Eduncle posted an Article
May 14, 2022 • 2:07 pm

GATE Exam Difficulty Level - How Tough is from other Exams

GATE Exam Difficulty Level

Many students dream of getting into IITs and NITs through the GATE examination. We find aspirants constantly getting troubled with questions like; How tough is GATE examination? What is the difficulty level of GATE question paper?

The exam itself is no doubt a hard nut to crack. But with the correct preparation strategy & study plan, you can surely aim for the best IITs, NITs, and other esteemed MTech universities.

Hence to ease down, we came up with an analysis of GATE difficulty level. This blog will help you become familiar with the toughness of the exam.

Check what details we are included in this article: -

Candidates Appeared in Graduate Aptitude Test

GATE Difficulty Level in Terms of Selection Ratio

Difficulty Level According to Previous Year Paper

How Difficult is GATE from Other Exams?




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How Many Students Take GATE Every Year? Distribution Table from 2015 to 2021


Every year, on average 8 lakh students appear for the exam but only a few of them qualify for it. The reason behind this is the limited seats available for MTech & ME courses.

Below, you can check the number of candidates appeared in the last seven years to get an idea about the competition level:



No. of Candidates Appeared in the GATE Exam (Approx.)

















How Difficult is the GATE Exam? - Selection Ratio


Based on the 2021 Cut-off released by the IIT Bombay, the selection ratio of GATE exam are as follows: - 

Overall Selection Percentage - 17.82% (Male - 77.85% and Female - 22.14%)

Selection Percentage for Individual Papers - Ranging from 8.42% to 29.54%. 

Lowest Percentage for Individual Papers - 8.42% Noted for ST Paper 


As per the given analysis, it is correct to conclude that the competition is high. But if you prepare well with full dedication, then no exam is tough to crack. An average student can also clear the exam with good study material and proper planning.

Note - The 2021 scorecard can be downloaded from the GOAPS portal between 30th March to 30th June 2021. You can check the complete subject-wise cut-off marks & procedure to download the scorecard through GATE Result 2021.



Download GATE Previous Years Question Papers



Difficulty Level of GATE Previous Year Question Paper 


According to the GATE Paper Analysis and expert reviews, the difficulty level of 2021 exam was moderate.

Below, we have listed the subject wise difficulty level of GATE Exam 2021:



GATE 2021 Difficulty level

Electronics & Communication Engineering

Moderate to Difficult

Civil Engineering

Easy to Moderate

Electrical Engineering

Moderate to difficult

Mechanical Engineering


Computer Science Engineering

Easy to Moderate


Easy to Moderate



Chemical Engineering


Geology and Geophysics

Moderate to Difficult

Agricultural Engineering

Moderate to Difficult


Easy to Moderate


Moderate to Difficult

Architecture & Planning

Moderate to Difficult

Aerospace Engineering

Easy to Moderate

Mining Engineering




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How Difficult is GATE from Other Exams?


Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is a national level exam that provides admissions in the Master of Technology such as ME, MTech, and Ph.D. courses, yet it is different from other exams which are related to science and technology courses.

Here is a comparison of GATE difficulty level with other exams for your reference.




IIT JEE is an undergraduate level exam (BTech), whereas the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is a single round postgraduate level exam (MTech).

In terms of difficulty level, GATE is tougher than JEE Mains but easier than JEE Advanced.




JEST Exam is considered a National Eligibility Test by SERB. It provides admission in IISc, IISERs, NISER, and other prestigious colleges for MSc, Integrated Ph.D. & Ph.D. courses.

The difficulty level of the JEST Exam is easier as compared to the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering.




Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is conducted for MTech courses, whereas IIT JAM is for MSc courses. In terms of difficulty level GATE is tougher than IIT JAM.

There are many reasons behind it such as,

Popularity - It is a more popular exam than JAM.

Number of Candidates Appeared - More than 8 lakh students appear for the exam every year, while only around 60k students appear in JAM. 

Question Paper Difficulty - The questions asked in Graduate Aptitude Test are also tougher and much more complex than JAM.



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FAQs About GATE Paper Difficulty Level 


Here are some common queries asked by an aspirant over the years. If you also have the same queries, then check them below.


Ques. What is the salary after GATE?

Ans. The package can vary depending upon your branch, university, and performance during MTech/ME. But with a flashing IIT/NIT degree, you can surely expect 5LPA to 30LPA.


Ques. Is GATE tough for average students?

Ans. No, the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is not very tough. It can be cleared with a disciplined study plan and hard work. If you have had an average academic score in past, you can surely clear the exam with proper planning and study routine.


Ques. Is GATE compulsory for MTech?

Ans. No, it is not compulsory for MTech courses. There are many private colleges that accept students without a valid score.

But, if you give the exam, then you will get many benefits like – 

Getting government grants from various organizations like DRDO, BARC, ISRO, etc. 

After qualifying for the exam, you also become eligible for the award of Junior Research Fellowship in CSIR Laboratories.


Hope, we were able to address most of your concerns regarding the GATE Exam Difficulty level.

In case of any other query or doubt regarding the MTech or MSc entrance exams, feel free to ask through the comment box below. We are always here to help you.

You can join India’s No.1 Learning Community for GATE, where you will get doubt solutions for all your exam-related queries with experts from all over India. To join the community, you can download the Eduncle App now.


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