Tips and Tricks for ESE Exam Preparation: Prelims, Mains & Interview

By Mrinmay Ganguly|Updated : December 27th, 2021

Engineering Services Examination (ESE) is one of the most important exams for Engineering graduates, as it allows Engineers to work for the Indian government as Class – 1 officer in public sectors such as Central Engineering Service, Power, Telecommunications, Central Water Engineering, Defense Service of Engineers, and so on.

ESE Exam is a test for engineering students that demands a significant amount of study time and a well-thought-out strategy. Review of previous year question papers, knowledge of the Exam pattern, time management to cover the ESE syllabus, revision, Mock tests, and expert advice are all part of a properly planned out ESE preparation strategy.

In this article, we tried to provide you with every aspect of the ESE preparation to make it easier for the aspirants. It is advisable to start preparing early with utmost concentration and hard work for cracking UPSC.

Why should I prepare for ESE?

Understanding the possibilities is one of the most crucial components of beginning ESE preparation. In this section, we'll look at how ESE may shape our future and help us stand out from the crowd by offering prestigious careers and enticing benefits.

All qualifying candidates are assigned to various departments based on their position on the final merit list. All candidates are notified of their training by a letter from the President, and they are summoned to various locations across the country. The training for IES officers is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The salary of an IES officer is comparable to, if not more than, that of a private sector employee. Dearness Allowance is also given to officers to compensate for market inflation. The position's respect, in addition to the salary, makes it superior to any other job in the country.

The following departments are available for Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunications branches through ESE.

Civil Engineering
  • Central Engineering Service
  • Central Engineering Service (Roads)
  • Survey of India
  • Indian Defence Service of Engineers
  • AEE(QS&C) in MES Surveyor Cadre
  • Central Water Engineering
  • Indian Skill Development Service
  • Military Engineer Service
  • Border Roads Engineering Services


Mechanical Engineering
  • AEE in Geological Survey of India
  • Indian Skill Development Service
  • Central Power Engineering Service
  • Indian Defence Service of Engineers
  • Border Roads Engineering Services
  • Central Water Engineering
  • Central Power Engineering Service
  • Indian Naval Armament Service
  • Asstt. Naval Store Officer Grade‐I
  • Military Engineer Services


Electrical Engineering
  • Indian Skill Development Service
  • Central Power Engineering Service
  • Military Engineer Services
  • Central Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Service
  • Indian Defence Service of Engineers
  • Asstt. Naval Store Officer
  • Central Power Engineering Service


Electronics and Communication
  • Indian Radio Regulatory Service
  • Junior Telecom Officer
  • Defence Aeronautical Quality Assurance Service/SSO‐II
  • Indian Telecommunication Service
  • Indian Naval Armament Service
  • Asstt. Naval Store Officer
  • Central Power Engineering Service
  • Indian Skill Development Service

ESE IES Exam Pattern

UPSC ESE/IES Exam is divided into three stages, which are described below:

State 1 – Preliminary Examination 

Paper – IObjectiveGeneral Studies
Engineering Aptitude
2 hours200 marks
3 hours300 marks
Total    500 marks

State 2 – Main Examination 

Paper – IConventionalEngineering
Discipline – I
3 hours300 marks
Discipline – II
3 hours300 marks
Total    600 marks

State 3 – Personality Test 

Personality Test200 marks
Grand Total 1300 marks

Tips and Tricks for ESE Prelims Preparation

We are providing the best tips for the most asked question How to Prepare ESE Prelims.

  • First and foremost, we must recognise our own strengths and weaknesses. For the prelims, you should practise the topics in which you are most comfortable or where the concepts are clear. We cannot rest while working on the weaker sections, therefore we must devote time to them as well.

  • Remember to tie up any loose ends, because sometimes the easiest questions come from the unprepared section, and we are unable to solve them during the exam.

  • For Current Affairs and GK, one should read the news on a daily basis from any reputable source and keep a little note because this will aid in remembering and understanding.
  • If your concepts aren't clear on a technical section, start reading the ESE preparation books suggested by the experts. However, if your basics are clear, you can begin with at least two subjects, and practice is the only way to succeed.

  • Plan 4 to 5 topics per day from various disciplines and solve previous year's questions from these topics, beginning with the most current questions and working through as many as possible.

  • The ESE mock test is now the most significant part that can truly rank you higher. Join BYJU'S mock test and attempt all the tests. Choose this excellent mock test with questions that are equivalent to the ESE exam.

  • All that matters, in the end, is your commitment and effort in achieving your goal of qualifying.

Important Tips for ESE Mains Preparation

The following points are essential parts of the ESE mains preparation strategy.

  • In the ESE Mains Exam, where questions must be completed in a short amount of time, speed and accuracy are essential. You must devote more time to question practice in addition to revising the theory component in order to maintain a good speed. Keep in mind that this is a subjective test.

  • Never devote a significant amount of time to a single question. You'll need to write descriptive answers, so keep your handwriting in good shape.

  • Because there are no negative marks, time management is crucial. If only a piece of the question is answered correctly, you will receive partial credit. Make an effort to answer the majority of the questions and maintain a consistent writing speed.

  • Describe your answers in detail, and try to approach them carefully because minor errors can cost you valuable points. You should practise mocks in order to prepare yourself ahead of time. When administering mock tests, strive to be as attentive as possible.

Best Strategy for ESE Interview Preparation

Check out the best strategy to go through the ESE Interview.

  • The ESE interview is the third and last part of the selection process, and it is crucial not only for selection but also for determining your rank.

  • The Detailed Application Form (DAF) serves as the foundation for your interview, and some questions may arise immediately from it. Department preferences must be made with a thorough grasp of job profiles in various departments, types of work, promotion opportunities, amenities, and job diversity.

  • Since it has been observed in recent years that technical, technical applications, and job profile (if you are working) questions are asked more frequently in ESE/IES Interviews than current affairs and personal profile questions, you should concentrate on basic /core technical subjects and revise definitions, principles, and applications.

  • Practise basic introductory questions like
    • Tell me a little bit about yourself.
    • Rivers, heritage, employment, literacy rate, and more questions about your hometown
    • Why do you want to become an IES officer?
    • What makes you so special that we should choose you?
    • Why not go straight into civil service?
    • Questions on the Hobbies you stated in your DAF.
    • Concerns about your current job/college. Expect queries regarding your MTech Thesis if you're doing MTech.
    • Government Schemes that are well-known
    • Your thoughts on a variety of popular themes, such as unemployment or entrepreneurship
    • Current Events on a National and International Scale

"The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today"


If you are preparing for ESE/ GATE or other PSU Exams, then avail Online Classroom Program for ESE and GATE: 

Comprehensive Preparation for GATE & ESE

Attempt online mock tests of ESE & GATE 2022 at Byju's Exam Prep to improve the exam score in all disciplines.

Online Test Series for ESE and GATE


All the Best!


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  • The ESE IES selection process consists of three stages: Prelims, Mains, and Personality Test/Interview.

  • ESE Online coaching at BYJU'S Exam Prep is very beneficial to bring the best preparation out of you. The live classes included in the ESE Online course are specially designed to highlight your areas of strength and weakness. Check out Comprehensive Preparation for ESE.

  • First, analyze the syllabus of ESE, then create your own strategy. Start your preparation with the subjects you are confident in and are also scoring in ESE. Attempt subject wise mock test after completion of each subject and revise important formulas from time to time.



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