IES Indian Engineering Services exam details paper download

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.

As (Union Public Service Commission) UPSC conducts IES exam it is also known as UPSC Engineering Services exams.

In short if you are planning to join top Government Enterprises then IES is the exam for you.You join as Assistant Executive Engineer posts in the organizations and with time you can move up with ladder.

IES Exams Statistics

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.Below are some interesting statistics about the exams

  1. Average number of candidates appearing for exams – 1,50,000
  2. Average number of candidates clearing exams – 575 (including all streams)
  3. Pass percentage of candidates  – .4 %

SO 4 candidates out of every 1,000 candidates pass IES exams. The pass percentage is one of the lowest compared to other exams. Note GATE Exams have pass percentage of approx 18% taking all papers together.

Average number of candidates clearing the exams include candidates from all categories (General ,OBC,ST,Sc and PH). I have not given break down for each category as they vary significantly every year.

IES Exam Details

IES exam schedule

IES exams are conducted every year. Below is the schedule of the exams every year

  1. Official Notification – Month of Sept or Oct
  2. Last Application date – Month of Oct or Nov
  3. Preliminary Exams – January
  4. Mains Exams  – July

For the year 2018 the dates are

  • Official Notification – 727th Sep 201
  • Last Application date – 23rd Oct 2017
  • Preliminary Exams – 7th Jan 2018
  • Mains Exams  – 1st July 2018

The examination schedule is more or less fixed every year. This helps you plan your studies. You should keep these dates in mind while planning for the exams.There is gap of 6 months or so between Preliminary exams and Mains.

This gap should be used to prepare delicately for Mains exams. Before that you can focus whole heartily to Preliminary exams.I would advise to read the eligibility criteria before applying for the exams.

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

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 objective test is also known as Preliminary test.As mentioned above it is held in month of January. The Subjective test is held in month of July and is known as Mains Exams.

IES Preliminary test

The Preliminary exam has two papers.

  1. Paper 1 in General Studies and General Aptitude
  2. Paper 2 in Engineering stream (Mechanical or Civil or Electrical or Electronics)

Paper 1 details are given below

  1. Total duration is 2 hours
  2. Total marks is 200 marks

Paper 2 details are given below

  1. Total time is 3 hours
  2. Total marks is 300.

So the Preliminary exams is of 500 marks.It is objective in nature. Mostly you get problems of 1 marks and 2 marks in Preliminary exams in all the paper.

IES Mains Exams

IES Mains Exams focus on Professional knowledge or technical knowledge of yours. It also has two papers. Both the paper are technical and descriptive in nature.Both paper 1 and paper 2 of Mains Exams have

  1. Total duration of 3 hours
  2. Total marks of 300

So total marks in Mains exams is 600.

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.

IES Preparation Materials

I have written individual articles for all the streams. On those articles you will find below details

  1. Free Online tests
  2. Free Android App
  3. Recommended Books
  4. Detailed Syllabus

Below are the links of individual articles for your reference

  1. IES General Studies
  2. IES Mechanical Engineering
  3. IES Civil Engineering
  4. IES Electrical Engineering
  5. IES Electronics Engineering


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.

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