The Graduate Aptitude Test of Engineering (GATE) is a premier entrance examination conducted by a consortium of the 7 elite Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for admission into post graduate/ doctoral programmes in various engineering and higher science disciplines in Central Technical Universities. Most of these seats are placed in the premier IITs and the NITs (National Institute of Technology), while few other institutions specifically dedicated to certain disciplines like the Centre for Nanotechnology Research also admits GATE-qualified students.

The students qualified under GATE are also eligible for various Government sponsored academic fellowships and technical projects. While the GATE exam is largely taken by the graduates of engineering, the students belonging to the core science disciplines who have done their Masters programme in their corresponding streams are also eligible to appear in the GATE. GATE qualification is also prescribed by many private technical/ engineering institutes for gaining admission into the post-graduation programmes. Indeed, GATE is rated as one of the keystone exam for filtering credible candidates into the higher education stream.

The GATE is usually held in the month of end January or early February every year. Thousands of graduates appear for this GATE examination and it is well known that the GATE exam attracts some of the brightest students and thus holds a high level of competition. Also well-known is the fact that cracking the GATE exam is a no mean task and requires considerable preparations along with some deft exam strategies to pass through. Obviously, preparations cannot be done at the fag end of the exam schedule and a serious student might have already started preparations into the GATE.

The GATE score of a candidate reflects a relative performance level in a particular subject in the exam. The score is used for admissions to post-graduate programs (eg. M.E., M.Tech, direct Ph.D.) in Indian institutes of higher education with financial assistance provided by MHRD and other Government agencies. The score may also be used by Public and Private Sector Undertakings for employment screening purposes.

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs at Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) jointly administer the conduct of GATE. The operations related to GATE in each of the 8 zones are managed by a Zonal GATE Office at IISc. or IITs. The Organizing Institute (OI) is responsible for the end-to-end process and coordination amongst the administering Institutes. The Organizing Institute for GATE 2014 is IIT Kharagpur.

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