GATE 2012 CSE QUestion Paper Analysis - SET A,SET B,SET C,SET D

Overall Paper Snapshot

The overall impression which one gets from analysing GATE-2012 CSE Paper is that in terms of the level of difficulty, it is same as that of the previous two years. The weight age given to subjects were more or less evenly distributed with a notable exception in case of Software engineering and Web Technologies where there were no questions. While there was no element of surprise in the difficulty level of the paper,the questions asked were tricky and misleading. The questions on Computer Networks in particular would lure the student into a trap of attempting them and spending a lot of time.

In last few GATE papers, GA was given for 15 marks; Engineering Mathematics was given for 10 marks. But this time as specified in the GATE 2012 Information Brochure, GA and E.M both were given for 15 + 15 = 30 marks.

The General Aptitude section of GATE 2012 provided much need avenues to increase overall GATE Score of the candidate. Most of the questions were easy or of Moderate Level of difficulty .A candidate who has put in the required effort in practicing General Aptitude can score upto (10-12) marks in this section and this can go a long way in helping him meet the basic qualifying criteria. The candidates who found the level of difficulty of Engineering stream and Engineering Maths questions high would have got the much needed relief they were looking for in their quest to increase the GATE Score.

A candidate scoring (50-55) can expect a rank of 1000 and below.

Core Subjects 1 Mark Qtns 2 Mark Qtns
Digital logic design 2 1
Computer organisation 1 2
programming and Data structure 1 4
Algorithms 4 3
Theory of computation 3 1
Compiler design 1 3
Operating systems 1 4
Databases 3 4
Software engineering 0 0
Computer networks 3 3
Web technologies 0 0
Total Marks 19 50
Engineering Maths 1 Mark Qtns 2 Mark Qtns
Linear Algebra 1 0
Calculus 1 0
Graph theory 1 2
Sets 0 1
Probability and Statistics 1 1
Numerical Methods 0 1
Mathematical logic 1 0
Total Marks 6 10
General Aptitude 1 Mark Qtns 2 Mark Qtns
Verbal Ability 4 4
Numerical Ability 1 1
Total Marks 5 10

Core Subjects

Digital logic:

Digital logic is given less weightage(3 Q's-4 Marks) compared to last year(5 Q's-7 Marks).A question on truth table can be answered just by comparison of columns which is easy. A question on ROM will require the knowledge of designing a ROM which is difficult.

Programming and data structures:

Is given less weightage (5 Q's-8 Marks)as last year(5 Q's-9 Marks).One common data question on storage classes is given,one need have knowledge of memory allocation of various storage classes which is not that difficult.A question on recursion to find the height of a tree is difficult because we have to place the missing lines in the code by taking an example.

Computer organisation:

Is given less weightage (3 Q's-5 Marks) compared to last year(5 Q's-8 Marks).A linked answer question on cache memory mapping techniques is difficult ,one may get confused with too many specifications.A question on floating point representation is difficult because conversions into another format.


Is given less weightage (7 Q's-10 Marks) compared to last year(5 Q's-9 Marks). Most of the questions are on time complexities which are very generalised , they are not direct ,so much analysis is required.A question on Dijkstras algorithm has confusing options.

Operating systems:

Is given more weightage(5 Q's-9 Marks) compared to last year(5 Q's-7 Marks).A question on mutual exclusion is difficult because it is collaboration of multiple concepts.A question on page replacement policies is easy because it is an expected question and appeared in all previous GATE papers.

Theory of computation:

Is given less weightage (4 Q's-5 Marks) compared to last year(5 Q's-8 Marks).A question on decidability cannot be answered unless we have complete knowledge of subject,it is difficult.A question on DFA can be solved easily by eliminating options.

Compiler design:

Is given more weightage(4 Q's-7 Marks) compared to last year(4 Q's-6 Marks).A linked answer question requires implementation of top-down parsing.A question on activation records was most least expected.


Is given more weightage (7 Q's-11 Marks) compared to last year(5 Q's-9 Marks).A common data question requires clear understanding of basic SQL operations .A question on conflict serializability has confusing options and interleaving of transactions, we have to assume which leads to multiple answers.

Computer networks:

Is given more weightage(6 Q's-9 Marks) compared to last year(4 Q's-6 Marks).A question on slow start algorithm has no suitable solution in the given options.very time mark questions were very tricky,we may easily end up with wrong answer.

Information systems & Software engineering:

Is not given any weightage

Web technologies :

Is not given any weightage

Subject Marks Distribution based on Difficulty Level

Easy Moderate Difficult Total Marks
Digital logic design 3 0 1 4
Computer organisation 0 1 4 5
programming and Data structure 0 7 2 9
Algorithms 0 2 8 10
Theory of computation 1 3 1 5
Compiler design 0 4 3 7
Operating systems 2 3 4 9
Databases 1 3 7 11
Software engineering 0 0 0 0
Computer networks 0 2 7 9
Web technologies 0 0 0 0
Total Marks 7 25 37 69


Engineering Maths

Engineering mathematics is very important for good score, there are direct questions from mathematical logic, linear algebra, calculus and difficult questions are from graph theory, probability & statistics. Comparitively this year Engineering mathematics is tougher than last few years.

Topic Marks Distribution based on Difficulty Level

Easy Moderate Difficult
Linear Algebra 0 1 0
Calculus 0 1 0
Graph theory 0 2 3
Sets 0 2 0
Probability and Statistics 0 1 2
Numerical Methods 0 2 0
Mathematical logic 0 2 0
Total Marks 0 11 5


General Aptitude

Verbal ability questions are moderately difficult when compared to last few years, and given numarical ability questions are easy, except a different question from probability which is difficult to answer.
General Aptitude Marks Distribution based on Difficulty Level

Easy Moderate Difficult Total Marks
Verbal Ability 1 4 1 6
Numerical Ability 2 5 2 9
Total Marks 3 9 3 15