Process of Normalisation decoded for GATE 2017 candidates

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is conducted in 23 disciplines of engineering and science. Out of these 23 disciplines, the number of candidates appearing in Electronic and Communications Engineering (ECE), Electrical Engineering (EE), Civil Engineering (CE), Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Computer Science Engineering (CSE) is relatively high. The exam for these five disciplines is conducted in multiple sessions. GATE is a computer-based exam, and is conducted across the country.

GATE 2017 was conducted successfully by the organising institute, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. It was conducted branch-wise on February 4, 5, 11, and 12. According to candidates’ exam reviews, both the sessions of Mechanical Engineering were tricky, whereas with Electronic and Communications Engineering session I was tougher than session II paper. Likewise, both the sessions of Electrical Engineering, and Civil Engineering were equal on the scale of difficulty. As candidates eagerly await the release of the response sheets on the official portal of GATE 2017 so that they can calculate their expected marks, PaGaLGuY spoke to experts from MadeEasy to understand how the process of normalisation works.

Normalisation in GATE 2017

What is normalisation of marks in GATE? Why is it needed?

When an exam is conducted in multiple sessions, it is quite natural that there may be variations in the difficulty levels of different sessions. To adjust this variation in the difficulty levels, a normalisation method is adopted and applied to all the disciplines where the exam is conducted in multiple sessions.

Normalisation is needed, as it makes the exam fair for all candidates.

How is normalisation done? How does it affect the score of a candidate?

Under normalisation, the GATE score card of a candidate reflects two types of marks:

Raw marks (out of 100): These are the actual marks obtained by a candidate

Normalised marks (out of 100): This is the (modified) marks offered to a candidate considering the relative difficulty level of his / her session compared to the difficulty level of other sessions of his / her discipline.

If it is evaluated that the session of a candidate was relatively easy when compared to other sessions of his / her discipline, then his / her normalised marks would be lower than his / her actual marks. On the other hand, if it is evaluated that the session of a candidate was relatively difficult when compared to other sessions of his / her discipline, then his / her normalised marks would be higher than his/her actual marks.

Method of evaluating difficulty level of different sessions: In a particular discipline, the difficulty level of different sessions is evaluated after the exam, on the basis of the overall performance of candidates in the different sessions. The GATE committee adopts this method to evaluate the difficulty level under the assumption that the abilities of candidates are distributed evenly across different sessions. The GATE committee justifies this assumption through the following points:

The number of candidates appearing in multi-session disciplines is large.

The procedure for allocation of sessions to candidates is random.

The number of candidates appearing in different sessions of a particular discipline is approximately the same.

What are the cut-off marks in GATE? Is there sectional cut-off in GATE?

The GATE question paper for all the 23 disciplines consists of 65 questions for a total of 100 marks. Out of the 23 disciplines, in most of the disciplines (including ECE, EE, CE, ME and CSE), there are 3 sections:

(a) General Aptitude (15 marks)

(b) Engineering Mathematics (approximately 15 marks)

(c) Subject Related Questions (approximately 70 marks)

However, in some disciplines like Chemistry and Life Sciences, there is no section (b). In that case, section (c) is of 85 marks.

In all the disciplines, for General Category candidates, the cut off marks in GATE normally ranges between 25 to 35 (out of 100). For OBC and SC/ST category candidates, the cut off are relatively lower.

Moreover, there is no sectional cut off in GATE exam. This means that if a candidate scores 0 in General Aptitude and 40 in Subject Related Questions, he/she will be considered qualified in GATE.

Note: A candidate is considered qualified / not qualified in GATE on the basis of his / her normalised marks.