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How to Prepare For GATE CSE For Non-CSE Student [2025]

Last Updated : 18 Jan, 2024
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The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is one of the reputed technical exams in India. Every year 7 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science IISc conduct exams that lead to admission to M.E, M.Tech, Ph.D., and other PSUs. It consists of a 100-mark paper which consists of 65 questions. It is being conducted once a year and the eligibility criteria is a 3rd-year student and above.

Today is the world of modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Information Security, and Machine Learning. As the demand for engineers having these relevant skills is increasing, most of the students or working professionals who completed their B.Tech in non-CS branches want to pursue M.Tech from top IITs, NITs, and IIITs in India and secure their careers in these fields. It is very much possible that a student from non-CS branches can crack GATE CSE with a good rank with sheer effort and dedicated study for one year. There are tons of non-CSE students who cracked the GATE CS exam in the last few years and most of them have completed their M.Tech and now working in top MNCs like Google, Amazon, Apple, CISCO, etc.

GATE CSE Preparation Strategy for Non-CSE students

Basic Steps for GATE Preparation

Lets discuss how being from non-CS/IT branches, one can crack the GATE Computer Science exam. Also, we will cover how to start and from where you can learn important strategies. Let’s discuss them one by one:

1. Understanding of GATE Syllabus

The first priority is to know the GATE syllabus. GATE is tough and its preparation takes time but if you’re someone who’s hard-working and has a proper planning strategy, you can crack it in one go. In Computer Science, there are generally ten core subjects given below along content link and there is General Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics:

You can also refer to:

  • You will encounter lots of new terms in CS subjects. As you progress in your preparation, maintain a separate notebook for these new keywords. CSE students are already studying these keywords right from their B. Tech and are familiar with these words.
  • The second most important thing is to know where to prepare. Visit GATE CS References to get a complete idea about standard textbooks and online references to follow during preparation.
  • The third most important thing is to know the weightage of subjects in order to know their priority.

2. Distribution of Marks in GATE CSE


Marks Distribution

Programming & Data Structures

10 – 12%
Algorithm 5-7%

Operating System


Database Management System(DBMS)


Computer Networks


Discrete Mathematics 6-7%
Theory Of Computation(TOC) 8-9%
Digital Logic 4-5%%
Compiler Design 2-4%
Computer Organisation and Architecture(COA) 9-10%

Engineering Mathematics


General Aptitude 15%

The non-CSE GATE aspirants who are willing to write the GATE 2024 exam in CSE can be broadly categorized into three categories:

  • Category 1: ECE
  • Category 2: EE, EIE, and IN
  • Category 3: Mechanical, Civil, Production, and other branches

Being from non-CS and learning Computer Science subjects is challenging but can be done easily with proper execution and planning. CS is generally abbreviated as Common Sense. Yes, with basic logic in Mathematics, Aptitude, and Programming, GATE CSE can be easily cracked. For that, a proper strategy for the next eight to twelve months is very much important. The three non-CS categories above-mentioned must have different strategies for preparing the subjects. 

3. Study Fundamentals

Begin with fundamental subjects like Data Structures, Programming , Computer Networks, Operating System, DBMS , Algorithm etc. Utilize resources available by GeeksforGeeks and standard textbooks to build a solid foundation.

4. Choose the Proper Study Material

Excellent online courses such as the GATE CS-IT 2025 Course are developed and delivered by experienced educators and subject-matter experts. This means students can benefit from the expertise and knowledge of educators who understand the delicacy of GATE.

To help you with the quick preparation with the complete syllabus of GATE CS & IT 2025– GeeksforGeeks is providing you with GATE Computer Science & Information Technology 2025 course. The course consists of Strategy to solve problems, Tips & Tricks, Problem-solving, Core Concept building covering the entire GATE Syllabus, and much more.

5. Solve PYQs

Solve more number of PYQs by solving them you get an clear idea how questions are designed in GATE exam. Make sure that you have solved all the previous year’s gate questions for individual subjects after completing it. This will help you to get an idea of how questions are structured in gate exams and also solve a variety of questions.

6. Don’t Quit Aptitude and Engineering Maths

Prepare well for aptitude and engineering mathematics, these are those subjects who actually decide your rank. This is a very common mistake made by students, they leave aptitude and engineering mathematics which are very easy and high-scoring subjects. So make sure not to leave these subjects.

Tips for the GATE Preparation

  • DSA and C Programming- One should start with C programming followed by Data Structures and Algorithms as it has the highest weightage. For all three categories, students should focus on this subject first and give a dedicated effort. For placements also DSA and programming knowledge is mandatory. Every non-CSE student first honors the programming skills, especially in C. 
  • Discrete Mathematics- It is completely a new subject for all three categories. Discrete Mathematics is the heart of Computer Science. It has good weightage in GATE. Prepare this subject parallelly with DSA and C Programming. It has lots of applications in all the core CS subjects. 
  • Theory Of Computation and Compiler Design- These subjects are also new for these three categories. So, after completing DSA, dedicated study and proper practice are needed for these two subjects. The order should be TOC followed by Compilers. The compiler is completely related to TOC and hence it is the pre-requisite for Compiler Design.
  • Database Management System- Similar to DSA, Data Base and SQL are very important for every CS engineer. It is also an easy-to-score subject and has good weightage in GATE. 
  • Operating System- It is also important and an easy-to-score subject. OS will be a new subject for all the categories. A lot of new concepts and terms are there to memorize. For example, Contiguous memory, Pre-empt, etc. So, make a proper list of the keywords as non-CS students are not acquainted with these words. 
  • Digital Logic Design- Students who are in category 3, have to study Digital Logic before going to “Computer Organization and Computer Networks.” Category 1 and 2 students already studied DLD in their B. Tech curriculum. So, they can go with any combination as per your choice.
    Refer to Digital Logic Design.
  • Computer Networks- It will be an easy subject for Category 1 students because they have already covered “Computer Communication” in their B. Tech. Category 2 and 3 students have to put more effort into this subject. It is a vast subject and needs nearly twenty to thirty days to complete. During placements, top MNCs prefer to ask questions from networking. 
  • Computer Organization- It is the toughest subject in GATE CSE. But average marks can be easily scored from topics like Cache Memory, Pipeline, and Addressing Modes. 
  • Mathematics and Aptitude- For General Mathematics and Aptitude, Previous Year Gate CSE/IT papers with solutions of all the branches for the last 20 years and test series are more than enough. They have a weightage of around 15 marks for Aptitude and 3 to 4 marks for “Engineering Mathematics” from topics like Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Probability. Students generally don’t focus on these portions and prepare at the end. These two subjects will boost your rank as they are easy to score and have good weightage. 

Related Article: 

If you’re in the last days and the GATE exam is approaching nearby, don’t forget to check How to prepare in the Last 10 days to score high in GATE?

GATE CSE 2024 – Bonus Preparation Tips 

  • Be consistent. Daily 5-6 hours is mandatory for eight to twelve months. In the last two months give as much time as possible for revision and tests.
  • Make your own handwritten notes. 
  • Every month try to prepare two subjects: one technical and one non-technical like Aptitude and Mathematics.
  • Do not waste time on a particular topic, or question for a long time. Let, it go and do it after completing all the subjects.
  • Try to complete the syllabus by December. Keep last month complete for revision and mock tests.
  • Buy at least two test series. Test series help to understand where you are lacking.
  • Give as many Full-Length tests as possible.
  • Make short notes or highlight the important formulas and concepts in your notes.
  • Refer to our site whenever you filled stuck in any concepts. We have a pool of topics with proper explanations.
  • Try to learn from the mistakes and make a proper analysis after the tests.
  • Consistency and calmness are the keys. It’s a long process and it takes time to shift from non-CS to CS. Don’t be nervous and give your 100 percent effort.
  • Proper hard work is needed as you are preparing for a completely new domain.
  • Previous Year Questions will help to understand the pattern of the GATE examination. 
  • For the last moment, you can give importance to these important portions from Subject Wise Five Most Important Topics.

GATE CSE 2024 Important Details:

Exam Level National
Exam Fee
  • Women/SC/ST/PwD – INR 900
  • Other – INR 1800
Mode of Exam Online CBT(Computer-Based Test)
Duration 3 hours

Marking Scheme for the GATE exam:

  • 1-mark MCQs, 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.
  • 2-marks MCQs, 2/3 marks will be deducted for a wrong answer.
  • No negative markings for NAT(Numerical Answer Type Question) questions.

Also Read | GATE 2024 Exam Preparation Strategy (for the Last 30 Days)


Since GATE is approaching very near and thus it’s very important for you to have a strong preparation strategy. No matter whether you’re a CSE/Non-CSE guy, GATE is open for all the candidates who want to crack it. The only thing you should have is dedication while preparing for the GATE exam. If you prepare wisely, it’s definite that you’ll crack it. All the best for your exam.

How to Prepare for GATE CSE for NON-CSE Student [2024] – FAQs

Can a non-CS student apply for GATE CSE?

Yes, anyone other than a CS background can apply for the GATE CSE exam. You just have to start learning each concept from the basics and jump to the advanced level. After you have a thorough learning, you’re all set to apply for the GATE exam.

Should I need learn Programming language?

Yes you have learn programming language because its a part of your GATE CSE syllabus, so you should learn programming.

Who are eligible for GATE CSE?

A candidate who is currently studying in the third or higher years of any UG degree program or a candidate who has already completed any government-approved degree program in Engineering / Technology / Architecture / Science / Commerce / Arts is eligible for appearing in the GATE exam.

How much CGPA is required for GATE CSE?

There is no specific CGPA required but if you have no high CGPA you can appear for GATE Exam.

How to prepare for the GATE CS as a Non-CSE guy?

Some of the tips to prepare for GATE CS as a Non-CSE guy are as follows:

  • Understand the syllabus for GATE CS
  • Make a schedule for the preparation strategy
  • Understand the fundamental concepts properly.
  • Solve previous year’s questions

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