IES 2020 Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme, Syllabus and Model Papers

    Lokesh Gupta Lokesh Gupta
    Exam Prep Master

    IES/ESE Exam Pattern 2020 has been released by Union Public Service Commission. IES recruitment exam will be conducted through three stages – Preliminary, Main exam and Personal Interview round. IES 2020 Prelims and Main exam will be held on January 5 and June 28, 2020.

    • Indian Engineering Service examination is conducted inoffline mode.
    • ESE Preliminary Exam has 2 objective papers whereas Main exam has 2 conventional papers.
    • IES Prelims Paper 1 is common for every student while Paper 2 is candidate’s opted engineering discipline amongst Civil/ Mechanical/ Electrical and Electronics and Telecommunication engineering. Read IES Syllabus 
    • IES Main exam is completely based on candidate’s opted engineering discipline.
    • The medium of both the examination is English only.
    • For every wrong answer, one-third marks will be deducted in prelims IES 2020 Prelims exam.

    Highlights of IES Exam Pattern 2020

    The following infograph depicts the highlights about IES Exam Pattern:


    Download Free IES Question Papers Here

    IES/ ESE Exam Pattern in Detail

    There are three stages in IES recruitment exam:

    • Stage 1: It is also known as IES Preliminary exam. It has two objective papers of total 500 marks. Candidates have to clear overall cutoff as well as cutoff of both the papers separately in order to qualify the exam.
    • Stage 2: It is also referred to as IES Main Exam. Only candidates qualifying in prelims will be eligible to appear in this stage. It has two descriptive papers of 300 marks each. 
    • Stage 3: Personal Interview or Personality Test is the final stage of IES 2020 exam. It is of 200 marks. 

    Candidate must obtain more marks than specified IES Cutoff in each exam to qualify for the next stage. Candidates’ score in Preliminary exam, main exam and interview round will together determine IES Final Merit List. IES Exam Pattern for each stage along with model question papers, marking scheme, duration and syllabus is presented below:

    IES Exam Pattern for Prelims (Stage 1)

    • IES Prelims exam will be conducted in offline mode i.e. it is a pen and paper based test.
    • There will be two papers in prelims exam. Both the papers will have multiple choice questions.
    • Candidates are provided OMR sheets for both the papers, wherein the correct answer needs to be colored. 
    • For each wrong answer, one-third mark is deducted.
    • IES Prelims Exam Pattern Scheme is tabulated below:
    PapersNumber of QuestionsDuration of ExamMaximum Marks
    Paper 1 (General Studies & Engineering Aptitude)1002 hours200
    Paper 2 (Engineering Discipline)1503 hours300
    Total250 Questions5 hours600 marks

    IES/ ESE Official Question Papers PDF (Prelims)

    IES Prelims Papers Download Links
    Paper 1General Studies & Engineering Aptitude
    Paper 2 

    Civil Engineering

    Mechanical Engineering
    Electrical Engineering
    Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
    Note: Only candidates who qualify Preliminary exam will be issued IES Admit Card for Main exam

    IES Exam Pattern for Main Exam (Stage 2)

    IES Main Exam is conducted in offline mode i.e. it is a written examination.

    • IES Stage 2 will have two papers. Both the papers will have questions from the opted Engineering discipline (Civil Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical/ Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering).
    • There will be 8 questions as option, out of which you will have to attempt 5 questions.
    • There will be no negative marking in this exam.
    • Candidates have to answer in English language only.
    • Upto 5% marks may be deducted in case of illegible handwriting.
    • Credit will be given for exact, to the point answer using economy of words.

    IES Main Exam Pattern scheme is tabulated below:

    IES Main PapersNumber of QuestionsDuration of ExamMaximum Marks

    Paper 1 (Engineering Discipline)

    5 out of 8 Optional Questions3 hours300
    Paper 2 (Engineering Discipline)5 out of 8 Optional Questions3 hours300
    Total10 Questions6 hours600 marks

    IES/ ESE Official Question Papers PDF (Main)

    IES Main Exam PapersDownload Links
    Civil EngineeringPaper 1
    Paper 2
    Mechanical EngineeringPaper 1
    Paper 2
    Electrical EngineeringPaper 1
    Paper 2
    Electronics and Telecommunication EngineeringPaper 1
    Paper 2

    IES Personal Interview (Stage 3)

    • This stage is also known as Personality Test.
    • It is the final stage in IES recruitment exam.
    • Only candidates qualifying the written exams are called for the interview round.
    • The candidates are scored out of 200 marks.
    • In IES Interview round, following skills of the candidates are assessed:
      • 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.

    Read How to crack IES Interview?

    IES/ ESE Syllabus 2020

    UPSC prescribes the syllabus for Engineering Services Examination. Syllabus for Paper 1 in Prelims exam which is common for every candidate is of graduate level and tests a candidate’s awareness about the current issues and basic engineering knowledge. The other papers are based on the engineering discipline chosen by the exam taker. Syllabus for Prelims and Main is same, the difficulty level may differ. 

    PapersTopicsIES Syllabus PDFs
    General Studies & Engineering AptitudeCurrent  issues  of  national  and  international  importance  relating  to  social,  economic  and  industrial  development  Download

    Engineering Aptitude covering Logical  reasoning and Analytical ability, Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis,  General  Principles  of  Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety, Standards and Quality practices in production,construction,maintenance and services,

    Basics of Energy and Environment: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, 

    Climate Change, Environmental impact assessment, Basics of Project Management, Basics of Material Science and Engineering,

    Information and Communication Technologies  (ICT) based  tools and 

    their applications in Engineering  such as networking, e‐ governance and technology based education, Ethics and values in Engineering profession.  

    Civil EngineeringBuilding Materials, Solid Mechanics, Structural Analysis, Design of steel structure, concrete and masonry structures, construction practice, planning and management, Flow of fluids, hydraulics machines and hydropower, Hydrology and water resources engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geo-technical and Foundation Engineering, Surveying and Geology, Transportation Engineering
    Mechanical EngineeringFluids Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Heat transfer, IC Engines, Refrigeration and Air conditioning, Turbo Machinery, Power Plant Engineering, Renewal Sources of Energy, Engineering Mechanics, Engineering Materials, Mechanisms and Machines, Design of Machine Elements, Manufacturing, Industrial and Maintenance Engineering, mechatronics and RoboticsDownload
    Electrical EngineeringEngineering Mathematics, Electrical Materials, Electric Circuits and Fields, Electrical and Electronic Measurements, Computer Fundamentals, Basic Electronics Engineering, Analog and digital Electronics, Systems and Signal Processing, Control Systems, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Power Systems, Power Electronics and DrivesDownload
    Electronics and Telecommunication EngineeringBasic Electronics Engineering, Basic Electrical Engineering, Material Science, Electronic Measurements and Instrumentation, Network Theory, Analog and Digital Circuits, Analog and digital Communication Systems, Control Systems, Computer Organization and Architecture, Electro Magnetics, Advanced Electronics topics, Advanced communication topicsDownload

    Read IES 2020 Syllabus in Detail 

    IES 2020 Exam Guidelines

    Following are important instructions to be taken into account by applicants regarding IES 2020 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 on the OMR sheet.
    • 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 2020 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.

    Read about IES 2020 Result

    IES Exam Pattern FAQs

    Ques. How many stages are there in IES recruitment exam?

    Ans.There are three stages- Preliminary exam, Main exam and Personal Interview round.

    Ques. What marking scheme is followed in IES 2020 exam?

    Ans. IES Prelims exam is of 500 marks and Main exam carries 600 marks. Candidates are awarded upto 200 marks in the interview round.

    Ques. What is sectional cutoff and it it applicable in IES exam?

    Ans. Sectional cutoff is the minimum marks as prescribed by UPSC for each section/ paper. Yes, it is applicable in IES exam.  Candidates have to clear both overall cutoff and cutoff of each paper in prelims and main exam.

    Ques. Is negative marking applicable in IES exam?

    Ans. Yes, one third marks will be deducted for each wrong answer in IES Prelims exam. However, there is no negative marking in Main exam.

     Do candidates have to follow any word limit while writing answers in Main exam?

    Ans. No, there is no word limit restrictions, however, credit is given for short, precise answers using economy of words and no mark is given for only superficial knowledge.  

    Ques. Is the final merit list based on Main exam and Interview round only?

    Ans. No, IES Final Merit List is based on candidates’ performance in all three stages that are Preliminary exam, main exam and Interview round.

    Ques. Can a candidate write the answers in Hindi?

    Ans.No, IES exam is completely held in English language, question papers will be set in English only in both prelims and main exam and candidates are supposed to write their answers in Main exam in English only.

    Ques. What Engineering disciplines can be chosen for IES 2020 exam?

    Ans.The Engineering disciplines that can be opted by the applicants are- Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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    Kanhu Charan Mohanty

    Diploma can apply ESE

    16 Nov, 2019 02:40
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Kanhu, as per academic qualification, you are eligible for this course. However, you can check other Eligibility Criteria as well in detail from here.

    16 Nov, 2019 10:53
    Roshini S

    Good day sir.Electronics and communication engineering(ECE) batch are eligible to this exam.Why I got this means, in the registration form electronics telecommunication is mentioned.

    01 Oct, 2019 20:46
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Roshni, yes, students who have done engineering in electronics and communication are eligible for this exam.

    04 Oct, 2019 14:56
    Shashak Pathak

    I'll complete my degree in Summer 2020 can i give exam in same year

    16 May, 2019 10:27
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Shashak, if candidate has cleared UPSC IES and has not received the result of the final examination will be admitted only if he/she furnishes the final mark sheet during the UPSC selection process. Thus, if you can obtain the final result before the registration process, then, you can apply otherwise, it would be advisable that you complete the degree and then appear in the exam.

    16 May, 2019 11:51

    is ESE prelim is computer based or not?

    16 Aug, 2018 00:20
    Akansha Expert

    Hi Dattu, IES 2018 was conducted on January 7, 2018 in online mode. Which is Over dated.

    16 Aug, 2018 11:09

    Kya main hindi medium me IES exam de skta Hu

    16 Jun, 2018 11:11
    Garima Bansal

    Hi Dinesh, The medium of examination is English.

    07 Aug, 2018 18:36
    Ravi verma

    Sir, I have lost my Roll no. of IES pre 2018 exam, Now i have to check my result of pre exam. can i chcek my result through my registration ID.

    05 May, 2018 00:20
    Garima Bansal

    Hi RAVI, yes The result will be available in a PDF file. You can find the roll numbers of qualified candidates in each branch

    19 Jun, 2018 19:13
    rishi rishi

    Where can i keep my mobile, wallet, and other accessories while writing exam.... Can they allow us to keep outside the exam hall? Because no guardian is going to come with me... what can i do?

    04 Jan, 2018 22:27
    Bhawna Vedwal

    Hello Rishi, Yes, Exam centers allow candidates to keep their belongings outside the exam hall.

    18 May, 2018 13:15

    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
    Ganesh Rathor

    In English. ...dear friend

    21 Feb, 2019 20:14
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Ganesh, thank you for your assistance.

    21 Feb, 2019 20:41

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