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January 23, 2018

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This is the question that is constantly on the minds of students when they are on the threshold of graduation in engineering. Both of these are the prestigious examinations for entry into post graduation courses and have their relative merits and demerits. Both look equally competitive and open a broad spectrum of offshoots to choose from.

Here is an attempt to understand the subtle differences between the two:

GATE: The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an all-India examination administered and conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technology on behalf of the National Coordination Board — GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. It is held for PG admissions to engineering/ technology/ architecture and science programmes offered across IITs, NITs and other leading centrally funded institutes. It is totally a technical exam for those who wish to get recruited in PSUs.

GRE: The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardised test which is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States, in other English-speaking countries and for English-taught graduate and business programmes world-wide.

Eligibility Criteria


Candidates, who want to apply for GATE, have to fulfil the following criteria:

■ Aspirants who are in their second or higher year of the four-year integrated master’s degree programme (Post-BSc) in Engineering or Technology can appear for GATE.

■ Candidates who are in third or higher year of their Engineering can appear.

■ Candidates who have obtained qualifications equivalent to BE or BTech through professional organisations, such as, UPSC and AICTE .

■ Indian nationals along with international students from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be eligible to appear for the exam.

■ The candidates should have completed their bachelor’s degree in Engineering or master’s in science in a relevant subject.

■ No age limit for the entrance test.

■ There is as such no specified minimum pass percentage to apply for GATE


There is no specific eligibility criterion for GRE. However, candidates have to fulfil the eligibility criteria of the institutions where they wish to take admission after taking the GRE. Anyone can register for this exam, irrespective of their age or qualifications. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is the fact that you will be required to produce your original passport as proof of identity at the exam center, so make sure that you have a valid passport before you register for the GRE exam.

Examination Pattern

GATE: Candidates can select any one of the 23 different papers offered by GATE. The general aptitude section is common to all papers. Other sections of the paper differ according to the paper selected. Each paper will include a mandatory General Aptitude (GA) section comprising 10 questions. Five of these questions will carry 1-mark each, while the remaining 5 will each carry 2 marks, for a total of 15 marks.

■ GATE 2018 is a computer-based test that will be conducted online.

■ The question paper will consist of multiple choice questions (MCQs) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions.

■ The questions are displayed on a computer screen randomly.

■ In case of MCQs, the candidate needs to select the correct answer, while for numerical answer type, the candidate must enter the numerical answer using a mouse and virtual keyboard ( the keyboard attached to the computer will be disabled)

■ The candidate will have to complete the test in three hours. After the allotted three hours, the screen will automatically close down and no further action will be possible.

■ During the exam, each candidate will be provided with a scribble pad where the candidate can do all his rough work.

■ Each question paper will contain questions related to General Aptitude (GA) in addition to subject-specific questions.

GRE: This test comprises four sections i.e analytical writing skills, verbal reasoning, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning The Analytical Writing section) is a written test whereas the others are of objective type. The writing section has two tasks and you have 30 minutes to complete each task, making the total time  for this section to be one hour. The Verbal section has to be completed within one hour as well as both the two sections require 30 minutes each. Same goes for Quantitative section, where you get 35 minutes for the two sections.

How to approach

Students generally join coaching classes or crash courses for clearing GATE or GRE exams but when it comes to students studying in good colleges they don’t require any special classes to clear such exams. For instance the students who are studying in SISTec which is a renowned and one of the best private engineering college of bhopal prepares its students in such a manner that they may not face any kind of difficulty in future.

When to apply for the test


There is no restriction on the number of times you can appear for the GATE exam. You are eligible to appear for GATE, as long as you clear the academic eligibility criteria for the exam. The dates for GATE 2018 are out and it is scheduled for February 3, 4, 10 and 11. GATE 2018 and it will be organised by IIT Guwahati this time.


If you are preparing to take the GRE, then one thing you might be worrying with is when to take the test. The most popular time to take this test is in October, November, and December. You can take the GRE revised General Test once in every 21 days, which can be up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. You’ll want to schedule enough time in your planning process to register and re-take the test (if necessary) and have a new score submitted to schools before the application deadline. If you are not satisfied with your initial score, you should retake the GRE only if you are confident that your score will increase as both the scores are reported to the school in which you need to take admission and the school considers the higher score scored by you.

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