GATE Economics | IIT JAM Economics Course

GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. GATE exam is undertaken to provide students admission into postgraduate programs and doctoral programs in institutes supported by the Ministry of Education and other government agencies. It is conducted for various streams, including commerce and arts (especially, Economics).  

The GATE Economics exam is one of the new papers introduced in 2021. The GATE Exam is conducted by the IISc and seven Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Government of India. A good performance in the GATE examination will provide admission opportunities into these eminent institutions.  The paper code for the GATE Economics exam is XH-C1. 

GATE Economics is one of the six papers under the Humanities and Social Sciences section of the examination. This exam tests understanding of economic concepts for admission into postgraduate studies and recruitment by public sector companies. 

GATE Economics Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the GATE Exam an applicant must be an Indian national. International candidates belonging to Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be also eligible. Educational eligibility requires a candidate to be currently studying in the 3rd or higher years of any undergraduate or postgraduate degree program OR has already completed any government-approved degree program in Engineering / Technology / Architecture / Science / Commerce / Arts. There is no age bar for candidates applying to the GATE examination.

There is no restriction on the number of attempts for the GATE Examination. Candidates can choose to appear for one or two papers from a prescribed list of combinations. For example, a candidate can choose to appear for Economics (XH-C1) and Mathematics (MA) papers. However, candidates cannot choose two papers from the same section, such as Economics (XH-C1) and English (XH-C2).

  GATE Economics Exam Pattern​

The GATE Economics exam pattern is similar to other GATE papers. It consists of 65 questions carrying a total of 100 marks. The questions are divided into two types: multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and numerical answer type (NAT) questions.  A better analysis of the paper is given below:



Examination Mode

Computer Based Test (CBT)


3 Hours


General Aptitude (GA) + Candidate’s Selected Subject

Type of Questions

(a) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) (b) Multiple Select Questions (MSQ) and/or Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Questions for testing these abilities

Recall, Comprehension, Application, Analysis & Synthesis

Number of Questions

10 (GA) + 55 (subject) = 65 Questions

Distribution of Marks in paper XH (Humanities and Social Sciences)

General Aptitude: 15 Marks + Subject Questions: 85 Marks = Total: 100 Marks

Marking Scheme

Questions carry 1 mark and 2 marks

Negative Marking

For a wrong answer chosen in a MCQ, there will be negative marking.
For 1-mark MCQ, 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.
For 2-mark MCQ, 2/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.
NO negative marking for MSQ & NAT.

GATE Economics Syllabus 2023

GATE Economics syllabus covers five main areas: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Statistics, Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, International Economics, Public Economics, Development Economics, and Indian Economy. The syllabus also includes some general aptitude questions on verbal ability and numerical ability.

GATE Economics Preparation

  • GATE Economics preparation strategy involves a thorough study of the syllabus, revision of the concepts and formulas, solving previous year papers and mock tests, and practising time management and accuracy. 
  • Ecoholics provide a great platform for students to prepare for the GATE Exam with the help of expert faculties who are not just teachers but also mentors in the learning journey. 
  • Ecoholics teachers will let you know how to study a syllabus consisting of 7 subjects, and over 50 sub-topics in them. 
  • The exam is tough, but with the right division of time and practice you can qualify the exam. We prepare study plans and classes in such a way that you can learn regularly and most importantly judge your performance regularly. 
  • Leaving some good days for practising via test series and previous years question papers. 

Ecoholics provides a great opportunity to be mentored by the experts along the way of preparation. The aspirants can avail the course or get in touch with the academic counsellor for more details at +91 7880 10 7880. 

GATE Economics Application

The application process for GATE Economics is similar to the application process for other GATE papers. You need to follow these steps to apply for the exam:

  • Visit the official website of GATE 2023 and register yourself as a new user using your email address, mobile number, and a password. You will receive an enrollment ID and a confirmation link on your email.
  • Fill the online application form with your personal, academic, and contact details. Choose Economics (XH-C1) as your primary paper and select your preferred exam cities.
  • Upload the scanned images of your photograph, signature, category certificate (if applicable), and degree certificate or provisional certificate or course completion certificate or pre-final year mark sheet (as per your eligibility criteria) in the prescribed format and size.
  • Pay the application fee through online mode using net banking, debit card, credit card, or UPI. The fee varies depending on your category and nationality.

Candidate Category

Regular Period

(30th Aug to 30th Sept 2022)

During the Extended Period

(1st Oct to 7th Oct 2022)

Female candidates (per paper)

₹ 850

₹ 1350

SC / ST / PwD* category candidates (per paper)

₹ 850

₹ 1350

All other candidates including foreign nationals (per paper)

₹ 1700

₹ 2200

Note: The above Application fees are for single paper. The fees for candidates opting for double-paper would be twice of the above-mentioned fees


The GATE Economics has 65 questions in total. The General aptitude consists of 10 questions and the economics based questions are 55 in total. The questions are of two types: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions. There is negative marking for MCQs only: 1/3 mark for 1 mark questions and 2/3 mark for 2 mark questions.

The GATE exam score benefits are numerous. Firstly, the GATE scores help in getting admission to prestigious universities and institutions like IITs and IISs for pursuing masters or Phd in economics or related fields. Secondly, candidates can  apply for various scholarships and fellowships offered by MHRD or other funding agencies based on GATE score. Thirdly,  there are various public sector undertakings (PSUs) like IOCL, NTPC, ONGC, etc., that hire candidates through GATE score. Fourthly, one can also explore opportunities in the private sector or academia as an economist or a researcher.

The recommended books for the GATE Economics exam are: Microeconomics— HL Ahuja. Macroeconomics — Froyen,International economics — Salvatore, Econometrics — Gujarati, Public Finance — Musgrave, Indian Economy — Uma Kapila, General Aptitude part — RS Agarwal.

The cut off marks are determined by various factors such as the difficulty level of the exam, the number of candidates who appeared, the total number of seats available, the reservation policies, and the normalisation process.

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