I have been arguing on this question since long time. Students usually search either GATE cutoff scores or GATE marks required for M.Tech admissions into various schools. In this post I would like to argue on the whole importance significance of the Marks, GATE scores, percentiles and All India Rank (AIR).

First of let me explain Marks, GATE scores, percentiles and All India Rank (AIR) in terms of GATE.

As most of the students know that maximum marks one can score in GATE exam are 100. This is totally an absolute figure for each student independent of number of students appeared for GATE exam and scores of students in previous years. These are allotted based on how many correct answers a student gives.

GATE score is position of the student compared to the average students in previous years. This calculated based on the performance of students in the specific paper as well as performance of students in all other papers.

GATE percentile is just a simple representation of a student position. It says that one stand ahead xx.xx % students. For more detailed understanding of please refer to how to calculate GATE percentile.

GATE All India Rank (AIR) is an absolute position of one student based on marks scored in GATE exam on all India basis in a specific paper. This is reverse of percentile in absolute term. It says how many students are ahead of you in the specific GATE paper in a current year.

Now let’s talk about importance of each of these for M.Tech admissions. First of all we need absolute criteria for admission that remain same across the years for M.Tech admissions. By absolute I mean a criterion that is independent of performance of students in previous years. This is very important because in previous years if GATE paper is easy most of the students get better marks than average marks of students in previous years, eventually increasing average scores of students in current year. If the paper is tough the reverse could happen. This means, for same marks in GATE in two different years would have different GATE scores, different AIR, and finally different percentile. This definitely takes gate marks out of race of criterion for M.Tech admissions.

Let’s go further ahead. As we know GATE scores are totally dependent on GATE marks, this criterion also may not reflect real admission criterion. As it also take previous year average into consideration, making it possible for many students have same percentile. Therefore, this is a not a good metric to consider for M.Tech admissions.
GATE percentile again a relative term and depend on number of students appearing in GATE exam. Same rank of the student with different number of students appearing in GATE exam would greatly change the percentile, making this criterion too out of scope of for making a standard for M.Tech admissions.

The only remaining parameter is GATE All India Rank. Its independence from all other parameters makes it a best candidate to be considered as a standard for M.Tech admissions. Here I am talking about the same thing that we during our Engineering admissions.