To become an IAS officer is the dream of many youths these days. To fulfill this dream they have to give the Civil Service Exam conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). Let’s study this Exam in detail.


·        Age:-

Lower Age Limit for all Categories:- 21 years

Upper Age Limit for:-

o   General – 32 years

o   Other Backwards Castes (OBC) – 32 years with relaxation of 3years i.e. 35 years

o   Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) - 32 years with relaxation of 5years i.e. 37 years

o   Physically Disabled candidates (Blind/ Deaf-Mute/ Orthopedic) – 32 years with relaxation of 10 years = 42 years.

o   Jammu & Kashmir Domicile-

General=37 years, OBC= 40 years, SC/ST= 42 years, PH = 50years.

o   Disabled servicemen disabled from duty-

General = 37 years, OBC = 38 years, SC/ST= 40 years

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·        Qualification:-

Any Graduate or final year students can apply.

·        Nationality:-

For IAS, a candidate must be a citizen of India.


·        General – 6 Attempts

·        SC/ST- No Limits

·        OBC - 9 Attempts

Note:- Attempt is considered when you give Prelims. If you have filled the form but haven’t given the Exam then, this will not be considered as an attempt.

Chance of Selection

The chance of Selection in the Civil Service Exam is 0.21%.For instance, if you see last time data, 11,37,000 youth have submitted the form. Out of this only 5Lakhs youth give the Prelims and only 15,445 have qualified. For the interview, only 2955 candidates had gone and only 1099 got selected. So, you can observe this number is very less.

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There are three levels in the Civil Service Exam.

·        Preliminary Exam

·        Mains Exam

·        Interview

Let’s discuss them briefly:-

1.     Preliminary Exam

Preliminary Exam is conducted to shortlist the candidates for the mains exam. It is a qualifying exam and its marks are not considered in the final selection of Candidates. It has two papers.

o   Paper 1 (200 marks, Duration 2 hours) – General Studies

Paper I consist of 100 questions that cover all the areas of General Studies i.e. History, Current Affairs, Indian and World Geography, General Science, Governance, etc. This paper helps in preparing Merit. Marks in this paper will shortlist the candidate for Mains Exam.

o   Paper 2(200 marks, Duration 2 hours) – CSAT i.e. Civil Services Aptitude Exam

Paper-II has 80 questions related to logical reasoning, basic Numeracy, decision making or problem-solving, etc. This is the only qualifying exam in which minimum marks is 33%.

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§  You can give the exam in any language either English or Hindi.

§  Both Exams have MCQs.

§  Questions can be asked from the syllabus of 10th, 11th, 12th, and current Affairs.

Tip:- Read Newspapers daily.

2.     Mains Exam

Mains Exam is the decision-maker exam because, for the final selection, marks in mains exam are considered. There is a total of nine papers in the mains exam. In this you have to focus on 7 subjects as merit is prepared from seven papers having 1750 total marks.

o   Paper 1: Essay (250 marks)

·        Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics related to any subject like technology, politics, etc. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

·        Candidates are required to be close to the topic and arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion.

·        Candidates have to write 2 Essays each of 125 marks

o   Paper-II:-  General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Cultures, History and Geography of the World and Society. (250 marks)

o   Paper III:- General Studies-II: Governance, Constitution, Policy, Social Justice and International relations. (250 marks)

o   Paper IV:- General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management. (250 marks)

o   Paper V: General Studies: IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude (250 marks)

o   Paper VI: Optional Subject – Paper 1 (250 marks)

o   Paper VII: Optional Subject- Paper 2 (250 marks)

Note: There are 26 optional Subjects.

There are two qualifying Papers, whose marks are not counted, but you have to score 33% marks in these papers.

o   Qualifying Papers:

·        Paper A-one of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. (300 marks)

·        Paper – B (300 marks)


3.     Interview

The interview is also called the Personality test. Many students are rejected in this round due to a lack of confidence or poor communication skills.


If your rank is under 100, then there are your chances to be selected as an IAS.  If you selected as an IAS, you can become a DM(District Magistrate), Secretary to a Ministry, SDM (Sub-Divisional District Magistrate), SDO, Cabinet Secretary of India, etc.

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Salary may depend upon their grade, job or rank. For example, Pay-scale of DM is ₹50,000 to ₹1,50,000 that of the Secretary to a Ministry which is 1Lakh- 2Lakh etc.

How to Prepare?

·        Collect the knowledge regarding each subject

·        Read the syllabus carefully.

·        Listen to the interviews of toppers

·        Read Newspapers daily.

·        Make a Time table and follow it strictly.

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