Commonly known as IES exams or ESE exams, UPSC Engineering services are a gateway to serve the nation as an engineer with equivalent status of IAS and IPS officers. The UPSC Civil Services exam are all set on 4 Oct and many who graduate as an engineer are not aware of UPSC Engineering Services.

UPSC Bhavan

Let us look into the details of preparation for UPSC Engineering Services, its exam pattern, important dates and various Government sectors aspirants may choose to work in.

Exam Pattern:

UPSC Engineering Services are best career options for engineering discipline of Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunication. Annually the ESE exams recruit best cadre of engineers in the following categories only

  • Category I- Civil Engineering
  • Category II- Mechanical Engineering
  • Category III- Electrical Engineering
  • Category IV- Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering.

After GATE exam annually, ESE is the most favored choice of exam for technical preparing students which has exponentially increased the quality of students appearing for the exam.


Pre-exam is a completely objective based paper with the following distribution. It is a one-day exam, with a candidate scoring more than 60 per cent of the total marks have good chances of qualifying the mains exam.

PapersSubjectsMax MarksTime
Paper IGeneral Studies and Engineering Aptitude200 Marks2 hours
Paper IIEngineering Discipline300 Marks3 hours
Total500 Marks5 hours
Pre Exam Pattern

Mains Exam:

Mains exam is totally theory based answer writing, instead of objective as in pre-exam.

PapersSubjectsMax MarksTime
Paper IDiscipline Paper I300 Marks3 hours
Paper IIDiscipline Paper II300 Marks3 hours
Total600 Marks6 hours
Mains Exam Pattern

Based on the total marks of Pre and Mains exams, candidates qualifying both the exams are called for interview which is generally 1:3 ratio.

Important Dates:

Engineering Services 2020 Prelims exam was conducted in January 2020, and the mains exam was all set for June 2020. Although the COVID 19 Pandemic has shifted the mains date. As per the updated schedule, the mains exam is all set for 18 October 2020 in next month.

IES 2020 Exam:

Admit cards are released for the exam and are available on the official site of UPSC.

Pre Exam5 Jan 2020
Mains Exam18 Oct 2020
Mains resultsYet To released
IES 2020 Dates

IES 2021 Exam:

The Covid 19 has significantly shifted the exam dates of ESE 2021, but the commission has tried to ensure timely conduct of exams for 2021 ESE exam

IES 2021 Notification2021 April 7
Application Starts2021 April 7
Application Closes2021 April 27
Pre Exam Admit Card2021 June 2nd Week
Pre Exam2021 July 18
Pre Exam Results2021 September
Main Exam2021 Oct 10
Final Result2021 December
IES 2021 Dates

Sectors to work in:

Let me take you through an overview of multiple Govt Sectors where one can work after UPSC ESE

  • Indian Railway Service of Engineers
  • Indian Defense Service of Engineers
  • Indian Ordnance Factories
  • Central Power Engineering Services
  • Indian Naval Armament Services
  • Central Electrical and Mechanical Services
  • Indian Inspection Services
  • Indian Telecommunication Services

This all makes ESE a major career option for many engineers out there.


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