Having understood the concept of the GATE examination along with its syllabus and types of questions that are asked, let us understand the GATE scoring procedure which includes how the GATE score is calculated, How is the percentile generated, what are  the qualifying marks and the future prospects after clearing the GATE examination.
Let us understand how the GATE score is calculated:
From GATE 2014 onward a candidate’s GATE score is computed by the following new formula.
S=S_{q}+(S_{t}-S_{q}){\frac {M-M_{q}}{\overline {M}_{t}-M_{q}}}

S = Score (normalized) of a candidate,
M = Marks obtained by a candidate (“normalized marks” in case of multiple-session subjects CE, CS, EC, EE and ME),
Mq = Qualifying marks for general category candidates in that subject (usually 25 or μ + σ, whichever is higher),

μ = Average (i.e. arithmetic mean) of marks of all candidates in that subject,
σ = Standard deviation of marks of all candidates in that subject,
Mt = Average marks of top 0.1 % candidates (for subjects with 10000 or more appeared candidates) or top 10 candidates (for subjects with less than 10000 appeared candidates),
St = 900 = Score assigned to Mt,
Sq = 350 = Score assigned to Mq.

Thus by referring to the above formula, the GATE score is calculated.
A candidate’s percentile denotes the percentage of candidates scoring lower than that particular candidate. It is calculated as:
Percentile = (1 – All India rank/No. of candidates in that subject) x 100%
Qualifying marks
The rules for qualifying marks have varied from year to year. The qualifying marks (out of 100) are different for different subjects as well as categories.

Category Qualifying mark (out of 100)
General (GN) 25 or μ + σ, whichever is higher.
Other backward classes (OBC) 90% of general category’s qualifying mark.
Scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) 2/3 (i.e., 66.67%) of general category’s qualifying mark.

Here μ is the average (i.e., arithmetic mean) of marks of all candidates in the subject (with negative marks converted to zero) and σ is the standard deviation of all marks in that subject.
Usually, the general category’s qualifying mark is in the 25 to 50 range.
The Government of India implemented reservations for other backward classes in college admissions and public sector job recruitment in the year 2008. Before that, all OBC candidates were included in the “general” category. There was no separate OBC category then.

Difficulty level

GATE, for long, has been known to test the Engineering basics in a smart way. Complaints of “lengthy” problems have been rare. But the task of mastering an entire course of Engineering (around 30 undergraduate subjects) for a three-hour test, itself gives the test a certain level of toughness. Each year, only around 15% of all appearing candidates qualify. High percentiles (more than 99th percentile, in some cases) are required to get admission in M.Tech. or M.E. degree programs in Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, or get shortlisted for job interviews in Indian public sector undertakings.

Admission to post-graduate programs

Unlike undergraduate admissions in India, candidates must apply individually to each institute after the institute has published its M.Tech. notification (usually in the month of March). There is no separate counselling held.
Some institutions specify GATE qualification as mandatory even for admission of self-financing students to postgraduate programs. GATE qualified candidates are also eligible for the award of Junior Research Fellowship in CSIR Laboratories and CSIR sponsored projects. Top rank holders in some GATE papers are entitled to apply for “Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship” awarded by CSIR. Some government organizations prescribe GATE qualification as a requirement for applying to the post of a Scientist/Engineer.
In recent years, various academicians have recognized GATE as being one of the toughest exams in its category. Some non-Indian universities like the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and some technical universities in Germany also identify GATE score as a parameter for judging the quality of the candidates for admission into their Masters and Ph.D. programs.
Some management institutes like NITIE, Mumbai offer admission to Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering on the basis of GATE score.
Most Indian institutes do not specify cut-off marks for previous years. So there is a general confusion in terms of selecting institutes and specializations. But in the recent years IIT Kharagpur and IIT Guwahati have been specifying last year cut-off mark list. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has a very detailed website on Post Graduate (PG) activities and admissions where students can find the relevant information on cut-off marks etc. Typically the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institutes of Technology are the most selective followed by National Institutes of Technology and others. Also there are some state universities in India, whose standards and facilities are very much comparable to top IITs and NITs. Some of them are PEC University of Technology (Chandigarh), Bengal Engineering and Science University (recently converted to IIEST), Jadavpur University, Delhi Technological University, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Andhra University College of Engineering, Osmania University etc. Even within the top institutes, the selection criteria  varies widely across departments and programs depending on expertise areas. The Directorate of Technical Education of Maharashtra state has also started conducting CAP round from the year 2013 for GATE and non-GATE candidates in all institutes in Maharashtra that offer M.E./M.Tech. programs.

CSIR’s JRF – GATE fellowship

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) introduced the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) – GATE scheme in 2002 to allow GATE-qualified engineering graduates and GPAT-qualified pharmaceutical graduates to pursue research through suitable Ph.D. programs at CSIR laboratories.
Stipend and tenure:
The fellowship amount is ₹25,000 (US$370) per month plus HRA (house rent allowance). In addition, contingency grant of ₹20,000 (US$300) per annum (calculated on pro-rata basis for fraction of a year) is also provided. On completion of 2 years as JRF – GATE, the fellowship may be upgraded to SRF (Senior Research Fellowship) – GATE and stipend may be increased to ₹28,000 (US$420) per month in the subsequent years, on the basis of assessment of CSIR JRF-NET guidelines.
The total duration of the fellowship is 5 years, within which the candidate is expected to complete the Ph.D. degree.


Public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India, for long, have had troubles conducting their recruitment processes with more than 100,000 students taking the exams for less than 1000 jobs (a selection rate of less than 1%). After sensing the exponential rise in the number of engineering graduates in India who wish to get a PSU job, the PSUs have decided that a GATE score shall be the primary criteria for initial shortlisting. This change was the primary cause for the rapid increase in applicants for GATE 2012.
Indian Oil Corporation was the first PSU which successfully tested out this system and was followed two years later by National Thermal Power Corporation, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat Electronics & PowerGrid Corporation of India.
Usually these companies release their recruitment notifications right after GATE notification, indicating that candidates have to take GATE to be considered for a job in their organizations.
Thus we have successfully understood the in depth details of the GATE scoring mechanism along with its percentile generation model and qualification criteria. Also the benefits to the qualifying students has been mentioned with the future recruitment possibilities of them after qualifying for the GATE examination.