UPSC IES CIVIL ENGINEERING- About Indian Engineering Service- Previous year question collection & Study materials

IES - Indian Engineering Services Exam is conducted by the UPSC, India for the recruitment to the four categories of engineering services Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics & telecommunication Engineering.

IES 2012 Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates applying for Engineering Services Exam should have an engineering degree from a recognized institute or be in their final year. Also candidates with MSc. Degree or equivalent in Wireless Communications, Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engineering will be eligible for certain posts only. A candidate should be more than 21 years and less than 30 years of age as on 1st August, 2011. There are relaxations in age limit for various reserved categories. A candidate should be medically and physically fit according to the specified requirements. The candidates have to be a citizen of India and that he or she should be mentally as well as physically sound during the recruitment process. Observation of any time of trauma related o body or brain will directly result in terminating of the recruitment call.

IES 2012 Important Dates / Notification:-


UPSC Indian Engineering Service Examination – IES 2011 Exam Date: 15th June, 2012.

Please choose the Examination you want to apply for and click on the Online Form
Examination CodeExaminationYearNotice NumberNotice DateClosing DatePart-I RegistrationPart-II Registration
ENGGEngineering Services Examination201206/2012-ENGG10-03-201209-04-2012Click HereClick Here

detailed notification visit

The selection through Engineering Services Examination is through two stages: Written Tests & Personality Test. Only the candidates who qualify the written tests are called for personality test. The written tests are of 1000 marks while personality test is of 200 marks.

Selections are made for the following services and posts:

(i) Indian Railway Service of Engineers.

(ii) Indian Railway Stores Service (Civil Engineering Posts).

(iii) Central Engineering Service.

(iv) Indian Defense Service of Engineers (Civil Engineering Posts).

(v) Central Water Engineering (Gr. ‘A’) Service (Civil Engineering Posts).

(vi) Central Engineering Service (Roads) Group-A (Civil Engineering posts).

(vii) Assistant Executive Engineer (Civil) in the Border Roads Engineering Service, (Gr. ‘A’)

(viii) Assistant Executive Engineer (QS&C) in Military Engineering Service, Gr.’A’.


1. Structure of exam: It contains 5 papers (3 objective papers of 2 hours duration each + 2 descriptive papers of 3 hours duration each), out of which one objective paper with General Studies, 2more objective papers with Engineering and 2 descriptive papers with Engineering.

a. First day: General Studies + General English complete objective paper, for 200 marks

b. Second day: Paper I for 200 marks and Paper II for 200 marks of Objective type technical.

c. Third day: Paper I for 200 marks and Paper II for 200 marks of Descriptive type.

d. Personal Interview round contains another 200 marks.

e. So, total will be for 1000 marks for written and 200 marks for Personal Interview.

2. Frequently Asked Questions:

a. Is there any constraint on No. of attempts?: There is no constraint on Number of attempts. You can write any number of times if you are in the age limit specified by UPSC. Right now it’s: 30 years for General Merit candidates, 33 years for OBC, and 35 years for SC/ST and other relaxations are also there. Visit for complete details.

b. Is preparation for GATE is enough?: In one way YES. Around 60% of IES syllabus will be GATE syllabus. So, we need to prepare extra subjects. Difference between GATE and IES is, in GATE we need to have in-depth analysis at least for important subjects. If you prepare only those subjects you may get 95 to 98 percentile. But here in IES preparation, we need to prepare all the subjects at least for Objective papers. We may not have to go that much in-depth.

i. Few subjects may be there in IES syllabus only. Those subjects need to be studied.

ii. We need to prepare for descriptive also as this part is not there in GATE.

c. When will we get results?:

i. Notification around January of every year

ii. Written exam will be in the month of June every year

iii. Written results will be in the month of January

iv. Interview conduction at UPSC will be in the month of March

v. Final selection of candidates will be in the month of May/June

vi. Medical fitness test will be in the month of September

vii. Training will start from November/December. Of course this depends on Department of allocation.

d. How many hours of preparation is needed daily?: Frankly this depend on individual. If you are strong in basics, it may not take much time to recap all the subjects. Daily 2 hours 6months before the exam, 5 hours before 3 months and 8 to 9 hours before one month is hopefully sufficient.

e. How many marks should we score to get selected?:

i. Around 50% of marks are more than enough independent of department. For written if you can score 450 to 500 marks you can expect interview call, of course selection also. If you can score more than 500, you will have a better edge.

ii. Here one important thing is, you have to score maximum marks in Objective only. If you can score 120 to 140 marks in objective papers, stress will be less on Descriptive papers.

iii. If you get correct answer that to with proper explanation, you can expect 70% of allotted marks for that question.

f. To work for Indian Railways, how much rank I should get?: Upto 20th rank for General Merit candidates can expect from Indian Railways. This is true for TCE and EEE officers only. For Civil this limit will be high.

g. Do they have separate cutoff for separate papers?: Many say cutoff is there only for General Studies paper not to others. This depend on selection team of UPSC. When I wrote the exam, there should not have any cutoff even for General Studies, as I did not write well.

h. Am presently studying B.Tech/B.E., in which way should I prepare for ES?: If you are in final year/pre final year now, you can start preparing for ES exam. Otherwise, my opinion is you better concentrate on building of basics. Normally 2nd year and 3rd syllabus of your university will be UPSC syllabus. So, concentrate well on those subjects. That’s enough.

i. Can I work in my home state if I get selection?: Officially NO. If you take Railways, it have its departments spread all over India. They can place you anywhere in India. If you take Water Commission, you may have to work from Delhi only. But chances are there if you opt for Railways.

j. Will they give salary immediately after joining or after completion?: YES. They start pay you even in the training period also.

k. Is it facilities like car, bunglow will be given as soon as one completes the training and join the service?: It depends on the service. Quarters ll be provided in any service, and remaining like Car and all will be provided if work necessitates. Railways and CPWD is known for good fecilities.

l. Do we have group discussions in Personal Interview?: NO

m. Can I write IES in computer science?: NO. You have select one group from Telecommunications/Electrical/Mechanical/Civil.

n. How many number of seats for each branch?: It varies time to time. This year they notified 434 posts for all branches. Out of which around 60 can be expected for each branch for TCE/EEE. For Mechanical and Civil engineering Streams posts will be more.

o. What is the order of precedence for the posts applicants prefer?: First Railways. After that, CPWD,MES,NHAI,CWC,BRO etc., Facilities are better in Railways and MES. But work wise hectic and more responsible jobs. Its a 24 hrs job in Railways. Even taking of leave in some places also would be difficult. In the sense, more responsible and powerful post.

p. What are the physical standards we need to meet?: Eye power should be within + or -4, and there should not be color blindness for Railways. Color blinded people may be allotted for Stores.

3. What are the departments, we can work as IES officers: You can visit UPSC website for details.

4. Scope of IES for Girls?: Scope for girls is fine. All services may not fit for girls. Good services for girls, CWC, P&T(Telecom)etc.,

5. About Interview:

1. The interview panel generally keeps you comfortable and more liberal. They expect you to be strong in your present area. You be strong in basic concepts, Current affairs like Terrorism, Recession/what is HOT at present, About railways.

2. First they start with few HR questions like tell me about yourself/current hot topics and after that, they start technical part (Mostly of Basics).

3. Interview panel contains 5 members (4+1) 4 tech persons and 1 Panel Head. Continue your explanation till you ask you to stop. Answer Boldly. Maintain good Communication. They may give some white sheets and may ask you to write/draw/explain something.

4. All over Interview will be around 85% technical and 15% non technical.

6. For presently working PSU guys who are targeting IES?: NOC is required if you are working in a Public Sector companies. I don’t think NOC is required for guys working with Pvt., sector. Bond transfer is not possible with UPSC. You have to clear NOC from your present working company and then join afresh in IES.

7. Pay of IES officer?: 15600 (Basic)+5400(Grade)+DA+HRA+others… Gross would be around 36,000Rs per month.

8. About Designation and Growth?: First designation would be Assistant Director/AEE or equivalent. Foremost promotion will be based on rank you get in IE exam. After that promotions will depend on Seniority and other factors like confidential reports. Growth will be faster in some departments like Railways and slower in others like CWC.

9. Already I am working in PSUs/Govt sector. Is it a good idea of writing ES exam?: IES is more of Management of technical matters. If you like only technical you can stay with present job only. If you wanna enjoy some Power/Management etc., you can try for IES.

10. About Physical Tests?: Very normal tests they conduct. Its like Eye/Blood/Urine/Inhale, Exhale. For Railways Eye power should be with in +/- 4.

11. I got GATE rank. Should I pursue M.Tech or should I continue my preparation for IES?: Pursue your M.Tech/M.E., then try for IES. You will have much time, good books, lecturers to prepare. It will be useful for Interview also.

12. I got less percentage in B.Tech. Can I try for IES?: YES. All exam need is sincere efforts. We got one guy(B.Lakshmi Narayana Rank: 9) got selection with just around 55%. If you are determined, you can get it.

13. If I donot get selection, will all of my efforts go in vain?: NO. All most 90% of Public Sector Units are following ES exam pattern to recruit their engineers. If you prepare for IES, you can crack most of the PSUs/Govt., sector jobs. Most of PSUs give questions from old question papers of ES exam.

14. What is the duration of Training period after selection?:This depends on allocated Department.

Some preparation tips:

1. Old Question Papers: Very good source to know about the exam. Normally there will not be any considerable twists/difficulty compared to old question papers. 30 to 35% of the questions will be repetitive(At least same models) even. You will get an idea about important subjects/topics. For objective papers try to study everything in the syllabus and for descriptive see old question papers and decide important subjects/topics. Ultimately we require around 500 marks not 1000 out of 1000. So, be practical and decide. Especially for General Studies and General English paper, old question papers are must. See question papers from 2002 onwards. For General Studies part, see conventional part (Geography,History,Polity) only from old question papers.

2. About postal course: We strongly donot recommend postal course for Engg Services Exam. Class room training is a good idea to crack IES. Even without coaching also one can get. Basics are very important for this exam, and I donot think any postal course fit completely for this. Rather than going for Postal course, it would be better if one can analyze old question papers and study from standard books.

3. About Class room course: Right now you need not join for class room training, if you are targeting in 2010. They may not be able to complete syllabus in time, and for your preparation also time will be less. YES, if you are targeting for IES 2011, you can join in one of the good coaching centers. Then will complete the syllabus. Time will be there for you to practice. Many tests you can write. You can compare with others. You can get good funda. Ultimately, when you write the Engg Services exam, you should feel as if its a practice paper. You should do regular practice like that.

IES Syllabus 2012 Civil Engineering:-

Civil Engineering Paper 1:-


Timber : Different types and species of structural timber, density-moisture relationship, strength in different directions, defects, influence of defects on permissible stress, preservation, dry and wet rots, codal provisions for design, Plywood.

Bricks : Types, Indian Standard classification, absorption, saturation factor, strength in masonry, influence of morter strength on masonry strength.

Cement : Compounds of, different types, setting times, strength.

Cement Mortar : Ingredients, proportions, water demand, mortars for plastering and masonry.

Concrete : Importance of W/C Ratio, Strength, ingredients including admixtures, workability, testing for strength, elasticity, non-destructive testing, mix design methods.


Elastic constants, stress, plane stress, Mohr’s circle of stress, strains, plane strain, Mohr’s circle of strain, combined stress; Elastic theories of failure; Simple bending, shear; Torsion of circular and rectangular sections and simple members.


Analysis of determinate structures - different methods including graphical methods.

Analysis of indeterminate skeletal frames - moment distribution, slope-deflection, stiffness and force methods, energy methods, Muller-Breslau principle and application.

Plastic analysis of indeterminate beams and simple frames - shape factors.


Principles of working stress method. Design of connections, simple members, Built-up sections and frames, Design of Industrial roofs. Principles of ultimate load design. Design of simple members and frames.

Limit state design for bending, shear, axial compression and combined forces. Codal provisions for slabs, beams, walls and footings. Working stress method of design of R.C. members.

Principles of prestressed concrete design, materials, methods of prestressing, losses. Design of simple members and determinate structures. Introductions to prestressing of indeterminate structures.

Design of brick masonry as per I.S. Codes.


Concreting Equipment:
Weight Batcher, Mixer, vibrator, batching plant, concrete pump.
Cranes, hoists, lifting equipment.

Earthwork Equipment :
Power shovel, hoe, dozer, dumper, trailers and tractor, rollers, sheep foot rollers, pumps.

Construction, Planning and Management :
Bar chart, linked bar chart, work-break down structures, Activity - on - arrow diagrams. Critical path, probabilistic activity durations; Event-based networks.

PERT network: Time-cost study, crashing; Resource allocation.

Civil Engineering Paper 2:-


Fluid Properties, Pressure, Thrust, Buoyancy; Flow Kinematics; Integration of flow equations; Flow measurement; Relative motion; Moment of momentum; Viscosity, Boundary layer and Control, Drag, Lift; dimensional Analysis, Modelling;

Cavitation; Flow oscillations; Momentum and Energy principles in Open channel flow, Flow controls, Hydraulic jump, Flow sections and properties; Normal flow, Gradually varied flow; Surges; Flow development and losses in pipe flows, Measurements; Siphons; Surges and Water hammer; Delivery of Power Pipe networks.

Centrifugal pumps, types, performance parameters, scaling, pumps in parallel; Reciprocating pumps, air vessels, performance parameters; Hydraulic ram; Hydraulic turbines, types, performance parameters, controls, choice; Power house, classification and layout, storage, pondage, control of supply.

2. (a) HYDROLOGY :
Hydrological cycle, precipitation and related data analyses, PMP, unit and synthetic hydrographs; Evaporation and transpiration; Floods and their management, PMF; Streams and their gauging; River morphology; Routing of floods; Capacity of Reservoirs.

Water resources of the globe: Multipurpose uses of Water: Soil-Plant-Water relationships, irrigation systems, water demand assessment; Storages and their yields, ground water yield and well hydraulics; Waterlogging, drainage design; Irrigation revenue; Design of rigid boundary canals, Lacey’s and Tractive force concepts in canal design, lining of canals; Sediment transport in canals; Non-Overflow and overflow sections of gravity dams and their design, Energy dissipators and tailwater rating; Design of headworks, distribution works, falls, cross-drainage works, outlets; River training.


Sources of supply, yields, design of intakes and conductors; Estimation of demand; Water quality standards; Control of Water-borne diseases; Primary and secondary treatment, detailing and maintenance of treatment units; Conveyance and distribution systems of treated water, leakages and control; Rural water supply; Institutional and industrial water supply.

Urban rain water disposal; Systems of sewage collection and disposal; Design of sewers and sewerage systems; pumping; Characteristics of sewage and its treatment, Disposal of products of sewage treatment, streamflow rejuvenation Institutional and industrial sewage management; Plumbing Systems; Rural and semi-urban sanitation.

Sources, classification, collection and disposal; Design and Management of landfills.

Sources and effects of air pollution, monitoring of air pollution; Noise pollution and standards; Ecological chain and balance, Environmental assessment.

Properties of soils, classification and interrelationship; Compaction behaviour, methods of compaction and their choice; Permeability and seepage, flow nets, Inverted filters; Compressibility and consolidation; Shearing resistance, stresses and failure; soil testing in laboratory and in-situ; Stress path and applications; Earth pressure theories, stress distribution in soil; soil exploration, samplers, load tests, penetration tests.

Types of foundations, Selection criteria, bearing capacity, settlement, laboratory and field tests; Types of piles and their design and layout, Foundations on expansive soils, swelling and its prevention, foundation on swelling soils.

5. (a) SURVEYING :
Classification of surveys, scales, accuracy; Measurement of distances - direct and indirect methods; optical and electronic devices; Measurement of directions, prismatic compass, local attraction; Theodolites - types; Measurement of elevations - Spirit and trigonometric levelling; Relief representation; Contours; Digital elevation modelling concept; Establishment of control by triangulations and traversing - measurements and adjustment of observations, computation of coordinates; Field astronomy, Concept of global positioning system; Map preparation by plane tabling and by photogrammetry; Remote sensing concepts, map substitutes.

Planning of highway systems, alignment and geometric design, horizontal and vertical curves, grade separation; Materials and construction methods for different surfaces and maintenance: Principles of pavement design; Drainage.

Traffic surveys, Intersections, signalling: Mass transit systems, accessibility, networking.
Tunnelling, alignment, methods of construction, disposal of muck, drainage, lighting and ventilation, traffic control, emergency management.

Planning of railway systems, terminology and designs, relating to gauge, track, controls, transits, rolling stock, tractive power and track modernisation; Maintenance; Appurtenant works; Containerisation.
Harbours - layouts, shipping lanes, anchoring, location identification; Littoral transport with erosion and deposition; sounding methods; Dry and Wet docks, components and operational Tidal data and analyses.
Airports - layout and orientation; Runway and taxiway design and drainage management; Zoning laws; Visual aids and air traffic control; Helipads, hangers, service equipment.

IES Preparation Tips & Tricks:-

  • Selection of Books:- It is advisable not to go through a lot of books. Instead go through one quality book on each topic, which clarifies your basic concept.Selective books are necessary for selected topics.
  • Practice:- All you have to do is practice that’s all for IES. You have to do same example problems thrice. You have to read same topic in the SAME book thrice. You are done. You can expect IES. Frankly IES don’t need any talent, but perseverance and consistency in preparation.
  • Practice full-length mock test, comprising of all the sections, within the fixed time period.
  • Get acquainted with the latest examination pattern and syllabus of the exam.
  • Divide your time efficiently. Make sure that sufficient time is dedicated to prepare each paper.
  • Go through the previous years’ question papers. Compare them and see what types of questions are repeated every year.
  • Read Newspaper and articles, watch TV news especially the morning bulletin, quiz contests, etc, surf websites in order to prepare for General Ability Test section, and pay attention to grammar, in order to minimize mistakes.
  • General studies preparation is not much difficult task to do. We need to prepare last 10 years question papers for conventional side (Polity, Geography, History etc.,). Get an idea. Take year book and prepare least those mentioned topics from that. For current affairs, take Civil Services Chronicle from January to April. Prepare NCERT 9thstandard and 10 standard Geography books.

IES Preparation Books:-
  • Strength of Materials: Gere & Temoshenko, B C Punamia
  • Structural Analysis: Negi, S Ramamurtham, C K Vang
  • Concrete Structures: Punamia & Jain, H J Shah
  • Steel Structures: Duggal
  • Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering: Ranjan & Rao, Venkat Ramaiha, S K Garg
  • Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics: Modi & Seth, R K Bansal, Subramanyam
  • Hydrology: Subramanyam
  • Irrigation: S K Garg
  • Highway Engineering: Khanna & Jasto, Kadiyali

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      4. Thanks for sharing useful post related to IES. Nice post. I read your post. I really appreciate for that.

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      5. this article is awesome.. very deep analysis and gives a clear cut knowledge about IES

      6. Sir
        I am working in a maharatna psu for the past 5 years. All of a sudden I have developed an interest in preparing for ies. Please suggest if I should start with my preparation or carry on with the current job. If I take exam in 2014 and with God's grace I get through, by the time I join ies I will have lost 7 years of seniority. Kindly help.

      7. Kindly suggest a best coaching centre for IES in chennai.Thanks in advance.

      8. Hello Sir
        Please update the page and provide me the latest info about the UPSC ESE 2014
        Please sir Update The Page & provide The latest info for your Viewers ,.......

      9. Hello guys,
        I want to crack IES.. and i'm planning to prepare on my own . do you think it's feasible or should i take coaching ?
        please suggest guys.

      10. I have a power more than -4 (4.5) .Can I still opt for railways. If I go for lasik .Will that be considered.

      11. i have injured my knee and undergone a surgery...can i apply for IES...i mean can i get thorough physical exam ??
        plz reply..thx in advance :)

      12. sir i want detailed schedule for civil engineers govt exam dates, and job oriented sites

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