How Should I Start Preparing for the UPSC IES/ESE Exam?

UPSC IES exam is a reputed engineering exam which is conducted to recruit engineers for various engineering services under the Government of India. Every year, lakhs of candidates appear in the examination setting the level of competition high. Undoubtedly, the exam can land you in a reputed position with ultimate job security but cracking IES exam is not an easy task. It takes constant effort and dedicated studies to ace the exam. 

If you have the right strategy and good knowledge, then your path of preparation can be quite easy. Every year many aspirants start their preparation for the IES exam. If you follow the right track, you will definitely crack the exam. So, here are some important tips you should follow to start preparing for the IES exam.  

Start your IES Preparation Early

Early preparation will help you save your precious time and will make your basics strong. If you start preparing for the exam from the college days, you will get many benefits. The exam is conducted for four engineering streams - Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. 

Start from the Basics

Many of you must be thinking about what should be your approach to prepare for the exam? It is highly recommended to go through the detailed IES exam pattern and Syllabus first. If you have a clear understanding of the exam pattern and syllabus, you’ll get to know which topic you can study first. 

To make it convenient for the aspirants we have provided you with an overview of the IES exam pattern. The exam is conducted in various stages i.e. Prelims, Mains and Personality Test. Candidates qualifying Preliminary exam appear in Mains. The details exam structure for both prelims and mains are tabulated below: 




Number of Papers



Type of Papers 




General Studies - I

Engineering Discipline

Paper 1

Paper 2

Exam Duration

Paper 1 - 2 Hours

Paper 2 - 3 Hours

3 Hours Each

Total Marks



Negative Marking 



Getting into the details of the IES Syllabus is equally important. This will help you in making a proper preparation plan for the IES exam

Choose Right IES Books 

Books will be your good friend throughout the course of your IES preparation. There will be a lot of books available in the market but it is highly recommended to go through the books which are recommended by the previous year toppers. Do not get confused with the bundles of books available in the market. There are different subjects and therefore, candidates have to opt for various books. Check List of Important IES Books

Guidance is Important

It is never said that you cannot ace the exam through self-study but preparing for the exam under the guidance of a Mentor will be more effective. Aspirants can either opt for a classroom program or an online course to prepare for the IES exam. Preparing under the guidance of an experienced faculty will keep you on the right track of preparation. 

Solve Previous Years’ Question Papers

Find and save the Previous Years’ IES question paper. By going through the previous year's question paper, you will be able to get the trends of questions asked over the past few years. Solving the question paper will enable you to find whether any questions are being repeated or not. This will also help you in finding the topics from which a maximum number of questions are asked.

Take Mock Tests

Mock Tests are the replica of the original paper. It is highly recommended to take as many mock tests as possible. Aspirants must take the mock tests once they are done with preparing for the exam. Mock tests will help them get over the fear of taking the IES exam, it will also improve their efficiency to solve the questions. 

Cracking the exam will change your life for good. So, if you have make-up your mind to work under the Government of India, stay determined and work hard. Be patient and believe in yourself. Make your goal clear, no one can help you if you don't help yourself. Set your goals and work for them. You will definitely succeed. All the best!

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