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IES 2018 Exam Pattern

Updated On - October 15th 2017

UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is the conducting body of Engineering Services Examination. It is responsible for the entire examination and recruitment process. ESE or IES exam consists of 3 stages viz

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

Listed below are facts related to IES Exam Pattern:

  • IES or Indian Engineering Service examination (Stage 1 and Stage 2) is conducted in offline mode.
  • All the questions in Preliminary Exam are objective in nature. Whereas, questions in Mains Exam are conventional in nature. CheckIES Syllabus
  • The medium of examination is English.
  • In IES 2018, there will be a deduction of one-third of the mark allotted for each question for every wrong answer attempted.

IES 2018 is scheduled for January 07, 2018 (IES Prelims) and July 01, 2018 (IES Mains). Candidates who clear Prelims as per IES Cut Off set, they are eligible to appear for Mains examination. The nationwide law entrance exam is conducted for recruitment to various posts in Indian Engineering Services, under the Government of India.

Highlights of IES Exam Pattern

Exam Pattern Highlights
Mode of ExamOffline
Number of Stages3 namely Preliminary, Mains and Personal Interview
Number of papers 5
Questions Type

Preliminary Exam – Objective (Multiple Choice Questions)

Mains Exam – Conventional type

Exam durationVaries for different exam papers
Language of exam English

Stages in IES 2018 Exam

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


  • Stage 1: It is also known as Preliminary exam. It is an Objective Type Paper. Through this exam, candidates 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: Personal Interview or Personality Test. This is the final round in IES exam, carrying 200 marks. 

IES Exam Pattern for Stage 1 (IES Prelims)

  • Mode of Exam: IES Prelims is conducted in offline mode i.e. it is a written examination. Candidates are provided separate OMR sheets for both the papers, wherein the correct answer needs to be colored. 
  • 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 Discipline (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 in which one answer is correct.
  • IES Marking Scheme:  For each wrong answer, one-third mark is deducted. Candidates marking more than one answer, it is treated as a wrong answer. Questions left unanswered will have no deduction of marks.
Section NameDuration of ExamMaximum Marks
Paper 1 (General Studies & Engineering Aptitude)2 hours300
Paper 2 (Engineering Discipline)3 hours300
Total5 hours600 marks

Other Facts

  • Candidates qualifying in the Preliminary/Stage 1, are eligible 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 recommended 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 Practices

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 recommended 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
Download Complete Civil Engineering ESE Syllabus PDF

For Mechanical Engineering

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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
Download Complete Mechanical Engineering ESE Syllabus PDF

For Electrical Engineering

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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
Download Complete Electrical Engineering ESE Syllabus PDF

For Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering

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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
Download Complete Electronics & Telecommunication ESE Syllabus PDF

IES Syllabus for Preliminary Exam

  • UPSC prescribes the syllabus for Engineering Services Examination.
  • Syllabus for this stage is of graduate level.
  • IES Paper 1 focuses on testing a candidates awareness about the current issues and basic engineering knowledge.
  • Topics in this paper focus on the understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.
Paper 1 – General Studies & Engineering Aptitude
  • Current Events (National/ International)
  • History
  • Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis
  • Basics of Project Management
Click Here
Paper 2 – Engineering Discipline
  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics and Telecommunication

IES Exam Pattern for Stage 2 (IES Mains)

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

Paper 1 (Engineering Discipline)

3 hours300Click Here
Paper 2 (Engineering Discipline)3 hours300
Total6 hours600 marks(-)
Note: Candidates qualifying Stage 1 and Stage 2 are permitted to appear for Stage 3.

IES Stage 3 – Personal Interview

  • This stage is also known as Personality Test.
  • It is the final stage, candidates qualifying the written exams are called for the interview. CheckHow to crack IES Interview
  • It carries a maximum of 200 marks.
  • Candidates shortlisted from Stage 2 i.e. IES Mains exam have to fill a Detailed Application Form (DAF) online. Know more aboutIES DAF
  • The stage assesses the following skills in a candidate:
    • Suitability of candidate 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 current affairs. 
  • Candidates qualifying all the stages (Stage 1 + Stage 2 + Stage 3), the marks secured in each stage are included to prepare the Final Merit list of the Engineering Service Examination. 

Provision for PwD candidates

  • UPSC has made special provisions for candidates with Locomotor Disability, Cerebral Palsy or is blind.
  • Candidates with a minimum 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 candidates.

Important Instructions

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

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



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What are the total marks defined for the IES entrance exam?

20 Sep, 2017 11:02
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Arindam, Let me inform you that, IES exam has total weigtage of 1300 marks, 500 (IES prelims) 600 (IES mains) 200.

20 Sep, 2017 17:19

Do I lose marks, if I leave any question un-attempted?

20 Sep, 2017 11:02
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Arindam, There are no marks deducted for leaving a question un-attempted.

20 Sep, 2017 17:22
shivani tiwari

If multiple options are correct in IES MCQ based paper, can I mark all?

19 Sep, 2017 18:34
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Shivani, There is no clarity about the same, as the rule defined says that you can mark only 1 option for every question.

20 Sep, 2017 11:09
shivani tiwari

In which language IES exam paper will be published? Will it be in Hindi and English language?

19 Sep, 2017 18:34
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Shivani, Let me inform you that UPSC releases Engineering Services Examination or ESE paper in English language only. No other answering medium is acceptable in the examination.

20 Sep, 2017 11:12
pankaj pathak

Can you give the formulae used by UPSC for calculation of total score in ESE?

19 Sep, 2017 18:17
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Pankaj, Please check the following point to know about the formula:

The conducting body has defined a clear formula that will be used to prepare the final score of a candidate. It is as follows:

IES/ESE Score Calculation Formula: Number of correct answers X2- the number of incorrect answers X 0.33.

20 Sep, 2017 11:49
pankaj pathak

How many months do I get for preparation for IES main exam?

19 Sep, 2017 18:16
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Pankaj, I want to inform you that, as per the IES Calendar, you will be getting around 6 months to prepare for IES mains. As the Preliminary exam is scheduled for January 01, 2018, UPSC has scheduled Mains examination for July 01, 2018. I am giving you the link of preparation for mains, please check this IES Preparation Tips

20 Sep, 2017 12:03
Sonal Rohatgi

Is there a negative marking scheme in IES, what are the details of the marking scheme?

19 Sep, 2017 18:16
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Sonal, Yes, IES has a provision of negative marking. For every wrong answer, 0.33 marks are deducted. Each question carries a weightage of 2 marks.

20 Sep, 2017 12:25
Sonal Rohatgi

Is IES prelims an MCQ based exam or theoretical exam?

19 Sep, 2017 18:16
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Sonal, I want to tell you that, IES Prelims is the first stage in the Indian Engineering Services examination. It is an MCQ based exam, having approximately 100 questions.

20 Sep, 2017 12:28

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