First phase of will begin on Jan. 20 with online exam being conducted for 16 streams

Intense competition awaits the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE-2013) aspirants this year with nearly 10 lakh candidates testing their luck for entry into top institutes for Masters courses and also cushy jobs in the top Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

The first phase of GATE-2013 will begin on January 20 (Sunday) with the online exam being conducted for 16 streams including Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mining, Architecture and Planning, Physics and Mathematics among others.

However, the offline mode exam for popular streams like Electronics and Communication, Computer Science and Information Technology, Instrumentation Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Production and Industrial Engineering and Electrical Engineering will be held on February 20.

Students from the State will encounter much tougher competition as the highest number of aspirants are said to be from Andhra Pradesh. Last year 1.4 lakh candidates took the test from the State of which about 50,000 were from Hyderabad. The number could go up this year given the rising aspirants across the country. “Delhi and Hyderabad will be in the top two in terms of highest number of applicants,” says Aditya Reddy of GateForum, a training institute.

According to figures released by IIT-Delhi 7,77,134 candidates registered for GATE-2012 and 6,86,614 candidates appeared for the exam. However, only 1,08,526 were declared qualified.

Trainers believe that aspirants also have to face quality competition this year with top engineering graduates also preferring to write GATE due to the sluggish IT market and 13 PSUs deciding to take the GATE score for entry into their institutions. “Poor campus placements and unattractive salary packages in the recession-hit IT industry is forcing good candidates to opt for PSUs that offer relatively secure jobs with good salary packages and social status,” said a representative of another training institute. Till a few years ago such candidates opted for employment in the IT market or higher education in the US.

Candidates are allowed to take scientific calculators this time and it will help them. Good performance in aptitude and Maths ensure minimum qualification marks. Questions will test applicants’ knowledge on concepts and their application.

This time the formula used for calculating GATE scores is being changed and the performance of top 0.1 per cent of candidates will play a key role in deciding the scores.

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