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The UPSC Engineering Services Examination [ESE] exam is expected to be held on July 18th, 2021. There are a total of 215 vacancies up for grabs. The exam is conducted for branches of Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. The selection process comprises Prelims, Mains, and interviews. In this article, we will focus on Paper 1 of the ESE 2021 exam and provide you tips that can help shape your ESE preparation strategy.

ESE preparation 2021: Prelims Exam Pattern

The ESE 2021 Prelims exam has two papers as listed below. This is an objective-based exam. While Paper 1 is of 200 marks and Paper 2 is of 300 marks. You have a total of 5 hours to attempt the exam. Paper 1 is common for all candidates and there is a negative marking of 1/3rd marks for incorrect answers.

Paper Questions Marks Duration
Paper 1: General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Paper 100 200 2 hours
Paper 2: Core Engineering Paper 150 300 3 hours
Total 250 500  

ESE preparation 2021 strategy: Syllabus

There are a few major sub-headings in Paper 1 that you must expect questions from in the exam. These have been mentioned below.

·         Material Science and Engineering [basics]

·         Current affairs [National & International issues] from the fields of Economic, Social & Industrial development

·         Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools and their practical applications in Engineering for example Networking, E-Governance and Technology-based education

·         Standards and Quality principles in construction, production, maintenance, and services

·         Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis

·         Fundamental Principles of Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety

·         Environment and Energy Basics: Conservation, environmental pollution, Climate Change, Environmental impact assessment

·         Engineering Aptitude: Analytical ability & Logical reasoning

·         Project Management [basics]

·         Ethics and Values in the Engineering profession

ESE preparation 2021 strategy: Tips

  • Your ESE preparation strategy must be around the fact that in the merit list, marks of Prelims, Mains and Interview all will be included. Therefore, the more you are able to rake up marks in Paper 1, the better. Do not neglect Paper 1 in any case.
  • The Paper 1 of the exam is a mix of current, general awareness, reasoning and basics of science, engineering and technology. Therefore, a good ESE preparation strategy is to cover the syllabus for 1-2 hours gradually. Rather than studying it for 3-4 hours daily and risk forgetting it, as most topics are theoretical, a 1 hour-90 minutes session daily can do the job.
  • The weightage of each topic on the syllabus varies a lot, hence, candidates are advised not to dwell much on the division of topics. As a suggestion, try to correctly attempt 75-80 questions correct and be aware of negative marking.
  • Refer to newspapers and magazines such as Indian Express’ Explained and Editorial section and India Today, Yojana, etc. to gain an in-depth understanding of relevant topics that may be expected in the exam.
  • Due to the present lockdown situation, it is important you take advantage of the right ESE preparation online materials as much as possible. Dedicated preparation playlists, explainer videos, revision exercises, online assessment, and feedback sessions can give you a much-needed boost and confidence.
  • For current affairs, there are available ESE preparation online month-wise and subject-wise capsules that can facilitate your preparation. As much as possible, make such capsules a primary source of information and complete it at least twice.
  • In order to boost your memory which is extremely crucial, incorporate creative learning and memorizing techniques such as puzzles, quizzes, flow charts, diagrams, and mind maps along as well as anagrams, mnemonics, keywords, etc. You can find more strategies on ESE preparation online resources. This comes in quite handy to retain better.
  • The Engineering Aptitude section consists of Logical reasoning and Analytical ability. In terms of content, this should not be much of an issue however, the point is to reduce the time you devote to the questions from this topic.
  • DO NOT take the topics on Environment, Project management and Ethics lightly as in the previous years, high weightage of questions from these topics has been asked. Instead, being quite straightforward and theoretical, if you study rigorously, it can become one of your strong sections.
  • In the ICT section, topics of emphasis include social networking, computer fundamentals, internet basics, Operating system, security issues, etc.
  • For the Standards & Quality section, focus on fundamentals of quality like TQM, Quality circles and standards and 6 sigmas along with recent developments in the field.
  • The Project Management consists of vital topics such as PERT and CPM which can help you clear the cut off easily.
  • Candidates can also attempt the GATE papers as the level of the exam is almost similar and it will help in practice, revision and time management.
  • Many questions on the syllabus are at the level of first-year engineering courses. Thus, make sure you take good luck with at the books from your course.

ESE preparation 2021: Key takeaways

  • ESE preparation strategy books:
    • General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Practice Book: ESE 2020 Prelims by Made Easy Publications
    • ESE Paper 1 General Studies & Engineering Aptitude book by GKP Publications
    • Topic- wise books are also available.
  • Time management: You have 2 hours to attempt a question paper of 100 questions. Therefore, as you have a little more than 70 seconds per question, don’t get stuck at one question for more than that. Mark it for revision and go back to it at the end.
  • Revision: Leave 5-8 minutes in the end for revision at all costs for reviewing answers on the screen, redoing calculations and going over questions that you may have left.
  • Negative Marking: Be mindful of the negative marking and don’t use any guesswork techniques. Mark what you know.
  • Don’t Panic: Always remain calm and composed during preparation as well as in the exam hall. Take adequate rest in the last 3-4 days, rejuvenate yourself and drink plenty of liquids. Have faith in your abilities and ace them.

Best of Luck.

Shabbir Ahmad

Shabbir Ahmad is a freelance enthusiastic blogger & SEO expert. He is the founder of Shifted Magazine & Shifted News. He contributes to many authority blogs including porch, hackernoon & techcrunch.

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