Insights into the Marking Process of the GATE/ASET Exam

Have you ever thought how the Total Standard Score given to each participant of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) is being calculated? The Department of Education or the test supplier ACER have never specifically disclosed how this is being assessed.

Essence of GATE Testing

However, we know that the GATE exam works on a ranking system, where participants are ranked. In the context of the GATE test, an annual event engaging 6,000 to 7,000 students, only a third will be offered a place and not necessarily their first preference. This underscores the highly selective nature of the examination.

Understanding the Marking Scheme

Comprising four papers or sections, three of which consist of 35 questions each, and the Writing paper with undisclosed scoring criteria, the GATE test is evaluated on a normalized scale of 100 marks per section, culminating in a total of 400 marks. To be eligible for the GATE program, a candidate must attain a minimum score of 210 out of 400, placing them in the top 33% of participants.

Hypothetical Marking Process

Speculation suggests that ACER establishes the score of the student at the 33rd percentile, setting the benchmark at 210 marks. Subsequently, other students’ scores are adjusted in relation to this central point, factoring in their rankings. This methodology ensures that the distribution of scores aligns with the overall performance and ranking of the participants, transcending reliance on raw scores.

GATE exam

Implications for Students

For aspiring GATE program entrants, grasping this potential ranking methodology becomes paramount. It emphasizes the significance of not only achieving commendable absolute scores but also surpassing peers to secure a high rank. In a situation where only a fraction of candidates successfully qualify, maintaining a competitive edge proves indispensable.


While the precise intricacies of the GATE test’s marking process remain confidential, the available information indicates a multifaceted and competitive evaluation system. The emphasis on rankings and percentiles, rather than solely raw scores, introduces an additional layer of challenge for candidates. The GATE test emerges as not only an assessment of academic prowess but also a measure of relative performance within a fiercely competitive milieu.

Did you know that Test Champs WA (previously known as Scholastic Excellence) is the first to offer students a Total Standard Score (TSS) among the candidates who take their 2024 GATE Mock Test on 17th Feb?

Find out more here –

Test Champs - WA (previously known as Scholastic Excellence)
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