My journey to ESE 2014

First of all, let me introduce myself,

My name is Himanshu Aggarwal, a 2013 batch pass out from BITS Pilani-Pilani campus.

My CGPA is 8.19

From Aug 2014 to Mar 2015, I was working in BARC Mumbai as a trainee scientific officer

The campus life ended and from the well-known fact of low package of civil companies, I also got a low package from the college placements. Being ineligible to give the paper in 2013 and a Gate 2013 rank of 668, I was left with choice of taking the risk of spending a year preparing for the paper or take the job. It took a week to decide and finally I took the challenge and decided to stay at home for the next year. I also had coaching in IES Master during my college training for 6 months in CRRI Delhi. A 9 AM to 5 PM research at CRRI and 5:15 PM to 10 PM class at coaching were the worst days of my life though I liked the coaching part because I could just relax and repeat what I have done in my college(yes my college studies did help me).

Dropping was somewhat easy as I was shortlisted in some PSU’s such as SAIL, so I thought that I will probably sail in at least one opf the PSU and carry on my study for IES but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Regular rejection made me serious towards GATE 2014 in October end and I started preparing for GATE 2014 + IES 2014 from the starting of November with main focus on making short notes for both and remembering for GATE only for the initial 2 months.

GATE paper went well but the result was not up to the mark with a GATE rank of 302 and still PSU’s like RITES rejecting me on the basis of my age. No job in hand and less chances of getting  a job on this rank started haunting me and it was this time I became serious like anything for IES.

From the day of GATE 2014 result up till April end, I completed syllabus for IES 2014(I did it partially before GATE 2014) and in May I did 2 conventional papers every day from 9 AM to 12 noon and 2 PM to 5 PM and used the time in-between to check the papers (I had ample amount of papers with solutions that I got from IES Master during coaching) and 1 hour or less for GS portion(this was a big mistake to prepare for GS only in May and June and I paid for it by getting 27 marks out of 100 in GK portion).

For the last 10 days, I only revised (crammed) my short notes with last 2 days only for enjoyment and relaxing. Just 20 days before the paper I gave BARC interview which I scored really well with 748 marks (I got the white slip, yippee) that provided me with the boost that I had the ability to crack IES and I have a job

The day of exam: At least I cannot say that I was not nervous at the time of paper but on the surface you look calm and ready to drop bombs (lyrics credit: Eminem) (I thought of the same song just before the paper was about to start). The first day of the paper was the worst part for me because of no preparation. The portion I knew got completed in an hour, the other hour was to prevent making blind shots, so I started looking at the expressions of invigilator and nearby fellows. The next day with two objective papers went well and so did the conventional part. I was happy as I almost did 360 to 370 marks paper in the conventional.

The next 2 days went on discussing the objective part in which I was getting almost 300 marks. Now was the time when I thought that I have got a job and this is time to relax and July was complete fun for me. In Aug, I joined BARC with an intention of enjoying the hard-to-get hostel life again to the full. My time at BARC was full of fun. The days went on and I was at home and returning from a religious trip with family and got the news of the shortlist and found myself in that list for which I was pretty sure. I filled up the DAF and started consulting other BARC fellows and college seniors in IES about the strategy for the interview. My interview date was 19 Jan in Delhi and I thought of giving SSC mains paper on 18th Jan in Jaipur so that I could check whether I still remember the technical part or not.

The day arrived and I was there. My panel was Smt. ALKA SIROHI. The documents part was completed and I was the last in the morning session in that panel. While sitting there I got to know about the book of made easy in which questions of various interview panels are discussed. Shiver went through my spine for a while but after 10 minutes came the time when I thought: ab karke kya kar lunga, ye sab moh maya hai. For me, the clock was getting dead slow as I was eagerly waiting for all this to end. After some time, it was my turn and I was called to sit outside the room interview was going. At that time, I spent time looking at the birds wandering here and there in front of me. I entered the room and there were 3 experts along with the head. My interview was small in length but it was nice so now I was somewhat sure of selection.

Again my enjoyment started in BARC. I gave GATE 2015 paper with some of my BARC friends just for the sake that I don’t feel that I have wasted my money in filling the GATE 2015 form and also that we got free ride on Uber. GATE 2015 results were a complete dilemma as I got a rank of 101 when I did nothing to prepare for GATE and a rank of 302 when I prepared a lot which taught me that luck also plays some role. Again I was at home when the final results of IES 2014 came out. I received a phone call from my BARC friend (GSB) saying: bhai tumne paper phod diya hai chauthi rank aai hai tumhari and for a while I didn’t even knew how to react. Then there were more and more phone calls and celebrations started. May be I am able to write this just because I succeeded but at last I want to convey that if you have passion for anything, go for it. May be you come out unsuccessful but at least you won’t regret saying” yaar try to karna chahiye tha” and it will be worth a try (If you are serious).

64 Replies to “My journey to ESE 2014”

  1. Heartiest Congratulations from a BITSian to a BITSian!
    You are a great inspiration to us in BITS Pilani.


  2. As i can see you have managed good marks in conventional. Sir can you explain your strategy, how one approach towards conventional answer writing.

    Waiting for your reply.


    1. there are many who have scored better than me and as far as approach is considered, just practicing a lot of questions will eliminate silly mistakes and way to proceed in a solution.
      I solved a lot of questions and special focus to previous year question papers.
      The solution to the previous year question paper give you a great amount of idea about how to write a solution.
      As far as I am concerned, my accuracy is not very high, so i have to increase my attempt to get good marks.
      I solved conventional papers and questions(even a single question) in a time bound manner so as to increase speed and get the idea of which question to attempt first.
      This gives idea about your strong and weak subjects in a time constraint situation.
      Also there is an ample amount of data for this aspect given on this blog.

  3. Sir, please share some insights from your interview at BARC,
    What type of questions are generally asked n what should be my preparation strategy??

    1. The whole interview was technical from the start and the interview panel was also very helping.
      They asked me about my favourite subjects and subjects that I dislike.
      They started with surface questions like why are steel bars provided near the bottom surface in a beam
      And then increased the level progressively
      They asked me questions regarding shear stress variation in a beam, it’s derivation, point of maximum principal stress in a sample question, various types of prestressed concrete and their pros and cons, plastic moment calculation in a sample question, etc.
      They many times helped me in questions I was not able to answer.
      But there is one thing that if they help, then they expect the student to grasp their hint and give the solution.
      And they also ask questions in the subjects you dislike.
      In some time I will post my interview experience of ESE and BARC both.

    1. Thank you
      And the answer is no.
      It is not at all necessary to have coaching for achieving IES.
      What a coaching provides is only the platform where you can compete with others and spoon feeding of subjects is done.The main benifit of coaching is motivation.If you can keep yourself motivated, then better have coaching material in hand and start preparing yourself.And I think self analysis is the best way to improve yourself.Solve questions with time limits and check them yourself, make short notes, etc.

  4. Congratulations sir!
    I want to know how you presented your writing work in both of the conventional papers. Also, was there any shortage of time while writing the paper that made some questions unanswered ?
    Awating your reply..

    1. Thank you sonal
      Presentation plays an important role and you can see books regarding the presentation(coz your answer should look professional like in the books).But books are much more thorough then what is expected in the paper as they show each and every step so that anyone understands the solution. So be crisp and to the point in your answer and write figure number, table number,etc. and mention them in your theoretical part though sometimes I used to alter the length depending on the marks allotted to the question. As far as I am concerned, my plus point is speed and negative point is accuracy, so I was able to complete the paper but this part is completely individual, one can have low speed but high accuracy. It’s a gamble between accuracy and speed and you will have to optimize between the two to achieve maximum marks.

  5. As u were barc trainee so …is this be benefit point for getting marks in ies 2014 interview….
    Because in DAF the details was already in front of the member taking the interview.

  6. sir how can I get ies master test series papers????? Is it enough or can i look for other than this!
    Waiting for your valuable replay.

  7. Sir can i know about how they will give postings for IES Engineers in railways…
    postings are given by zone-wise(south east,central..ect) or anywhere in india

  8. Congrats sir ,till now i was demotivated but after reading ur view again i am motivated currently i joined the ies master with my 4th year and i want to prepare for ies2017 because both clg and coaching class are hectic for me and also worry with low package given by civil company. Could i prepare for ies at home and how u managed the study at home, your preparation stratgy at home Please guide.thank u sir , my email id is and my mob no is 9990590923

  9. Sir,first of all heartiest congratulations for your grand feat.
    I am also taking coaching at IES masters but am finding it difficult to revise the previous topics as the new ones keep on piling up day by day.So what strategy did you adopt for revision?

    1. Making short notes will help you a lot in this aspect.
      Make short notes of each and every subject and update them everyday for an ongoing subject

  10. Sir is there any disqualification for those who have undergone lasik or ipcl in medical of ese.i will be having ipcl for high myopia of 13.after this i ll get 6/6 vision.kindly reply

    1. I think that varies from person to person and time to time
      On an average 6 hours for a period of 6 months is sufficient if you have done all the courses before in the college

    1. I think material of any coaching like ies master or madeeasy will be enough
      Again do a lot of practice of previous year question papers

  11. Nice experience Mr himanshu Bansal…clarify my doubt about barc…now I m preparing barc 2016..there is bond amount of 4.3 lakhs for 3 years after training…so if I select in ies then wat to do,share ur experience regarding this…at the time of ur joining how did u resigned barc?/

  12. HI, congrats..
    BITSian here, 2012B1A2

    could you please tell me what books should i use for each subject or could you post a link for the list of best books that one should study from. Also do you think that course text books in BITS are good enough for me to rely on them or should i buy some other books.


    1. sir am student from civil engineering background, i have written test for BARC and i am confident about the results,but i don’t know how to prepare for interview and what are the subjects actually to be prepare for it.please tell me what are the subjects to be prepare and how to prepare and where to prepare and also tell me is there any books for it??

  13. respected sir,
    i wish to give barc in 2017. how should i prepare for interview. which area is to be focussed is job profile..r&d type or the typical civil engg. job like in other psu. kindly reply asap..thanks


  15. Sir how to know about, which topic is important and which topic are not????
    Because the IES syllabus given is compressed and i am facing difficulty in understanding about which topic is considered in syllabus and which topic is not and the standard books are so wide … I would be very thankful to you sir if you guide me.

  16. Hello sir ,
    As a civil engineer you opted for store service can you please give some insight about the store service for civil engineers & there pros as well as cons with concern to future .

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