How to Prepare for IES (ESE) Without Coaching?

Most candidates aspiring to get a government job wait for the prestigious engineering services’ examination to live their dream. With the notification out to fill the application form, students need to start their preparation and follow the IES syllabus very carefully.

Many aspirants face the same problem of searching for the right study material. Especially if you are a working professional who does not have time to opt for coaching or a student who wants to work out a self-study plan, you are at the right place.

A combined competitive examination is conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services (IES), it constitutes of a written examination followed by an interview and the personality test.

The recruitment of qualified candidates is made under the following categories:

  • Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

IES refers to the services that cater to the technical and managerial functions of the Government of India. Successful candidates are trained and recruited into various public-sector units that include roads, railways, inspection, manufacturing, power, public works, and telecommunication.

Through this article our aim is to equip aspirants with IES (ESE) exam pattern, syllabus, preparation sources. Hope it helps you in gaining an insight about Engineering Services Exam(ESE).

Let’s Get Started!!


First Let’s understand the IES (ESE) Exam Pattern

This examination is conducted in three different stages. Following table briefly describes these stages:

Stage – I (Preliminary) Objective Papers Duration Marks
Paper I (Common to all) General Studies & Engineering Aptitude 2 Hours 200
Paper II Engineering Specific 3 Hours 300
Stage I Total 500
Stage II (Mains) Subjective Papers
Engineering Paper I 3 Hours 300
Engineering Paper II 3 Hours 300
Stage II Total 600
Stage I + II Total 1100
Stage III Personality Test   200
Grand Total     1300

The candidates who qualify at Stage I are permitted to appear for Stage-II examination, similarly, candidates who qualify at Stage-I as well as the Stage-II, are then permitted to appear for the final stage, Stage-III examination.

Keep A Note of IES (ESE) Syllabus
You can easily download the IES Syllabus from the official website of UPSC. Need is to know the important topics and the exam relevant topics which can be the difference between making it through and just miss.


General Studies and Engineering Aptitude
Current issues of National and International importance relating to Social, Economic and Industrial development, Environmental pollution and degradation, Basics of Project Management, Basics of Material Science and Engineering, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based tools, and Ethics and Values in Engineering profession are important.

  • Mechanical EngineeringPAPER – I
    Topics like Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Heat transfer, IC Engines, Refrigeration and Air conditioning, Turbo Machinery, Power Plant Engineering, Renewable Sources of Energy are considered to have main presence in the examination – I.


Topics like Engineering Mechanics, Engineering Materials, Mechanisms and Machines, Design of Machine Elements, Mechatronics and Robotics are important for PAPER – II.

  • Civil EngineeringPAPER – I
    Topics like Building Materials, Solid Mechanics, Structural Analysis, Design of Steel Structures, Design of beams and beam column connections, Design of Concrete and Masonry structures, Construction Practice, Planning and Management have main presence in the examination – I.


Topics like Fluid Mechanics, Open Channel Flow, Pipe Flow, Hydraulic Machines and Hydropower:, Management, Harbors, Airports are important for PAPER – II.

  • Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering


Topics like Basic Electronics Engineering, Basic Electrical Engineering, Materials Science, Electronic Measurements and Instrumentation, Network Theory, Analog and Digital Circuits have main presence in the examination – I.


Topics like Analog and Digital Communication Systems, Control Systems, Computer Organization and Architecture, Electro magnetics, Advanced Electronics Topics, Advanced Communication Topics, Cellular networks, TCP, satellite communication, and Fibre-optic communication systems are important for PAPER – II.

  • Electrical Engineering


Topics like Engineering Mathematics, Electrical Materials, Electric Circuits and Fields, Electrical and Electronic Measurements, Computer Fundamentals, Basic Electronics Engineering have main presence in the examination – I.

Topics like Analog and Digital Electronics, Systems and Signal Processing, Control Systems, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Power Electronics and Drives are important for PAPER – II.

Online and Offline Methods for Self-Preparation to crack ESE

  1. Collect handwritten notes from any good institute. Also, you can buy/hire some standard books. On Google, search panel write ‘ESE Mechanical Engineering Notes’. Similarly, you can search for PDF and notes for other branches of Engineering. Examples of reference websites:, etc.
  1. Maintaining a copy of notes and formulae is very important, as at this moment you might not see their importance but they will come very handy when you start forgetting things, revising subjects in short time.
  1. Keep records of the reoccurring mistakes that you have made in a separate diary. These will help you understand about your weak areas too.
  1. You might not understand everything in one go, so take 4 to 5 readings of a topic at different point of time before you reasonably understand it.
  1. Get a study mate- though Group studies can sometimes produce more noise than results. But having a study mate can sometimes be helpful, as this will help in monitoring each other’s progress, discuss doubts. Thus, creating a healthy constructive competition between each other.
  1. IES syllabus must be stuck on your wall where you can see it regularly remembering about your dream each day. This can be the best form of motivation.
  1. Join test series to practice subject wise and mock tests. Register yourself on websites of institutes like IES Master (Institute for Engineers), Online Test Series etc.
  1. Try to do previous year questions topic wise they will appropriately challenge you and give you an idea of what is expected out of you.
  1. Set your own targets and deadlines- Literally, note down the subject/chapter/topic you intend to study in say a week/day. Challenge yourself to meet the set target within the decided deadline. This will ensure you have a steady pace while preparing.
  1. While solving problems, you must have a balance between speed & accuracy
  1. Regularly practice or revise the concepts so that you will not forget until exams.
  1. Follow blogs of the successful candidates who keep posting about the examination. Some of them are listed below:

IES Interview – Rank 2 Without Coaching – Ashish Verma

Can you get a Top Rank in an exam like GATE & IES without coaching ? – See our latest Case Study.

How to Prepare IES 2018 without Coaching – IES Preparation Tips

IES Interview – Rank 2 Without Coaching – Ashish Verma

For anyone who cannot join or afford coaching centers, can rely on trusted online sources of information. But to qualify any exam above everything else utmost dedication and unwavering focus is needed.


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