Top 10 GATE Exam Books & Study Materials In Biotech & Life Science
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Top 10 GATE Exam Books & Study Materials In Biotech & Life Science

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an All-India examination directed and conducted jointly by the GATE Committee, which is comprised of Faculty members from IISc, Bangalore and seven other IITs in support of the National Coordinating Board, Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development. The examination is conducted in eight regions across the country. The GATE exam is conducted for candidates seeking admission to M.Tech/Ph.D. and several Government Assistantships/Scholarships in the arena of engineering and technology.

GATE is a computer-based standardized test conducted at the national level in India with an aim to examine the understanding of various engineering and science undergraduate subjects. In the last couple of years, the GATE exam has been opened to international students from the following countries as well: Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates. The application forms for GATE are available at the official portal. The procedure of applying for the examination is completely online. The eligibility standards must be checked by the candidates before starting with the registration procedure.

GATE Exam Pattern

The exam consists of numerical questions and 65 multiple choice questions over

a 3-hours duration. The validity of the GATE scorecard is for a period of three years. Out of a total of 24 papers, candidates can apply for only one of the papers. It is anticipated that candidates appear in a paper that is opposite to the discipline of their qualifying degree. Nevertheless, candidates are at liberty to choose any paper corresponding to their admission plan, taking into account the eligibility criteria of the institutions in which they aspire to seek admission.

GATE is believed to be an examination which opens the doorway in the field of research and also to flourishing public organizations. The level of competition associated with the GATE is very high, as it is a national-level exam that is attempted by more than approximately 9 lakh candidates. Further, the exam as such possesses many tricky questions, i.e., success pivots on not only how tough the candidate prepares, but also the how of preparation.
Candidates that appear in GATE in either Biotech or Life science subject, must be aware of the exam pattern, syllabus and most importantly the books for GATE exam. The exam pattern and syllabus of the exam are authoritatively prescribed by the Indian Institutes of Technology. The next crucial move is to use the most recommended, best – Top 10 GATE exam Books in order to have a thorough study and gain practice.

Importance of Right Reference Books For GATE Exam

Picking the correct books for preparation of GATE exam is vital as this can play an imperative role in exam preparation tactic and thus provide an edge to the successful efforts. The syllabus for GATE exam might be in such a custom that all the mentioned topics may not be available in just a single textbook. Furthermore, sometimes there might not be enough information about a particular subject in one book. Therefore, it is advisable to buy and use those books that cover all the important topics and information, thus bearing good standards as well as quality. One has to pick the book which possesses certain qualities; although no book is bad, it is just that while getting ready for GATE one needs to be smart and pre-emptive enough to get something that can aid a person to steer in the race and in due course, win at it. A little mistake can cause a lowering of the GATE rank.

Following is a list of Top 10 GATE Exam Books & Study Materials with their details to follow for thorough preparation:

1. Prescott’s Microbiology, 11th Edition By Joanne Willey and Kathleen Sandman and Dorothy Wood

It has high–quality illustrations with stepped–out art to help readers visualize complex processes. Focussed on the artwork, readability and the incorporation of several basic themes (including evolution, ecology, and diversity) throughout the text. Evolution is used as an all-encompassing theme all over, bonding microbiological concepts and offering a framework upon which students can develop their knowledge. Its a must-have book for all aspirants appearing for GATE Exam.

2. Microbiology by Michael Pelczar Jr., Chan, and Krieg

This book by the eminent authors of ‘Microbiology: Concepts and Applications’ accentuates the importance of incorporating new knowledge that is reaped through basic research along with applied research as well as development programs. One of the key features of this edition is the presentation of the bacterial classification in an entirely new layout. This book comprises of the material on metabolism and genetic engineering besides bacterial genetics. In addition to that, there is a reorganization of the segment on microorganisms and disease.

3. Principles of Genetics, Eighth Edition, by Gardner, Simmons, and Snustad

The book offers well-defined, wide-ranging and matchless exposure of genetics, with a highlight on applications, scripted principally for students. It delivers up-to-date reporting of the latest techniques operated in modern genetics such as gene cloning and Northern, Southern and Western blot analyses of genes and gene products. Rather than simply considering the fairly obscure principles of genetics in abstraction, Gardner’s text stands apart from most other preliminary texts in that it emphasizes genuine and potential forthcoming applications of the principles discussed, specifically in medicine and agriculture.

The detailed topics covered are cell mechanics; properties and replication; chromosome mapping; gene expression; mutation; gene cloning; genetic controls of immune response and cell division; genetic engineering and more.

4. Biotechnology: Expanding Horizons by B.D. Singh

This bestselling textbook offers an up-to-date and thorough description of fundamental topics in Biotechnology. This book is ideal for the GATE exam, it devotes in-depth explanation to complete parts of each topic, nevertheless in a simple, eloquent and crisp manner. Abridged and well-labeled pictures and diagrams make the subject exciting and easily comprehensible.

5. Ananthanarayan and Paniker’s Textbook of Microbiology Tenth edition by Reba Kanungo

Anantha Narayan and Paniker’s Textbook of Microbiology- 10th edition has been developed for all the courses relating to Microbiology as a basic or subsidiary subject. The tenth edition of this standard textbook has been brought up-to-date keeping in mind the importance of integrated teaching underlining the prerequisite for applied microbiology.

6. Food Science by B. Srilakshmi

Food Science stresses on the composition of foods and the variations that come about when they are exposed to processing. Study of food science includes the number of nutrients present in different foods and also the effect of cooking. Text of all the chapters have been updated and further illustrations have been added as well as improved. All through the book, antioxidants existing in varieties of foods are underlined.

In this edition, ‘Nutraceuticals’ which was earlier only a part of a chapter, is now developed into a full-fledged chapter discussing its details. As there is an increasing demand for processed foods, knowledge on convenience foods, food additives, packaging and labeling of foods becomes essential for a food science student. Correspondingly, in this edition, these topics have been considered in detail. Further, the significance of ‘Organic Food’ is brought in as a separate chapter, as the detrimental effects of pesticides and fertilizers are being realized., are essential. Topics such as food fortification and biofortification are given precise importance in this edition, as it is prerequisite to upgrade the nutritional status. Foods and recipes of foreign origin are being exposed to Indians. A few have already tiptoed into the Indian kitchen. ‘Worldwide Cuisine’ is one of the new chapters provided in this edition to help the students get familiarized with global cuisine. Besides focusing on the basic facts, this book also mirrors the latest advances in food science. The syllabi of all Indian universities have been covered by the topics. With its exhaustive coverage and modest style of presentation, this book is priceless for anyone who wishes to gain an authentic report on the subject and not only for preparing for GATE exam.

7. A Textbook of Botany by Gopinath Hait, Kashinath Bhattacharya, Ashim Kumar Ghosh

This textbook is preferably meant to be a basic textbook of Botany and allied subjects like Microbiology, Ecology, Geography, Forestry, Environmental Sciences, Zoology, and Biotechnology. The book has been divided into three sectors: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Economic Botany and Pharmacognosy. The first segment comprises of four chapters: Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation; Phytogeography and Endemism; and Environmental Biology. These chapters are interdisciplinary in nature.

The second segment (Economic Botany) takes into account the biological resources of nature with regard to their supplies, usages, and applications.

The third segment is ‘Pharmacognosy’, which is an applied branch embodying various sources and applications of raw drugs. The book consists of appropriate illustrations and documentation, and thus possesses inclusive interpretations for students, researchers, and teachers.

8. Biochemistry by Satyanarayana and Chakrapani

A distinguished and recommended textbook of the subject Biochemistry that explains the basic concepts in a succinct manner. It is a unification of basic and medical sciences and is written comprehensively, reviewed and brought up-to-date to congregate the curriculum requisites of Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical, Dental, Veterinary, Pharmacy, Biotechnology students and also others who study Biochemistry as one of the subjects. It is the earliest textbook on Biochemistry in English with multi-color illustrations by an author from Asia. The inclusion of multicolor format provides a clear understanding of the biochemical reactions and complex structures.

Further, it is penned in an articulate style with the subject being accessible as an appealing story that has grown from fundamental information to the most recent progress and with theoretical discussions being appended with tables, illustrations, biomedical concepts, clinical correlates and case studies for easy understanding of the subject. Each chapter has a beginning with a four-line stanza which is kept on by the text with clinical associates, a sum-up and self-assessment practices. Reading path lucidity and quick recall is facilitated by the dynamic illustrations and text with suitable headings and sub-headings in bold typography. Students can thus conquer the subject and tackle the examination with confidence. The latest and essential information on Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and contemporary topics such as Cancer, Diabetes, Prostaglandins, Free Radicals, and Antioxidants, etc have been provided. Further, a wide diversity of case studies with biomedical correlations have also been described.

Listing of the case studies is done at the end of related chapters for instant reference, fast review and improved understanding of Biochemistry. It comprehends the basics (Tools of Biochemistry, Bioorganic and Biophysical Chemistry, Immunology and Genetics) for novices to learn effortlessly the origins of biochemical words, Biochemistry, confusables in Biochemistry, principles of Practical Biochemistry and in addition Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory.

9. Modern Textbook of Zoology – Invertebrates by Kotpal R.L.

This textbook on zoology explains on invertebrates, types of species and their characteristics with examples and illustrations. The name ‘invertebrates’ is not always accurate among non-biologists as it does not precisely describe a taxon in a similar way that Arthropoda, Vertebrata or Manidae do. All these terms describe a suitable taxon, phylum, subphylum or even family. “Invertebrate” is not a taxon; it is a word of expediency. It has very little circumscriptional weightage except within the Chordata.

10. Modern Textbook of Zoology – Vertebrates by Kotpal R.L.

This textbook explains on vertebrates, types of species and their characteristics with examples as well as pictures. It is intended primarily as a textbook for the candidates preparing for various competitive examinations. Topics have been selected with great care and treated in a simple and lucid style. Characters and classification have been simplified. Illustrations have been specially designed with great dexterity, accurately, and in conformity with their textual descriptions.

Last, of all, there are a few core factors for preparation and thereby for victory in GATE exam:

  • Being aware of the GATE syllabus
  • Being updated of all aspects –syllabus, exam pattern, books
  • Gather valuable data and resources
  • Studying sincerely from day 1, i.e., beginning the preparation with devotedness
  • Making appropriate revision notes; revising the content that has been studied helps immensely
  • Practicing quizzes and tests, and a ton of MCQs
  • Solving the previous year’s question papers
  • Studying superior quality and pertinent books

“Practice makes a man perfect.”

About the Author
Dr. Deepa Sharma is a dynamic professor at Biotecnika with specialization in Microbiology. With a Ph.D. in Botany, Top 10 GATE Exam BooksShe is an avid follower of the latest life science journals and has quite a number of publications of her own piece of work. She has also been the most patient and a loving teacher to all our students for her true interest in dedicating her immense knowledge towards them.

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Perfection is her hobby, Reliability is a synonym, Editing is her passion, Excellence is her Goal, Tactfulness is in her genes, Yellow is her Fav color. Preety is the name of the Professional on whom entire BioTecNika relies when it comes to its website. A Gold Medalist in Biotech from SRM University, Chennai with a 9.9 CGPA ( was awarded the Gold Medal by Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi , as seen in the pic ), She decided to join forces with BioTecNika to ensure India's largest BioSciences Portal expands its reach to every city in India. She has redesigned the new avatar of BioTecNika from scratch and heads the most dynamic, vibrant and well informed Online Team at Biotecnika Info Labs Pvt Ltd


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