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Top Recommended Books for GATE Civil Engineering

This article has been written by Rohit Sachdeva. He graduated from Delhi College of Engineering (now DTU) in 2012 (a gold medalist in his batch) in Civil Engineering branch. Then he appeared in Civil Engineering (CE) paper in GATE 2017 and secured an All India Rank (AIR) of 93.


This gives a kind of pre-requisite information regarding the notes and/or textbooks required for various subjects in GATE (CE).

Firstly, if you have joined any coaching for preparation of GATE, I would recommend that you follow the class notes properly, and study the reference material (theory, practice modules, previous year question bank, etc) provided in detail. This itself will help you score very good in GATE exams and you don’t need to study from any book.

Even if you are preparing on your own, I would suggest to get class notes of some good coaching institute arranged/xeroxed and study from them. Since the notes have filtered information, they will give direction and focus to your GATE preparation.

Textbooks contain a pool of information (which is otherwise good), but you have to be very careful to not waste a lot of time studying unnecessary topics not required for GATE exam. However, if you have some doubts, or if you have a lot of time for preparation (8-12 months) and you solely want to rely on textbooks, the following books are considered very good, which you can follow thoroughly:

I will be going subject by subject:

Topic Textbook(s)
SOM RK Bansal*, Timoshenko & Gere
Structural Analysis Ramamurtham, Gupta/Pandit, CK Wang
Soil mechanics & Foundation Engg KR Arora*, Gopal Ranjan & Rao
RCC Design Pillai & Menon, IS 456, Verghese
Steel and Plastic Analysis Subramanian, SK Duggal, LS Negi
Fluid Mechanics RK Bansal*, Modi & Seth
Environmental Engg SK Garg (1&2), Peavy-Rowe
Highway/Pavement & Traffic Engg Khanna & Justo*, Kadiyali
Railway & Airport Saxena & Arora
Surveying KR Arora, BC Punamia
Build Materials ML Gambhir, BC Punamia, MS Shetty
Hydrology & Open Channel Flow Subramanya* (respective volumes of both topics)
Irrigation Engg SK Garg
Engineering Maths (Vast) BS Garewal, Kreyzig, Notes (recommended)

* These textbooks, apart from providing best conceptual knowledge, are very good for practicing numericals. You should definitely solve many varieties of problems from them. Other relevant details will be mentioned in the upcoming subject-wise blogs.

Thank you and All the Best!

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