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)



IES Examination Format

MARKS There is only one general ability paper of (100+100) 200 marks There are 2 objective papers of 200 marks each. There are 2 subjective papers of 200 marks each.
No of Question 120 120 in each paper Generally 8 main questions out of which 5 are to be done(each paper)
Day of Exam General Ability paper is held on day 1. Objective 1 and objective 2 papers are held on day 2. Conventional 1 and conventional 2 papers are held on day 3.
Duration 2 hours 2 hours each 3 hours each
Exam Timing 9am-11am 9am -11am and 2pm-4pm 9am-12noon and 2pm-5pm
Difficulty level Easy Moderate Difficult
Type of study required Very Extensive Extensive Intensive
Scoring potential Very High High Average
Source of Study Newspapers, magazines
Madeeasy material and class notes of GS,ncert, vocab notes, grammar book, test series
Standard textbooks,madeeasy materials and class notes, test series Standard textbooks, Madeeasy materials and class notes, test series
Strategy Study it all round the year Mostly objective preparation should be finished upto GATE exam Mostly subjective preparation should be done after GATE exam.
On the day of Examination Water Bottle
Admit Card
Black Ball Point Pen
Water Bottle
Admit Card
Black Ball Point Pen
Water Bottle
Admit Card
Blue and Black Pen

Preparation without coaching

There are lots of students who can’t join coaching for IES because of various reasons. These students should not feel left out of race for IES.
It is possible to prepare for IES without coaching also , if you have made up your mind.

There are certain disadvantages if you don’t have proper guidance. You don’t know the syllabus , books to study, materials to refer, and how to manage time . To avoid all this, you should start your preparations very early , if possible from the college time itself.

Now there are certain things to do very seriously if you are going to prepare on your own.

1. Make your own notes
Making notes of each and every topic is very important. It is must, you have to do it. Just studying from books is not enough. Purchase classroom notes of any good coaching institute from photocopy shop near these coaching institutes , they are easily available. If you don’t live in Delhi,  make extra effort and get it arranged somehow. They are your core reference material. Use this as a guide to study and, study the chapters from standard text books.  Now make your own notes , very elaborately,  don’t just copy, make it unique. This will take effort but once you have made your own notes , it will be an asset forever. You can also get postal study material of coaching institute . But use this as a reference only , study from good text books of your subjects for understanding the topics

2. Solve previous years question papers
This is another very much important thing to do for preparation. When you finish any topic, look at previous year question to gauge the extent
Of Your preparation. Don’t leave previous years question for the last moment. Solve it side by side. If you want to do more , then go for IAS mains question papers of your respective subject of last 15 years.  It would be more than sufficient.  You can get these materials in Delhi. So make a visit once , and arrange all that you need.  In delhi , places near coaching centre such as Saket, Hauz Khas,  Ber sarai…..have all the latest material for preparation.

3. Join test series
Please join any good online test series for preparation at the last moment.  Do it seriously throughout. If you are getting good ranks in Madeeasy all India test series then it means you have very high chance of cleaning IES. Most of the people ignore test series just because they fear their performance, but face your failures. There are two ways to join the test series i.e online and offline.  For IES offline test series are good but if it is not possible for you , then join online test series. Once the test series are over , make a quick revision of the questions that you couldn’t solve.

4.Make a diary of mistakes.
Keep records of the the mistakes that you have made in separate diary. Write down what went wrong when u solved the problem, your self criticism and future strategy. We tend to forget our mistakes and repeat again . This is the worst thing to do, I.e repeat your mistakes.  Never repeat your mistakes. If you always make new mistakes, then you are on right path. One day will come , when you will not make any mistakes.

This was for the technical preparation, for general ability I have written a separate blog, which you can check.

Best of luck to all.

Hand written notes are available at places in South Delhi near Made easy centres. You can purchase whole set in one payment. It varies around rs1500-2000
1. Saket
2. Hauz khas
3. Ber Sarai.

I am giving phone no of Hind Photostat
1. Lado sarai – 8130782342
2. Ber Sarai – 9560163471
3. Ignou road ,Saket – 9654353111