GATE 2019 Syllabus for Chemistry

About GATE 2019 – To offer admission into M.Tech/M.Sc in engineering/ technology/ architecture and P.hD, in relevant branches of science, Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a national level examination, and it is conducted. GATE 2019 Mock Tests have been released. It has to be mentioned that, GATE 2019 is managed by the IIT.

In regards to the core subjects, two categories have been divided into each of the GATE 2019 topics. Overall the corresponding sections (of the syllabus given below) of the question paper will contain 90% of their questions and the remaining 10% on Special Topics.


Syllabus for GATE 2019

 Physical Chemistry

Structure: Postulates of quantum mechanics. Hybrid orbitals. Applications of LCAO-MOT to H2+, H2 and other homonuclear diatomic molecules, heteronuclear diatomic molecules like HF, CO, NO, and to simple delocalized π– electron systems. Hückel approximation and its application to annular π – electron systems. Symmetry elements and operations. Point groups and character tables. Time-dependent and time-independent Schrödinger equations. Born interpretation. Particle in a box. Harmonic oscillator. Rigid rotor. Hydrogen atom: atomic orbitals. Multi-electron atoms: orbital approximation. Variation and first-order perturbation techniques. Chemical bonding: Valence bond theory and LCAO-MO theory. Origin of selection rules for rotational, vibrational, electronic and Raman spectroscopy of diatomic and polyatomic molecules. Einstein coefficients. Relationship of transition moment integral with molar extinction coefficient and oscillator strength. Basic principles of nuclear magnetic resonance: nuclear g factor, chemical shift, nuclear coupling.


Equilibrium: Laws of thermodynamics.

Debye-Hückel-Onsager equation. Standard electrode potentials and electrochemical cells. Potentiometric and conductometric titrations. Phase rule. Clausius-Clapeyron equation. Standard states. Thermochemistry. Thermodynamic functions and their relationships: Gibbs-Helmholtz and Maxwell relations, can’t Hoff equation. Criteria of spontaneity and equilibrium. Absolute entropy. Partial molar quantities. Thermodynamics of mixing. Chemical potential. Fugacity, activity and activity coefficients. Chemical equilibria. Dependence of equilibrium constant on temperature and pressure. Non-ideal solutions. Ionic mobility and conductivity. Debye-Hückel limiting law. Fractional distillation. Azeotropes and eutectics. Statistical thermodynamics: microcanonical and canonical ensembles, Boltzmann distribution, partition functions and thermodynamic properties. Phase diagram of one component systems: CO2, H2O, S; two-component systems: liquid-vapour, liquid-liquid and solid-liquid systems.

Kinetics: Transition state theory: Eyring equation, thermodynamic aspects. Potential energy surfaces and classical trajectories. Elementary, parallel, opposing and following reactions. Kinetics of polymerisation and enzyme catalysis. Fast reaction kinetics: relaxation and flow methods. Kinetics of photochemical and photophysical processes. Steady-state approximation. Mechanisms of complex reactions. Unimolecular reactions.

Surfaces and Interfaces: Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism. Surface tension, viscosity.

Self-assembly. Physical chemistry of colloids, micelles and macromolecules.  Physisorption and chemisorption. Langmuir, Freundlich and BET isotherms. Surface catalysis:


Inorganic Chemistry

Structure and bonding of boranes, carboranes, silicones, silicates, boron nitride, borazines and phosphazenes. Main Group Elements: Hydrides, halides, oxides, oxoacids, nitrides, sulfides – shapes and reactivity. Allotropes of carbon. Chemistry of noble gases, pseudohalogens, and interhalogen compounds. Acid-base concepts.

Transition Elements: Properties of transition metal complexes. Reaction mechanisms: kinetic and thermodynamic stability, substitution and redox reactions Electronic spectra of transition metal complexes: spectroscopic term symbols, selection rules, Orgel diagrams, charge-transfer spectra. Magnetic. Coordination chemistry – structure and isomerism, theories of bonding (VBT, CFT, and MOT). Energy level diagrams in various crystal fields, CFSE, applications of CFT, Jahn-Teller distortion. Lanthanides and Actinides: Periodic properties, spectra and magnetic properties; Recovery.

Instrumental Methods of Analysis: Electroanalytical methods- polarography, cyclic voltammetry, ion-selective electrodes. Thermoanalytical methods. UV-visible spectrophotometry, NMR and ESR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry. Chromatography including GC and HPLC.

Organometallics: 18 -Electron rule; metal-alkyl, metal-carbonyl, metal-olefin and metal-carbene complexes and metallocenes. Fluxionality in organometallic compounds. Heterogeneous catalysis – Fischer-Tropsch reaction, Ziegler-Natta polymerisation; Types of organometallic reactions. Homogeneous catalysis – Hydrogenation, hydroformylation, acetic acid synthesis, metathesis and olefin oxidation.

Radioactivity: Decay processes, the half-life of radioactive elements, fission and fusion processes.

Bioinorganic Chemistry: Electron transfer reactions, nitrogen fixation, metalloenzymes containing magnesium, molybdenum, iron, cobalt, copper and zinc; Ion (Na+ and K+) transport, oxygen binding, transport and utilisation,

Solids: Spinels, band theory, metals and semiconductors; Crystal systems and lattices, Miller planes, crystal packing, crystal defects, Bragg’s law, ionic crystals, structures of AX, AX2, ABX3 type compounds,


Organic Chemistry

Stereochemistry: Geometrical isomerism. Configurational and conformational effects, and neighbouring group participation on reactivity and selectivity/specificity. Stereoselective and stereospecific synthesis. The Conformational analysis of acyclic and cyclic compounds. Chirality of organic molecules with or without chiral centres and determination of their absolute configurations. Relative stereochemistry in compounds having more than one stereogenic centre. Homotopic, enantiotopic and diastereotopic atoms, groups and faces.

Reaction Mechanisms: Elimination Reactions. Reactive intermediates – carbocations, carbanions, carbenes, nitrenes, arynes and free radicals; Basic mechanistic concepts – kinetic versus thermodynamic control, Hammond’s postulate and Curtin-Hammett principle. Methods of determining reaction mechanisms through the identification of products, intermediates and isotopic labelling. Molecular rearrangements involving electron deficient atoms; Nucleophilic and electrophilic substitution reactions (both aromatic and aliphatic). Addition reactions to carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom (N, O) multiple bonds.

Organic Synthesis: Uses of Mg, Li, Cu, B, Zn and Si-based reagents in organic synthesis. Carbon-carbon bond formation through coupling reactions – Heck, Suzuki, Stille and Sonogoshira. Concepts of multistep. Synthesis, reactions, mechanisms and selectivity involving the following classes of compounds – alkenes, alkynes, arenes, alcohols, phenols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, nitriles, halides, nitro compounds, amines and amides.

Synthesis – retrosynthetic analysis, strategic disconnections, synthons and synthetic equivalents. Umpolung reactivity – formyl and acyl anion equivalents. Selectivity in organic synthesis – chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity. Protection and deprotection of functional groups. Concepts of asymmetric synthesis – resolution (including enzymatic), desymmetrization and use of chiral auxiliaries. Carbon-carbon bond forming reactions through enolates (including boron enolates), enamines and silyl enol ethers. Michael addition reaction. Stereoselective addition to C=O groups (Cram and Felkin-Anh models).

Heterocyclic Compounds: Structure, preparation, properties and reactions of furan, pyrrole, thiophene, pyridine, indole, quinoline and isoquinoline.

Pericyclic Reactions and Photochemistry: correlations – FMO and PMO treatments. Photochemistry of alkenes, arenes and carbonyl compounds. Electrocyclic, cycloaddition and sigmatropic reactions. Photooxidation and photoreduction. Di-π-methane rearrangement, Barton reaction. Orbital.

Biomolecules: Structure, properties and reactions of mono- and di-saccharides, physicochemical properties of amino acids, chemical synthesis of peptides, structural features of proteins, nucleic acids, steroids, terpenoids, carotenoids, and alkaloids.

Spectroscopy: Applications of UV-visible, IR, NMR and Mass spectrometry in the structural determination of organic molecules.


Exam Pattern for GATE 2019


Exam Pattern for GATE 2019
Section Question No No of Questions Marks per Question Total Marks
General Aptitude 1 to 5 5 1 5
6 to 10 5 2 10
Technical &  Engineering 1 to 25 25 1 25
Mathematics 26 to 55 30 2 60


Total Questions: 65

Total Marks: 100

Total Duration : 3 hours

Technical Section: 70 marks

General Aptitude: 15 marks

Engineering Mathematics: 15 marks

25 marks to 40 marks will be allotted to Numerical Answer Type Questions


Reference books for Chemistry – GATE 2019

  • Gate Guide Life Science Chemistry & General Aptitude by G K Publications
  • GATE Chemistry (Compulsory Paper) by Upkar Publications
  • 3,000 Solved Problems In Chemistry (Schaum’s Outline Series) by David E Goldberg


Other GATE 2019 Syllabus and Information

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