Courses / IAS


The Civil Services Examination (CSE) 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 (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. It is conducted in two phases - a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II also popularly known as Civil Service Aptitude Test or CSAT), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type, followed by a personality test (interview).


For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, the candidate must be a citizen of India. For other services, the candidate must be one of the following:

  • A citizen of India
  • A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India


All candidates must have as a minimum one of the following educational qualifications:

  • A degree from a Central, State or a Deemed university
  • A degree received through correspondence or distance education
  • A degree from an open university
  • A qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equivalent to one of the above


The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years (for the General category candidate) on August 1 of the year of examination. Prescribed age limits vary with respect to caste reservations.

  • For Other Backward Castes (OBC) the upper age limit is 35
  • For Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the limit is 37 years.
  • The upper age limit is relaxed for certain candidates who are backward with respect to other factors and differently abled

Numbers of attempts

The number of times a candidate may attempt the exam is limited as follows:

  • General category candidates = 6
  • OBC category candidates = 9
  • SC/ST candidates = unlimited attempts till 37 years of age

Appearing to attempt one of the papers in the preliminary examination is counted as an attempt, including disqualification/ cancellation of candidature. However, applying to sit the exam but failing to attend is not counted as an attempt.

How to become an IAS officer?

Even though the exam to be undertaken is popularly known as IAS exam, it is officially called UPSC Civil Services Exam. The UPSC CSE consists of 3 stages

1. Prelims,

2. Mains and

3. Interview.

Getting into Indian Administrative Service is not easy considering the competition involved, but not impossible for a candidate with right attitude and approach.

Preliminary Test

PT is conducted in the month of August for which form and notification released by the Union Public Service Commission, New Delhi in the minth of February. PT exam has Two papers of 100 questions and 80 questions to be finished in two hours each.

These papers are named as

  • General Studies Paper I
  • General Studies Paper II

General Studies Paper II is a qualifying paper only with cut off score as 33%, the merit list is created solely based on score of GS Paper I.

Mains Exam

After qualifying the Preliminary Examination candidates are allowed to go for mains exam which consist of two parts –

  • Written exam of nine papers
  • Personality test (also known as interview)

It consist of nine paper and followed by a personality test (Total marks is 1750)




Paper A

One of the Indian language should be selected


Paper B



Paper I

Essay writing


Paper II

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World


Paper III

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations


Paper IV

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment


Paper V

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude


Paper VI


One subject is selected from the prescribed optional subjects


Interview/Personality Test – 275 marks

Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.

Grand Total 2025 Marks

A candidate is allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination.

UPSC Examination Calendar 2018

Date of Notification for Civil Service Prelims and Indian Forest Service Prelims

February 07, 2018

Last date to apply for Civil Service Prelims and Indian Forest Service Prelims

March 06, 2018

Date of UPSC CSE Prelims 2018 and IFS Prelims 2018

June 03, 2018

Date of UPSC CSE Mains 2018

October 01, 2018

Date of UPSC IFS Mains 2018

December 02, 2018

Note: The dates of notification, commencement and duration of Examinations are liable to alteration, if the circumstances so warrant.