Each question paper of GATE exam has a weight of 100 marks. The exam duration is of 3 hours and there are a total of 65 questions to attempt. The GATE question paper consists of Multiple Choice (MCQs) as well as Numerical Answer Type (NAT) type of question. For each correct answer, the candidate is awarded a which has already been allocated to the question, and also 1/3 marks are deducted for every incorrect answer for 1 marks question and 2/3
marks for every 2 marks questions respectively. moreover, there is no negative marking for numerical answer type (NAT) questions.
In order to qualify GATE, the candidates are required to meet the least cutoff set but the authorities, As per the official guidelines, the qualifying cutoff marks of the GEN category student for each subject is 25 out of 100.
However, the qualifying cutoff is calculated on the basis of μ+σ (μ is the mean and σ is the standard deviation of marks of all candidates who appeared in that particular GATE paper).
The GATE authorities have adopted the normalization process to calculate the GATE score. Mostly, because the exam is conducted in multiple sessions for different branches. Additionally, some core branches are preferred more for M. Tech specializations, therefore these papers are held in multiple sessions. The authorities use a normalization formula to stabilize the difficulty level of the various sessions and ensure that no partiality remains. Through normalization, the level of difficulty should remain the same so that it remains fair for all the candidates. The authorities also ensure that the number of candidates allotted in each session is of the same order of magnitude for the same multi-session paper.
In the formula given above, Mq, most of the times, amounts to 25 marks (out of 100) or μ+σ, whichever is larger. Here μ is the mean, while σ is the standard deviation of marks of all the aspirants who have taken the paper/exam.