Union Public Service Commission has announced the official syllabus, marking scheme and IES Exam Format of Engineering Services Examination. IES 2018 (Prelims) is scheduled for January 7. UPSC is responsible for the entire examination and appointment procedure. ESE or IES exam consists of 3 stages viz

  • Stage 2 or Mains Examination and 
  • Stage 1 or Preliminary Examination,
  • Stage 3 or Individual Interview

Listed below are facts concerned to IES Exam Format:

  • For every wrong response, one-third mark will be deducted. Download IES Sample Papers 
  • Indian Engineering Service examination (Stage 1 and Stage 2) is organized in the offline method.
  • Questions in Preliminary Exam are objective type. Whereas, questions in Mains Exam are conventional in nature.
  • The medium of examination is English.

Engineering candidates who qualify Prelims as per IES Cut Off are applicable to appear for IES Mains scheduled for January 1. The nationwide engineering exam is organizeed for appointment to different posts in Indian Engineering Services, under the Government of India.

Highlights of IES Exam Format

Exam Format Highlights
Method of ExamOffline
Number of Stages3 namely Preliminary, Mains and Individual Interview
Number of papers 5
Questions Type

Preliminary Exam – Objective (Multiple Choice Questions)

Mains Exam – Conventional type

Exam periodVaries for various exam papers
Language of exam English

Stages in IES 2018 Exam

IES Exam is organizeed according to the following plan defined by UPSC. The following infographic explains the same 

  • Stage 1: It is also known as a Preliminary exam. It is an Objective Type Paper. Via this exam, aspirants are selected for Stage 2.
  • Stage 2: It is also referred to as Mains Examination. There are two papers in this exam. They are of Conventional Type.
  • Stage 3: Individual Interview or Individuality Test. This is the final round of IES exam, carrying 200 marks. 

IES Exam Format for Stage 1 (IES Prelims)

  • Number of Papers: Stage 1 will have two papers. Paper 1 will have questions from General Studies and Paper 2 will have questions from Engineering Branch (Civil Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering).
  • Type of Papers: The exam is of Objective Type i.e. the questions are of Multiple Choice. Each question will have 4 choices to which one response is accurate.
  • IES Marking Scheme:  For each wrong response, one-third mark is deducted. Aspirants marking more than one response, it is treated as a wrong response. Questions left unresponsive will have no deduction for marks.
  • Method of Exam: IES Prelims is organized in offline method i.e. it is a written examination. Aspirants are offered separate OMR sheets for both the papers, wherein the accurate response obligatory to be colored. 
Section NamePeriod of ExamMaximum Marks
Paper 1 (General Studies & Engineering Aptitude)2 hours300
Paper 2 (Engineering Branch)3 hours300
Total5 hours600 marks

Other Facts

  • Aspirants qualifying in the Preliminary/Stage 1, are applicable to appear for the Mains/Stage 2 Examination.
  • Marks obtained in this stage are counted for determining the final order of merit.

Best Books for IES Prelims

Here are some of the most advisable books for Stage 1(Paper 1) of IES 2018:

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
ESE 2018 Prelims Paper 1 - Basics of Energy and Environment

IES Master Team

ESE 2018 Prelims Paper 1 – Standards and Quality Exercises

IES Master Team
ESE 2018 Prelims Paper 1 – Engineering EthicsIES Master Team

Engineering Aptitude - Quantitative Aptitude and Analytical Ability

IES Master Team

ESE 2018 Prelims Paper 1 - Basics of Material Science and Engineering

IES Master Team

Here are some of the most advisable books for Stage 1(Paper 2) of IES 2018:

For Civil Engineering

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
ESE 2018 Preliminary Examination - Civil Engineering ESE Topicwise Objective Solved PaperIES Master Team
ESE 2018 Preliminary Examination - Civil Engineering ESE Topicwise Objective Solved PaperIES Master Team
ESE 2018 Preliminary Exam: Civil Engineering - Topicwise Objective Solved Papers - Vol. 1Made Easy Editorial Board
ESE 2018 Preliminary Exam: Civil Engineering - Topicwise Objective Solved Papers - Vol. 2Made Easy Editorial Board
GATE 2018 - Civil Engineering (31 Years Solution)IES Master Team

For Mechanical Engineering

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
Thermodynamics: An Engineering ApproachYunus A Cengel, Michael A Boles
Engineering Thermodynamics PK Nag
A Textbook of Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic MachinesDr. R.K. Bansal
Fundamentals of Compressible FlowS. M. Yahya

For Electrical Engineering

Book Name Author/ Publisher
Principles of ElectromagneticsMatthew N. O. Sadiku, S. V. Kulkarni
A Course In Electrical Engineering MaterialsS. P Seth
Fundamentals of Electric CircuitsCharles K. Alexander, Matthew N. O. Sadiku
Modern Electronic Instrumentation And Measurement Techniques Albert D. Helfrick, William D Cooper
Control Systems EngineeringNagrath and Gopal

For Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering

Book Name Author/ Publisher
Network & SystemsD. Roy Choudhary
Network Analysis Van Valkenburg
Integrated ElectronicsJacob Millman & C. Halkias
Integrated CircuitsK.R. Botkar
Digital Logic & Computer DesignMoris Mano

IES Syllabus for Preliminary Exam

  • Syllabus for this stage is of graduate level.
  • Topics in this paper focus on the understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.
  • UPSC prescribes the syllabus for Engineering Services Examination.
  • IES Paper 1 focuses on testing a aspirants awareness about the present allot and basic engineering knowledge.
Paper 1 General Studies & Engineering AptitudePresent Events (National/ International)
Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis
Basics of Project Management

Paper 2 Engineering BranchCivil Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Electronics and Telecommunication

IES Exam Format for Stage 2 (IES Mains)

  • Type of Papers: The exam is of Conventional Type.
  • Number of Papers: Stage 2 will have two papers. Both the papers will have questions from the selected Engineering branch (Civil Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering).
  • Method of Exam: IES Mains is organized in offline method i.e. it is a written examination.
Section NamePeriod of ExamMaximum MarksLink

Paper 1 (Engineering Branch)

3 hours300
Paper 2 (Engineering Branch)3 hours300
Total6 hours600 marks(-)
Note: Aspirants qualifying Stage 1 and Stage 2 are permitted to appear for Stage 3.

IES Stage 3 – Individual Interview

  • It carries a maximum of 200 marks.
  • This stage is also known as Individuality Test.
  • It is the final stage, aspirants qualifying the written exams are called for the interview.
  • Aspirants shortlisted from Stage 2 i.e. IES Mains exam have to fill a Detailed Application Form (DAF) online. Know more about IES DAF
  • The stage assesses the following skills in an aspirant:

Suitability of aspirant for a career in public service sector

Mental caliber or Mental alertness

Leadership Qualities

Initiative & Intellectual Curiosity,

Mental & Physical energy and

Other social traits and interest in present affairs. 

  • Aspirants qualifying all the stages (Stage 1 + Stage 2 + Stage 3), the marks secured in each stage are comprised to prepare the Final Merit list of the Engineering Service Examination. 

Provision for PwD aspirants

  • Aspirants with an at least of 40% impairment are allowed to write IES exam with the help of a scribe.
  • Compensatory time of 20 minutes per hour is also permitted for the above-mentioned aspirants.
  • UPSC has made special provisions for aspirants with Locomotor Disability, Cerebral Palsy or is blind.

Important Instructions

The following are the important instructions to be taken into account by participants regarding IES 2018 exam:

  • Aspirants should ensure that they offer a valid, active email ID in the application form as the Commission uses the only electronic method of communication.
  • There is a provision for negative marking in IES 2018 exam, so aspirants have to keep this in mind while attempting responses.
  • Aspirants must avoid submitting multiple applications.
  • The particulars allowed inside the exam hall are non-programmable calculators, other engineering drawing instruments.
  • Aspirants should attempt questions in accordance with directions given in question paper.
  • Aspirants must use only black ball pen to darken the circles on the OMR sheet.
  • Aspirants should abide by instructions printed on Question Paper and Response Book given in the exam hall.
  • Aspirants are not allowed to leave exam hall before the prescribed finishing time of the exam.
  • Electronic gadgets like mobile phone, Bluetooth, and other communication devices are not allowed inside the exam hall.
  • Unfair exam exercises are strictly debarred inside the examination hall and will lead to immediate cancellation of candidature of participant involving in such mat exercises and hence that aspirant will not be allowed to attend the examination.

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