Best Reference Books for GATE Mechanical Engineering (2019)


GATE which stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, is one of the most important and popular entrance examination for admissions to post-graduate science and technology programs in India. It is conducted once in a year and more than a million engineering students apply for it.

GATE examination is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc). It is held every year on the weekends from January-end to February-mid, at several centers across India. The results are declared in March.

A candidate who is a graduate in Engineering, Technology or Architecture; or holds a Master’s degree in any branch of Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Applications or an equivalent course, or is in the final year of such course; can appear in GATE.

GATE is an Online Computer Based Test (OCBT). It is available for 23 subjects, or Papers. The good thing about GATE is; its scores are valid for three years.

GATE is mandatory for taking admission in the postgraduate courses in engineering and technology. Only a good GATE score can get an applicant admission in the M. Tech. or post-graduate engineering courses from any renowned engineering Institution in India including the IITs, IIITs, NITs and IISc.

Those who qualify for GATE also become eligible for Assistantship or fellowship positions. All GATE qualifiers are given a stipend of Rs 12,400 by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

Public Sector Undertakings or PSU’s have been accepting GATE scores when they hire Management Trainees. Some of these PSUs are NTPC, IOC, BHEL, SAIL, BPCL, BARC, HPCL, Power Grid etc. More and more companies are also following this trend.

GATE is an examination that basically tests what the students have learnt in their undergraduate course of engineering. As such, if an aspirant has studied well during his engineering program and scored consistently well, then he has no need to feel stressed for GATE.

Ideally preparation for GATE should start right from the time you are doing the B.Tech/B.E. course. You need to study hard and understand the concepts. Attend classes regularly and be attentive during the class. Ask questions and clear your doubts without any hesitations. Participate in the quizzes and projects.

Before proceeding further, let’s have a brief look on the syllabus of GATE Mechanical Engineering followed by recommended books of GATE Mechanical Engineering section-wise.

At the outset, you must familiarize yourself well, with the GATE syllabus for Mechanical Engineering (ME).

The syllabus consists of 4 sections. Here is a Topic-wise listing of these sections along with appropriate books to study.

  • Section 1: Engineering Mathematics
  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Differential equations
  • Complex variables
  • Numerical Methods

For this section, you can take any number of popular books available.

  1. Higher Engineering Mathematics by B S Grewal
  2. Numerical Methods in Engineering by B S Grewal

This section involves practice, and the more problems you solve, more expertise will be gained.

Section 2: Applied Mechanics and Design

  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Theory of Machines
  • Vibrations

Engineering Mechanics:

For this section and the topic given, the following books are recommended:

  1. Engineering Mechanics by Beer and Johnston : This is a classical text book and highly respected for its conceptual clarity. It also provides a wide range of numerical exercises to illustrate all concepts.
  2. Engineering Mechanics by R. K. Rajput : This book is fairly comprehensive as well as easy to understand with explanation of the concepts in lucid and simple language. It also carries lots of numerical problems in every chapter. Working out these problems will give you insight and will help you score high in GATE.
  3. Engineering Mechanics by U. C. Jindal : This book is written in simple English for Indian students and contains a lot of numerical problems to solve.

Mechanics of Materials:

For this section and the topic given, the following books are recommended:

  1. Mechanics of Materials by Gere and Good : This book is useful for grasping the concept with numerical exercises.
  2. Mechanics of Materials by B. C. Punamia : It provides complete coverage of concepts with a wide range of problems and exercises to be worked out.

Theory of Machines:

For this subject, following book is recommended:

Theory of Mechanisms and Machines by A. Ghosh and A. K. Mallik : This book is recommended for its ability to develop the concepts, with diagram and exercises.

Mechanical Vibrations :

For this section and the topic given, the following book is recommended:

Mechanical vibrations by G. K. Grover : The book provides interesting and easy reading, especially for beginners, to understand the basic concepts of mechanical vibrations.

Section 3: Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Heat-Transfer
  • Thermodynamics
  • Applications

Fluid Mechanics:

The following books are recommended:

  1. Fluid Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications by Yunus A. Cengel and John Cimbala : This book should be read for understanding the basic concepts of fluid Mechanics.
  2. A Textbook of Fluid Mechanics by R. K. Bansal : It is a fairly comprehensive book that covers the entire syllabus. The language is simple, direct and easy to understand. The book also contains sets of solved problems of every type.

Heat Transfer:

The following books are recommended:

  1. Heat Transfer by J. P. Holman (10th Ed.) : This is classic text book for building up the concept. This is considered the best book on heat Transfer, as it explains every topic well. The book also contains several problems to work upon and confidence on the subject.
  2. Fundamentals of Engineering Heat and Mass Transfer by R. C. Sachdeva : This book by an Indian author contains theory with a number of real life problems to make life easy for Indian engineering students. The problems are very relevant for GATE examination.

Thermodynamics :

The following book is recommended:

  1. Engineering Thermodynamics by P. K. Nag : If you can solve all the numerical in this book, then you should be confident of doing well in GATE.


The following books are recommended:

  1. Power Plant Engineering by P. K. Nag : This is a comprehensive book covering hydroelectric, diesel engine and gas turbine power plants. There are plenty of diagram and illustrations, solved and unsolved numerical problems to make this a very useful and handy book for GATE.
  2. Internal Combustion Engines by V. Ganesan : It is a simple to understand book with ample illustrations for even beginners to grasp the concept of IC engines easily.
  3. Internal Combustion Engines by M. L. Mathur and R. P. Sharma : this is another book on IC engines which is excellent for concept building.
  4. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning by C. P. Arora : This is an ideal book for beginners to understand the concepts of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning technology.

Section 4: Materials, Manufacturing, and Industrial Engineering

  • Engineering Materials
  • Machining and Machine Tool Operations
  • Metrology and Inspection
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Production Planning and Control
  • Inventory Control
  • Operations Research

Recommended Book for section 4,

These books cover most of the topics:

  1. Modern Production/Operations Management by Buffa and Sarin : This is a fairly standard textbook for mechanical engineering students for the subject Production Planning and Control and Operations Management. This book is fairly comprehensive and covers almost all topics.
  2. Manufacturing Science by A. Ghosh and A. K. Mallik : It is good for understanding the theories and concepts of manufacturing.
  3. Manufacturing Engineering and Technology by Kalpakjian : This is another book that has illustrations, examples and case studies that help in understanding the concepts of manufacturing.

Operations Research :

The following book is recommended:

Operation Research by Kanti Swarup : This book is good for working out the problems, as it contains questions and solved examples to help you learn on your own. Solving the problems and getting them right, will also make you more confident.

To conclude; GATE is a tough examination, but for those who have done systematic study during their engineering course and has diligently done their homework well, it is not very difficult to score well in GATE. 

Besides regular study, those who have topped in gate, suggest that at least six months time should be set aside for preparation of GATE. One must start at least from the month of August onwards. During the last six months or early, one should only read from the recommended books and revise well.

Best Reference Books for GATE Mechanical Engineering (2019)
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