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Name: IAS
Exam Full Name:: Indian Administrative Services Examination
Category: UPSC Exams
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Civil service, the backbone of the Indian government machinery constitutes all the departments which runs the State administration. A highly competitive and challenging area, it involves a variety of jobs in different departments. Compared to private sector jobs this profession has job security. The prestige and power that comes along with these top-notch jobs is a definite reason for anybody to join this profession. The salary, allowances and facilities like healthcare, housing, conveyance etc. also make it a lucrative profession.


Entry into the IAS, IPS and the Central Services, Group A and Group B is through the All India Combined Competitive Examination for the Civil Services conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in different centers spread all over the country. However, recruitment to the Indian Forest Service is through a different procedure. Entry into the State Civil Services is through a competitive examination conducted by every state public service commission. Anyone thinking of taking up civil service examination, should have an idea how difficult it is. So once you decide to appear in civil service exam, one should be prepared to slog endlessly.

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Exam Level

National level exam


Contact Information


  • For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For other services, a candidate must be either:
  1. a citizen of India, or
  2. a subject of Nepal, or
  3. a subject of Bhutan, or
  4. a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India. or
  5. a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Srilanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  •  Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.


  • Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.


  • A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him by the Government of India.


Application fee:


The application fee is Rs. 100/- and can be paid either in the form of cash or net banking. The female and reserved category candidates will be exempted from application fee.

Age Limit :



Upper age limit

No. of attempts


32 Years

06 Attempts


35 Years

09 Attempts


37 Years

No bar

PH (Blind, Deaf, Orthopedic)

42 Years

GEN/OBC= 9 Attempts

SC/ST= No bar

J & K Domicile

GEN=37 Yrs, OBC= 40 Yrs, SC/ST=40 Yrs, PH=50 Yrs

No bar

Disabled servicemen, disabled from duty.

GEN=37 Yrs, OBC=40 Yrs, SC/ST=40 Yrs.

No bar



  • Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who are also covered under any other clauses of para 3(ii) (b) above, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen, persons domiciled in the State of J & K, blind, deaf-mute and orthopadically handicapped etc. will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.
  • The term ex-servicemen will apply to the persons who are defined as ex-servicemen in the Ex-servicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979, as amended from time to time.
  • The age concession under para 3(ii) (b) (v) and (vi) will not be admissible to Ex-Servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs who are released on own reguest.
  • Notwithstanding the provision of age-relaxation under para 3(ii) (b) (vii) above, a physically disabled candidate will be considered to be eligible for appointment only if he/she (after such physical examination as the Government or appointing authority, as the case may be, may prescribe) is found to satisfy the requirements of physical and medical standards for the concerned Services/posts to be allocated to the physically disabled candidates by the Government.
  • Save as provided above the age limits prescribed can in no case be relaxed.
  •   The date of birth accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate or in a certificate recognised by an Indian University as equivalent to Matriculation or in an extract from a Register of Matriculates maintained by a University, which extract must be certified by the proper authority of the University or in the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificate.
  • These certificates are required to be submitted only at the time of applying for the Civil Services (Main) Examination.
  • No other document relating to age like horoscopes, affidavits, birth extracts from Municipal Corporation, service records and the like will be accepted.
  • The expression Matriculation/Secondary Examination Certificate in this part of the instruction includes the alternative certificates mentioned above.
  • Candidates should note that only the Date of Birth as recorded in the Matriculation/Secondary Examination Certificate or an equivalent certificate on the date of submission of applications will be accepted by the Commission and no subsequent request for its change will be considered or granted.
  • Candidates should also note that once a Date of Birth has been claimed by them and entered in the records of the Commission for the purpose of admission to an Examination, no change will be allowed subsequently (or at any other Examination of the Commission) on any grounds whatsoever.
  • The candidate should exercise due care while entering their date of birth in column 8 of the application form for the Preliminary Examination. If on verification at any subsequent stage, any variation is found in their date of birth from the one entered in their matriculation or equivalent Examination certificate, disciplinary action will be taken against them by the commission under the Rules.

Minimum Educational Qualifications

    The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.


  1. Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commissions examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination. All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination. The applications for the main examination will be called sometime in the month of July/August, 2017. 
  2. In exceptional cases the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate who has not any of the foregoing qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he has passed examination conducted by the other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his admission to the examination
  3. Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by Government as equivalent to professional and technical degree would also be eligible for admission to the examination.
  4. Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit along with their application a copy of certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination. In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original Degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.


  • An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the examination.
  • If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the examination.
  • Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of candidature the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.

Restrictions on applying for the examination

  •  A candidate 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.
  • In case such a candidate is appointed to the IAS/IFS after the Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Examination, 2016-17 is over and he/she continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be eligible to appear in the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2016-17 notwithstanding his/her having qualified in the Preliminary Examination, 2016-17.
  • Also provided that if such a candidate is appointed to IAS/IFS after the commencement of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2016-17 but before the result thereof and continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be considered for appointment to any service/post on the basis of the result of this examination viz. Civil Services Examination, 2016-17




All India Combined Competitive Examination for the Civil Services conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) comprises of two successive stages:

  •     Preliminary Examination: It is of objective type, which is a qualifying examination.
  •     Main Examination: It consists of written examination and interview.
  •     Interview/Personality Test

 The Preliminary Examination is held in May/June and the Main Examination in October/November. One must begin preparations of the main exam along with preliminary exam. This is because there is little time for the Main exam if one waits for the results of the Preliminaries.


Selection to the Indian Forest Service, on the other hand, is on the basis of a written test held in the month of July/August every year. The test comprises: two compulsory papers (General English and General Knowledge); and additional papers in any two subjects chosen from the following options: agriculture / botany / chemistry / physics / geology / zoology / mathematics / agricultural engineering / chemical engineering / civil engineering / mechanical engineering , excepting combinations of agriculture and agricultural engineering , chemistry and chemical engineering.

Examination Papers:

Preliminary Examination The preliminary examination consists of two papers:

1. Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam– Civil Services (Preliminary) exam is the 1st stage to shortlist the eligible applicants for Main exam. The highlights of the IAS (Preliminary) exam are given below-

§  This examination is conducted just as screenings test to shortlist the eligible applicants.

§  In preliminary exam, the applicants will have to take up 2 compulsory papers of total 200 marks each.

§  The question paper will be available with MCQ type questions.

§  The qualified applicants of preliminary exam will be eligible to take part in IAS (Main) exam.

§  The marks obtained in IAS (Preliminary) exam will not be considered in final merit list.


Important Notes

§  There will be a penalty for each wrong answer in MCQ type question paper.

§  UPSC will prepare a list of applicants to be qualified for civil services (Main) exam on the basis of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper II of preliminary exam & total qualifying marks in General Studies Paper I of prelims.


Main Examination Consists of the following papers:

The IAS (Main) exam consists of written exam & personal interview. These 2 stages of Main exam has been detailed below-

(I)Written Exam- There will be total 9 papers of conventional essay type in the subjects given in notification out of which 2 papers will be of qualifying nature.

§  The duration of each paper will be 3 hours.

§  The applicants will have the option to answer all the question papers, except Paper I (English Comprehension & English Precis) in English & Hindi.

§  The applicants who score minimum qualifying marks in written part of the main exam as may be fixed by the UPSC at their discretion will be summoned by them for a personal interview test. The no. of applicants selected for personal interview will be just twice the no. of vacancies to be filled. 


(II) Personal Interview

§  The personal interview will have 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).

§  The applicants will be asked questions on general interest of the interviewers.

§  The main object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the applicant for a career in public service by a Board of competent & unbiased observers.



  • The final stage of selection is the interview which is conducted in April/May every year. Candidate will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object is to assess the personal suitability and judge the mental caliber of the candidate. The candidate must exhibit an intelligent interest in events happening around him so that he appears to be a complete personality.
  • There is also a medical test, especially rigid for IPS. Out of the final candidates selected top rankers are appointed as IAS officers.
  • Once appointed, all probationary officers of the All India and Central Services undergo a compulsory foundation training.


 CSAT- Civil Services Exam Pattern (Preliminary)

 §  There will be 2 compulsory papers in preliminary exam- general Ability Test (GAT) and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) to test the analytical skills of the applicants.

§  These 2 papers will be objective in nature with MCQ type questions.

§  There will be a penalty of 1/4th marks for each wrong answers.

§  The question paper will be available in Hindi & English language (except the section of English Language Comprehension).

Sr. No.

Name of Paper

Allotted marks

Paper I

General Ability Test

200 marks

Paper II

English Language & aptitude

200 marks



400 marks

The General Studies Paper II, minimum qualifying marks is 33%. The applicants will be selected on the basis of total qualifying marks of general studies paper I.

Civil Services Main Exam Pattern

§  There will be 2 papers in the examination- qualifying papers & papers to be counted for merit formation.

§  The applicants will have to appear in both the parts.

§  Failing in the qualifying papers will lead to the cancelling of the applicants’ candidature.

§  There will be total 7 papers in Civil Services Main examination of 250 marks each. There will be 2 optional papers that applicants have to choose as per their choice. You can check the detailed list of subjects from the official website of UPSC.


Qualifying Papers                  

§  Paper A- One of the Indian language to be selected by the applicants from the languages included in the 6th schedule of the constitution- 300 marks.

§  Paper B- English- 300 marks 

NOTE- The paper of Indian language & English (Paper A & B) will be matriculation or equivalent standard & will be of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in the qualifying papers will not be counted for merit formation.


Papers which are counted for merit calculation

Sr. No.

Title of the paper

Marks allotted

Paper I

Essay writing


Paper II

General studies- I )Indian heritage & culture, history & geography of the world & society)


Paper III

General studies- II (Governance, constitution Polity, social justice & international & international relations)


Paper IV

General studies- III (Technology, economic development, bio-diversity, environment, security & disaster mgmt.)


Paper V

General studies- IV (Ethics, integrity & aptitude)


Paper VI

Optional subject- Paper I


Paper VII

Optional subjects- paper II



Subtotal in written exam



Personal interview



Grand total (for merit calculation)


Personality Test

The personality test will be carried out for those applicants who have qualified the preliminary exam 2017. This test will include psychometric test, assessment test and personal interview as well. The marks obtained in this test will be added to do the calculation for merit list. 



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