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Prepare for GATE 2023 Civil Engineering | 6 Months Preparation Strategy

The preparation plan for the GATE 2023 consists of three major parts i.e., the syllabus, the timeline for preparation, and the revision strategy. With these perfectly in place, the GATE exam can be cleared with ease. In this blog, we had discussed a detailed breakdown of the most tried and tested out the six-months strategy for preparation.


GATE 2023 CE Preparation Plan & Six Months Strategy
GATE 2023 CE Preparation Plan & Six Months Strategy

GATE 2023 & GATE CE in General


GATE 2023 is a national-level exam conducted each year for admissions into post-graduate programs at IITs, NITs, and other participating institutes. It is also used for recruitment into PSUs. It is conducted on the first and second weekends of February. This means that there is just seven months left for preparing for the GATE exam.


Out of all other courses, GATE civil engineering is one of the most sought-after exams for admissions into post-graduate programs in civil-related fields. Each year more than one lakh candidates appear for the exam out of which just seventeen percent clear the exam. This makes the GATE civil engineering the most sought-after and the toughest exam at the same time. But with the right preparation strategy, the GATE exam can be cleared even with just seven months of preparation. And the same is discussed in detail further in this blog.


GATE Civil Engineering Syllabus & Subject-Wise Weightage


The importance of the syllabus and subject-wise weightage can't be stressed enough as it is the first step in planning for preparation. The syllabus and subject-wise weightage will help in understanding what subjects to prepare and what not to prepare. This is the most important step as it will help in planning the preparation effectively.


GATE Civil Engineering Syllabus


Though the official syllabus for GATE civil engineering is not out yet it is safe to say that the syllabus won't change much from the previous year. Therefore, one can refer to the previous year's GATE Civil Engineering Syllabus for preparation.


The detailed syllabus is already shared in our GATE Civil Engineering Syllabus blog. A glimpse of the same is shared below.

  • The aptitude syllabus is common for all GATE papers and it consists of four major topics like verbal aptitude, spatial aptitude, analytical aptitude, and quantitative aptitude.

  • There are seven broad sections in the syllabus i.e., engineering mathematics, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, water-resource engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering, and geomatics engineering.

  • Engineering Mathematics consists of topics like linear algebra, calculus, ordinary ad partial differential equations, probability & statistics, and numerical methods.

  • Structural Engineering consists of topics like engineering mechanics, the strength of materials, structural analysis, design of reinforced concrete elements & steel structures, and minor topics on construction materials.

  • Geotechnical Engineering is the complete soil mechanics. It consists of both the basic topics from soil mechanics to advanced topics on foundation engineering.

  • Water-resource Engineering consists of subjects like fluid mechanics, hydraulics, hydrology, and irrigation engineering.

  • Environmental Engineering deals with water and wastewater engineering, various water treatment methods, different types of pollution and their implications, and solid waste management.

  • Transportation Engineering consists of topics like highway engineering, traffic engineering, and some minor topics on airport & railway engineering.

  • Geomatics Engineering consists of all the topics in surveying.


GATE Civil Engineering Subject-Wise Weightage


Once the syllabus is clear the next most important step is to understand the subject-wise weightage. Subject-Wise weightage simply means which subjects contribute the most marks in the GATE exam. This remains fairly consistent over the years and therefore one can safely refer to this and plan out the preparation.


We had already shared this detail in our GATE Civil Engineering Subject-Wise Weightage blog. It was prepared on the basis of both traditional weightage and based on GATE 2022 paper analysis. A glimpse of the same is shared below.


  • A fixed number of questions are always asked from aptitude which covers about 15% of weightage.

  • Engineering Mathematics covers about 13 to 15% of weightage each year making it the second most important subject.

  • Geotechnical Engineering covers about 13% weightage making it the highest weightage civil engineering subject.

  • Transportation Engineering comes close to geotechnical engineering at about 13 to 15% weightage.

  • Environmental Engineering carries a weightage of around 9 to 12%.


The trend was changed in the previous year as environmental engineering got the highest weightage out of all civil engineering subjects in the forenoon session at about 12%. But, geotechnical engineering carried the highest weightage in the afternoon session at about 14%. Check out GATE 2022 CE Paper Analysis for detailed discussions and insights.


Topics with Most Weightage in GATE Civil Engineering


If we further explore the weightage topic, one can easily point out topics within each subject that are most important. Though it is not advisable to prepare only these topics, one could use it as a reference for revising these topics in detail. Details about topics within each subject that are most important and repeatedly asked are shared below.


Engineering Mathematics - linear algebra i.e., matrices, eigenvalues, etc., calculus, and numerical methods form the major part of math-related questions. Probability and statistics have the least weightage of all.


Geotechnical Engineering - The most important topics include total & effective stress, consolidation of soils, soil classification, index properties of soil, etc. Other topics include flow nets, earth pressure theories, and various tests on soil from permeability to triaxial tests.


Transportation Engineering - The most important topics are from the geometrical design of highways like overtaking sight distance, transition curves, valley curves, superelevation, and stopping sight distance. Important topics from traffic engineering include conflict points at an intersection, amber time, and different traffic studies.


Environmental Engineering - This is the tricky part where each year the question varies randomly. But a good understanding of various water treatment techniques, population forecasting methods, and sewer design could help in scoring some marks. From the pollution part topics like temperature inversion, lapse rate, and air pollutants become important. Other than this current topics on environmental issues are also important to score full marks in this subject.


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GATE 2023 Timeline For Preparation


As said earlier there are just seven months (as of July) left for preparation for the GATE exam which is to be held in the first and second weeks of February. Out of these seven months, it is compulsory or a rule of thumb to leave out one month, January preferably, for revision alone. This leaves out just six months for preparation and one month for revision. With these six months in hand, it is important to prepare a daily schedule to cover all the subjects. Therefore from now on one should address this six months in days i.e., 180 days for preparation.


Out of these 180 days making a day-wise schedule to cover each subject is important. Though it is ok to start with the subject of your liking, it is best to start with the strength of materials as the first subject. As the strength of materials forms the basics for all other subjects it is more logical to start with this subject rather than other subjects. The reason for starting the preparation with the strength of materials subject is also discussed in the video below.



To ease your preparation we have made a daily schedule to cover each subject for the GATE 2023 CE exam. It contains all details like order of preparation of subjects, number of days to allocate for preparation, number of days to allocate for revision, and so on. The same is shared below for you to make use of.