IES Indian Engineering Services exam details

What is IES?

Indian Engineering Services IES is one of the most sought after exams in India.Candidates are placed in Government of India jobs.They might be placed in Indian railways, Defense, Transportation or other such Government units.Every year IES exams are conducted .

Large number of candidates appear for these exams.Due to lucrative career ahead IES attract students in large number. But the vacancies are not large in number (around 500 seats only).This makes it very competitive exam indeed.So proper planning and preparation is really required to crack Indian Engineering services.

UPSC uses the term Engineering Services Examination (ESE) instead of Indian Engineering Services.So do not get confused if you see the term ESE or Engineering services examination on their site. IES and ESE are same.I will be using the term IES and ESE interchangeably in this post.

IES is considered as one of the best career option for Technical Graduates.With limited number of seats and high competition it is considered as one of the toughest exam in India as well as World.

IES Exam Details

IES exam schedule

IES exams are conducted every year.Every year the exams notification is published in months of either January or February.The exam is conducted in months of June or July.This helps candidates in planning their preparation.Every year you are aware of exam time and application time.

IES eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria can be sub divided into two parts Age eligibility criteria and educational eligibility criteria.Also there is nationality criteria as well.Candidates should be residents or either India or Nepal or Bhutan.

There is other nationality criteria which I am not covering in this post.The reason is those are very rare and if any candidate is interested in knowing about them you can post your question.

The lower age limit and upper age limit is 21 years and 30 years respectively.Your age should fall in this range on 1st August of the exam year.For example if you are applying to IES 2019 then should age should be between 21 years and 30 years as of 1st August 2019.

Above mentioned age limit is for General category candidates.There is age relaxation clause for certain candidates. OBC candidates (non creamy) have age relaxation of 3 years.SC and ST candidates have 5 years age relaxation.

Apart from above age relaxation certain special cases also exist.As those are not frequent I am not covering them.You can post your question if you want to know about them or confused about your eligibility.

The educational criteria for IES exams is very straight forward.You should have an Engineering degree or equivalent in the stream you are applying for.Later in this post we will see different streams in which you can apply.

MSc degree and its equivalent with Wireless Communications, Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engineering as special subjects are also eligible for certain posts as well.

IES engineering categories

In my opinion Government of India should increase the Engineering streams for IES exams.Currently it is only open for below categories

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electronics and Telecommunications engineering

So if you have degree in Mechanical Engineering,Civil Engineering,Electrical Engineering and Electronics and Telecommunications then only you can apply for IES exams. Under Electronics and Telecommunications candidates have MSc in subjects mentioned above can also apply.

But students studying streams like Computers,Chemical,different Bio streams and other Engineering streams are not able to compete in this exams.As these streams are also important Government should plan to include them in this exams.

But as of now there are only four categories mentioned above in which a candidate can apply for.

IES exam pattern

Understanding exam pattern is very important for planning and preparation of it.I am outlining IES exam pattern below and then we will discuss preparation and planning for each section.

I have also prepared different preparation materials and articles for each of the section. IES exams are divided into two parts Written exam and Personality test.

IES Written exam

IES written exam is divided into two parts objective test and subjective test.The objective test is also divided into 2 different papers Paper 1 and Paper 2.The first paper is General Ability test.The second paper is based on technical knowledge.

The first paper is of 200 marks while second paper is of 300 marks.There are two descriptive exams which are together clubbed as Main exams.Each paper are of 300 marks.So total marks in written test is (200 + 300 + 300 + 300) = 1,100.

I have covered these exams in separate articles.You can read below articles for paper download, planning and preparation tips and other important information and materials for these papers.

  • IES General Ability test – Click here to read
  • IES Objective test – Click here to read (coming soon)
  • IES Subjective test – Click here to read (coming soon)

IES Personality test

This is second test after the written exams.Personality test is of 200 marks.Written test is of 1100 marks.So the total exams is highly weighted towards written test.If you see marks percentage of written test with that of personality test it will be around 84% and 16%.

This makes written test very important compared to personality test.If you outperform in written test chances are that you have guaranteed yourself job.So you should focus heavily on written test.

This is the reason I have not written separate post on Personality test. Personality test will be evaluation of you based on technical questions as well as HR questions and situational questions.


I have written this post to give you idea about the Indian Engineering Services exams.There is some confusion among students about format and eligibility criteria of ESE exam.I have tried to answer most questions of them about this exam.

But in case I missed some and you still have some confusion and doubt about ESE exam you can share your questions. You can read the articles mentioned in the post to get more idea of the exams and download different preparation materials for free.

The preparation material is created with care and current exam pattern in mind.This is to ensure you are getting the best preparation material.I have also come up with mobile App for the exams.You can install the mobile app for best preparation.

I will be updating this post and try to answer your queries regularly.Consider sharing this post if you found it useful.

162 comments IES Indian Engineering Services exam details

  1. Sir I am 33 yrs age. Presently working in cpwd as JE. Now I completed B Tech civil. I wish to apply for ESE am I eligible. Will you pls give some suggestions for preparing the same.

  2. i am mech student i want to know the information about my branch how many seats are there in my branch epecially bc category.And yearly how many candidates were appear in the ies exam and how many BC category students qulify prelim & mains exam.

  3. mam I’m studying b tech civil engineering 1st year .
    .I have more interest in IES examinations .. So ,what should I have do from now onwards to get more grip on IES ??
    plz mam give suggestn…

  4. What is the difference between general knowledge and general awareness? Could you list out a few examples of both which are commonly asked in IES

  5. how can i get only answer key for previous ies objective paper (electrical). i have topic wise solved paper but i want to solve paper year wise but i dont have answer keys for paper 2001-2012

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