Recently UPSC has announced major changes in the syllabus & structure of Engineering Services Examination. This change will take effect from ESE 2017 onwards.

Quite obviously, It is a matter of curiosity for ESE aspirants as to how these changes will turn up for them. So, I am presenting an analysis of the announced syllabus along with the change in preparation strategy it demands.

ESE 2017

What are the changes?

  1. A 3 stage examination as compared to the previous 2 stage examination– Instead of continuous 3 days examination consisting of objective + subjective papers, it will be having separate papers in two stages possibly spaced by 2-3 months. Moreover, eligibility for stage II requires qualification in stage I. This pattern is basically similar to that of Civil Services Exam having a prelims and a mains paper after which the personality test is taken.
  2. Technical objective papers reduced from 2 to 1– A single technical objective paper will replace the current two technical objective papers. This paper will be possibly taken on the same day as of the General Aptitude paper. So, all of the engineering syllabus will be covered in a single objective paper as compared to earlier two papers.
  3. Changed structure and syllabus of the General Aptitude paper-The paper is now named as “General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Paper”. Basically, it has removed the General English and Conventional General Studies (Polity, Geography etc) from the syllabus, but it has added a lot of other topics. The newly added topics are-
    • 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
  4. Changed syllabus of technical subjects- Certain changes has been introduced to the syllabus of technical subjects too.

What will be the effects?

So, we have seen the ‘facts’ part. Lets move on to the fun part – analysis. What kind of impact can we expect from this changed syllabus? Let’s take a look at the factors one by one-

General effects and analysis

  1. Increasing the number of stages will certainly increase the pressure on candidates because the first stage is necessary to qualify for writing the second stage. Moreover, the marks obtained in this paper will be added in further stages, thereby, building a solid necessity to toil hard for all the papers.
  2. Separating the stage I from stage II will possibly give the aspirants time to work on their subjective papers based on their performance in stage I. This is a nice step since subjective preparation needs dedication and this will give the candidate freedom from the confusion whether to devote time to objective preparation or subjective preparation.
  3. This will certainly reduce the fatigue effect that takes place during continuous 3 days of examination.
  4. The inclusion of entirely new stage I paper I along with its marks inclusion towards final ranking will definitely increase the toughness of this exam.

Importance of Coachings

  1. Importance of coachings will probably increase. This is because of stage-I paper-I. Most of the topics included in this paper aren’t taught during engineering courses. Since these topics are taken from varied fields ranging from design, management to ethics, a single consolidated source of knowledge is hard to find.
  2. However, students doing self study shouldn’t get disheartened as these topics can be studied from internet based sources. Moreover, I expect some good books to crop up by the end of this year.

IAS (Civil Services) Preparation

  1. Students preparing for IAS along with IES may face difficulty managing two prelims and two mains simultaneously for these exams as compared to present scenario when IES exam gets wrapped up in the month of June giving them ample time to prepare for IAS mains.
  2. This changed pattern will be less stressful for those having engineering subjects as their optional in civil services. In fact, then it will be like targeting two fruits with a single arrow. So, I expect a rising trend for engineering optionals among those trying for IES along with IAS.
  3. Since, many topics of stage I paper I coincide with CSE syllabus, these students will find themselves at an advantageous position.

Preparation strategy

  1. If we take a look at the syllabus, we find (underlined topics are unique for that exam’s syllabus)-
    • ESE 2017 (EE)Engineering Mathematics, Materials, Circuits theory, EMMI, EFT, Basic Electronics, Computer Fundamentals, Electrical Machines, Power systems, Control Systems, Signal Systems, Analog & Digital electronics, Power electronics.
    • ESE 2016 (EE) -Materials, Circuits theory, EMMI, EFT, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Control Systems, Communication Systems, Microprocessors, Analog & Digital electronics.
    • GATE 2015 (EE) – Engineering Mathematics, Circuits theory, EMMI, EFT, Electrical Machines, Power systems, Control Systems, Signal Systems, Analog & Digital electronics, Power electronics.
  2. The major conclusion that can be made from the above analysis is that ESE syllabus is now much closer to that of GATE syllabus.ย Hence, students who will prepare nicely for GATE will reap the benefits in IES too. (Difference between GATE & IES preparation strategies – Read Here.)
  3. Reduced objective papers marks will make students toil harder for the subjective ones as subjective papers will now emerge as the king-maker.


  1. Cutoffs will fall primarily because of one reduced objective paper. Moreover, the divergence may also reduce. (Why do people fail in GATE/IES?)


So, that’s all I can think of now. If you have anything more in your mind, just drop that thought in the comments below. I will be updating the post pretty soon. Thanks for reading.

27 thoughts on “All you need to know about the new ESE pattern

  1. Sir i am student of mech. engg 2nd year i am preparing for ese(ies) exam,
    sir according to new syallbus in stage 1 first is general studies and 2nd is engineering disicipline like something so i want to know what is syallubus of second paper of stage 1st.and also something tell me about senerio of second stage.


  2. sir i am a student of civil engg 3rd yr i am preparing for ies exam i am confuse about exam date there is a gap bw stage 1 and stage 2 of 3 to 4 months


  3. Hello sir , i want to know that , do coaching necessary for ese 2017 as my plan is self study will it work plz tell me sir


  4. Sir,
    I am from Electrical Engineering discipline.
    How can I preapre for the following topics and please suggest me good books for the bellow mentioned papers:
    1)General Principles of Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety
    2)Standards and Quality practices in production, construction,
    maintenance and services
    3)Basics of Project Management
    4)Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based tools and
    their applications in Engineering such as networking, e-governance and
    technology based education.
    Thanking You
    Abhishek Bhattcaharjee


  5. Hello sir, I am nitesh .
    Sir I have a confusion about the new pattern for general studies in ESE 2017 . I unable to find any type of book which may help me for preparation of GS .
    Sir please suggest me .


  6. Sir, thanks for the analysis.
    We’ll civil engineers will be grateful if you do post the compilation of sources for paper I for topics like design, drawing, safety, etc.

    As per the well thought out analysis, won’t be the preparation for ese,gate,cse at the same time be the best.

    Sir, please reply…..


  7. Hello Sir,
    I am Niranjana. I have completed BTech in EEE. I am thinking of preparing for ESE 2017.. My problem is that I’ve studied in a college which is having a very low profile. I did attend GATE 2016 and it was really bad. What I need to know from you is that .. Is it going to work if I prepare for ESE? I scored 79% in BTech.. So is it possible to get good score or rank in ESE, if I am a normal student? Like.. I was not state topper or college topper and all.Well, I was one among the class toppers. And I’m ready to try hard. I will be really happy if you reply for my comment.


    1. Hi Niranjana,
      Do you know why UPSC takes an open examination for IES instead of going to colleges and involving in placements like other companies? Because UPSC knows that an IES officer may come from a lesser known college without being in the toppers. And believe me, I have many friends in IES who were not toppers in their colleges nor they are from IITs, NITs etc.
      As you said you are ready to try hard, so go for it and never look back. All the best ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Thank you so much sir.. First of all I never thought you will be able to reply today itself.. And thank you for those inspiring words.. I will keep italways in my mind.. And if by any chance I crack IES I will surely let you know.. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Dear Sir, there are so many sources like made easy notes, different newspapers, magazines, gk books.For persons who are preparing along with a part time job it becomes difficult yo focus on do many things… Keeping in mind the new pattern is there a single consolidated source for GS paper. Moreover, is there a need to get any coaching correspondence course for technical paper?

    Please guide us with your valuable suggestion.


    1. Hi Riya,
      I would recommend you to go for Made easy books for GS (both conventional + current affairs). Don’t go for anything else. IES doesn’t demands GS preparations on the line of IAS.

      All the best ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. Dear Sir,

    What materials, books or sites to follow for GS paper of ESE 2017? There are so many options …..made easy notes, gk books, year books, different newspprs n magazines….how to get a single consolidated source because for persons who do part time job it is a bit difficult to devote too much time…& is there a need to join any coaching correspondence course too or std books and college books will do for technical ppr. Having too much of study material lands us no where…

    Please guide us with respect to the changed exam pattern..ur valuable suggestion is highly needed


  10. Sir, Thankyou for your guidance, I have 1 doubt that if we consider engineering maths and aptitude syllabus same as that of Gate then in that English is also mention so for IES/ESE 2017 we need to prepare for General English?. Kindly clarify my query.


    1. Hi Aditya,

      I think it would be a long call to consider IES aptitude & maths syllabus on the line of GATE. Consider these two syllabus independent of each other and hence, it would be better to consider English out of the syllabus of IES 2017 for now.


  11. A new topic is included in eee syllabus, computer fundamentals. where should i study this from and what are the important topics to be considered


  12. Hi,
    Because of change in pattern for ESE-2017, will the number of candidates appearing for this year ESE-2016 increase? As this is the last year for old pattern, will upsc make the paper tough or easy?


  13. Sir as u were a cs aspirant before,u knw d pattern,d type of qns come,ethics etc.. Will the ese paper general studies be in anyway at par with cse paper?? If yess .. Do rply some good books for general studies fr ese??


    1. Hi Pratik,

      Its very unlikely that the level of these papers will match. Here the topic is only ‘Ethics and values in Engineering profession’ and the paper is objective in nature too. I think here the questions will be case study type asking you to decide on ethical grounds.


    1. Hi Praveen,

      Right now, the best bet would be to give all of your efforts toward technical papers. Occassionally, you can google about the paper I topics. As I have mentioned in the post itself, I expect some good books coming in the market by year end. Moreover, shortly I will post the compilation of sources from internet for this paper I.


      1. I am from CE branch.
        We all ESE aspirants will be more than happy if you post the best compilation for this paper I.


      2. What abt the age limit criteria fr General Category??After Upsc changed syllabus for Civil Services…thy increaeed the age limit fr gen category….No such thing in ESE…..sad….


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