The Indian Engineering Services (IES) Examination also known as Engineering Services Examination (ESE) is held by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year to recruit candidates to various posts in the Indian Engineering Services.

Each year nearly 2 lakh candidates apply for the examination. The Engineering Services Examination (ESE) is a combined three-stage exam comprising five tests.

The Indian Engineering Services is the most coveted career for the engineering graduates in India.
The Engineering Services Examination is considered as the toughest exam in India and toughest exam among other exams in the world as it has a selection ratio of 0.002.

Engineering Services Examination Scheme/Exam Pattern

Mode of Examination Offline – Written
Number of Stages 3 Stages
Stage I –Prelims
Stage II – Mains
Stage III – Personality Test
Number of Papers 4
Language of Examination English
Question Type Question Type Prelims –MCQ
Mains–Descriptive/Convention Type


Stage I Papers Engineering Services Preliminary Examination Examination Type Duration Marks
Paper-I General Studies and Engineering
Aptitude Paper
Objective Type 2 Hours 200
Paper-II Engineering Discipline – (Civil Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering) 3 Hours 300
Total 5 Hours 500


  • Minimum Qualifying Marks for each Paper should be at the discretion of the Commission.
  • Candidates who clear the stage I of ESE qualify for the Stage II of the ESE.
  • It is also important to note that candidates are not permitted to use calculators for answering objective type papers (Test booklets). They should not therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.
  • The Marks obtained in Preliminary/Stage-I Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main/Stage-II Examination will be counted for determining their final order of merit.


Stage II Papers Engineering Services Main Examination Examination Type Duration Marks
Paper-I Engineering Discipline-specific Paper-I (Civil Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering) Conventional Descriptive Type 3 Hours 300
Paper-II Engineering Discipline-specific Paper-II (Civil Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering) 3 Hours 300
Total   3 Hours 600


  • Candidates must write the papers in their own hand and in no circumstances a scribe to write the answers for them will not be allowed. But, blind candidates and candidates with Locomotor Disability and Cerebral Palsy with minimum of 40% impairment where writing is affected to an extent of slowing down the performance of function for such candidates a scribe will be allowed to write Engineering Services Examination and also a compensatory time of 20 minutes per hour is permitted for such candidates.
  • The minimum qualifying marks in any or all the papers of the examination will be fixed at the discretion of the commission.
  • Marks will not be awarded for mere superficial knowledge.
  • Up to 5% of the maximum marks for the written papers will be deducted for illegible handwriting.
  • Marks will be awarded for methodical, effective, and exact presentation of answers along with frugality of words.
  • Candidates will be provided standard tables/charts in SI units in the Examination hall for reference purpose, if the question asked requires the use of SI units.
  • Battery operated pocket calculators are allowed for conventional descriptive type papers only. Lending or exchanging or calculators in the examination hall is not allowed.
  • Candidates are permitted to bring and use battery operated pocket calculators for conventional (essay) type papers only. Loaning or inter-changing of calculators in the Examination Hall is not permitted. 8. Candidates should use only International form of Indian numerals (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc.) while answering question papers


Stage Marks
Stage I 500
Stage II 600
Stage I + Stage II 1100

Candidate who clear both Stage I and Stage II qualify for the Stage III or the final stage of the Engineering Services Examination (ESE)


Stage III Nature of Examination Examination Type Duration Marks
Engineering Services Personality Test/Interview Examination Personality Assessment Discussion NA 200

Only those Candidates qualifying all the three stages are included in the Final Merit List of Engineering Services Exam (ESE). Thus the marks secured by the candidates in the Stage-I (Objective type papers) of the Engineering Services Examination should be added to the marks secured in the Stage-II (Conventional type papers) of the Examination and Stage-III (Personality Test) and accordingly, such marks secured by the candidates in Stage-I should also be counted for merit.


Sl. No. Event Date/Month
1. Issue of Notification & application form September
2. Last date to fill the application form October
3. Date of the IES/ESE Prelims Exam January
4. Date of the IES/ESE Mains Exam May
5. Announcement of IES/ESE Mains Result August
6. Interviews/ Personality Test November