GATE Life Sciences

Career Avenues GATE Courses for Life Sciences (XL branch).
Study Material, VDO Lectures and India's Best Test Series


Career Avenues conducts Classroom Program for General Aptitude at all our offices. Please contact the office closest to you for fees and batch details.

Career Avenues Classes are designed to ensure an optimum mix of theoretical learning and problem solving. We aim to overall spend atleast 50% of the class time in question solving, and cover atleast 5 years of past GATE questions in class.

Our faculties are all from IIT or IISc with a top GATE score.

All India Telephone Number (Call/SMS/Whatsapp): 0-99304 06349


The postal course comprises theory booklets in the areas of general aptitude and Chemistry plus all XL technical areas as per GATE syllabus + Past GATE questions+ Free Online Test Series (50 section tests and 5 Mock GATE tests).

Students can choose 2 of the following subjects: Microbiology, Biochemistry, Botany, Zoology, Food Engineering and Technology.

Upgrade anytime to Combo course or Classroom course by paying difference in fees

Study material made by IITians and GATE toppers. Revised this yer as per latest GATE pattern.

Course Fee (without Online Test Series):

a) Only Printed Books : Rs. 6000

Course Fee (with Online Standard Test Series):
b) Printed Books : Rs. 8000
c) Books (Soft copy on Pen Drive): Rs. 5000 
d) Books (Soft copy online) : Rs. 4000

See sample material below.

Also see details of our most popular course : Combo Course = Postal course + VDO lectures

To enroll, click here: GATE Library



Postal Course (without Test Series):

a) Printed Format: Rs. 6000  

Postal Course (with Online Standard Test Series):

b) Printed Format: Rs. 8000             
c) Pen Drive (Soft copy): Rs. 5000            
d) Online (Soft copy): Rs. 4000

VDO Lectures (with Online Standard Test Series):

e) GATE Drive: Rs. 5000

f) Online: Rs. 4000

Combo (Postal + VDO with Test Series): Most Popular

b+e: Rs. 10000          b+f: Rs. 9000          

c+e: Rs. 7000            d+f: Rs. 6000 

Online Standard Test Series: Rs. 3000

Online Special Test Series: Rs. 1000

To enroll, click here: GATE Library

VDO Lecture Course (GATE Drive)

The VDO lectures consist of All Aptitude areas and All technical areas (other than Chemistry).

GATE Drive is a secure pen drive and can work on any laptop or PC on any operating system. Internet not required.

Over 125 hours of VDO lectures by our classroom faculty.

Free Online Standard Test Series (50 section tests and 5 Mock GATE tests)

Upgrade anytime to Combo course or Classroom course by paying difference in fees

Course Fee: 

e) GATE Drive : Rs. 5000 (for latest GATE validity)

f) Online VDO Lectures: Rs. 4000 (for latest GATE validity)

Extended validity : Rs. 1000 per year

To enroll, click here: GATE Library

Combo Course (Postal + VDO Lectures)

Most popular GATE prep program in the country. Postal Course + VDO Lectures!!

Comprehensive preparation. Almost as good as a classroom.

Upgrade anytime to Classroom course by paying difference in fees.

Course Fee (Printed Books and VDO Lectures on Pen Drive): Rs. 10000

Course Fee (Printed Books and Online VDO Lectures): Rs. 9000

Course Fee (Softcopy Books and VDO Lectures - on Pen Drive): Rs. 7000

Course Fee (Softcopy Books and VDO Lectures - Online): Rs. 6000

To enroll, click here: GATE Library


Test Series (Online)

50 section tests covering all areas of GATE including XL technical, General aptitude, including past GATE questions.

5 full length GATE mock tests

All questions with detailed explanatory answers

Online Test platform just like GATE with Virtual Calculator and Automated Strength/Weakness Analysis.

Can be downloaded as an App on Smartphones too.

Rated best test platform in India.

Standard Test Series: Rs. 3000 (50 Section Tests + 5 Mocks)

Special Test Series: Rs. 1000(Only Mocks)

To enroll, click here: GATE Library

Past GATE Results (XL Branch)

AIR 4: Jagdeesh
AIR 13: Supriya
AIR 32: Roshanappa
AIR 70: Arulmani
AIR 72: Tabassum
AIR 132: Vishal
AIR 172: Abhilasha
AIR 188: Nivedita

Faculty Profile (XL Batch)

14 active XL faculty from IITs and IISc

IIT Mumbai – 8, IISc – 2, IIT Chennai – 2, IIT Delhi – 2.

Faculty top GATE rank of AIR 2.

GATE Aptitude
GATE Aptitude of Life Sciences
GATE Life Science
GATE Life Science of Life Sciences


  • Harshal, XE

    Your Guidance through notes & tests was very much useful. Thanks Career Avenues team. Harshal, XE
  • Diksha, BT

    A very sincere thanks for all the help and support. It was very useful. Diksha, BT
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  • Aditya Raman (99.62 percentile)

    Thank you Career Avenues for the fantastic study material. It helped me do a structured preparation and enabled me to crack GATE.

  • Amit Talreja (99.89 percentile)

    Sir, I was able to achieve a top 20 AIR only with your help. Thanks you for solving my doubts so many times and guiding me on how to prepare.

  • Dola Banerjee (99.88 percentile)

    When I started, my Math concepts were very weak. As a student of Combo program, I really benefitted from the VDO lectures, especially in Mathematics and General Aptitude.

  • Ramesh Narayanan (99.94 percentile)

    The section tests and mocks helped me to prepare very well. I knew my weak areas and I worked on them. Thanks you Career Avenues.

  • Simran Mirchandani (99.33 percentile)

    Sir, your material for Textile really helped me. One request sir, please also provide video lectures for textile branch.

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  • Altaf Razzaq (99.71 percentile)

    I would like to thank the faculty of Career Avenues who have made useful material for students like us. Without his material, I was not knowing how to study for my GATE.
  • Rashmi Sabharwal (99.73 percentile)

    I was a student of the classroom program. I would like to thank all the faculty who were very good and motivating, especially Amit sir for his strategy classes.
  • Shilpa Roy (99.42 percentile)

    I got final admission into 2 IITs. Getting into IIT has been my dream since childhood. Thanks you to the faculty of Career Avenues for the help and counseling that you provided.
  • Savitha Agarwal (99.87 percentile)

    Sir, I was a test series student and my roommate was a postal student of Career Avenues course. Both of us made it into IIT. Thank you for helping me realize my potential.
  • Father of student Raghvendra N (99.23 percentile)

    First of all, I have to compliment your organization for providing assistance to our children. I purchased the course in October and in 3 months, my ward was able to prepare fully and cracked the GATE. Your material and test series really helped him. Thank you Career Avenues.
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Syllabus for Life Sciences (XL)

  • Section H: Chemistry
  • Section I: Biochemistry
  • Section J: Botany
  • Section K: Microbiology
  • Section L: Zoology
  • Section M: Food Technology

Section H: Chemistry (Compulsory)

Atomic structure and periodicity: Planck’s quantum theory, wave particle duality, uncertainty principle, quantum mechanical model of hydrogen atom; electronic configuration of atoms; periodic table and periodic properties; ionization energy, election affinity, electronegativity, atomic size.

Structure and bonding: Ionic and covalent bonding, M.O. and V.B. approaches for diatomic molecules, VSEPR theory and shape of molecules, hybridisation, resonance, dipole moment, structure parameters such as bond length, bond angle and bond energy, hydrogen bonding, van der Waals interactions. Ionic solids, ionic radii, lattice energy (Born-Haber Cycle).

s.p. and d Block Elements: Oxides, halides and hydrides of alkali and alkaline earth metals, B, Al, Si, N, P, and S, general characteristics of 3d elements, coordination complexes: valence bond and crystal field theory, color, geometry and magnetic properties.

Chemical Equilibria: Colligative properties of solutions, ionic equilibria in solution, solubility product, common ion effect, hydrolysis of salts, pH, buffer and their applications in chemical analysis, equilibrium constants (Kc, Kp and Kx) for homogeneous reactions,

Electrochemistry: Conductance, Kohlrausch law, Half Cell potentials, emf, Nernst equation, galvanic cells, thermodynamic aspects and their applications.

Reaction Kinetics: Rate constant, order of reaction, molecularity, activation energy, zero, first and second order kinetics, catalysis and elementary enzyme reactions.

Thermodynamics: First law, reversible and irreversible processes, internal energy, enthalpy, Kirchoff’s equation, heat of reaction, Hess law, heat of formation, Second law, entropy, free energy, and work function. Gibbs-Helmholtz equation, Clausius-Clapeyron equation, free energy change and equilibrium constant, Troutons rule, Third law of thermodynamics.

Basis of Organic Reactions Mechanism: Elementary treatment of SN1, SN2, E1 and E2 reactions, Hoffmann and Saytzeff rules, Addition reactions, Markonikoff rule and Kharash effect, Diels-Alder reaction, aromatic electrophilic substitution, orientation effect as exemplified by various functional groups. Identification of functional groups by chemical tests

Structure-Reactivity Correlations: Acids and bases, electronic and steric effects, optical and geometrical isomerism, tautomerism, conformers, concept of aromaticity

Section I: Biochemistry

Organization of life.Importance of water. Cell structure and organelles. Structure and function of biomolecules: Amino acids, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins and Nucleic acids. Biochemical separation techniques and characterization: ion exchange, size exclusion and affinity chromatography, electrophoresis, UV-visible, fluorescence and Mass spectrometry. Protein structure, folding and function: Myoglobin, Hemoglobin, Lysozyme, Ribonuclease A, Carboxypeptidase and Chymotrypsin. Enzyme kinetics including its regulation and inhibition, Vitamins and Coenzymes.

Metabolism and bioenergetics. Generation and utilization of ATP. Metabolic pathways and their regulation: glycolysis, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, oxidative phosphorylation, gluconeogenesis, glycogen and fatty acid metabolism. Metabolism of Nitrogen containing compounds: nitrogen fixation, amino acids and nucleotides. Photosynthesis: the Calvin cycle.

Biological membranes. Transport across membranes. Signal transduction; hormones and neurotransmitters.

DNA replication, transcription and translation. Biochemical regulation of gene expression. Recombinant DNA technology and applications: PCR, site directed mutagenesis and DNA-microarray.

Immune system. Active and passive immunity. Complement system. Antibody structure, function and diversity. Cells of the immune system: T, B and macrophages. T and B cell activation. Major histocompatibilty complex. T cell receptor. Immunological techniques: Immunodiffusion, immunoelectrophoresis, RIA and ELISA.

Section J: Botany

Plant Systematics: Systems of classification (non-phylogenetic vs. phylogenetic – outline), plant groups, molecular systematics.

Plant Anatomy: Plant cell structure, organization, organelles, cytoskeleton, cell wall and membranes; anatomy of root, stem and leaves, meristems, vascular system, their ontogeny, structure and functions, secondary growth in plants and stellar organization.

Morphogenesis & Development: Cell cycle, cell division, life cycle of an angiosperm, pollination, fertilization, embryogenesis, seed formation, seed storage proteins, seed dormancy and germination.

Concept of cellular totipotency, clonal propagation; organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis, artificial seed, somaclonal variation, secondary metabolism in plant cell culture, embryo culture, in vitro fertilization.

Physiology and Biochemistry: Plant water relations, transport of minerals and solutes, stress physiology, stomatal physiology, signal transduction, N2 metabolism, photosynthesis, photorespiration; respiration, Flowering: photoperiodism and vernalization, biochemical mechanisms involved in flowering; molecular mechanism of senencensce and aging, biosynthesis, mechanism of action and physiological effects of plant growth regulators, structure and function of biomolecules, (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acid), enzyme kinetics.

Genetics: Principles of Mendelian inheritance, linkage, recombination, genetic mapping; extrachromosomal inheritance; prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome organization, regulation of gene expression, gene mutation and repair, chromosomal aberrations (numerical and structural), transposons.

Plant Breeding and Genetic Modification: Principles, methods – selection, hybridization, heterosis; male sterility, genetic maps and molecular markers, sporophytic and gametophytic self incompability, haploidy, triploidy, somatic cell hybridization, marker-assisted selection, gene transfer methods viz. direct and vector-mediated, plastid transformation, transgenic plants and their application in agriculture, molecular pharming, plantibodies.

Economic Botany: A general account of economically and medicinally important plants- cereals, pulses, plants yielding fibers, timber, sugar, beverages, oils, rubber, pigments, dyes, gums, drugs and narcotics. Economic importance of algae, fungi, lichen and bacteria.

Plant Pathology: Nature and classification of plant diseases, diseases of important crops caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses, and their control measures, mechanism(s) of pathogenesis and resistance, molecular detection of pathogens; plant-microbe beneficial interactions.

Ecology and Environment: Ecosystems – types, dynamics, degradation, ecological succession; food chains and energy flow; vegetation types of the world, pollution and global warming, speciation and extinction, conservation strategies, cryopreservation, phytoremediation.

Section K: Microbiology

Historical Perspective: Discovery of microbial world; Landmark discoveries relevant to the field of microbiology; Controversy over spontaneous generation; Role of microorganisms in transformation of organic matter and in the causation of diseases.

Methods in Microbiology: Pure culture techniques; Theory and practice of sterilization; Principles of microbial nutrition; Enrichment culture techniques for isolation of microorganisms; Light-, phase contrast- and electron-microscopy.

Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity: Bacteria, Archea and their broad classification; Eukaryotic microbes: Yeasts, molds and protozoa; Viruses and their classification; Molecular approaches to microbial taxonomy.

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: Structure and Function: Prokaryotic Cells: cell walls, cell membranes, mechanisms of solute transport across membranes, Flagella and Pili, Capsules, Cell inclusions like endospores and gas vesicles; Eukaryotic cell organelles: Endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, mitochondria and chloroplasts.

Microbial Growth: Definition of growth; Growth curve; Mathematical expression of exponential growth phase; Measurement of growth and growth yields; Synchronous growth; Continuous culture; Effect of environmental factors on growth.

Control of Micro-organisms: Effect of physical and chemical agents; Evaluation of effectiveness of antimicrobial agents.

Microbial Metabolism: Energetics: redox reactions and electron carriers; An overview of metabolism; Glycolysis; Pentose-phosphate pathway; Entner-Doudoroff pathway; Glyoxalate pathway; The citric acid cycle; Fermentation; Aerobic and anaerobic respiration; Chemolithotrophy; Photosynthesis; Calvin cycle; Biosynthetic pathway for fatty acids synthesis; Common regulatory mechanisms in synthesis of amino acids; Regulation of major metabolic pathways.

Microbial Diseases and Host Pathogen Interaction: Normal microbiota; Classification of infectious diseases; Reservoirs of infection; Nosocomial infection; Emerging infectious diseases; Mechanism of microbial pathogenicity; Nonspecific defense of host; Antigens and antibodies; Humoral and cell mediated immunity; Vaccines; Immune deficiency; Human diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and pathogenic fungi.

Chemotherapy/Antibiotics: General characteristics of antimicrobial drugs; Antibiotics: Classification, mode of action and resistance; Antifungal and antiviral drugs.

Microbial Genetics: Types of mutation; UV and chemical mutagens; Selection of mutants; Ames test for mutagenesis; Bacterial genetic system: transformation, conjugation, transduction, recombination, plasmids, transposons; DNA repair; Regulation of gene expression: repression and induction; Operon model; Bacterial genome with special reference to E.coli; Phage λ and its life cycle; RNA phages; RNA viruses; Retroviruses; Basic concept of microbial genomics.

Microbial Ecology: Microbial interactions; Carbon, sulphur and nitrogen cycles; Soil microorganisms associated with vascular plants.

Section L: Zoology

Animal world:Animal diversity, distribution, systematics and classification of animals, phylogenetic relationships.

Evolution: Origin and history of life on earth, theories of evolution, natural selection, adaptation, speciation.

Genetics: Principles of inheritance, molecular basis of heredity, mutations, cytoplasmic inheritance, linkage and mapping of genes.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; replication, transcription and translation; regulation of gene expression, organization of genome, Kreb’s cycle, glycolysis, enzyme catalysis, hormones and their actions, vitamins.

Cell Biology: Structure of cell, cellular organelles and their structure and function, cell cycle, cell division, chromosomes and chromatin structure. Eukaryotic gene organization and expression (Basic principles of signal transduction).

Animal Anatomy and Physiology: Comparative physiology, the respiratory system, circulatory system, digestive system, the nervous system, the excretory system, the endocrine system, the reproductive system, the skeletal system, osmoregulation.

Parasitology and Immunology: Nature of parasite, host-parasite relation, protozoan and helminthic parasites, the immune response, cellular and humoral immune response, evolution of the immune system.

Development Biology: Embryonic development, cellular differentiation, organogenesis, metamorphosis, genetic basis of development, stem cells.

Ecology: The ecosystem, habitats, the food chain, population dynamics, species diversity, zoogerography, biogeochemical cycles, conservation biology.

Animal Behaviour: Types of behaviours, courtship, mating and territoriality, instinct, learning and memory, social behaviour across the animal taxa, communication, pheromones, evolution of animal behaviour.

Section M: Food Technology

Food Chemistry and Nutrition: Carbohydrates: Structure and functional properties of mono- oligo-polysaccharides including starch, cellulose, pectic substances and dietary fibre; Proteins: Classification and structure of proteins in food; Lipids: Classification and structure of lipids, Rancidity of fats, Polymerization and polymorphism; Pigments: Carotenoids, chlorophylls, anthocyanins, tannins and myoglobin; Food flavours: Terpenes, esters, ketones and quinones; Enzymes: Specificity, Kinetics and inhibition, Coenzymes, Enzymatic and non-enzymatic browning; Nutrition: Balanced diet, Essential amino acids and fatty acids, PER, Water soluble and fat soluble vitamins, Role of minerals in nutrition, Antinutrients, Nutrition deficiency diseases.

Food Microbiology: Characteristics of microorganisms: Morphology, structure and detection of bacteria, yeast and mold in food, Spores and vegetative cells; Microbial growth in food: Intrinsic and extrinsic factors, Growth and death kinetics, serial dilution method for quantification; Food spoilage: Contributing factors, Spoilage bacteria, Microbial spoilage of milk and milk products, meat and meat products; Foodborne disease: Toxins produced by Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Aspergillus; Bacterial pathogens: Salmonella, Bacillus, Listeria, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Campylobacter; Fermented food: Buttermilk, yoghurt, cheese, sausage, alcoholic beverage, vinegar, sauerkraut and soya sauce.

Food Products Technology: Processing principles: Canning, chilling, freezing, dehydration, control of water activity, CA and MA storage, fermentation, hurdle technology, addition of preservatives and food additives, Food packaging, cleaning in place and food laws.; Grain products processing: Milling of rice, wheat, and maize, parboiling of paddy, production of bread, biscuits, extruded products and breakfast cereals, Solvent extraction, refining and hydrogenation of oil; Fruits, vegetables and plantation products processing: Extraction, clarification concentration and packaging of fruit juice, Production of jam, jelly, marmalade, squash, candies, and pickles, pectin from fruit waste, tea, coffee, chocolate and essential oils from spices; Milk and milk products processing: Pasteurized and sterilized milk, cream, butter, ghee, ice-cream, cheese and milk powder; Animal products processing: Drying and canning of fish, post mortem changes, tenderization and freezing of meat, egg powder.

Food Engineering: Mass and energy balance; Momentum transfer: Flow rate and pressure drop relationships for Newtonian fluids flowing through pipe, Characteristics of non-Newtonian fluids – generalized viscosity coefficient and Reynolds number, Flow of compressible fluid, Flow measurement, Pumps and compressors; Heat transfer: Heat transfer by conduction, convection, radiation, boiling and condensation, Unsteady state heat transfer in simple geometry, NTU- effectiveness relationship of co-current and counter current double pipe heat exchanger; Mass transfer: Molecular diffusion and Fick’s Law, Steady state mass transfer, Convective mass transfer, Permeability of films and laminates; Mechanical operations: Energy requirement and rate of operations involved in size reduction of solids, high pressure homogenization, filtration, centrifugation, settling, sieving, flow through porous bed, agitation of liquid, solid-solid mixing, and single screw extrusion; Thermal operations: Energy requirement and rate of operations involved in process time evaluation in batch and continuous sterilization, evaporation of liquid foods, hot air drying of solids, spray and freeze-drying, freezing and crystallization; Mass transfer operations: Properties of air-water vapor mixture; Humidification and dehumidification operations.


Take a free 15 minutes / 30 minutes or a full-fledged Mock GATE. Get to know where you stand. Just click on the link below to access tests.

Free Mock Test


For Engineering Science, while Section H is compulsory for all students, a student has to choose 2 subjects from the other sections. The sections in XL are

Section H: Chemistry

Section I: Biochemistry

Section J: Botany

Section K: Microbiology

Section L: Zoology

Section M: Food Technology


2014 paper2014 Answer Key

2013 Paper2013 Answer key

Number of GATE Takers

Some key statistics about GATE – XL

Number of Test Takers 2011 : 13262

Number of Test Takers 2012 : NA

Number of Test Takers 2013 : 12920

Number of Test Takers 2014 : 8527

GATE 2014: Qualifying marks

General: 31.04, Qualifying marks OBC: 27.93,

Qualifying marks SC/ST/PWD: 20.69