How to approach the Non-Tech part for ESE 2019?

Dreaming for a good, respectable engineering related job, many engineering graduates opt for the ESE examination, the scale of the exam and most of all the perks and privileges one gets after joining as a civil servant. While most of the students are confident about the technical part of the examination, the non-tech seems to put some of them into great confusion and dilemma. Many students are unaware of how to study the non-technical part, how important it is and most important of all how to strike a perfect balance between the technical and non-tech part of the ESE examination.

The ESE 2019 notification is out and we are sure all of you are working really hard for the examination and we would too like to do our bit for your preparation by giving a brief on how to approach the non-tech part of the ESE syllabus. Before we begin to clear the air about this confusion let us first know a little about the ESE examination 2019, and the pattern of exam.

Indian Engineering Services or Engineering Services Examination, is conducted annually by UPSC in two phases. Phase one is the Preliminary stage and then Mains stage followed by the interview of the selected candidates. The preliminary stage has both the non-tech portion and the domain-specific portion. The table below will give you an idea of the pattern, marks, and the time allotted for each paper.

Exam Paper Type Subject Time Marks
Preliminary Examination Paper I Objective General Studies and Engineering Aptitude 2 hrs 200
Preliminary Examination Paper II Objective Engineering Discipline 3 hrs 300
Mains Examination Paper I Conventional Engineering discipline I 3 hrs 300
Mains Examination Paper II Conventional Engineering discipline II 3 hrs 300

You can look at the complete syllabus of the exam by visiting us at Here we shall concentrate on the non-tech part, how to prepare notes and how to score high marks in the preliminary examination by perfecting the non-tech part.


As can be seen from the pattern of exam, paper 1 of the preliminary examination consists of General Studies and Engineering aptitude which is common for candidates of every stream. This paper is of 2 hours and carries 200marks. The syllabus for this section is mentioned below with all the necessary details:

  1. Current issues: This topic is one of the most important and the toughest of all as you cannot master current affairs in just a month or two. For the current affairs make sure to read the newspaper (The Hindu/ Indian Express) daily and makes notes of the important GS For revision you can also pick up a monthly magazine published by a good institute at the end of the month. The current issues section is mainly concentrated on topics related to the matter of national and international importance relating to social, economic and industrial development which one can only know if he/she is aware of what is going around by being regular with the newspaper. Near about 10 questions from this area, makes it important to study. By studying this you are simultaneously grooming yourselves for the interviews, where they may ask you some questions related to current affairs.
  2. Engineering Aptitude: This section covers logical reasoning and analytical ability. Like the CAT paper, you don’t have to practice this session every day for long hours. The questions in this section are very basic in nature mainly class 6 to 8 Try practicing these questions once a week from the internet or pick up any basic Arihant book on logical reasoning and analytical ability. You can also refer Engineering Aptitude and Reasoning book of MADE EASY Publication which has concepts as well as solved questions of aptitude section of six branches (CE/ME/EE/EC/CS/IN). While practicing if you face any difficulty remember to make notes of the important formulae being used and make sure to revise them regularly.
  3. Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis: Comprising about 7-8 questions from this section; a student is required to revise the subject at regular intervals. This section if revised nicely can fetch you full marks as well. This area is basically from M1, M2 and M3 maths which every engineer studies in their first and second year. So, it is a section where you know things and you have the basic idea only thing is you need to brush up concepts for extra scoring. MADE EASY has published a special book for the students which elaborately covers all the topics along with examples to help the students gain expertise on the subject. Check out our book at
  4. General Principles of Design, Drawing, and Importance of Safety: First get acquainted with the syllabus of this section and if you are not very comfortable with the designing questions, try concentrating more on the safety part which has 4-5 questions. For Designing and drawing, Mechanical students may have an upper hand as they study it for 2 years so you can always take help from your friends. Further, every engineering student has studied this subject in their first year, the only thing is you need to have that imagination and concepts to visualize the plan and elevation of different geometries. This can be easily achieved by learning concepts and then practicing questions. There are also many books available in the market for the subject and a brief look through the book can help you with this subject.
  5. Standards and Quality: This subject too is common with the industrial and production branch so you can take help from your friends. Another method to approach this topic is to go through the previous year papers and make sure to revise the important topics so that you do not miss out completely on this section which has about 7-8 questions. You can always take help of a good coaching institute by referring to their study material.
  6. Basics of Energy and Environment: This is an important subject of Paper 1 as it covers some 12-13 questions. While covering current affairs makes sure you give special emphasis on the energy and environment part as well, as it will come in handy in covering this subject. Normally the questions are static but are indirectly related to the current affairs. Therefore, whatever is in the news make sure you are thorough with its static part as well. Along with the current affairs, you must pick up some good environment book from the market published by a good coaching institute as it would reduce your task of looking out for the important topics. The study material will comprehensively cover all the topics.
  7. Basics of Project Management: Similar to Designing and standards topic this topic is common with civil engineering syllabus and mechanical engineering syllabus so help from friends will come in very handy. As a supplement, you should always pick up a book from the market from any good coaching institute that covers all topics in detail without missing out on anything.
  8. Basics of Material Science and Engineering: This subject covers some 10-12 questions and as we all have studied this is in the first year of our college, the subject wouldn’t be very difficult for any student. All you need is to go through all the topics again and remember this with ease by picking up a comprehensive book on material science from a good coaching institute. This generally covers easy topics like mechanical and electrical properties of the materials, ferrous and non-ferrous alloys, polymers, composites etc. which are easy to understand and interesting to study.
  9. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): This subject has some 8-10 questions and most topics are covered in the current affairs section itself. Reading the newspaper attentively will help you gain confidence in this section as most questions are current affairs based. Again as a supplement, you can always pick up a book from the market to clear any doubts you have about what is in news and understand the concepts and topics better.
  10. Ethics and values in Engineering profession: Covering some 8-10 questions, ethics and values is something that comes naturally to a person and cannot be taught. This section tests your managerial skills and doesn’t require much bookish knowledge and deep studying.

We hope our review and guidance of the non-tech part of the syllabus will help you. Having read the above points you all might have understood that though this part doesn’t require in-depth study of any topic but requires special attention as it is the reason for substantial marks in the preliminary examination. So you must take out time to study these subjects as well. Some important points to be kept in mind are:

  1. Reading the newspaper is a must as it has tri benefits: Current Affairs, ICT and Environment. So be very comprehensive and regular with your newspaper reading habit. Also, don’t forget to read a good newspaper which provides you not the gossip around the world but the important news. Daily reading of 20-25 minutes will not only make you answer questions in the examination but it will also develop a good habit of newspaper reading which has its own advantages.
  2. Make notes for General Studies: While reading the newspaper make sure to make brief notes of the important news as it will help you remember better and will be of great help during the revision of the subject right before the exam.
  3. Choose study material: Instead of studying these subjects and their topics through books (which will be many) it is always wise to choose the study material/notes of a good coaching institute of these subjects from there. This will decrease your labor and provide you all the necessary information required for the exam. MADE EASY has specially curated a comprehensive study material for all the non-tech topics and provided its students the best in market books to study for the exam and move on their journey to success.
  4. DO NOT IGNORE: Now that we have seen that these subjects carry 200 marks in the preliminary do not ignore these subjects and do not keep them for the last minute. Your ignorance towards these subjects can cost you your rank. Competition is too much these days you cannot afford to leave a subject as you never know from where the question will come, leaving a subject/topic will definitely bring you down in the merit list.
  5. Management: Strike a perfect balance between the tech and non-tech part of the syllabus and only then will you be able to score good marks in both the sections of the preliminary examination.
  6. Friends will help: As mentioned earlier many topics coincide with different branches like Mechanical, Civil etc. so it is important that you study these subjects with your friends of the particular branch as it will help you understand the subject better. Studying these subjects in groups with friends will be of great aid to you as it is common with all the branches and input of all the students will provide extra knowledge about the subject and in turn will save your time in understanding the subject. This time can be utilized in some other important subjects.

With a brief discussion on everything necessary for the exam, we leave it on you to plan your strategy for the exam. We wish you all the very best. Always remember

‘Success doesn’t lie in “results” but in “efforts”

Being the best is not important; doing the best is all that matters’

Do not forget to write to us if you have any query, dilemma or you are not able to figure out something about the exam. Contact us at

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