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Engineering Services Exam: ESE Notification, Syllabus, Eligibility, Exam Pattern

Engineering Services Exam (ESE) or Indian Engineering Services (IES) is one of the most notable examinations conducted in India for the recruitment of Engineers under the wing of Indian Government Services. IES Examination is conducted annually by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It is considered to be one of the toughest examinations in the country; hence, the aspirants who clear this test are bestowed with respect and high stature. The Class-I officers enrolled by this process are designated duties in four domains, namely – Electronics & Telecommunications, Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical. They are assigned techno-managerial posts in the departments like Indian Railways, Power, Telecommunications, Central Water Engineering, Defense Service of Engineers, and Central Engineering Service. A candidate is appointed as an Assistant Executive Engineer after the initial process is completed, and the top-most deputation in this hierarchy is Chairman/ Managing Director.


The registration process for the IES examination starts generally in the last week of September and continues for around a month. Aspirants can check details regarding the same on the Official website.  After completing the registration details, the candidates have to fill the form, upload scanned documents and pay the prerequisite fee before finally submitting their application. Fee exemption is usually applicable to the SC, ST, PWD, and female candidates. However, before starting the application process, a candidate must read the notification and instructions carefully to avoid any discrepancies during this process.


A candidate must check the following eligibility conditions before applying for IES Examination:

  • Nationality – The aspirant must be a citizen of India, or a person from Nepal, Bhutan, or a Tibetan refugee migrated to India before January 01, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India are eligible to participate in the examination; or

A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka or East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

However, nationals other than Indian Citizens are required to produce certificates of eligibility issued by the government of India at the time of document verification.

  • Age-Limit – A candidate must not be younger than 21 years and older than 30 years of age on the date prescribed by the Examination governing authorities. Certain relaxations are applicable to the upper age limit, details for which are available in the official notification.
  • Minimum Educational Qualification – A candidate must have obtained a degree in engineering or its equivalent, as prescribed by the UPSC. For details, the aspirants can refer to the official notification.
  • Physical standards – Aspirants must be physically fit as per the guidelines mentioned in official notification of the Rules for the Engineering Services Examination.
  • Medical Examination – The candidates recommended by the Commission on the basis of Engineering Services Examination are required to undergo a medical examination, which is generally conducted on a date specified by the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) at the various Railway Hospitals.

Exam Pattern

IES a two-part examination, wherein, the Part-I or the preliminary examination features objective type questions, and the Part-II or the Main Examination is of Subjective type, following which a personality test cum interview is held for the shortlisted candidates. The objective type question in Part-I attracts a penalty of 1/3 marks assigned to a question.

The table given below lists the three sections and their marking schemes.

Paper Name Duration Maximum Marks
Paper-I (General Studies and Engineering Aptitude) 2 hrs. 200
Paper-II (Civil/ Mechanical/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering) 3 hrs. 300
Total Marks for Stage I 500
Paper Name Duration Maximum Marks
Paper-I (Civil/ Mechanical/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering) 3 hrs. 300
Paper-II (Civil/ Mechanical/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering) 3 hrs. 300
Total Marks for Stage II 600
Personality Test 200


Note – Only the candidates who qualify both Stages I and II shall be considered for the Personal Interview.

To qualify the Final Merit List of Engineering Services Exam, a candidate has to clear all three Stages i.e. Stage I + Stage II + Stage III.


General Studies and Engineering Aptitude (Preliminary Examination/Stage-I, Paper I, Objective type, Common to all Candidates)
1 Basics of Energy and Environment: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, Climate Change, Environmental impact assessment
2 Basics of Material Science and Engineering
3 Basics of Project Management
4 Current issues of national and international importance relating to social, economic and industrial development
5 Engineering Aptitude covering Logical reasoning and Analytical ability
6 Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis
7 Ethics and values in the Engineering profession.
8 General Principles of Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety
9 Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based tools and their applications in Engineering such as networking, e-governance, and technology-based education.
10 Standards and Quality practices in production, construction, maintenance and services


Civil Engineering
1 Building Materials The flow of Fluids, Hydraulic Machines and Hydro Power
2 Solid Mechanics Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering
3 Structural Analysis Environmental Engineering
4 Design of Steel Structures Geo-technical Engineering and Foundation Engineering
5 Design of Concrete and Masonry structures Surveying and Geology
6 Construction Practice, Planning, and Management Transportation Engineering


Mechanical Engineering
1 Fluid Mechanics Engineering Mechanics
2 Thermodynamics and Heat transfer Engineering Materials
3 IC Engines, Refrigeration and Air conditioning Mechanisms and Machines
4 Turbo Machinery Design of Machine Elements
5 Power Plant Engineering Manufacturing, Industrial and Maintenance Engineering
6 Renewable Sources of Energy Mechatronics and Robotics


Electrical Engineering
1 Engineering Mathematics Analog and Digital Electronics
2 Electrical Materials Systems and Signal Processing
3 Electric Circuits and Fields Control Systems
4 Electrical and Electronic Measurements Electrical Machines
5 Computer Fundamentals Power Systems
6 Basic Electronics Engineering Power Electronics and Drives


Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering
1 Basic Electronics Engineering Analog and Digital Communication Systems
2 Basic Electrical Engineering Control Systems
3 Materials Science Computer Organization and Architecture
4 Electronic Measurements and Instrumentation Electro Magnetics
5 Network Theory Advanced Electronics Topics
6 Analog and Digital Circuits Advanced Communication Topics


Here are a few tips that may be useful for exam preparation:

  • Formulate the proper understanding of the Examination pattern and the syllabus.
  • Try to get a thorough understanding of the concepts.
  • Follow a smart strategy that focuses on problem-solving skills.
  • Use previous year question papers as a reference to guide your studying strategy.
  • Stay updated regarding the current affairs and the general knowledge, as it plays an important role in the General Ability section as well as the Personal Interview.
  • Try to follow the short tricks for solving the numerical questions, it helps in saving time.

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