New Delhi : GATE Result was announced on March 26 ending a long wait for applicants. The exam was scheduled for multiple dates in February for all the registered candidates. A total of 787,148 students appeared for the exam. The number went even lower as for every 100 registered candidates, 85 appeared for the test and only 14 test takers made the cut. Out of a whopping 922,167 registered candidates, only 129,149 (including all categories) could qualify the exam.
With the qualifying number of candidates so meagre, GATE organizing chairman, Prof G.J. Chakrapani shared his concerns about the falling figures, “Just 15% to 16% candidates qualifying GATE is not very good, but that’s how it is. Maybe the students are not taught well or maybe they’re just not serious enough about preparing well (for
the test). Lots of things count,” he said.
He also emphasized that the quality of education at graduation level is not up to the mark and said that GATE examiners try their best to ensure that maximum students secure qualifying marks. He added, “Through the way the questions are set – some are difficult and some easy – candidates should be able to qualify easily. Our intention is to qualify an optimum number of students and ensure that at least 50% of the questions are easy, but they are not meeting that level. The qualifying score is also not high, just 25.”
Prof Chakrapani cleared that GATE is a very student-friendly exam contrary to the popular perception of its being a very tough exam. Efforts are being made by IITs to
ensure that all test takers can access as much information as is available about the exam. As per GATE officials, the paper is always set in a manner that qualifying it is
easy. The GATE question paper is set with a blend of tough questions and easy ones, making GATE a balanced exam. The fact that only 16% could qualify, raises a lot of
questions about the standard of education or the dropping level of interest among students. 25 is the qualifying score, with about 50% questions being set to an easy
standard, which is why, candidates failing to answer them causes serious concerns.
What’s Next for Qualifying Candidates
● Apply for M.Tech at IIT Gandhinagar, registration ends on April 16
● Apply for PG Admission at IIT Kanpur, registration ends on April 21
● Apply for M.Tech at IIT Bombay, registration ends on April 18
● Apply for M.Tech at IIT Bhubaneshwar, registration ends on April 10.
Along with the low qualifying percentage of students, the total number of applications for GATE is also falling gradually overtime. Since its inception in 1984, the exam reached its peak in 2013 when 1,200,728 students registered for the test. Since then, the number has been declining every year. In 2014, 1,033,625 candidates registered for GATE followed by 971,831 registrations in 2016, and 922,167 registrations in GATE 2017. The falling numbers could be attributed to the rising level of stringency in selection standards or graduates’ falling interest in higher studies; the latter case being an alarming situation with regard to growth of programs of higher study in India such as Doctoral Programs and Research.
However, the chairman believes that it is just a phase, and popularity of GATE and higher studies would rise again in coming years. “Technology and scientific innovations make you crave for more knowledge and that’s how you end up doing research,” he signs off smilingly.