UPSC IES/ESE Preparation Tips

UPSC IES/ESE Preparation Tips. Highly Recommended Preparation Plan to Crack UPSC IES/ESE Exam 2019.

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UPSC IES/ESE Preparation Tips For Prelims & Mains – Tips To Crack ESE (IES)

In this article, we will discuss about the pattern and preparation tips for UPSC IES/ESE Exam 2019. UPSC IES/ESE Preparation Plan should be formulated keeping in mind the fact that it must look after the candidate’s overall development. UPSC IES/ESE is a highly competitive exam and in order to crack this exam with maximum score, one must have high level of knowledge and skills. Most of the candidates focus on just improving their knowledge and finishing off the syllabus. While there is no denying to the fact that finishing off the UPSC IES/ESE syllabus with maximum efficiency is important, it is also crucial that candidates also focus on improving their time management and question selection skills. Otherwise, you will end up losing marks, because you won’t be able to finish off the whole paper on time or make silly mistakes. Therefore, your IBPS PO preparation plan must look after all these aspects of a successful test taking process.

Engineering Services Exam is an exam for engineering students that requires a dedicated amount of time for study as well as a well-planned strategy. A meticulously planned out strategy for the preparation of ESE includes many points such as review of previous year question papers, knowledge about the exam pattern, time management to cover complete syllabus, revision, practice and guidance of experts.

If you are an engineering student and aspiring for ESE 2020 then here we will discuss in detail the above-mentioned important points for the preparation of GS Paper of ESE 2020 Prelims. The GS Paper is also called as General Studies and Engineering Aptitude paper or just Paper-I, and carries a total of 200 marks that are taken into account while preparing the final list of selected students.

The main objective of General studies and Engineering Aptitude paper is to check a candidate’s connect to the outside world through his technical knowledge. The main objective of UPSC behind conducting this objective GS paper is to test an ESE aspirant’s application-based knowledge that will come handy during the job tenure of the candidate.

UPSC IES/ESE Preparation Tips 2019: How To Crack UPSC IES/ESE Exam

The first thing to do before you plan your IBPS PO preparation is to be thorough with the UPSC IES/ESE syllabus and UPSC IES/ESE exam pattern. Check out the table below to have an overview of the UPSC IES/ESE exam:

Stages 3 (Preliminary, Main, and Personal Interview)
Mode of Exam Online
Level of Difficulty Easy – moderate
Negative Marking 0.25 marks
Time Duration 5 hour for Prelims and 6 hours for Mains
Maximum Marks 500 for Prelims and 600 for Mains

Let us now look at the UPSC IES exam pattern for Prelims and Mains.

Exam Paper Type Subject Time Marks
Preliminary Examination Paper I Objective General Studies and Engineering aptitude 2 hrs 200
Preliminary Examination Paper II Objective Engineering Discipline 3hrs 300
Mains Examination Paper I Conventional Engineering discipline I 3 hrs 300
Mains Examination Paper II Conventional Engineering discipline II 3 hrs 300

CLICK HERE TO VIEW Branch-Wise Exam Pattern

Important Tips for IES (ESE) Exam Preparation

IES exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Every year, scores of candidates across India apply for this exam, but due to a limited number of vacancies and the technical nature of the exam, only a handful number of people manage to pass this three-stage examination in the first attempt.Y ou might have heard horror stories from your friends and relatives about the toughest exam in India and are wondering whether or not you have made the right decision.

So, if you are one of the many squirrels that have taken up the huge (and very brave) challenge to crack this tough nut of an exam, here are 8 tips by experts to help you along your quest.

1. Empty Your Cup

Start your preparations with a clean slate.

Remove all preconceived notions about IES being an extremely difficult exam to crack. A cup cannot be filled if it is already full. Always keep in mind that if you keep your goal in focus and do not allow yourself to get distracted – you will always achieve it no matter the difficulties encountered along the way.

2. Understand the Syllabus

It is very important to understand the IES syllabus and exam pattern of the Engineering Service Exam. It not only focuses on your technical knowledge but also your aptitude, general knowledge and personality.

Be sure that you sufficiently prepare for every phase accordingly and go through each and every point of the syllabus.

View here branch wise UPSE IES/ESE Syllabus

3. Don’t Obsess over Timetables

By now, you must have heard from everyone around you the importance of making a timetable and sticking to it. It s all well and good if strictly adhering to a timetable works for you, but if you do not fare well with them, do not fret over it.

Everyone has a different method that works for them. Take time to analyse yourself and find a time of day when your concentration is at its best. It does not matter how many hours of study you put in, what matters is how many concepts you grasp within those hours.

Studying with full concentration for two to three hours gets more concepts into your brain than forcing yourself to pour over books for eight to ten hours. Writing down important points helps you to remember things and also serves as a quick revision, so you do not have to hunt through the whole book to search for a particular point.

4. The OK4R Method

In many cases, it is found that many students simply do not know how to study. Only reading through the topics is not enough.

The OK4R is a scientifically proven method that helps you to comprehend and remember the topics effectively.

The method is explained below –

  • Overview – Do not start reading the text immediately. Go over the headings, subtitles and the summary to get a general idea of what the text is about.
  • Key Ideas – Skim over the text by reading the first sentence of each paragraph to get the main idea about the concept.
  • Read – Now is the part when you read each and every word of the text carefully. This is the only part students usually focus on.
  • Recall – Close the text and concentrate. Try to recall all the main points from what you have read.
  • Reflect – Think over the meaningfulness of the topic. Relate the things you have learnt to the things in the real world. Doing this not only helps you to understand the topic better but also enables you to remember it for a longer period of time. Speak the concept out loud. Doing so increases your chances of remembering it better.
  • Review – Go back to the topic at a later time and read it again. If you find you have forgotten some things, study them again. Also, it is better to study the subjects you find difficult or boring at the start when your concentration level is at its peak and leave the easier topics for later.

5. Trick Your Brain Into Remembering Things

Have you ever wondered why you remember every little detail of the embarrassing situation you were in five years ago, but not the topic you read a few days ago?

That is because our brain tends to record the things that are out of the ordinary, eye-catching, apart from the normal routine of every day; things that the brain thinks are important.

Thus, the boring, technical topic gets filtered out of our storage area.

To remember the dull stuff, we have to trick our brain into thinking it is important.

Here are a few tricks to do this –

  • Our brain remembers images more than simple text. Wherever possible, make diagrammatic representations of what you have learnt.
  • Engage your brain into activities that will improve your cognitive ability and charges up your neurons, such as puzzle solving and brain teasers.
  • Focus on understanding rather than memorizing. Once you really understand a concept, you do not have to spend much effort to memorize
  • Do not try to learn anything new after putting your books down for the day. Your brain needs some time to process things to remember them well. Learning new things while processing what you have studied will cause you to lose some of what you have just learnt.

6. Keep Yourself Well-Hydrated

Surprised by this one? Yes, drinking water helps your brain to study more effectively.

Our body consists of 70% water. It has been found that dehydration decreases cognition function of the brain, thus hampering your learning.

7. Listen To What Your Brain Has To Say

You will know when your brain starts to get overloaded. If you find yourself just skimming over pages rather than actually reading, it is a cue for you to take a break.

Go listen to your favourite music or play your favourite sport to recharge your brain. Forcing yourself to keep on studying will do more harm than good.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

You have definitely heard this line, there is a reason this old adage is so oft repeated. The more you practice, the more chance you have of successfully passing the exam.Take as many mock tests as possible. They help you to manage your time and also allow you to find out your weaker areas so you can focus on them. Keep yourself up to date on current affairs for the general knowledge test. Develop a habit of reading newspapers and magazines daily to stay up to date with the goings-on in the world.

If you follow these tips, work smart and keep up your morale, our big, burly bouncer will have no choice but to look disappointed and let you pass through the entrance to your chosen sector in triumph.


There are plenty of mistakes that students make during their preparation, but here we would like to point out the 10 important ones. This blog will act both as your guide as well as it will give you a sense of understanding of what you must not do. Some mistakes you may be already aware of but this article will tell you about some habits that you have unknowingly developed and which may act as a hindrance in your preparation.

To sum up, the diagram below shows the mistakes which have been later explained in detail.

Common Mistakes During ESE Preparation

1. Following the toppers blindly:

‘Every Man’s story of success is different’. During the exam we all tend to read articles and blog, watch videos about toppers and the strategy they adopted to score high in the exam. These not only motivate us but also act as a guiding light because we tend to apply those strategies in our preparation too. While trying similar approach during your preparation is not a bad idea, using the same strategy and planning can land you in trouble. We must remember that no two people on the earth are same therefore, their habits, their mental capacity and even their learning approach cannot be same. Therefore, you must not blindly follow any topper but instead try adopting good things from their preparation and make a strategy of your own.

2. Unaware of the syllabus:

If you have started your preparation in full swing now but haven’t looked at the syllabus even once then you need to take a pause. Please visit the UPSC website and look at the syllabus of the ESE exam. You can also check the ESE or Engineering Services Examination syllabus. This isn’t a customary thing to do before an exam but a vital part of preparation for the ESE exam. You must keep your exam syllabus handy at every time of the day so that you do not waste time reading the topics which are out of syllabus and with respect to any subject you only read what is in the syllabus.

3. Jack of all trades, perfect in none:

We as students have a habit of collecting books, and during the ESE preparation though reading books is not a bad habit or approach, but reading 10 books without knowing about the concepts within is a mere wastage of time and effort. So make sure you read one book carefully, make notes of it and then switch to the next one and follow the same pattern henceforth.

4. Choosing the wrong Institute:

If you are preparing on your own, please skip this point but if you are enrolled or planning to join a coaching institute this point is especially for you. Before joining any course in a coaching institute, make sure you read the course manual, visit the institute (if possible) and take review from the students (which is easily available today on the internet on websites like Quora, reviews on the respective coaching institutes’ portal etc.). You must ensure that the institute is fulfilling your needs and is not just a mere wastage of time and money. You must also look for scholarship programmes of the institute so that the coaching fee is not very heavy on your pocket. So choose wisely and study timely. You can visit us and know more about our coaching.

5. Not focusing on GS paper:

Have a closer look at the pattern of the exam. Paper I of the preliminary exam is General Studies (GS) and Engineering Aptitude of 200 marks and with the past trend in mind, to clear the preliminary exam you must score at least 50% in each paper. Therefore, with a logical mind, we draw the conclusion that GS is an integral part of the syllabus and it is necessary that you pay it its due regard. GS though may look difficult to some students but most of the times it becomes the deciding factor during the prelims examination.

6. Improper management of time:

Time is precious during this preparation, so take utmost regard of your time and manage it well. As mentioned earlier, go through the syllabus and make sure that your preparation is in line with it. Also give special attention to the core subjects and main topics depending on previous year papers and do not waste much time studying and revising the unimportant and insignificant topics as it would only make your task tedious and ineffective.

7. Lack of practice and revision :

Practice makes a man perfect’ so utmost care must be taken to revise what you have read from time to time and not leave your books and notes lying around the shelf after just one read. Only reading any concept once will never be embedded in your brain because your brain has to realize that it is important which is only possible if you keep revising it frequently. You must from time to time revise it, for which it is extremely necessary that you make notes as it will reduce your task of revision and inspire you to revise it every now and then. Also along with revision, practice previous year questions and if possible join some test series as it will help you get  real time analyses and judgment of your strategy and your preparation as you will compete with your other contenders  and know how much more hard work and in which direction and for which subject  is required. We can help you in practicing by providing you best in market test series.

8. Fantasy world:

Well most of you will relate to this at a very personal level. Right from our engineering days we have heard of the ESE examination and the perks that are a part and parcel of clearing the exam, a bungalow, house help, government vehicle, power, prestige, respect and this mind palace keeps on increasing. All these things every now and then take us to an imaginary land where we think of how happy our parents will be, how happy we will be and the dream goes on and on, and before you know you have wasted 1 hour of your study time imagining something, which doesn’t even exist yet. So, you for sure cannot stop dreaming about this very fantasy world as it is what inspires you to work harder for this exam, but it would really help if you can cut down on the times and the number of hours you spend in this delusion. If you only look at the goal, without taking care of the steps needed to reach their, you may falter in your journey.

9. Procrastinating:

The greatest amount of wasted time is the time taken to get started’. So instead of putting down things and your preparation till tomorrow, start with small steps today, right at this moment. If you are unaware of where to start with, go through the syllabus as that will inspire you and instill confidence in you that you can easily ace the exam. During the preparation time make sure to be punctual with your classes, studying hours, test series, food and most of all the revision part. Do not leave things for tomorrow, as that may never come.

10. Friends and Health:

The ESE examination is considered one of the toughest examinations of India and thus requires proper concentration and sincere effort for which, it is also important that you take special care of what you do during your free time. You must have friends and companion who inspire you and help you in your preparation. Friends with whom you can discuss and analyze concepts and theories so that they are embedded in your memory forever. Along with your friends and companion, you must also take care of your health. Eating street food, oily food and skipping proper meals are some common mistakes that many students make, though in the short run it may buy you some time to study but in the long run it will kill your time by making you weak and sick. So be careful to eat healthy, exercise (maybe just for 15 mins a day) and drink lots of water.