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UPSC-IAS

The Civil Services Examination is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Police Service.

About Exam

UPSC CSE which is also famously known as Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam, is an across the nation aggressive exam in India which is led by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) for the recruitment to different Civil Services posts. Civil Services are considered as the foundation of the Governing Structure of India.

Civil Service officers are the All India Service Officers or Central Government Class One gazetted officers who are recruited for the coveted positions under different branches of the Government.

Eligibility

There are some eligibility that you need to know before applying for the UPSC IAS exam 

  • Applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from a recognized university or institute.
  • The applicant who has appeared or intends to appear for the qualifying examination and is waiting for their results may also apply.
  • Applicants with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government.
  • The applicants who have done the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination.
  • A applicant who is appointed to the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Foreign Service on the results of an earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to compete at this examination. They have to resign from the services to reappear in the Civil Services Examination.
  • For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, an applicant should be a citizen of India.

Application Fees

Application fee details are given here:-

  • Applicant can apply online on the official site of UPSC.
  • Applicants are required to pay a reduced fee of Rs. 100/- (Rupees one hundred only) either by remitting the money in any Branch of SBI by Cash, or by using net banking facility of SBI or by using Visa/Master Credit/Debit Card.
  • All Female applicants (regardless any caste) /SC/ST/PH Applicants are exempted from the payment of the fee.

Application Procedure

These are the application procedure to apply for the UPSC IAS exam:-

  • An applicant can only apply "online".
  • An applicant must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the jpg format in such a manner that each file should not exceed 40 KB and should not be less than 3 KB in size for the photo and 1 KB for the signature.
  • Further communication (if any) will only be through electronic correspondence by email. The applicant must put a valid and active email id.
  • Periodically check your folder and make sure that emails with the @nic ending are not directed to the spam folder.
  • Fill the form on time to avoid last minute rush and glitches.
  • Payment can also be made in cash by depositing money in any branch of SBI.
  • Optional subject to be selected for the examination.

Exam Pattern

The applicant who are applying for Civil Services prelims exam need to know about its exam pattern. that are given below:-

1) Civil Services Prelims Exam-

  • This is the first step of the Civil Services Exam
  • The questions asked in this examination is of Objective Type/Multiple Choice Questions.
  • Civil Service Prelims Exam is qualifying in nature which means that the marks scored by the candidate in this exam will not be counted to form the final merit list. 
  • There are two papers in Prelims- CSAT Paper I and CSAT Paper II
  • CSAT Paper 1- In this paper, the questions from the subjects of General Studies like History, Political Science, Geography, Economics, Environment, Current Affairs, etc. are asked. CSAT Paper 1 is crucial for the selection in IAS Prelims. 
  • CSAT Paper 2- This paper is qualifying in nature, i.e., the applicant has to score just 33% marks to clear through this paper. If an applicant fails to clear CSAT Paper 2, then the applicants' CSAT Paper 1 will not be evaluated by the UPSC. CSAT Paper 2 comprises questions from Aptitude and English Comprehension.
Paper
Total Marks
Duration
No. of Questions
CSAT Paper-1
200
2 hours
100
CSAT Paper-2
200
2 hours
80


2) Civil Services Mains Exam-

The applicant who clears the Civil Services prelims exam is eligible for Civil Services mains exam. its exam pattern is given below:-

  • Civil Services Mains Exam is the most important phase as it has a significant role to play in deciding the final selection and the rank of an applicant. 
  • The questions asked in the Mains exam is of Subjective Type, and the applicant has to write the answers with a pen on the answer sheet.
  • The IAS Mains exam is conducted by the UPSC to check the analytical ability of an applicant and to test the in-depth knowledge of the applicant in General Studies subjects as well as in the current happenings in the Nation and across the World.
  • IAS Mains Paper comprises of 9 subjective papers out of which two papers (English Language and Indian Language) are of qualifying in nature which is of 300 marks each and marks scored in these papers are not counted to form the final merit list.
Paper
Subject
Marks
Duration
Paper- I 
Essay
250
3 hours
Paper- II
General Studies- 1
250
3 hours
Paper- III
General Studies- 2
250
3 hours
Paper- IV
General Studies- 3
250
3 hours
Paper- V
General Studies- 4
250
3 hours
Paper- VI
Optional Paper- I 
250
3 hours
Paper- VII
Optional Paper- II
250
3 hours


3) Civil Services Interview/Personality Test-

The applicant who clears the Civil Services prelims exam & Civil Services mains exam is eligibile for personality test. There are some facts about the personality test:-

  • The applicants who clear the IAS mains exam are called for the IAS Interviews.
  • Numbers Scored in the Interview are counted in the final merit list. 
  • The interview of an applicant is taken by a board which is chaired by a prominent civil servant of the country.
  • The Civil Services Interviews are conducted to assess the personality of the applicant and to determine whether the applicant is suitable to the job requirement.


  1. UPSC IAS written total Marks- 1750 marks
  2. UPSC IAS Interview Marks- 275 marks


UPSC Civil Services TOTAL MARKS: 2025

Study Material

Here are names of some reference books for the UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exams:

  • Political Science - Std VI to Std XII 
  • Indian Polity - M. Lakshmikant
  • Geography - 6th to 12th NCERTs is Enough/ Orient Blackswan or Oxford Atlas 
  • Modern India History- Spectrum by Rajiv Ahir 
  • Ecology and Environmental Notes by Shankar IAS
  • Newspaper
  • Yojana Magazine
  • Economic Survey of India 
  • Economic Budget 
  • India Year Book
  • Press Information Bureau (PIB)

Here are names of some reference books for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exams:

  • Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania (Culture)
  • History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra (History)
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong (Geography)
  • Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth (Polity)
  • Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh (Economy)
  • Economic Survey. (Economy)
  • Science and Technology in India – TMH (Science and Technology)
  • India Year Book (Current Affairs)
  • Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja (Indian Society – GS1)
  • Challenges to Internal Security of India (Internal Security – GS3)
  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude ( Ethics – GS4)
  • Geography of India – Majid Husain. (Geography)
  • The Hindu Newspaper
  • Yojana Magazine
  • Press Information Bureau

Test Centres

The various Test Centres for the Exam of UPSC-IAS are given below:

  • NORTH EAST - AGARTALA, DISPUR, AIZAWL, GANGTOK, IMPHAL, ITANAGAR, JORHAT, KOHIMA, SHILLONG
  • UNION TERRITORY (U.T)/NCT - CHANDIGARH, DELHI, PUDUCHERRY, PORT BLAIR
  • RAJASTHAN - JAIPUR, JODHPUR, UDAIPUR
  • MAHARASHTRA - AURANGABAD, MUMBAI, NAGPUR
  • KERALA -  KOCHI, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
  • ANDHRA PRADESH (A.P) - TIRUPATI, VISAKHAPATNAM
  • JAMMU & KASHMIR (J&K) - JAMMU, SRINAGAR
  • KARNATAKA - BANGALORE, DHARWAD
  • TAMIL NADU - CHENNAI, MADURAI
  • ODISHA - CUTTACK, SAMBALPUR
  • GUJARAT - AHMEDABAD
  • MADHYA PRADESH - BHOPAL
  • UTTARAKHAND - DEHRADUN
  • TELANGANA - HYDERABAD
  • WEST BENGAL - KOLKATA
  • GOA - PANAJI
  • BIHAR - PATNA
  • CHATTISGARH - RAIPUR
  • JHARKHAND - RANCHI
  • HIMACHAL PRADESH (H.P) - SHIMLA


FAQs

Some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) related to the exam of UPSC-IAS are as follows:

Q:Is there negative marking at Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Ans: Applicants should note that there is penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by an applicant in the Objective Type Question Papers. one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question is deducted as penalty for each wrong answer. There is no penalty for unanswered questions.

Q: What are the minimum educational qualifications prescribed?

Ans: The applicant must hold a degree of University incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or any other educational institution.

Q: What is the pattern of the Civil Services Examination?

Ans: Civil Services Examination is of 3-stages: 

  • Stage 1- Preliminary Test
  • Stage 2- Main Exam
  • Stage 3- Personality Test / Interview

Q: How many attempts can one give for the Civil Services Examination?

Ans: The number of attempts is as under are:

  • General category – 6
  • OBC – 9
  • SC/ST – No limit till the age of 37 years
  • Physically Handicapped – 9

Q: If I have completed my studies from an open school/university. Am I eligible to appear for civil services?

Ans: Yes you can.

Q: I have applied for the exam but will not be able to appear due to certain problems. Will my attempt counted?

Ans: Unless you appear for Preliminary Exam, your attempt is not counted.

Q: How can a student be sure about the word count in the examination hall?

Ans: It is advisable not to count the exact number of words for each answer in the examination hall.

Q: I’ve done graduation from a foreign university. Is my degree valid for UPSC IAS/IPS exam or not?

Ans: Your degree is valid, but you need to get an equivalent certificate from the Association of Indian Universities.

Syllabus

Syllabus for the prelims examination that the applicant has to complete before giving the exam is as follows:

Preliminary Examination:

Paper I

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity & Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • Issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization, General Science.

Paper II

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level)

Main Examination:

The applicant who has passed the prelims examination will be selected for the main examination. Here are syllabus is given for the main examination that the applicant has to complete before giving the exam:- 

Paper A - Modern Indian language

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essay
  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.

Paper B - English

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay.

Paper-I

  • Essay writing on a specific given topic.

Paper-II

General Studies-I 

  • (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)

Paper-III

General Studies -II

  • (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

PAPER-IV

General Studies -III

  • (Bio-diversity, Technology, Economic Development,  Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Paper-V

General Studies -IV

  • ( Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)

Paper-VI

  • Optional Subject - Paper I

Paper-VII

  • Optional Subject - Paper II

Cut-Offs

These are the Cut-Off of Prelims Exam:

Category
GEN
OBCSCSTPH-1
PH-1
PH-3
UPSC Civil Services Cutoff
 116.00
110.66
99.34
96.00
75.34
72.66
40.00

These are the Cut-Off of Mains Exam:

Category
GEN
OBC 
SC
 ST
PH-1
PH-2
PH-3
UPSC Civil Services Cutoff 
787
745
739
730
713
740
545


There are the Cut-Off of Final Exam:

Category
GEN
OBC 
SC
 ST
PH-1
PH-2
PH-3
UPSC Civil Services Cutoff 
988 
951
937
920
927
951
817


Selection Procedure

UPSC-IAS examination selection procedure is given here:

  • Applicants are shortlisted on the basis of their score in the preliminary examination for the main exam. Applicants are then again shortlisted on the basis of their score in the main exam for the personal Interview session.
  • IAS Prelims is qualifying in nature and comprises two papers which are of 400 marks in total i.e 200 marks each. The first paper is GS-1 wherein questions requested from standard research topics and cutting-edge affairs whilst 2d paper CSAT-2 consists of aptitude and reading Comprehension. CSAT Paper-2 of the preliminary examination is purely qualifying in nature.
  • The final section of a applicant is based on the applicant's score of the main exam (Comprising nine papers) and the personal Interview combined together.
  • Marks obtained via the candidate in the written examination as well as the personal interview would determine their ranks and preferences given for numerous services and posts.

Documents to be Carried

Applicant should know what are the documents that need to carried to examination hall:

  • Original counseling letter along with a photocopy of counseling letter
  • Admit card (Original) along with photocopy of admit card
  • Bank draft has to be made as per the guidelines mentioned in the prospectus
  • All the original and at least 2 photocopies of certificates of 10th & 12th class
  • Rank Card / Hall Ticket
  • Scorecard (if applicable)
  • Original degree/provisional certificate if applicant is appearing
  • Certificate of community(SC/ST/OBC/Other) signed by the authorized authority
  • Medical documents mentioned on UPSC application form

Intakes

The number of vacancies varies every year. There were a total of 980 vacancies last year out of which 27 had been reserved for the physically handicapped.

Important Dates

The applicant must look at the important dates given here:


The release of Application FormFebruary 19 – March 18, 2019
Availability of Admit cardsMay 2019
IAS Preliminary ExamJune 2, 2019
The announcement of Preliminary Exam ResultAugust 2019
IAS Main Exam 2019September 20, 2019
The announcement of Main Exam ResultJanuary 2020