GATE Life Sciences Overview
GATE Lie Sciences paper is meant for Biology section of students in broad terms. By Biology section I mean streams like Biochemistry, Botany, Microbiology, Zoology and Food Technology. Note all the streams are not part of the paper.
The format of Life Sciences paper is different than other GATE paper formats.I have written separate article on this topic. You can read my article on GATE exams or details on Eligibility criteria and exam format.
In this article I will discuss GATE Lie Sciences paper in details.I will cover below topics in this article
- Paper statistics
- Free Online tests
- Recommended books
- Detailed Syllabus
- Free Android App
GATE Lie Sciences Statistics
Below is some interesting statistics about this paper. We will see importance of this statistics as well.
- Number of candidates registered for the exam – 13,000 (approx)
- Number of candidates appeared for the exam – 10,000 (approx)
- Number of qualified candidates – 2098
- Percentage of candidates qualified – 20% (approx)
- Maximum marks out of 100 – 58.00
- Minimum marks out of 100 – 17.33
- Average marks – 30.15
- Standard Deviation – 6.64
You can see that maximum marks is only 58. It is one of the lowest maximum marks compared to other GATE papers. The average marks is 30. So majority of students lie between 25 to 40. The lowest marks is 17. The average is close to 17 means that majority of candidates lie below the average.
Also the pass percentage is 20%. Based on above discussion you know that scoring anything between 45 to 50 will yield you good rank.This information you can use while planing and preparing for the exams.
GATE Life Sciences online tests
GATE Life Sciences paper is collection of different sections.Unlike GATE Engineering Sciences there is no mandatory section in Life Sciences.We have prepared online tests for different sections of GATE Life Sciences paper.We have included only important questions for upcoming GATE exams
GATE Life Sciences books
I have shared books having all sections and for individual sections as well.You should buy individual section books or combined book having all sections as per your preference.I would recommend buying all section book if you are following some book for individual sections.
All sections combined book will have solved problems from previous year GATE exams.But if you are not using separate books for each section then I would recommend using single books for each section.That would help you immensely in preparation.
Book 1 – All Section
This book covers all sections of GATE Life Sciences paper.It has solved paper from previous year GATE exams. Solution of each question is with detailed explanation to help you understand the concept better. This book does not have any theory portion.
Note there are not many dedicated book for this paper covering all topics. So if you are looking for a dedicated book for this paper covering all section s then this is the options for you.The book is regularly updated so you should buy the latest version of the book.
You can buy the book with discount using below link.
Book 2 – All Section
This is a good book covering most sections of the paper. It contains previous year’s questions from different entrance examinations like GATE, IISc, JNU, ICMR, DBT-JRF along with the text to measure the level of understanding and their application.
It covers essential fundamentals and techniques that will improve one’s comprehension and help them perform better in the national level examinations. It includes hundreds of problems and self tests with solutions so as give reader a example of precisely kind of questions they will find in the exams. Each chapter contains logically organized information according to the trend and pattern of CSIR-JRF-NET.
This book is combination of two books. Below are the topics covered in the book. You can buy the book from below link
Life Sciences: Fundamentals And Practice Part – I
Biomolecules and Catalysis
Bioenergetics and Metabolism
Cell Structure and Functions
Prokaryotes and Viruses, Immunology
Diversity of Life
Life Sciences: Fundamentals and Practice Part – II
Recombinant DNA technology
GATE Biochemistry book
This book is designed as per latest syllabus of GATE Biochemistry section.It is one of its kind as well.The book covers the topics pretty well. Also you get 24*7 access to online portal and mobile app for free with this book.You can buy the book or free using below link
GATE Botany book
Below book is recommended for GATE Botany section of Life Sciences paper. It covers the syllabus well and helps you in quick preparation
GATE Microbiology book
There are not too much choices available for GATE Microbiology books. But this one fills the gap
GATE Zoology book
Below book covers GATE Zoology section and is recommended or this section preparation
GATE Food Technology book
This book is not written for GATE exams exclusively. But it is very helpful in preparation. The book contains about 10000 objective questions on the subjects such as Food Chemistry, Food Microbiology, Food Engineering, Dairy Technology, Fruits and Vegetables Technology, Cereals Technology, Meat Fish and Poultry Processing, Food Additives, Foods and Nutrition, Bioprocess Technology, Food Packaging, Food Analysis, Functional Foods, Emerging Food Processing Technologies, Food Biochemistry and Miscellaneous topics. The book also contains subjective keynotes for above mentioned topics.
GATE Life Sciences syllabus
Below is the updated syllabus of individual GATE Life Sciences sections.The syllabus is taken from official website of GATE exams (link)
Section 1: Atomic Structure and Periodicity
Planck’s quantum theory, wave particle duality, uncertainty principle, quantum mechanical model of hydrogen atom, electronic configuration of atoms and ions. Periodic table and periodic properties: ionization energy, electron affinity, electronegativity and atomic size.
Section 2: Structure and Bonding
Ionic and covalent bonding, MO and VB approaches for diatomic molecules, VSEPR theory and shape of molecules, hybridization, resonance, dipole moment, structure parameters such as bond length, bond angle and bond energy,
hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions. Ionic solids, ionic radii and lattice energy (Born‐Haber cycle). HSAB principle.
Section 3: s, p and d Block Elements
Oxides, halides and hydrides of alkali, alkaline earth metals, B, Al, Si, N, P, and S. General characteristics of 3d elements. Coordination complexes: valence bond and crystal field theory, color, geometry, magnetic properties and isomerism.
Section 4: Chemical Equilibria
Colligative properties of solutions, ionic equilibria in solution, solubility product,common ion effect, hydrolysis of salts, pH, buffer and their applications. Equilibrium constants (Kc, Kp and Kx) for homogeneous reactions.
Section 5: Electrochemistry
Conductance, Kohlrausch law, cell potentials, emf, Nernst equation, Galvanic cells,thermodynamic aspects and their applications.
Section 6: Reaction Kinetics
Rate constant, order of reaction, molecularity, activation energy, zero, first and second order kinetics, catalysis and elementary enzyme reactions.
Section 7: Thermodynamics
First law, reversible and irreversible processes, internal energy, enthalpy, Kirchoff equation, heat of reaction, Hess’s law, heat of formation. Second law, entropy, free energy and work function. Gibbs‐Helmholtz equation, Clausius‐Clapeyron equation, free energy change, equilibrium constant and Trouton’s rule. Third law of
Section 8: Structure Reactivity
Correlations and Organic Reaction Mechanisms Acids and bases, electronic and steric effects, optical and geometrical isomerism, tautomerism, conformers and concept of aromaticity. Elementary treatment of SN1, SN2, E1 and E2 reactions, Hoffmann and Saytzeff rules, addition reactions, Markownikoff rule and Kharash effect. Aromatic electrophilic substitutions, orientation effect as exemplified by various functional groups. Diels‐Alder, Wittig
and hydroboration reactions. Identification of functional groups by chemical tests.
Organization of life; Importance of water; Structure and function of biomolecules: Amino acids, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins and Nucleic acids; Protein structure, folding and function: Myoglobin, Hemoglobin, Lysozyme, Ribonuclease A, Carboxypeptidase and Chymotrypsin.
Enzyme kinetics including its regulation and inhibition, Vitamins and Coenzymes ; Metabolism and bioenergetics; Generation and utilization of ATP; Metabolic pathways and their regulation: glycolysis, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, oxidative phosphorylation,gluconeogenesis, glycogen and fatty acid metabolism; Metabolism of Nitrogen containing compounds: nitrogen fixation, amino acids and nucleotides. Photosynthesis: Calvin cycle.
Biochemical separation techniques: ion exchange, size exclusion and affinity chromatography, Characterization of biomolecules by electrophoresis, UV-visible and fluorescence spectroscopy and Mass spectrometry.
Cell structure and organelles; Biological membranes; Transport across membranes; Signal transduction; Hormones and neurotransmitters.
DNA replication, transcription and translation; Biochemical regulation of gene expression; Recombinant DNA technology and applications: PCR, site directed mutagenesis and DNA-microarray.
Immune system: Active and passive immunity; Complement system; Antibody structure, function and diversity; Cells of the immune system: T, B and macrophages; T and B cell activation; Major histocompatibilty complex; T cell receptor;
Immunological techniques: Immunodiffusion, immunoelectrophoresis, RIA and ELISA.
Section 1: Plant Systematics
Major systems of classification, plant groups, phylogenetic relationships and molecular systematics.
Section 2: Plant Anatomy
Plant cell structure and its components; cell wall and membranes; organization, organelles, cytoskeleton, anatomy of root, stem and leaves, floral parts, embryo and young seedlings, meristems, vascular system, their ontogeny, structure and functions, secondary growth in plants and stellar organization.
Section 3: Morphogenesis & Development
Cell cycle, cell division, life cycle of an angiosperm, pollination, fertilization, embryogenesis, seed formation, seed storage proteins, seed dormancy and germination. Concept of cellular totipotency, clonal propagation; organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis, artificial seed, somaclonal variation, secondary metabolism in plant
cell culture, embryo culture, in vitro fertilization.
Section 4: Physiology and Biochemistry
Plant water relations, transport of minerals and solutes, stress physiology, stomatal physiology, signal transduction, N2 metabolism, photosynthesis, photorespiration; respiration, Flowering: photoperiodism and vernalization, biochemical mechanisms involved in flowering; molecular mechanism of senencensce and aging,
biosynthesis, mechanism of action and physiological effects of plant growth regulators, structure and function of biomolecules, (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acid), enzyme kinetics.
Section 5: Genetics
Principles of Mendelian inheritance, linkage, recombination, genetic mapping;extrachromosomal inheritance; prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome organization, regulation of gene expression, gene mutation and repair, chromosomal aberrations (numerical and structural), transposons.
Section 6: Plant Breeding and Genetic Modification
Principles, methods – selection, hybridization, heterosis; male sterility, genetic maps and molecular markers, sporophytic and gametophytic self incompability, haploidy, triploidy, somatic cell hybridization, marker-assisted selection, gene transfer methods viz. direct and vector-mediated, plastid transformation, transgenic plants and their application in agriculture, molecular pharming, plantibodies.
Section 7: Economic Botany
A general account of economically and medicinally important plants- cereals,pulses, plants yielding fibers, timber, sugar, beverages, oils, rubber, pigments, dyes,gums, drugs and narcotics. Economic importance of algae, fungi, lichen and bacteria.
Section 8: Plant Pathology
Nature and classification of plant diseases, diseases of important crops caused by fungi, bacteria,nematodes and viruses, and their control measures, mechanism(s) of pathogenesis and resistance, molecular detection of pathogens; plant-microbe beneficial interactions.
Section 9: Ecology and Environment
Ecosystems – types, dynamics, degradation, ecological succession; food chains and energy flow; vegetation types of the world, pollution and global warming, speciation and extinction, conservation strategies, cryopreservation,
Section 1: Historical Perspective
Discovery of microbial world; Landmark discoveries relevant to the field of microbiology; Controversy over spontaneous generation; Role of microorganisms in transformation of organic matter and in the causation of diseases.
Section 2: Methods in Microbiology
Pure culture techniques; Theory and practice of sterilization; Principles of microbial nutrition; Enrichment culture techniques for isolation of microorganisms; Light-, phase contrast- and electron-microscopy.
Section 3: Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity
Bacteria, Archea and their broad classification; Eukaryotic microbes: Yeasts, molds and protozoa; Viruses and their classification; Molecular approaches to microbial taxonomy.
Section 4: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: Structure and Function
Prokaryotic Cells: cell walls, cell membranes, mechanisms of solute transport across membranes, Flagella and Pili, Capsules, Cell inclusions like endospores and gas vesicles; Eukaryotic cell organelles: Endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Section 5: Microbial Growth
Definition of growth; Growth curve; Mathematical expression of exponential growth phase; Measurement of growth and growth yields; Synchronous growth; Continuous culture; Effect of environmental factors on growth.
Section 6: Control of Micro-organisms
Effect of physical and chemical agents; Evaluation of effectiveness of antimicrobial agents.
Section 7: Microbial Metabolism
Energetics: redox reactions and electron carriers; An overview of metabolism; Glycolysis; Pentose-phosphate pathway; Entner-Doudoroff pathway; Glyoxalate pathway; The citric acid cycle; Fermentation; Aerobic and anaerobic respiration;
Chemolithotrophy; Photosynthesis; Calvin cycle; Biosynthetic pathway for fatty acids synthesis; Common regulatory mechanisms in synthesis of amino acids; Regulation of major metabolic pathways.
Section 8: Microbial Diseases and Host Pathogen Interaction
Normal microbiota; Classification of infectious diseases; Reservoirs of infection; Nosocomial infection; Emerging infectious diseases; Mechanism of microbial pathogenicity; Nonspecific defense of host; Antigens and antibodies; Humoral and cell mediated immunity; Vaccines; Immune deficiency; Human diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and pathogenic fungi.
Section 9: Chemotherapy/Antibiotics
General characteristics of antimicrobial drugs; Antibiotics: Classification, mode of action and resistance; Antifungal and antiviral drugs.
Section 11: Microbial Genetics
Types of mutation; UV and chemical mutagens; Selection of mutants; Ames test for mutagenesis; Bacterial genetic system: transformation, conjugation, transduction, recombination, plasmids, transposons; DNA repair; Regulation of gene expression: repression and induction; Operon model; Bacterial genome with special reference to E.coli; Phage λ and its life cycle; RNA phages; RNA viruses; Retroviruses; Basic concept of microbial genomics.
Section 12: Microbial Ecology
Microbial interactions; Carbon, sulphur and nitrogen cycles; Soil microorganisms associated with vascular plants.
Section 1: Animal world
Animal diversity, distribution, systematics and classification of animals, phylogenetic relationships.
Section 2: Evolution
Origin and history of life on earth, theories of evolution, natural selection,adaptation, speciation.
Section 3: Genetics
Basic Principles of inheritance, molecular basis of heredity, sex determination and sex-linked characteristics, cytoplasmic inheritance, linkage, recombination and mapping of genes in eukaryotes, population genetics.
4: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; replication, transcription and translation; regulation of gene expression, organization of genome, Kreb’s cycle, glycolysis, enzyme catalysis, hormones and their actions, vitamins.
Section 5: Cell Biology
Structure of cell, cellular organelles and their structure and function, cell cycle, cell division, chromosomes and chromatin structure.
Section 6: Gene expression in Eukaryotes
Eukaryotic gene organization and expression (Basic principles of signal transduction).
Section 7: Animal Anatomy and Physiology
Comparative physiology, the respiratory system, circulatory system, digestive system, the nervous system, the excretory system, the endocrine system, the reproductive system, the skeletal system, osmoregulation.
Section 8: Parasitology and Immunology
Nature of parasite, host-parasite relation, protozoan and helminthic parasites, the immune response, cellular and humoral immune response, evolution of the immune system.
Section 9: Development Biology
Embryonic development, cellular differentiation, organogenesis, metamorphosis,genetic basis of development, stem cells.
Section 10: Ecology
The ecosystem, habitats, the food chain, population dynamics, species diversity,zoogerography, biogeochemical cycles, conservation biology.
Section 11: Animal Behaviour
Types of behaviours, courtship, mating and territoriality, instinct, learning and memory, social behaviour across the animal taxa, communication, pheromones, evolution of animal behaviour
Food Technology Syllabus
Section 1: Food Chemistry and Nutrition
Carbohydrates: structure and functional properties of mono-, oligo-, & polysaccharides including starch, cellulose, pectic substances and dietary fibre, gelatinization and retrogradation of starch. Proteins: classification and structure of proteins in food, biochemical changes in post mortem and tenderization of muscles. Lipids: classification and structure of lipids, rancidity, polymerization and polymorphism. Pigments: carotenoids, chlorophylls, anthocyanins, tannins and myoglobin. Food flavours: terpenes, esters, aldehydes, ketones and quinines.
Enzymes: specificity, simple and inhibition kinetics, coenzymes, enzymatic and nonenzymatic browning. Nutrition: balanced diet, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, protein efficiency ratio, water soluble and fat soluble vitamins, role of minerals in nutrition, co-factors, anti-nutrients, nutraceuticals, nutrient deficiency
diseases. Chemical and biochemical changes: changes occur in foods during different processing.
Section 2: Food Microbiology
Characteristics of microorganisms: morphology of bacteria, yeast, mold and actinomycetes, spores and vegetative cells, gram-staining. Microbial growth: growth and death kinetics, serial dilution technique. Food spoilage: spoilage
microorganisms in different food products including milk, fish, meat, egg, cereals and their products. Toxins from microbes: pathogens and non-pathogens including Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia, Bacillus, Clostridium, and Aspergillus genera. Fermented foods and beverages: curd, yoghurt, cheese, pickles, soya-sauce, sauerkraut, idli, dosa, vinegar, alcoholic beverages and sausage.
Section 3: Food Products Technology
Processing principles: thermal processing, chilling, freezing, dehydration, addition of preservatives and food additives, irradiation, fermentation, hurdle technology, intermediate moisture foods. Food packaging and storage: packaging materials, aseptic packaging, controlled and modified atmosphere storage. Cereal processing and products: milling of rice, wheat, and maize, parboiling of paddy, bread, biscuits, extruded products and ready to eat breakfast cereals.
Oil processing: expelling, solvent extraction, refining and hydrogenation. Fruits and vegetables processing: extraction, clarification, concentration and packaging of fruit juice, jam, jelly, marmalade, squash, candies, tomato sauce, ketchup, and puree, potato chips, pickles. Plantation crops processing and products: tea, coffee,
cocoa, spice, extraction of essential oils and oleoresins from spices.
Milk and milk products processing: pasteurization and sterilization, cream, butter, ghee, icecream, cheese and milk powder. Processing of animal products: drying, canning, and freezing of fish and meat; production of egg powder. Waste utilization: pectin from fruit wastes, uses of by-products from rice milling. Food standards and quality maintenance: FPO, PFA, Agmark, ISI, HACCP, food plant sanitation and cleaning in place (CIP).
Section 4: Food Engineering
Mass and energy balance; Momentum transfer: Flow rate and pressure drop relationships for Newtonian fluids flowing through pipe, Reynolds number. Heat transfer: heat transfer by conduction, convection, radiation, heat exchangers. Mass transfer: molecular diffusion and Fick’s law, conduction and convective mass transfer, permeability through single and multilayer films.
Mechanical operations: size reduction of solids, high pressure homogenization, filtration, centrifugation, settling, sieving, mixing & agitation of liquid. Thermal operations: thermal sterilization, evaporation of liquid foods, hot air drying of solids, spray and freeze-drying, freezing and crystallization. Mass transfer operations: psychrometry, humidification and dehumidification operations.
In case you have any questions regarding GATE Life Sciences paper then let me know. I will be updating this post to include online tests from sections left out now.Consider sharing this post in case you found it useful.
You can also use below Android App for preparation. It covers all the section s of GATE Life Sciences paper.All questions are with answers. You can install the App for free. Below is the link of the Mobile App