How to prepare for IES with Mechanical Engineering

About me and this little effort –

Hi all, I am Deepak Jhalani and I secured AIR 16 in ESE 2014. I completed my B.Tech from MNIT Jaipur in 2012. And then I worked for one year before starting preparation for this exam in July 2013. My friend Amit Singh asked me to write an article about preparation for IES and I should admit that I was more than forthcoming in accepting his request. The reason lies in the fact that I really appreciate his blog, his efforts and his sincere bid to make things easier for prospective aspirants. There are many things which look quite complicated due to prevalent information asymmetry in our education system and I do believe these efforts can bring a lot of positive change.


Now coming to the theme of the article. In this article I will try to address the 5 most pertinent issues which I faced or for which I am being asked for help in number of queries by aspirants.

 Words of Caution – Please don’t take my words as sacred words. All these are my own observations and everyone has different observations about the things. Apply your minds and adapt strategies as per your own capability, previous background, comfort level with subjects or any other relevant factors.

  1. Whether Coaching is Required or NOT for clearing the Examination ?

To this my straightforward answer is “Coaching is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for clearing the Exam”.

Yes, you can clear the Exam without taking any coaching. And I also did not take any coaching. And I know many students who cleared the Exam without any coaching.

But it does not mean that coaching does not help students. It certainly helps to some extent in reading right things and understanding the complicated things (Or rather many a times have been made to look like complicated by our Colleges or Coachings).

But if you do not or can not have access to any premier coaching (Yes, You can read it Made Easy or anything else) it does not mean you can’t clear the exam. Every year hundreds of students do it without coaching and will keep on doing in future as well.

But yes, to clear Exam without coaching you need to put extra efforts to find out the relevant things, understand them, practice problems based on them and the most importantly to keep you motivated.

In my case my two college batch mates helped me a lot. One, Mohit Mudgal had secured AIR 40 in ESE 2013 and another Ankit Garg was taking coaching in Made Easy. So guidance certainly matters. And I believe articles like these and many other on internet can help you in providing guidance and company. I, in this and other articles, will try to list out all those things which can probably complete this “Guidance part”.

Muddi ankit
Mohit Mudgal, Ankit Garg and Me (From Left to Right)

2.      Timeline for preparation

Ideally one should start preparation when one is studying in college. As the level of ESE Examination is more or less easier or equivalent to the University level Examination. For some topics, It is just matter of more emphasis and some more problem solving.

But the truth is, there is hardly anyone who starts preparing with college and later people regret this thing. As it is easier and they have all the resources in this period to prepare. And most importantly it saves their precious time of the most productive phase of life. Even I myself started preparing after a year of my college.

Generally one year preparation (July-June) with modest hours (3-4 Hours a day) is considered sufficient for clearing the Exam.

GATE Exam is considered a milestone in this journey of preparation. And there remains a 3-4 months gap between GATE and ESE. So it is good and acts as confidence booster if one scores good in GATE. But if one does not score good in GATE it does not mean one can’t score in ESE as well. As the focus and types of questions asked in both the examination differ significantly one can still prepare and score very well in ESE. I, myself, have secured some AIR 4900 rank in GATE 2014 and with due preparation I was able to score AIR 16 in ESE 2014. And I have seen many people who have achieved equally well in ESE in these 4 months preparation.


3. Book List –

There is this one thing which can make or break one’s chances even if one is diligent and determinate enough in this exam. In UPSC the questions which are asked cover a limited portion of subjects sometimes even narrower in width than our University Examination. So this makes it very critical on part of candidate that s/he reads selectively and in adequate depth about those topics. So this is where candidates preparing on their own face the highest difficulty. I, myself, found many a times in trap of reading unnecessary things at great lengths as I prefer reading from books. Perhaps it was the biggest difference in my preparation for GATE and ESE as well. After my poor show in GATE, I had understood the importance of being selective and problem oriented approach.

Problem oriented approach is about solving the right problems in adequate numbers. In the ESE, UPSC has been quite stagnant about what it asks in the Exam. So it becomes UNAVOIDABLE to solve previous year questions both Objective type and Conventional type. You may find 60-70 % questions repeating themselves with different data or from peripherals of the previous 10-12 year questions unlike GATE. Probably this is the reason of such dominance acquired by some of the Coaching Centers.

Here I am suggesting books I used. You do not need to follow these strictly if you know a better source. Now here is my booklist –

For all subjects-

  • Arrange Made Easy Class Notes – As this will help in restricting scope of your study. Don’t much digress from these. Do extra topics but only if you find them in Previous year questions. You can either get these from your friends or you can purchase (Cost is Around 1100 Rs.).
  • Previous year Questions book (Both Objective and Conventional type) preferably of Made Easy Publication as Arihant has too many of mistakes.
  • NPTEL Courses – This is the best you can get. But be very selective or try to avoid in times of examination as these require long gestation period. But these are Boon for College goers. I wished we had this in our college time. As the course teachers here are the best minds of subjects dealing with the best institutions of our country. So If you are in college go through these courses as these will develop insight into subjects like anything and they very well will eliminate any need of coaching. I used NPTEL for all the subjects.

Paper I

  • Thermodynamics – PK Nag or Cengel & Boles. Problems from PK Nag resemble problems of Exam but C&B is excellent to understand the concepts.
  • Fluid Mechanics and Fluid Machinery – Notes will be sufficient for Theory. R K Bansal for Problems. Very critical subject you can’t clear the exam without mastering it. It can have weightage of 40% itself.
  • Power Plant – Compressible Flow from PK Nag or C&B. Gas Turbine from V Ganeshan (Very Selective). Steam PP from Power Plant by PK Nag (Very Selective).
  • IC Engine – Mathur and Sharma. Avoid book to read too much. Only some 50 pages are required to be read as everything else will be written in the notes. I did not read the book.
  • RAC – Very Scoring subject especially in conventional. Try to read CP Arora for some theoretical portion.
  • Heat and Mass Transfer – Basically only Numerical based questions are asked. You can read whatever book you have referred in your college along with Notes. I did not read any book.

Paper II

  • Theory of Machines – RS Khurmi is more than sufficient. Problems are good and enough in numbers.
  • Strength of Material – You can refer any college book. I used Timoshenko but that is not of much use for exam purpose. Better to use some Indian author book like Punamia or Rajput for problem solving.
  • Machine Design – Read V B Bhandari selectively for problems and theory. This is more than sufficient.
  • Industrial Eng.- You can use University referred books and Coaching Notes. This is the most fragmented subject. I did not read any book.
  • Materials Science – I read Callister and wasted too much time disproportionately to its weightage. Rather read Kalpak Jian, it has in concise and more relevant form.
  • Production Engg. – This always gave trouble to me. Apart from Made Easy notes, PPT Notes of Mondol Sir of Made Easy can be a good read. I tried to read from Kalpak Jian but I could not complete it and I would suggest to avoid it in the beginning. For Casting ME Class Notes are enough. For Welding one can read Swadesh Singh. For Metal cutting and Forming PN Rao is also a good book but it remains inadequate.

GS & English

For English I read the book of English by Made Easy publication and this is a very good book and I found it sufficient.

I intend to write separate article for this paper as I have scored very well here.

4. Test Series –

For clearing any competitive Examination it is always a matter of outperforming your competitors and for this you have to be always conscious about your relative standing. Test Series provides a platform where you always remain in sync with the competition as well as the need of the Exam. I, myself, joined Made Easy Classroom ESE 2014 test series and it worked wonder for me. The benefits of this were –

  • I synchronized my preparation with the test series schedule. So I was able to wind up my studies which is very difficult when you prepare on your own.
  • I got chance to practice question paper in real exam like pressure conditions which is very critical to perform.
  • The competition in their test series is real and good.
  • Their Exam papers were quite in sync with the needs of UPSC.

This year they are starting test series online as well so people from anywhere can access it. One can join any other test series as well or one can join small group of students to practice questions in timed manner as well to achieve the same objectives.

5. My Scorecard


For more please visit –

85 Replies to “How to prepare for IES with Mechanical Engineering”

    1. Thanks Abhinav…. These words certainly counts because they have come from the person who is a SERIAL TOPPER … Gold Medalist of College, AIR 20 in GATE, AIR 6 in ESE and more importantly a batch mate and a friend 🙂

      1. Hello Abhinav

        congrats for your great effort.

        I want to make your blog more meaningful. I don’t believe in attending the coaching classes. With your experience in preparing for the ESE exam, can you just tell us which topics to be studied or given more emphasis subject wise during preparation, I am asking this question because the syllabus given in notification is more generic.

        please help out

  1. Congrates sir…you had leave the job and. Then you prepare for ESE..for preparation which institute is better..and I like to know which books I have to use for civil engg..

    1. Although I do not have much information about coaching as well as Civil Engineering but I have heard that Made Easy and IES Master are good for Civil. Do check on your own if you need to join any coaching.

  2. sir, what was your attempt in conventional paper 1, how much of it was correct? why are such low marks in p1 this time …. I couldn’t clear because of conventional paper 1!

    1. My attempt in conventional paper 1 was not that good as for many questions it seemed as data given were insufficient. My solid attempt was of around 90 marks.
      This time pattern of paper was changed and 10 marker questions were as difficult and lengthy as 20 markers used to be. (Atleast this is how I see the paper with the benefit of hindsight)

  3. congrats sir for your endeavor achievement!!!!! sir u got 142.22 marks in GAT.
    But how you prepared for this paper and how u managed time while writing exam!!!
    nearly u answer 86 qns correctly.sir please tell me how should i focus on GAT and which books shoudl i refer fir G.S and ENG!!!!!

  4. Sir ..congratulations for your grt achievement..
    Will you plz suggest us for GAT paper..mainly english section…i believe scoring in this paper creats a large difference..i am looking forward for your rpl sir..

  5. Congratulations for your achievement sir.
    Currently I am pursuing B.Tech from ISM Dhanbad and we have lack of resources here. I just want to know from where I can arrange the Made Easy class notes.

    1. You can purchase made easy material from madeeasy itself. For madeeasy class notes you will have to get it arranged from Delhi. I have given the phone numbers of photocopy shop on my blog. You can inquire about about prices and other details from them.

  6. HI my name is Ravindra, I am a civil engineer and working in a UK based MNC Atkins as Design engineer . I had decided to prepare for IES 2016. Is it ok to join IRSE at the age of 30. is there any person in your batch who join at the age of 30.
    Please reply

    1. Hi Ravindra,
      There are many who join the services in late 20s and around 30. There are many who join the services after their Marriages as well. So nothing unusual about it.

      The Question here really is whether you can afford to take such kind of risk and will you be able to adjust to the Environment of the Public Sector Job in India. The demand of Job and Environment here is certainly different. Salaries might also look comparatively Small. Many a times Postings are going to be in Rural/Tier 3 Cities many a times with lot of untimely travel.
      This is a tough question and only you can decide. And frankly I was reluctant to reply.

      All I can say is that there are many in Services who have worked with MNC in abroad, have left options of Studying abroad to join the Services. And on the other hand there are many who feel disheartened and frustrated with the IES Jobs in Railways as these are very demanding and seems less rewarding to many.

      I wish you Luck.

  7. sir,
    i am good at concepts, this time in gate i was able to solve problems of about 70 marks easily, but due to numerical mistakes i am not able to get through.
    Can you suggest something

  8. sir ,,i am in 2 nd year.. when i will start coaching ..5 th sem or 7 th sem ??? … because i want to clear es in final year.. i have also started preparation myself.. plss reply…

    1. Hi Avinash,
      Coaching is not something about which I can guide. I will rather say that join coaching ONLY if you need to. I will suggest to avoid Coaching atleast till 3rd year. (Coaching, in my opinion, is too much of standardization and aimed solely at tackling Competitive Examinations. I feel Learning is not that comprehensive and permanent through Coaching.) If need be join it in 4th Year.
      But start taking your Engineering Subjects Seriously from 2nd Year itself. Use NPTEL and self study material extensively. Keep solving previous Year Questions of Competitions.
      I did not do it. So I had to spend my whole year to prepare after my college. You need not do it. Choice is yours.

      1. thanks sir…is nptel the best way for ies conventional paper ??pls tell about good books for machine design.

  9. sir,i am doing job & i want to prepare for ies, is it possible to prepare for ies without leaving the job….

    1. Hi Mahesh…
      Yes definitely it is possible. Although I dont have officials stats but what I have seen from my personal experience that 3 out of 5 qualified are generally working people. And, in my opinion, most importantly they get advantage in interview as they have some real things to talk about.

  10. Hello deepaak sir as per your photo uploaded in this site you are wearing spectacles.sir may i know how did you clear medical exam conducted for technical services?sir i too suffering from high myopia i.e-9.00D

  11. hi..i am in B.E CIVIL right now(university of pune).I have joined made easy pune.Today when i opened a reference book of SOM (Timoshenko) i found many other concepts than MADE EASY notes.I got very confused.Please guide me how should i start a subject.Should i directly go for reference books or first i should check all pr year questions and prepare accordingly??? how can i effectively avoid extra things than syllabus coz it will consume many hrs.

    1. If you have joined madeeasy then read only what they teach. There is no need to do extra otherwise it will waste your time. Reference books can be referred if in case you don’t understand a topic good enough. But style of writing answers and nature of questions to be solved should be based on madeeasy notes…

    2. Pranav bhosale I can’t able to join class..I m from sangli ..plz u will help me to give made easy Clas notes form mechanical stream

  12. Hi sir, I m a pass out of 2015 batch in mechanical stream. I appeared in GATE-2015 and got a decent AIR-18 which has provided me jobs in HPCL,IOCL,NTPC & ONGC(most probably as its results r nt out yet). But unfrtunately dint perform well in subjective nd getting jst 272 marks in 3 objective papers of IES-2015, I wanna prepare for IES-2016 bt don’t wanna waste 1 yr so I m very much confused abt which PSU to join among above 4 which won’t deviate me frm my aim (IES-2k16) and get enough tym to prepare. Most of d people recommend NTPC for preparation bt it has the worst locations among dem so it may be a gamble to join NTPC as I may get stuck dere for lyftym(if cnt crack IES).
    Plz help me sir….

    1. Hi Akhilendra..
      First of all congrats for securing such good rank.
      Now coming to the question which you have asked. These kind of questions are very tough to answer as these involve many factors. Still I will try to answer this from my perspective and it will vary with every individual. So you take your own decision.
      First of all in terms of ranking, diversity of working and technical nature of work generally NTPC and ONGC are preferred over OMCs like IOCL or BPCL. OMCs involve mere marketing and managing supply chain most of the times. So hardly an Engineering job. On the other hand NTPC and ONGC involve, to some extent, a technical work which an Engineer like me will prefer. But yes OMCs also come with some other incentives that you find on your own.
      On the thing about availability of time to prepare it is very hard to predict because most of the times it depends on the posting. For example in an OMCs if you get refinery posting probably there you get quite good amount of time. But on the Marketing post things are different.
      I think you should make your judgement based more on the job you would want to take and would like to do in future as well. As per my opinion NTPC and ONGC are better option than OMCs here. And one added advantage with NTPC (I dont know about ONGC ) is their cool training period which remain quite relaxed ( read as not much work and available free time because of college like class system) as well. This training is not much cool with OMCs.

      This is what I can tell you. Take your call.

      1. Thanx sir for such an early and helpful response..
        As u suggested to join either Ongc or ntpc., I m also pretty much confused b/w these 2 organization itself. I filled production department as my choice in Ongc. I am nt able to decide b/w dem. Meanwhile thanx for ur suggestion. II’ve one more query
        Suppose if I join Ongc den is IES really worth preparing coz i’ve seen some of d folks who even after clearing IES with gud rank , dint leave Ongc due to its 15 day on off duty and really high pay package ( I know IES worth more dan any other psu, but about Ongc, I am in dilemna)….
        Plz help sir….

      2. This is a tough question and your dilemma is quite obvious as you have to choose between two good alternatives.
        I wish I could help you much in this but I don’t think I can help you much. You know the pros and cons of both the jobs. Choose wisely.
        Better you talk to the people in production of ONGC, probably they might provide you some insider’s perspective.

  13. Hello sir…actually one question always come in my mind. I think after clearing the exam (ESE) there is a counselling process,i mean which department i want, like railway,army etc.So for getting chance in railway as a IRSME what minimum or maximum rank i have to bring in ESE.

    1. No, there is no counseling process. You have to fill your preferences before the interview. After declaration of the results, based on your rank and preference, you will be allotted your departments.

  14. Hi Deepak, really appreciate your post on your ies journey. I’m also a mechanical btech grad frm IIT Kharagpur (2015 batch), presently working in Honeywell. I’m looking 4ward to appear in ies2016. I would like to clarify in case i get selected 4 IRSME thro ies 2016, when will I be asked to report as PO?? Thanks in advance…

    Best wishes.

    1. Hi Avishek, Thanks for positive words.
      Railways are the first to call IES selected officers and they have their joining date generally on Second Monday. e.g. for IES 2014 the date of joining is 14 December 2015.

  15. Just a small add on to my previous query…can l mention about my BTP in the DAF (4 personality test)….as it was related to railways.

    1. If you mean B. Tech project by BTP then yes you should mention it because they mostly ask it as well. And the most important thing is that if you prepare well for this then it can provide you leverage to score better as it is your strong area and they generally are interested in knowing about the know how’s of the college projects and whether you are well aware about its linkages with practical and interdisciplinary applications.

  16. Thanks 4 your prompt reply Deepak. Always had a deep passion 4 railways, I hope a little bit of job experience in a global company will also give me an edge in interview. U, Amit, & other guys r doing a great job thro blogs…hope to meet u guys someday, if I manage to land myself in Railways ☺

  17. I m in 7th sem. mechanical engineering, how to prepare for ESE-2017 after BE. Should I join made easy or go through your plan? As my concepts in thermal subjects is not clear………..

  18. Sir, i am sunil. i confused that where is to start preparation for IES. which subject i have to first complete because i don’t join coaching till now. please guide me step wise for ME branch. Thank you sir

  19. Congrats brother for this achievement .

    I am second year student studying through nptel lectures ,
    Can you please give me a proper method of studying through nptel .
    My problem – In 4 months I could only complete 3 course (subjets).

    1. Hi Sattya,
      This is a classic problem with Self-Study. I have faced it and I have also faced consequences of this as well. Hit and Trial is done to reach to the Optimum point. This is tough to reach but if carried out I believe can bring quite rich dividends.
      Try to –
      1. Limit your topics strictly with the Syllabus. Do NOT overdo with the Subject.
      2. Have Rough idea about the weighatge of Subjects and Topics and allot time and energy accordingly.
      3. Always keep in touch with the Pr Yr Question Papers.

  20. where to study from elements of computation fortran programming for mechanical objective paper 2…. as in 2014 it contained 10 question, in 2013 7 questions…. plz guide us…!!

    1. Hi Vipin,
      Frankly speaking I have not read it. I do not know much about this. This was not part of my B.Tech syllabus so I sort of avoided this in this Exam. But with time weightage of unconventional parts are increasing. And I think PN Rao Production Book and Mondol pdf for Manufacturing can help.

  21. Sir, I am Sushma.I am mechanical graduate. I completed graduation in the yr 2013. Soon after that, I got into a job and had no time to concentrate on IES. But I am very much interested in cracking IES. So I decided to start the preparation now and as I am working, I cant attend the classroom coaching. I have to do self-study. I would like to know whether it is a good idea or not and how far I have the chances to get score with good preparation.

  22. Few of my queries, if you could please answer, are —
    OBJECTIVE paper
    *In Objective papers many questions come from areas which we do not find answers in made-easy notes or books….how to tackle them ?
    *Did you solve IAS objectives papers of previous years as well. Is it advisable to do so.

    *how to maximize conventional score ?
    *which books contain the type of questions asked by UPSC ?
    *Did you solve IAS and/or IF0S conventional questions also , if yes can you please upload the solutions, as we don’t find solutions anywhere.

    1. Hi Rituraj,
      Tackling unknown questions is through finding answers. Coaching Notes are limited in scope by their design. Go beyond if you want to score higher through Reference Book. But again Do NOT OVERDO it. e.g. Searching for each random Factual question and its answer, it might be quite a waste of time. Be Choosy.

  23. hi sir i am ESE aspirant and i want to ask about ur last month strategy for revision

    and what should be the right time to start giving test series? I am waiting for your reply

    1. Hi Siddhartha,
      Revision is the key here. How well you do it, will decide your selection. Everyone can decide for different method to revise. I prefer to make short notes and revise. You can figure out your way.
      But whatever method you choose , Revision is MUST.

  24. Hello sir, The article was great. I m now purseuing my btech degree in mechanical. Now i will be in my 3rd year. So plz suggest me that it is the time to start my preparation for ese and gate. And if it is how should i start. And again one question If after my 4th year i secured good rank in gate then should i join iits to complete mtech in aerospace. And after mtech can i again apply for ese. ???Please guide

  25. can anyone provide made easy delhi note as I am from odisha.Please hard copy note of all the top notch faculty like Mondol Sir,kakar sir,bansal sir. please I am ready to pay

  26. Sir, I am in 2nd year (4th sem) mechanical engineering at nit bhopal. How should I start my preparation. N how to prepare for GS. I am very much feared of it.

  27. Congrats bro..for this great achievement of ur..
    I m frm balasore, odisha.Nw i m appearing my 6th semester in mechanical branch.
    I also want to get good rank in IES like u bro. But i dnt hv much proper notes nor ny guidance frm ny one.

    Cn u plzzzz hv ur contact no..i hv so much doubts for this exam.i want u clear those frm u bro.

    Plzzzz bro reply quick..m waiting ur reply..

  28. Hi deepak ,

    Tanks a lot for this awesome article…I had graduated in 2012 but after drifted a lot from every where and finally able to stick with a start-up.Enjoying my work but some where i am feeling something poke me a lot.I m not a so called talented student , i want to prepare from scratch , Is this possible for me…? My basic concept is terrible , Even u can use the term SH***….But boss i want to caricature all that scene again…….I want to molded myself again…… please give a spark …..!

  29. hello sir
    thanks for writing for us
    is sadhu singh is good book for strength of materials , i also referred madeeasy notes but not able to understand
    please help

  30. hello sir, I m also a Mechanical graduate 2016. I studied in very small college where we did not have lectures or even lecturers for some subjects. college life just passed like fun. but now I realize the importance of those precious time. But I thought I still have a chance to make it and fulfill my dream to serve the nation in best way possible. I know the competition level is toughest , I m not intelligent as IIT’ians but sir I do have a strong desire to make my dream happen and prove the impossible. So please suggest me with your kind words. I cant go for coaching also. Is it possible for me to cut through the toughest exam as I know. Please reply

  31. hello deepak i want to prepare for ese exam. i have completed my btech in 2011 and mtech in 2014.I want to start ese exam preparation seriously.How much time it will take if i will start the preparation

  32. Hi, this is siddarth. I have planned to appear for IES 2017. I wish to join in a coaching center for preparation as i don’t have much idea about the important topics and how much to cover on a particular topic & my greatest weakness is current affairs. Basically i am from Tamil Nadu. I searched for centers by made easy nothing seems to be available around the region. In such case what will you suggest.

  33. Hi..I am Ashish. Sir, I have a liability to live in Delhi and Delhi Ncr..Could you please suggest which ESE department will offer posting in Delhi and Delhi ncr.I am a mechanical engineer working in PSU.

  34. hello sir , i am venkat and i am studying in btech 2nd year , mechanical engineering . Can you please tell me how is life of an ies different from the person working in any private sector. Where can I find my subjects into practice, either in a public sector or private sector ?
    how will the atmosphere be for a mechanical engineer working in PSU different from the person working in private company?
    hope your suggestions will clear my confusion
    thank you sir

  35. can anyone provide made easy delhi note as I am from bhopal.Please hard copy note of all the top notch faculty like Mondol Sir,kakar sir,bansal sir. please I am ready to pay

  36. can anyone provide made easy delhi note as I am from Bhopal.Please hard copy note of all the top notch faculty like Mondol Sir,kakar sir,bansal sir. please I am ready to
    My no is 8109697538.

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