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UPSC has sectioned IES exam into three stages:

IES prelims the first stage and IES mains is the next stage. Also, both IES prelims and mains are written examination having dedicated ESE syllabus. However, the final stage is IES interview with no prescribed IES syllabus.

STAGE 1 - ESE prelims:

IES prelims exam is a qualifying paper, it is the screening stage for selecting candidates to IES mains.
UPSC prelims has two papers IES general studies carrying 200 marks and specific engineering subject with 300 marks. Thus, making a total of 500 marks for the UPSC prelims stage. The number of qualifying candidates for ESE mains will be six to seven times more the number of IES vacancies available.
The engineering service prelims check the aptitude and subjective knowledge of the candidate.

STAGE 2 - ESE prelims:

IES mains has two papers, which are both specific to the engineering discipline. UPSC IES mains exam is a conventional/ descriptive type exam with each paper carrying 300 marks.
Usually, in IES mains the answers presented in a direct and easy way with simple English, tables, diagram or even with flow charts will fetch more marks.
The commission will call the selected candidates of IES mains to the IES interview procedure.

STAGE 3 - ESE prelims:

UPSC will issue E-summons for the selected candidates from IES mains with scheduled ESE interview date and time. Moreover, UPSC will not entertain any changes to the Interview schedules.
The UPSC interview will carry 200 marks. Also, the number of candidates called for the IES interview will be twice the IES vacancies available.
A board of prestigious judges who are subject experts or experienced offices or psychological experts will conduct the IES personality test.
The engineering service interview process checks the candidate’s qualities like leadership, alertness, handling stress, depth of interest etc.,
UPSC will publish the IES final rank list and the IES selection list at the UPSC official website

Stages Marks
Stage 1: IES Prelims
Paper 1-IES General Studies and engineeringaptitude 200
Paper 2- Specific Engineering Subject 200
Stage 2: IES Prelims
Paper 1- Specific Engineering Subject 300
Paper 2- Specific Engineering Subject 300
Stage 3: IES Interview- 200
Total (Mains + Interview) 800

The more marks you score above this IES cutoff, better will be your IES ranking. So, better chances you have in getting your preferred IES service.
Also, the candidate’s preference mentioned in DAF plays an equivalent role in IES service allocation.
Filling DAF for IES interview is really important. So, carefully fill DAF, especially about IES service preference. But, which is the best service in IES to opt?

The position or the services at which you will serve in IES are totally independent. All the positions and services are equally important. Then how to choose the IES service preference? Even though Railways service and Defense services are most preferred. It is best to choose a service preference based on your interest. Here is the list of IES services according to engineering discipline.

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