ESE 2024: How to prepare & attempt exam paper using best strategy?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Engineering Service Prelims Examination consists of two papers. i.e. Paper 1 (General Studies and Engineering Aptitude) and Paper 2 (Technical conventional papers ) of 200 and 300 marks respectively. The ESE syllabus which consists of General Studies and Engineering Aptitude was newly introduced by the UPSC in 2017 and till now three phases of ESE examination are conducted by the UPSC.

In this article, we are going to discuss the complete preparation strategy to cover the General Studies and Engineering Aptitude syllabus. Since the syllabus is very vast and we have a collection of recent previous year papers only based on analysis of previous year trend and pattern of the examination.

Download All About Engineering Services Exam PDF

ESE 2024: How to Prepare and Attempt ESE Exam Paper using Best Strategy?

Preparing for the Engineering Services Examination 2024 requires a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenges and maximize your chances of success. With numerous subjects to cover and a vast syllabus to master, it’s essential to approach your preparation and attempt at the exam paper with a well-thought-out plan.

Explore here the best strategies to help you prepare effectively for the ESE 2024 exam and optimize your performance during the actual paper. By following these strategies, you can enhance your understanding of the subjects, improve your problem-solving skills, manage your time efficiently, and confidently approach the exam.

The ESE exam is conducted in 3 stages:

  • ESE Prelims Exam
  • ESE Mains Exam
  • ESE Final Interview

Also Check,ESE 2023 Prelims Exam Papers and Solutions

Stage 1 Complete Information

  • Stage 1 is Objective type and consist of 2 Papers that will be conducted in different sessions.
  • Paper-1 is General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Paper, and Paper-2 is Engineering Discipline Paper.
  • Paper-1 (General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Paper) carries a total of 200 Marks for 100 Questions and the duration of the exam is 2 Hours.
  • Paper-2 (Engineering Discipline Paper) carries a total of 300 Marks for 150 Questions and the duration of the paper is 3 Hours.
  • Only qualified candidates for the Preliminary Exam (Stage-1) will be eligible for Stage 2(consists of Paper I and Paper II each of 300 Marks).The overall process of selection is as follows.
UPSC IES Selection Procedure
Stage 1 Preliminary Exam 500 marks
Stage 2 Main Exam 600 marks
Stage 3 Personality Test 200 marks
Total 1300 marks

ESE General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Preparation Strategy

I. Focus on current issues of national and international importance relating to the social, economic, and industrial development

  • One of the best ways to cover this portion is to read the newspaper daily consisting of the information related to the national and international importance and make notes from the newspaper on a daily basis so that they can easily review and not miss any event.
  • Considering the importance of this Topic after analyzing the previous year’s paper, devoting time to newspapers daily will not be so fruitful considering the input by output ratio since this section is really uncertain and such a wide range of information and details given in the paper.
  • You can refer to the free video series of current affairs for ESE by our star faculty Ashutosh Sir on BYJU’S Exam Prep App and YouTube where the most important and expected topics are covered.

II. Engineering Aptitude covering Logical reasoning and Analytical ability

  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability should not be a big issue for any engineer preparing for ESE but before going to the exam, it is advisable to practice lots and varieties of questions because in this sure shot marks can be easily secured and speed and accuracy is almost requirement.
  • Candidates can practice through questions from various other exams including this topic for better understanding or can practice on BYJU’S Exam Prep App.

III. Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis

  • All Engineers have studied this subject in their first year of graduation and this topic is common in the GATE examination also for every branch. The candidate can secure shot marks but in this section but it requires speed and accuracy which can be easily achieved by practice.
  • Candidates can review their textbooks and notes and can even try solving previous GATE 2023 and ESE questions for practice.

IV. General Principles of Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety

  • Civil and Mechanical Engineers study Design and Drawing in the first year of their course, This portion is important for the examination and marks can be easily scored if you had gone through the concepts and are familiar with technical terms.
  • You can watch free lecture series on the above topic in the BYJU’S Exam Prep app by our star faculty.
  • Refer to Standard books or Notes and make your concept clear so that you can at least eliminate the option in the examination for the selection of the right answer which is the major advantage of this subject and can be easily observed in the previous year papers.

V. Standards and Quality practices in production, construction, maintenance, and service

  • This section belongs to the domain of Production and Civil engineers so they have an advantage over others but this is not so difficult so others can easily understand the topics.
  • This topic includes fundamentals of Quality like 6 sigmas, TQM, and Quality Circles and standards that are followed in the industry nowadays.
  • This subject is very interesting and conceptual, marks can be easily secured if you had followed the proper notes or lectures.
  • You can watch free lecture series on the above topics in the BYJU’S Exam Prep app by our star faculty and boost your concepts and confidence.

VI. Basics of Energy and Environment:

  • This subject is very important for the Prelims as 10 to 12 questions are asked from this subject every year which can be easily analyzed from the previous year’s papers.
  • This subject is theoretical and conceptual too but this is a very interesting subject and also sure shoot marks can be achieved if you had studied this subject seriously.
  • Proper notes/books must be followed to complete this topic, you can refer to a free lecture series on this topic by our star faculty on the BYJU’S Exam Prep app.

VII. Basics of Project Management

  • This topic is straight from Civil Engineering including topics such as CPM and PERT, these topics are also included in Mechanical Engineering and are relatively easy.
  • This topic is conceptual and numerical also and a proper understanding of the subject can easily help you to fetch good marks. Since from these topics, the questions are straightforward.
  • Proper notes/books must be followed to complete this topic, you can refer to a free lecture series on this topic by our star faculty on the BYJU’S Exam Prep app.

VIII. Basics of Material Science and Engineering:

  • This subject has a huge weightage in the examination and sure shoot marks can be easily secured in this topic.
  • This topic is very conceptual and important, so one must never skip this subject and try to go through the notes or book for a proper understanding of the subject.

IX. Information and Communication Technologies

  • This is the domain of Computer Science and IT department.
  • Apart from using social network sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc, the candidate should try to learn the IT structure of these applications.
  • Also try to go through common topics of this department e.g Computer Organisation, Computer Networking, Internet basics, various IT companies around the globe, etc.
  • These are very vast topics and from the previous year’s analysis, this can be easily found that the topics from the current affair related to the ICT are generally asked.

X. Ethics and Values in the Engineering profession

  • This is the most interesting addition to the syllabus and will lead to some conceptual questions about society.
  • This section encounters the question of what are the core values of an engineer, why would anyone become an engineer, how can society be benefited by them, etc.
  • You have to go through the proper notes and book to understand the concepts of this subject. Use have to go through all the technical words that are important from this topic.
  • You can refer to the free lecture series on the BYJU’S Exam Prep app by our star faculty and take lead over the others.

Stage 2 Complete Information

The ESE Stage 2 will be mains paper includes writing two subjective or conventional question papers that are conducted in different sessions. The paper-I and paper-II are of Engineering Discipline (Technical Subject i.e Civil/Electrical/Electronics and Communication/ Mechanical) . Both the papers are of 3 hours duration each, carrying 300 marks each. ESE Mains exam is considered to be very important stage, a candidate’s performance in this stage is going to decide his or her final ranking in ESE .On considering all these factors, it becomes evident that how tense the competition is. However, it is not something that is unachievable. An engineering student aiming for ESE has to follow a carefully planned preparation strategy to achieve success in ESE .ESE Main Exam Pattern scheme is tabulated below:

IES Main Papers Number of Questions Duration of Exam Maximum Marks
Paper 1 (Engineering Discipline) 5 out of 8 Optional Questions 3 hours 300
Paper 2 (Engineering Discipline) 5 out of 8 Optional Questions 3 hours 300
Total 10 Questions 6 hours 600 marks

Stage 3 Personal Interview

  • This stage is also known as Personality Test.
  • It is the final stage of the IES recruitment exam.
  • Only candidates qualifying for the written exams are called for the interview round.
  • The candidates are scored out of 200 marks.

Download ESE Final Cut-off Marks for 2020 PDF

Best strategy to attempt ESE exam Paper:

The first and foremost thing before going ahead, your vision should be clear, which means your WHY, Why do you want to clear this exam. And then go on with full confidence and enthusiasm. Now we will discuss the things step by step which an aspirant should follow:

  • The first thing you have to do is, go through the exam paper thoroughly.
  • Understanding sense of question are important because the time is very less and question are more, and you should not waste your time on unnecessary things or less confident question.
  • So it would help if you focused on the question on which you have full confident with high weightage.
  • Assume test papers like environment because it will reduce the pressure .
  • Select the topics to be attempted with the first glance over the entire paper.
  • Marks will not be allotted for surface knowledge, so don’t waste time on questions you don’t know properly and are unsure about concepts.
  • Try to answer extensively, i.e., provide in-depth information from equations to essential points in each answer.
  • Always use pointers while answering theoretical questions instead of writing lengthy passages.
  • Try to highlight the equalizations or unknowns in your answer, presenting it easy for the invigilator to view.
  • If possible, write a commentary or an inference at the end of the solution. It will surely fetch you excellent marks.
  • Emphasize your handwriting while addressing the solutions as up to 5 percent of the highest marks can be deducted for unreadable handwriting.
  • Remember marks are awarded for orderly, effective, and exact appearance combined with proper usage of words in the conventional papers of the exam.

Remember, consistent and disciplined study, along with regular practice, is key to succeeding in the ESE exam. Good luck with your preparation!

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