The Indian Administrative Services (IAS) is an all-India state civil service examination. It is the highest professional recruitment and entry level civil service in India.

Besides being the highest service rank, that one can aspire for, it also has some of the most lucrative salary packages for this country.Every year more than lakhs aspirants apply for this exam but only a few people of them can clear it. Its vast syllabus and dynamic approach make it even more challenging.

Lakhs of people dream of working as an IAS officer and want to get it as soon as possible.The objective of the IAS is to provide leadership and qualified administrative manpower for implementation of policies, development initiatives and projects in various fields.

In this article, we will let you know all the things necessary for you to attempt your UPSC/IAS exams.

Eligibility Criteria for IAS/UPSC Exam

  1. Nationality.
  2. Age Limit.
  3. Number of Attempts.
  4. Educational Qualification.

1. Nationality

In order to apply for UPSC IAS post, a candidate should be a citizen of India.

2. Age limit

The date of birth as mentioned in the High School/Higher Secondary certificate will be considered final by the UPSC.

The IAS Age Limit for General Category candidate should have attained the age of 21 years and must not be more than 32 years.

Age Relaxation in IAS Age Limit –other category / candidate’s age Relaxation is given in the below table:

Age Relaxation for the following categoriesAge RelaxationAge Limit
OBC Candidate3 Years21 year – 35 year
SC/ST Candidates 5 Years 21 year – 37 year
Ex-servicemen* 5 Years 21 year – 37 year
PwD Candidates 10 Years 21 year – 42 year
Defence Services Personnel* 3 Years 21 year – 35 year

How Many Attempts are Permitted for IAS Exam?

The number of attempts for the candidates is limited to a certain number in the IAS test. It means that the seeker can appear in the IAS test as per the specified limit irrespective of their age.

But impunity in the number of attempts is handed to the reserved category candidates.The number of times candidates are permitted to take the IAS exam is given in the below table:

Category Number of attemps
General Candidates6
OBC Candidates9
SC/ST CandidatesNo restriction – till the age limit
Physically Handicapped (General)6
Physically Handicapped (OBC)9
Physically HandicappedSC/STNo restriction – till the age limit

UPSC/IAS Educational Qualification Criteria

The candidate must have aminimum ofa bachelor’s degree from a recognised university to take the UPSC exam

IAS/UPSC Exam Pattern

UPSC exam pattern is conducted by the conducting body i.e., Union Public Service Commission. This is an annual examination. UPSC/IAS Civil Services exam is considered to be very tough exam in India.

Moreover, the exam pattern for UPSC CSE is quite difficult, and a typical exam cycle lasts for almost a year from the preliminary exam till the declaration of the final result.

The UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern is officially divided into two parts, called Preliminary and Main Exam, whereas in practice, it is a three-stage exam. The third one is personality test/interview.

The IAS Exam pattern:

  1. Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)
  2. Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
  3. Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Stage I: IAS Exam – UPSC Prelims

The UPSC exam pattern for the primary stage consists of two papers, which are conducted in a day. Blind candidates are given an additional 20 minutes to appear in the IAS exam (Preliminary). Both the papers consist of objective type questions with multiple choice answers.

There is ‘Negative Marking’ in the IAS Exam for each incorrect answer but only in the Prelims stage. Preliminary exam is a qualifying stage for sludge campaigners for main exam. The marks obtained at this stage are not counted in the final merit list, however, campaigners have to prepare well for this exam as the cut-offs are variable and depend on the average score each time.

The details of UPSC Prelims Pattern are given below. The marks obtained by the candidates in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final score. It is only a screening test where candidates who do not secure the cut-off marks are eliminated.

UPSC Prelims

Sr. no.Name of the paperNature of the paperDuration of the ExamQuestionMarkNegative marks
1IAS Exam Paper – I: General StudiesMerit Ranking Nature2hr100200 marksYes
2IAS Exam Paper – II: General Studies (CSATQualifying Nature2hr80200 marksYes

IAS exam is namedthe main exam.The UPSC exam pattern for the Mains stage is conducted in 5-7 days consisting of 9 papers. The 9 papers in IAS Exam (Main) are as follows: Paper-A (Compulsory Indian Language); Paper-B (English) which are of qualifying nature, while other papers like Essay, General Studies Paper I, II, III & IV, and Optional Paper I & II are considered for final ranking.

In this exam only those candidates who have minimum declared cut off in General Studies I and General Studies II in Preliminary Exam. 33% in the exam, they are allowed to appear in the main examination.

As per the UPSC Mains exam pattern, all the paper columns consist of descriptive answer type questions. This is an exhaustive stage and the total marks in UPSC Mains Exam can directly affect your final score.

Hence, UPSC exam marks for mains stage is very important as it acts as an important role in the declaration of merit. The UPSC syllabus details with marks are given below:

Stage II: UPSC Exam Pattern – Mains

PaperSubjectDurationTotal marks
Paper ACompulsory Indianlanguage3 hours300
Paper BEnglish3 hours300
Paper IEssay3 hours250
Paper IIGeneral Studies I3 hours250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 hours250
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 hours250
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 hours250
Paper VIOptional I3 hours250
Paper VIIOptional II3 hours250

Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

UPSC Interview/Test Candidates who clear the Preliminary Exam & Main Stage exam of IAS exam with required cut-off qualifier the interviewAs per the IAS exam pattern, it consists of an interview by the UPSC board to assess the suitability of the candidates for the civil services career and related responsibilities.

The candidates who qualify to the ultimatestage will be sent an e-summon by the Commission for a face-to-face discussion round with the board members.

This test is designed to help you determine your personality types.Get an insight on how you can perform amidst the stress and day-to-day challenges of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exams. The board will judge the mental and social traits of the candidates by asking questions of general interest.

In this round, the board assesses the mental and social traits from the candidates. Questions will be asked on candidates’ hobbies, current affairs, balance of judgment, diversity and depth of interest, ability to social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity, questions of position etc. to assess whether they can pursue a career in civil services. fit or not. UPSC Personality Test is held only at UPSC Bhawan in New Delhi.

UPSC Interview Total Marks 275

The total marks of UPSC interview stage are 275, thus the total marks for considering the merit list for UPSC Mains and Interview is 2025.

UPSC Syllabus

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Paper I – (200 marks)

  1. Current events and information of national and international importance.
  2. Knowledge of Indian and World Geography – Physical, social, economic geography of India and the world.
  3. Understanding of Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Public Policy, Panchayati Raj, Rights Issues, etc.
  4. Economic and Social Development – ​​Poverty, Inclusion, Demography, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  5. General issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity and climate change – which do not require subject expertise.
  6. General Science.
  7. Complete knowledge of History of India and Indian National Movement.

Paper II – (200 marks)

1. understanding; Interpersonal skills, including communication skills.

2. Logical reasoning and analytical ability.

3. Decision making and problem solving.

4. General mental ability.

5. Basic Numbers (numbers and their relation, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X Level).

Note: Paper-II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper carrying minimum qualifying marks of 33%.

PHASE 2: CIVIL SERVICES (MAINS) Syllabus         

Paper IEssay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)250
Paper IIGeneral Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)250
Paper IVGeneral Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)250
Paper VGeneral Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)250
Paper VIOptional Subject – Paper I250
Paper VIIOptional Subject – Paper II250

The UPSC Mains syllabus gives a list of 48 voluntary Subjects which include Literature of different languages. campaigners need to choose any one of the ‘voluntary Subjects.

IAS Exam Date 2023

IAS Exam Conducting BodyUPSC
Mode of IAS examOffline
Prescribed age limit21 – 32 years (upper age relaxation for reserved candidates)
Number of times conductedOnce every year
IAS Exam – Prelims 2023Sunday – 28th May 2023 (Prelims 2022 was on 5th June 2022)
IAS Exam – Mains 202315th September 2023 onwards(exams for five days) (Mains 2022 took place between 16th and 25th September 2022)
IAS Exam PatternPrelims (MCQs), Mains (Descriptive papers)
Q 1. What is the role of an IAS Officer in India?

Ans.The part of an IAS officer is to serve the Central and State governments in enforcing and administering the programs formulated by the central and state governments.

Q 2. What is full form of IAS Officer?

IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service.

What is IAS/UPSE Qualification?

The candidate must have aminimum of a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university to take the UPSC exam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *