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GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022: Important Topics, Weightage, Question Papers and Preparation Books

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Sonal Vaid

Content Curator | Updated On - Jul 31, 2021

All the questions in GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 are of the graduation level with 85% of the syllabus is from the core subjects. The rest of the 15% is from the General Aptitude section. The candidates who opt for Ecology and Evolution (EY) as their first paper in GATE 2022 can apply for Life Sciences (XL) as their second paper. Check GATE Exam Pattern 2022

GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 consists of questions from five different topics namely- Ecology, Evolution, Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology, Behavioural Ecology, and General Aptitude. The candidates are advised to attempt a good amount of mock tests for GATE 2022 to secure the desired scores in the first attempt. Check GATE Mock Tests

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GATE EY Syllabus

GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022

The GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 is based on graduation level. Applicants are advised to check the complete syllabus before starting the preparation of the exam. 

Section 1: Ecology

  • Fundamental concepts: Abiotic and biotic components; scales (population, species, community, ecosystems, biomes); niches and habitats
  • Population ecology: Population growth rates (density dependent/independent); metapopulation ecology (colonization, persistence, extinction, patches, sources, sinks); age- structured populations
  • Interactions: Types (mutualism, symbiosis, commensalism, competition, parasitism, predation, etc); ecophysiology (physiological adaptations to abiotic environment); prey- predator interactions (Lotka-Voltera equation etc)
  • Community ecology: Community assembly, organization and succession; species richness, evenness and diversity indices, species-area relationships; theory of island biogeography
  • Ecosystems structure and function: trophic levels and their interactions; nutrient cycles; primary and secondary productivity. 

Section 2: Evolution

  • History of Evolutionary thought: Lamarckism; Darwinism; Modern Synthesis
  • Fundamentals: Variation; heritability; natural selection; fitness and adaptation; types of selection (stabilizing, directional, disruptive)
  • Diversity of life: Origin and history of life on earth; diversity and classification of life; systems of classification (cladistics and phenetics)
  • Life history strategies: Allocation of resources; trade offs; r/K selection; semelparity and iteroparity
  • Interactions: Coevolution (co-adaptations, arms race, Red Queen hypothesis, co- speciation); prey-predator interactions (mimicry, crypsis, etc)
  • Population and Quantitative genetics: Origins of genetic variation; Mendelian genetics; Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; drift; selection (one-locus two-alleles model); population genetic structure (panmixia, gene flow, FST); polygenic traits; gene-environment interactions (phenotypic plasticity); heritability
  • Molecular evolution and phylogenetics: Neutral theory; molecular clocks; rates of evolution; phylogenetic reconstruction; molecular systematics
  • Macroevolution: Species concepts and speciation; adaptive radiation; convergence; biogeography

Section 3: Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology

  • Mathematics and statistics in ecology: Simple functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, etc); concept of derivatives and slope of a function; permutations and combinations; basic probability (probability of random events; sequences of events, etc); frequency distributions and their descriptive statistics (mean, variance, coefficient of variation, correlation, etc).
  • Statistical hypothesis testing: Concept of p-value; Type I and Type II error, test statistics like t-test and Chi-square test; basics of linear regression and ANOVA.

Section 4: Behavioural Ecology

  • Classical Ethology: Instinct; fixed action pattern; imprinting; learnt behavior; proximate and ultimate questions
  • Sensory ecology: Neuroethology; communication (chemical, acoustic and visual signaling); recognition systems
  • Foraging ecology: Foraging behaviour; optimal foraging theory
  • Reproduction: Cost of sex; sexual dimorphism; mate choice; sexual selection (runaway selection, good-genes, handicap principle, etc); sexual conflict; mating systems; parental care
  • Social living: Costs and benefits of group-living (including responses to predators); effect of competition (scramble and contest) on group formation; dominance relationships; eusociality; kin selection; altruism; reciprocity; human behaviour.

Section 5: Applied Ecology & Evolution

  • Biodiversity and conservation: Importance of conserving biodiversity; ecosystem services; threats to biodiversity; invasive species; in-situ conservation (endemism, biodiversity hotspots, protected areas); ex-situ conservation; conservation genetics (genetic diversity, inbreeding depression); DNA fingerprinting and DNA barcoding
  • Disease ecology and evolution: Epidemiology; zoonotic diseases; antibiotic resistance; vector control
  • Plant and animal breeding: Marker assisted breeding; genetic basis of economically important traits
  • Global climate change: Causes; consequences; mitigation

Direct link to download GATE Ecology and Evolution (EY) syllabus PDF 

GATE EY Exam Pattern

GATE Ecology & Evolution Exam Pattern 2022

GATE Exam Pattern 2022 differs for all the 27 papers. Here is the exam pattern of Ecology & Evolution 2022: 

  • GATE Ecology and Evolution (EY) consist of 6 sections namely General Aptitude, Ecology, Evolution, Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology, and Behavioural Ecology. 
  • GATE EY will be held in online mode (Computer Based Test) in multiple shifts.
  • GATE EY Question Paper 2022 will comprise a total of 65 questions worth 100 marks. 
  • In GATE EY there will be two types of questions namely- Multiple Choice type (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT).
  • The maximum number of questions in GATE EY will be from the core subject.
  • The duration of GATE EY will be 3 hours.

GATE Ecology and Evolution Marking Scheme 2022

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer Marking for correct answer
  • ⅓ for 1 mark questions.
  • ⅔ for 2 marks questions.
1 or 2 marks
NATs No negative marking  1 or 2 marks
GATE EY Weightage of Important Topics

GATE Ecology and Evolution Syllabus 2022: Weightage of Topics 

Given below is the estimated sectional weightage of GATE EY 2022. The students are advised to go through the following. This will enable them to plan their preparation strategy.

Parts No. of Questions Score per Question
General Aptitude 5 1
5 2
Core Subject 25 1
30 2
TOTAL 65 -

Check GATE Previous Year Paper Analysis

GATE EY Preparation

GATE Ecology and Evolution Preparation 2022

  • Prepare Time Table: Candidates must schedule their daily time as per their convenience. They must devote 6-8 hours of time fo preparations only. It does not mean you have to study continuously for 8 hours. You can take breaks in between and plan your preparation according to that.
  • Prioritize your syllabus: You can prioritize your syllabus based on the difficulty level, number of topics, etc. Setting up the priority totally depends on candidates that in what order they would like to cover their syllabus. 
  • Take Mock Tests: Candidates must take mock tests to get a better idea about the type of questions and difficulty level of questions. They can also judge their level of performance and preparation. You can also work on your weak areas after appearing for mock tests. Candidates are advised to take the mock tests when their whole syllabus is over. Download GATE Practice Papers
  • Do not Panic: Candidates must complete their syllabus on time and save the last 1-2 weeks for revisions. If you are not able to do so then there is no need to panic. You can go through your notes for quick revision before 3-4 days of the exam also. Revisions are the best way to memorize things.
  • Stay Motivated: Along with hard work, candidates have to stay motivated also. Have faith in yourself and keep preparing for the exam. Do not compare yourself with others. Concentrate on your preparation plan. 

GATE Books for Ecology & Evolution 2022 

Books Author/Publisher
Test & Evaluation: Life Sciences / Biotechnology Pranav Kumar, Pathfinder Academy
Animal Behavior: Mechanisms, Ecology, Evolution Lee C Drickamer, McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts Rudi Jansma, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers
Organic Evolution (Evolutionary Biology) Veer Bala Rastogi, Medtech
Games of Life: Explorations in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Karl Sigmund, Dover Publications

Also Check GATE 2022 Recommended Books

GATE EY Previous Year Question Paper 2022

Given below are the links for GATE EY Previous Year Question Papers along with their answer key. The students are advised to go through the following to improve the skill set. 

Year Link for GATE EY Question Paper Link for GATE EY Answer Key
2021 Check Here Check Here 
2020 Check Here  Check Here 
2019 Check Here  Check Here 
2018 Check Here  Check Here 
2017 Check Here  Check Here 
GATE EY Question Papers

GATE Ecology & Evolution Sample Questions

Ques. The importance of sleep is often overlooked by students when they are preparing for exams. Research has consistently shown that sleep deprivation greatly reduces the ability to recall the material learnt. Hence, cutting down on sleep to study longer hours can be counterproductive.

Which one of the following statements is the CORRECT inference from the above passage?


Sleeping well alone is enough to prepare for an exam. Studying has lesser benefits.


Students are efficient and are not wrong in thinking that sleep is a waste of time.


If a student is extremely well prepared for an exam, he needs little or no sleep.


To do well in an exam, adequate sleep must be part of the preparation.

Answer: D

Ques. Let X be a continuous random variable denoting the temperature measured. The range of temperature is [0, 100] degree Celsius and let the probability density function of X be f(x) = 0.01 for 0 ≤ X ≤ 100.

The mean of X is _____









Answer: D

Ques. Seven cars P, Q, R, S, T, U and V are parked in a row not necessarily in that order. The cars T and U should be parked next to each other. The cars S and V also should be parked next to each other, whereas P and Q cannot be parked next to each other. Q and S must be parked next to each other. R is parked to the immediate right of V. T is parked to the left of U.

Based on the above statements, the only INCORRECT option given below is:


There are two cars parked in between Q and V.


Q and R are not parked together.


V is the only car parked in between S and R.


Car P is parked at the extreme end.

Answer: A

Ques. Animal species can vary in whether dispersal is more likely among male offspring (male-biased), female offspring (female-biased), or similar between the sexes. Dispersal in birds and mammals is most commonly


female-biased and male-biased, respectively.


female-biased and similar between the sexes, respectively.


male-biased and female-biased, respectively.


similar between the sexes, and female-biased respectively.

Answer: A

Check GATE Practice Papers

GATE 2022 Syllabus of Other Subjects

Candidates who are planning to appear for GATE 2022 can check the syllabus of their preferable subjects from the links provided in the table below: 

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE Ecology & Evolution Syllabus 2022 FAQs

Ques: What will be major sections in the GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 syllabus?

Ans: GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 syllabus will include General Aptitude and core subject. The syllabus will be based on the topics studied at the graduation level. The maximum number of questions will be asked from the core subject and the remaining questions are from general aptitude.

Ques: What will be the marking scheme in GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 and what will be the weightage of each section?

Ans: The question paper of GATE EY 2022 will have a total of 65 questions worth 100 marks. 

Subjects Allocation of Marks Marks
General Aptitude 15% of total marks 15
Subject Questions 85% of total marks 85

Ques: Do we get an option to select either ecology or evolution in GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans: No. There will be no such option. Ecology and evolution is one subject and candidates will have to attempt all the questions related to these subjects. General Aptitude and engineering mathematics are also compulsory to attempt.

Ques: How many topics are there in the GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans: The core syllabus of GATE Ecology and Evolution 2022 will be divided into 5 parts or sections:

  • Section 1 – Ecology
  • Section 2 – Evolution
  • Section 3 – Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology
  • Section 4 – Behavioural Ecology
  • Section 5 – Applied Ecology & Evolution
  • General Aptitude

Ques: Which other subject can be chosen along with Ecology & Evolution in GATE EY 2022?

Ans. Candidates who are planning to appear for GATE EY paper as their first paper in GATE 2022 can only opt for GATE Life Sciences (XL) as their second paper. 

Ques: What is the overall difficulty level and paper analysis of GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans. The difficulty level of GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 is moderate. Check GATE Paper Analysis to find the detailed analysis of GATE Ecology and Evolution 2022. 

Ques: Which is the subject code for GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans. The subject code for GATE Ecology & Evolution 2022 is EY. The candidates are advised to go through the eligibility criteria before appearing for GATE 2022. Check GATE Eligibility Criteria 2022 

Ques: What is the distribution of questions in the GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022?

Ans. GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2022 question paper will consist of 65 questions worth 100 marks and candidates need to solve the paper in three hours. The general aptitude section will have questions worth 10 marks and the core subjects will be for around 55 marks. 

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.


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