How to get AIR 2 without coaching

Hello ,

This is Ashish Verma working in Indian Railway Service of Engineers selected through  Engineering Services Examination  conducted by UPSC in 2013.Change in pattern of GATE , IES this year  has forced me to share my views on this blog.

I feel proud that I got selected in several competitive exams without taking any coaching throughout my studies. I would like to give you brief introduction about myself.

When I was in 12th standard I was not knowing about even IIT’s , NIT’s. My aim was to become a engineer. One of my friend asked me to fill the form of UPTU, so I did and I got selected .Then I Graduated from Kamla Nehru institute of technology, a UP state government college in 2012. I feel happy to tell u that I was GOLD MEDALLIST of UPTU University in Civil Engineering.Sometimes I was thinking whether I will be getting any job after graduating from such college. But I didn’t loose any hope. I continued my studies and started my preparation in sixth semester for IES .Then I appeared for GATE  and secured AIR-41. I couldn’t appear for the IES exam as minimum age requirement was changed during the same year.

Through that I was called for NTPC and IOCL interview and was selected in both the Maharatna PSU’S . During preparation my interest inculcated in Structural engineering. So I applied in Council Of Scientific Research (CSIR) and  got selected as Scientist in Structural Engineering Research Centre( SERC), Chennai. But due to some family constraints I couldn’t join it and finally joined NTPC in August 2012. But I never lost my confidence and will. I continued  my preparation but there was lack of time then time management played significant role in my preparation .

My classroom training in NTPC was undergoing in Power Management Institute,Noida from August 2012 to March 2013 where schedule of classes were fixed. So I planned accordingly.I identified my weak subjects, areas and made study plan accordingly to cover as much as possible. During my preparation I found that there is problem of forgetting the formulas etc which is generally with everyone but you can find the solution for that .If I have to study a subject for  1 hour, then I used to divide it into three parts ; first part 25 minutes theory of new topic ;20 minutes numerical of previous topic covered which helped me to memorize the concepts; remaining 15 minutes for objective questions of new/previous topic. Every hour or half an hour I used to change the subjects and generally used to study 7-8 subjects everyday.At initial stage you will feel that you are studying very little but time and pace your summation of study will be more effective and productive and  you will not feel boredom at any time.If anytime you feel bored with any subject you change the subject and study your liking subject which you want when you feel sleepy start doing numerical part of subject which you studied earlier.

During holidays my study plan was to cover atleast all the subjects because latest exam pattern of IES is more subjective focused and covers all the subject,so if  you miss any subject you may not able to attempt all the questions of the section you select.

The Selection of Standard books plays the most significant role for preparation and use your books as your reference notes and mark with different color  depending on importance of topic you think is important and would help you in revision further

In March 2013 I was posted as Assitant Manager  in Tapovan Vishnugad Hydropower Project ,Chamoli Uttrakhand .I continued my study plan and used to change the duration of each subject as per weightage of each subject and time availability ,but due to workload I couldn’t cover all the subjects. Therefore ,I took one month leave before the exam and covered all the subjects. I used to cover all fourteen -fifteen subjects everday and also General studies and English vocabulary daily as it is one of the most important part for scoring good rank.I memorized all GRE English vocabulary which helped me a lot in English section.I managed to correct all English meanings and synomyns.


For any exam it is necessary to understand what that exam demands from the candidate.IES present pattern demands theoretical as well as numerical approach of the subject .In objective it needs time management and lot of practice of objective questions from several standard books.

I have seen that UPSC is directly picking concepts and questions from standard books which aspirants are generally not aware and blindly follow the study material and notes of coaching available in the market  which generally contains repeated concept questions asked earlier . The candidates are not able to attempt the new questions and waste there time during examination  hours and thus not getting the expected results. Present situation is such that it would make a lot of difference and you will be lagging behind. Likewise in conventional paper selection of questions is very important. UPSC is mixing questions of 3-4 subjects in single section and if candidate has not covered all the subjects, it would limit the attempt generally upto 110-120 marks which in my opinion is not sufficient in present situation. Therefore ,prepare all subjects and follow standard books of every subject and not wholly rely on coaching and their material and it is my firm belief that this exam can be cleared with good rank with self study, practice  and dedication .Continuity of study  is mandatory for this exam.

I appeared for IES -2013 and I was so confident even after my written examination that I will be able to secure under top 20 and secured AIR-2. IES 2013 exam was the most analytical and conceptual paper since 15years  in which UPSC attempted to find out  the self  study of standard books  and practice from the aspirants rather than asking questions directly from coaching material available  in the market.

The main aim of  giving my brief introduction was to motivate each and every aspirant who are preparing for any engineering competitive exam  . I have found that everyone is running for coaching and they are more inclined towards coaching rather than self study.The changing trend of IES,GATE is more focused on analytical approach , concepts ,self-study. Every exam needs different focused approach. I would like to suggest to follow standard books of each subject and practice as much as possible. I will be further sharing my ideas on this blog.

For any questions, please comment below.

It would be pleasure to answer your queries.

All the best for future aspirants!!!

Ashish Verma

AIR-2 (IES-2013)



90 Replies to “How to get AIR 2 without coaching”

  1. a)what is advantage of the new pattern for a student who is self studying?
    b)can someone manage his study if he is doing job/M.Tech?
    c)I have been preparing for GATE/IES for last two years(self study), But not succeeded. But have cleared lots of concepts by myself. So should I join classes
    or focus on what went wrong during my preparation and improve on that?

    1. New pattern is focused on more subjectivity,analytic approach which needs more practice.
      Yes u can manage along with ur job but it’s upto u hw u manage and utilize time available.
      First U have to understand ur weakness and then work onit
      U should follow standard books and try to find out which topic is more relevant for ur exam
      and study accordingly.
      Coaching is not only the Solution

  2. Thank you very much Sir,
    Really this is very much inspiring to face such a big exam with such smart strategy … and to make confident ourselves in self study.

  3. Hello sir, it was awesome experience written by you. Myself Rajan currently studying in 1st yr at NIT HAMIRPUR(HP)…i want to do IES in my 1st attempt. give me some useful tips and strategy so that i can follow begning from the 1st yr and come with flying colours in 2019…

  4. Sir, as you said that you liked structural engineering, so do you get such things to do there. can you please share the type of job profile you get in Indian railways.

  5. Hello sir i just subscribed your blog & one thing i like the most is your post explaining how to achieve Air-2 without coaching , i m finishing my degree this year, i may be unable to join coaching so i was thinking will it be possible for me to do ies without coaching it does motivated me Thank You & Sir please it will be really helpful if you post books to be referred during preparation

  6. Congrates sir for your great achivement..
    Sir i have been preparing for ies for last 2 years but i couldnt succeded.. still i want to give this year attempt very seriously what should i do?? Reply sir please

  7. sir, i feel that i will quallify written exam of ies exam in 1st attempt in 2017 but i do not have crtificate. So how do prepare interview

  8. Thank u ashish sir …….ur blog is very useful for Ies aspirants . It’s give us a direction in which we need to move ,It’s like a ray of hope . I am very much thankful to you,,,,thanks alot. The main thing that i learnt from this blog is,”We should always follow standard books for every subjects instead of study materials and must give prefernce to self study.

  9. congrats sir currently i am in last semester of my degree.i want to give ies2017. i also did coaching at ies master delhi with my final year but managing coaching and collages i couldnot practices a lot for ies 2016 and ese2016 date and my semester date are near around. continuosly living in delhi for 4 years make me irritated….can it will be benefecial that i will move to home for next year for preparaion or not….

  10. Thank you very much Ashish for sharing your experience and suggestions…I was completely relying on notes and previous year papers for ese. Today onwards I will go through reference books also…thnx alot…and hearty congratulations for your success.

  11. its a great achvmnt … first of all congo bhaiya ….now my ques z
    i was thinking to order postl study course of made easy ….. shud i buy it or not ???
    i just gt 33.74 in gate 2016 … so m thinking to prepare ….

    1. Dear Abhimanyu,
      Don’t be discouraged by your GATE marks. You can buy or order any coaching material and prepare by yourself.
      Please remember, it’s been never late to mend.

      My best wishes.

  12. Great job u have done Sir…
    Sir Iam Guguloth Ram Kumar..
    Iam Currently Working As An Executive Trainee in NMDC.
    Sir Pls Can You Suggest me, How to Crack Ese 2017.

    How Should I Manage Both theoritical and Analytical portions Sir…

  13. Sir,
    Please tell me how to prepare for the conventional. I mean, there are so many ways a question can be answered, so which way, style to write so as to get maximum marks?

  14. Sir,
    Nice to read ur blog..i am also from knit 2014 batch.. during college heard a lot about ur extraordinary marks in semester exam .
    Quite encouraging blog.Please continue ur guidence.
    thank u

  15. What is the role of ESE previous year paper for gate examination ..
    Is it helpful or not ..
    because gate is numerical based exam .
    I am student of civil engineering except previous gate which book I should solve for gate and ese …
    Reply please ..

  16. Sir!!!really impressed and motivated!! Iam 2016 Passed out from EEE stream. Now I have started my GATe/IES preparation. I found from ur blog to rely on standard books. But how could we learn from standard books efficiently?
    standard books have vast topics. How to use standard books efficiently? How to plan my prepation using standard books?
    To be frank i dont have a clear cut idea how to prepare using standard books. How to manage time?
    If we read everything from standard books will there be time for preparation? Can we complete the whole syllabus? How vould we find shortcuts for solving objective papers?

  17. Is eye sight power a problem during selection process for IES? Is there any limitation for eye power. Please do reply.

  18. Apne trike se kro tyari yar…..coaching se shuliyt lgti h to coaching kro self study se lgti h to self study kro sbke apne funde hote h…dimag mt khaya kro ek bnde ka agr vo apna experience share krta h…ashish verma congratulations for ur great success or ab railway ki halt sudharne pr dhyan do bjay inke sath time pass krne ke ….dont mind

  19. Nice 1 sir, I have a question…. I was not a obidient reader in my civil engineering I just Studied to get passed in all.. and i did with 66%, but I didn’t know the concepts… after a while I got a job of my core sector… an being in this sector I have realised it’s worst to be in the private sector…. I m a smart reader, but didn’t got any interest in technical subjects, recently I have started to study my civil engineering subjects from the notes which are available readily, please guide me what should I do to crack a government examination of civil engineering, I can work hard… Ur valuable suggestion can help me to do better in my field…

  20. sir,it is benifical to take admission in mtech and continue preparation for ese ??sugest some tips ..i am in 8sem civil engg

  21. 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 as the standard books are so wide.

  22. Ashish bro congrats….I appeared last year gate exam secured 38.33 marks. this year I joined in made easy for ies coaching,could you mind to give me the best suggestion to study smart and get selection.this year is very crucial to me bro.

  23. Congratulations sir, iam a passed out batch of 2016 in civil engineering. I have an CGPA of 7.52,and I haven’t attempt any competitive exams before. For almost one month I have been reading this blog everyday to get an idea of IES regarding preparation strategy. Shall you give me some rough idea regarding time management of study and mock tests. Presently iam not enrolled in any coaching institutes. Is practice matters, a lot ?

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