In a Rajya Sabha session, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that nearly half the candidates who clear the Civil Services Exams are engineers. Off late a trend has been observed that engineers have been clearing the civil services exam more frequently than candidates belonging to any other stream. There might be a vast difference between the engineering course and the general studies paper, engineers still ace the paper regularly.

Experts have been trying to pinpoint the cause of this behaviour but they are not able to understand this. CSAT can not also be blamed for this since it was made a qualifying paper in 2015. Continue reading this article to know more about UPSC preparation tips for engineering students and how to prepare for UPSC along with engineering?

Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC While Doing Engineering?

UPSC Preparation for Engineers

Since you have decided on UPSC as your career path, even as you are completing your engineering you need to begin now. Collect all the data you can about the exam pattern and preparation strategy. You must go through the syllabus and you must ask yourself whether you are up to it. If you believe in yourself then internalise the syllabus. Below are some tips for how to prepare for UPSC along with engineering:

UPSC Study Material

Preparing for UPSC along with engineering is going to be hectic and exhausting, but the struggle is going to be worth the wait and effort. You must begin with basic books like NCERTs. Then you will move to textbooks of higher standards. You must also decide on optional subjects along with your engineering and start your preparation at the same moment. It is recommended that you take up engineering only since you are already pursuing it for your graduation. You can also opt for subjects that overlap with your general studies papers.

Make a Schedule

Since you would be pursuing your engineering while preparing for the UPSC, it is recommended that you make a schedule to juggle both of them effectively. Time is considered a scarce commodity in these scenarios. Try to make a timetable or a schedule and try sticking to it. The schedule must contain enough time which you can allocate to study for your semester exam and Civil Services Exams. Add reading the newspaper daily as the foremost task on your schedule. Also, begin reading a good magazine to aid your current affairs segment.

Target Topics that are Fundamental

One should target the basics first. It is advised that you begin your preparation by reading NCERTS from class 6 to class 12, especially of Social Sciences. This will help you revise all the concepts from your school days. You should also know how to make crisps, efficient and precise notes. It is also essential that you track your progress after each step to analyse how well you are doing in your studies.

Choose a Good Optional

Choosing the correct optional is an important step. You don’t choose an optional subject based on which subject is more scoring or how many students attempted that particular optional. Do not limit your choices to just technical subjects, since you are an engineer. Choose a subject you enjoy reading or a subject that interests you even when you don’t wish to study it. Some of the most popular subjects are public administration, geography, history, political science, sociology and psychology, but you can opt for engineering subjects too if you are good at core subjects like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics engineering and civil engineering.

Begin by Writing Answers

Start by answering previous year questions and also try to be within the word limits. By doing this effectively you can also anticipate the type of questions that can be asked in the exam or important topic that repeat each year. Make a habit of writing at least one model answer daily, either from the newspaper or the study material referred to by you. You can also go through some of the model answers written from toppers from previous years.

Also Read: UPSC IES Exam Eligibility: All About UPSC India Engineering Services Exam

As a Mechanical Engineer How to Prepare for UPSC? 

More than 100 candidates opt for mechanical engineering optional in the mains exam. This is one of the most successful options with a success rate. Below is a table explaining this in detail.


No. of candidates appeared

No. of candidates cleared

Success Rate (%)

































Toppers with Mechanical Engineering Optional




Manish Kumar



Vaibhava Srivastava


98 (also AIR 1; IFoS 2017)

Nitesh Wadhwani



Amit Kumar Bedwal



Vivek Kumar



Taranjot Singh



Raveesh Gupta



Pros Of Mechanical Engineering Optional

#It is simpler since it is technical. You can improve your answers by making diagrams, flowchart or other types of pictorial representations.

#Your performance can be easily assessed. If you have written the correct answer then you can be assured of at least average marks.

#Most questions asked in this section belong to previous years with most of them being straightforward and having no ambiguity.

Cons ff Mechanical Engineering Optional

#The syllabus is vast.

#The subject might be tough for you if you are out of touch with it for a long period.

#No topic is similar to the general studies papers.

Books for Mechanical Engineering

Strength of Materials by Sadhu Singh

Callister’s Materials Science and Engineering

Theory of Machines by SS Rattan

Theory of Machines by RS Khurmi

A Text Book on Production Engineering by Swadesh Kumar Singh

Manufacturing Technology by PN Rao

Manufacturing Science by Amitabha Ghosh

A Textbook of Production Engineering by PC Sharma

Operations Research by Hira and Gupta

Engineering Thermodynamics by PK Nag

Fundamentals of Compressible Flow by SM Yahya

Thermal Engineering by RK Rajput

Heat and Mass Transfer by DS Kumar

Internal Combustion Engines by V Ganesan

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning by CP Arora

Refrigeration and Air-conditioning by RS Khurmi

Power Plant Engineering by PK Nag

Also Read: IES Officer vs IAS Officer: Which Rank should an Engineer Aim for?

Examples of the Ones who Already Cracked

Below are examples of one who already cracked the UPSC Civil Services Exams after completing their engineering.

IAS Anuradha Pal

Anuradha Pal completed her Bachelors of Technology in Electronics and Communications. After completing her degree she cleared the exam twice to attain an All India Rank of 62 in her final attempt. She is currently serving as an officer in the Indian Administrative Services.

Sharan Kamble

Sharan Kamble is a son of a farmer who cleared the Civil Services Examinations in his first attempt. After completing his engineering from Vidya Mandir Vairag and Walchand College of Engineering, he completed his Master of Technology from IISC Bangalore. He went on to score All India Rank 8 in the Central Armed Forces Exams.

Also Read: UPSC Exam after Engineering: Is Preparing for IAS Exam after B.E a Good Choice?


If you are reading this, hopefully by now you have already understood how it looks like to prepare for the UPSC after completing engineering and also your questions like can an engineer prepare for UPSC at home have been answered. Visit the UPSC Pathshala website to read more tips on UPSC preparation.

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How do Engineers Start Preparing for UPSC? Examples of Engineers Who Cleared the UPSC Exam
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How do Engineers Start Preparing for UPSC? Examples of Engineers Who Cleared the UPSC Exam
Are you an engineering student who is planning to attempt the UPSC CSE? Do you want to begin your UPSC preparation on the correct note? Click here to know more about the preparation procedure for Engineers.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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