some really easy questions and the subject you prepare well has much harder problems to solve.
  • Maths will make a huge difference in your scores. Around 30 marks (including aptitude) is really easy to score. They are usually less difficult and direct than subject questions.
  • Solve as many previous year GATE problems as you can.
  • Learn concepts only from standard books that were prescribed for your under-graduate program. Notes, ppts may not give you complete knowledge.
  •  Use standard books. Solve 10–15 Questions Daily.

During Exam

  • If you are not sure about an answer, LEAVE it. Negatives cost a lot.
  • Don’t compare marks of previous years and answer questions. For example, in CS 2014, for a score of 60, AIR was around #500, but in CS 2016, for a score of 60, AIR is around #50. You might end up scoring more negatives trying to match previous year’s scores. This requires you to judge the paper’s difficulty, which is possible only if you had prepared all subjects.
  • Having a strong clear mind throughout the exam is absolutely necessary. Question papers usually contain the most difficult questions up front to dent your confidence. Easy questions get mixed up at the later part. So keep moving on even if you had to leave 5 questions on the trot.
  • Solve aptitude section first.
  • Solve Easy Question first then shift to hard one.

Preparation Technique Fast Track

There is no ideal strategy for GATE preparation. As long as you cover all the topics, any strategy should work. Last four months preparation strategy

1. Allot a week for each subject. This includes studying all the topics, going through standard book back questions, coaching institute material exercises. Sorted the subjects into a 12-week schedule (3 months).

2. Last month to revise everything, take Test Series and go through the GATE previous year questions. So in all, it was a 4-month preparation.

3. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Stop searching for preparation tips too much and start preparing!

4. Don’t panic.

All the Best!