For admission into colleges for Masters or Ph.D. and for PSU placements through GATE performance – GATE Rank is not considered, rather GATE SCORE (score out of 1000 given in GATE scorecard) is considered. 

Now that the GATE score is so important, it is necessary to understand, how GATE SCORE is calculated. The formula for the calculation of the GATE score can be found on Page 31 in the official brochure for GATE 2022 (link: In this blog, we will not go into the details of the math behind the GATE score formula – rather we will try to get a simplified understanding of the main factor of the GATE score. 

The most important factor GATE score depends on is – how better you score than the CUT-OFF marks. So, a GATE aspirant has to target to be as better as possible from the CUT-OFF marks. The CUT-OFF marks in GATE are based on the overall average performance of all the GATE appearing candidates of the respective paper. 

In the GATE 2022, the qualifying marks (Mq) for general category students in each subject will be 25 marks (out of 100) or μ + σ, whichever is larger. Here μ is the mean and σ is the standard deviation of marks of all the candidates who appeared in the paper.  

The CUT-OFF in simple words – depends on the difficulty level of the question paper. It is not possible to estimate the difficulty level of the question paper before the examination is held. The table below shows the GATE AR cut-offs of last few years – also, the respective GATE conducting institute names are mentioned for reference.

2021IIT Bombay40.9036.827.279.67
2020IIT Delhi34.8031.323.272
2019IIT Madras41.0036.927.383.33
2018IIT Guwahati43.9039.529.279.33
2017IIT Roorkee35.7032.127.8
2016IISC Bangalore38.903525.975.67
2015IIT Kanpur45.1740.6530.1180.67
2014IIT Kharagpur32.5029.2521.6759.33

As we are days away from GATE AR 2022 (Scheduled to be held on February 13th, 2022), there is a common misconception that – this year’s cut-off could be low as it was low in 2014, the last time when IIT Kharagpur was the conducting institute (FYI GATE 2022 is being conducted by IIT Kharagpur). Please be aware that the question paper is NOT prepared by the conducting institute alone. So, stay away from these speculations that paper will be difficult this year. 

Rather than thinking about the paper difficulty and cut-off, one should focus on maximizing their marks – so that one stays as ahead as possible from the GATE CUT-OFF. Do not worry if the paper will be difficult or easy. However, the paper level is, GATE CUTOFF and SCORE will depend on relative performance with respect to other GATE aspirants.