GATE 2012 ECE Question Paper Analysis - SET A,SET B,SET C,SET D

Overall Paper Snapshot

GATE 2012 ECE Paper can be rated as more difficult than the GATE 2011 version. While the GATE 2011 one had some questions which can be answered correctly without much effort,the current paper did not offer such luxury to the students. The questions were very tricky and candidate had to be extra cautious while responding. Students who took certain areas like E.M. Theory for granted as not many questions are asked in GATE on it were in for surprise, as a weight age 12 marks were given to those questions.

In last few year GATE papers, GA was given for 15 marks; Engineering Mathematics was given about 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. Engineering Subject was covered only in 70 marks.

Branches like EEE, ECE, Instrumentation, they have common subjects to name Engg. Maths, Electrical Networks, Electronic Devices, Analog Electronics, Digital Circuits, control systems, and Signals and Systems etc. This year all these three branches have the same questions for those common subjects along with GA. Because of this, the questions in Networks were very difficult from the perspective of a ECE student.

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 score of (52-55) out of 100 Marks,can fetch a rank of 1000 and below in GATE.


Core Subjects Core Subjects 1 Mark Qtns 2 Mark Qtns
Networks 4 4
Electronic Devices 1 3
Analog Circuits 2 2
Digital circuits 4 2
Signals and Systems 1 3
Control Systems 1 4
Communications 3 3
Electromagnetics 4 4
Total Marks 20 50
Engineering Maths 1 Mark Qtns 2 Mark Qtns
Linear Algebra 0 1
Calculus 0 2
Differential equations 1 0
Complex variables 2 0
Probability and Statistics 1 1
Numerical Methods 0 1
Transform Theory 1 0
Total Marks 5 10
General Aptitude 1 Mark Qtns 2 Mark Qtns
Verbal Ability 4 1
Numerical Ability 1 4
Total Marks 5 10

Core Subjects

There are 4 types of questions i.e Recall, Comprehension, Application, Analysis and Synthesis, but maximum of the questions are application and analysis type questions given for GATE 2012.

This year paper has many of unexpected questions and questions from every corner of the syllabus. This year paper is totally different from last few year GATE papers, Its a surprise to see no questions on Microprocessor, less questions on Analog communications, First time question on State diagrams, new models in networks and Signals & Systems questions.

Networks is the common area for all branches, it has highest weightage 12 Marks when compared with last year 9 marks. The questions are from fundamental topics; they will be easy for students who know the very basic concepts. For example the average power 1M question, students usually study about the power dissipated in a resister for DC current, but in question they asked for power in Impedance and time varying current. Similarly capacitor and switch problem, one should know how ideal capacitor works with Resistor (that we usually study) and with other ideal capacitor when connected through switch to answer this question, as both capacitors doesn’t respond for sudden changes in voltage. Similarly other network problems like KVL and KCL analysis need some lengthy solutions, but by using simple short cuts one can solve them in lesser time. Difficult questions are there on maximum power transfer theorem and 2 port netowrks (Common data) which need lot of thought process.

Electronic devices and Analog circuits – these are the areas in which ECE students normally focus, and usually more weightage was given to this area from many years, but may be because of common questions to all 3 branches, only 7+8 =13 M were allotted for this subject (it’s around 19 M last year). EDC questions can be also answered with simple basic concepts, I – V characteristics of diode question, by simply applying KVL (assume diode as dependent current source), and one can get the answer. The common data question is very tricky but it needs simple formulae capacitance = permittivity x area / thickness, from the data given in diagram we can calculate the capacitance for both the questions. The other question is easy to find concentration of of holes based on simple formulae.

Analog circuits- The questions are asked in the areas of BJT AC analysis, Amplifiers, basic differentiator, and diode clamping circuit. There are no direct questions, each question uses up plenty of time. As all the options are very nearer, there is very less possibility for elimination.

Diode clamping ciruit, gain of BJT amplifier are difficult to answer, where as other questions on Opamp Differentiator and BJT AC analysis are moderately difficult.

Digital circuits: From last few years, every time there was a question on Microprocessor and ADC, DAC. But this time no question is there from those concepts, 2 questions were asked on CMOS concepts (basics of CMOS are very important for students who aspire to go for M.Tech VLSI branch during admission interview and during course of study) last year also there was a question on MOS inverter circuit. Other question on state diagram which is difficult to answer, and totally covers 8 Marks (last year 9 Marks for digital design). The other questions on prime implicants and number of input combinations are easy with application of little logic.

Signals and systems: Questions are of analysis and application type questions were given, usually this subject questions will have pattern as of old paper questions, but this time all questions are analytical, and new models. One should be careful to answer these questions. This year weightage is about 7 Marks (last year it is about 12 Marks). questions on fourier transform, Discrete convolution, system properties are difficult to answer. ROC of z transform question is moderately difficult.

Control system is a the common subject for all branches, EEE, EC, IN : but the level of difficulty is moderate for this subject, linked answer question on compensator is a direct question to solve, one should have the knowledge of lead, lag compensator etc. similarly from past few years every year there is a question on state variable analysis, and this time too one question is there for 2M. this year control system covers about 9 Marks(last year it’s about 8 Marksarks), the other questions are moderately difficult in the area of steady state analysis.

Communications: 9 Marks for this year (10Marks for last year) every year Analog communications and digital communications usually have nearly equal weightage but this time there is only one 2M question for Analog communications and all other questions are from digital communications, there are no direct questions, the level of difficulty is moderate for problems on PSD, signaling rate, Digital communications. One mark question is there from Information Theory on Entropy concept, based on the definition.

Electromagnetics is the subject, the students neglect commonly, for this year this is another subject with high weightage 12 Marks (last year it is about 9 Marks). This subject has covered completely; at least one question is there from all the subtopics, E-M Fields, wave propagation, Transmission lines, Wave guides, and Antennas. The level of difficulty is moderate. Electromagnetics has linked answer question, which is very basic one, magnetic field around a current carrying conductor (every one will know about this), the other question is how is the magnetic field varies inside the conductor?? which students normally ignore while reading the fundamentals. Such simple questions made this year GATE paper tougher than last few years.

Mark Distribution based on Difficulty Level
Subject Easy Moderate Difficult Total Marks
Networks   3 5 8
Electronic Devices 1 3   3
Analog Circuits   2 2 4
Digital Circuits 2 2 2 6
Signals and Systems   1 3 4
Control Systems 1 3 1 5
Communications   3 3 6
Electromagnetics   5 3 8
Total Marks 6 35 29 70


Engineering Maths

Engineering mathematics is very important for good score, there are direct questions from laplace transforms, linear algebra, and but difficult questions are there from calculus, complex variables, probability & statistics. Comparitively this year Engineering mathematics is tougher than last few years.

Mark Distribution based on Difficulty Level
Topic Easy Moderate Difficult Total Marks
Linear Algebra   2   2
Calculus 2   2 4
Differential equations   1   1
Complex variables   1 1 2
Probability and Statistics 2 1   3
Numerical Methods     2 2
Transform Theory 1     1
Total Marks 5 5 5 15


General Aptitude

Verbal ability questions are moderately difficult when compared with last few years, and given numarical ability questions are easy, except a different question from geometric probability which is difficult to answer. Data interpretation question is easy this time.
Mark Distribution based on Difficulty Level
General Aptitude Easy Moderate Difficult Total Marks
Verbal Ability 1 4 1 6
Numerical Ability 4 3 2 9
Total Marks 5 7 3 15