IAS Exam 2021: UPSC [Union Public Service Commission] conducts the Civil Services Exam annually for various posts like IAS, IPS, IFS, and other All India service exams. The UPSC Notification for IAS Exam 2021 has already been released. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one of the most sought-after positions by the candidates who successfully clear all three stages of the UPSC Examination. Top brass ministry positions in both central and state governments are governed by IAS officers. After serving a tenure of several years, high-performing IAS officers get an opportunity to serve as the Cabinet Secretary of India. Below we have provided UPSC Exam details that include notification, IAS exam date, eligibility criteria, pattern, IAS syllabus (Prelims and Mains), application procedure, and more.
UPSC IAS 2021 Exam Highlights
|Exam Name||IAS Exam|
|Conducting Body||Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)|
|Exam Mode||Offline (Pen & Paper)|
|Number of candidates apply for the exam||10 – 12 lakhs|
|Number of Vacancies||712|
|Total Number of Services included in exam||24|
|UPSC Official Website||upsc.gov.in|
UPSC IAS Exam Dates 2021
- 1 UPSC IAS Exam Dates 2021
- 2 IAS Exam 2021 Eligibility Criteria
- 3 IAS Exam Pattern
- 4 IAS Syllabus 2021
- 5 IAS Exam 2021 Application Form
- 6 IAS 2021 Admit Card
- 7 IAS 2021 Selection Process
- 8 IAS 2021 Result
- 9 IAS Exam Preparation
- 10 Posts offered through IAS Exam
- 11 UPSC IAS 2021 – FAQs
|Official UPSC Notification 2021||March 4, 2021|
|Last date to apply for IAS Exam 2021||March 24, 2021|
|Release of UPSC Exam Admit Card 2021||September 2021|
|IAS Prelims Exam 2021||October 10, 2021|
|IAS Prelims 2021 Result||November 2021 (Tentative)|
|IAS Main Exam 2021||January 07, 2022|
IAS Exam 2021 Eligibility Criteria
Before applying for the IAS Exam 2021, candidates must check IAS eligibility set by UPSC authorities. If they qualify in these conditions, they can go ahead and apply for the UPSC Examination.
- Nationality: For IAS and IPS positions, candidates must comply with the standard condition of being Indian citizens. For other services like IRS, IRTS, etc., the candidates could be citizens of India or one of the following:
- Subject of Nepal
- Subject of Bhutan
- Tibetan refugees who have permanently settled in our country and migrated to our nation before 1st January 1962.
- An Indian origin person who migrated earlier to Pakistan/ Burma/ Sri Lanka/ Kenya/ Uganda/ United Republic of Tanzania/ Zambia/ Malawi/ Zaire/ Ethiopia/ Vietnam but returned to India with sole intentions of permanently settling here.
- Candidates looking out for IFS positions cannot be subjects of Bhutan/ Nepal or Tibet.
- Educational Qualification for IAS: The candidate must hold a graduate degree or equivalent qualification from a recognized university of India.
- Age Limit for IAS 2021: The lower age limit is 21 years as on August 01, 2021 and the upper age limit is 32 years.
- Age Relaxation: Age relaxation for various categories is explained below
- SC/ST – 37 years
- OBC – 35 years
- Physically Challenged – 42 years
- Ex-Servicemen – 37 years
- Defense Services Personnel disabled – 35 years
- ECOs/SSCOs – completed five years of Military Service – 37 years
- Number of Attempts: The UPSC committee offers certain age relaxation norms for reservation category candidates.
- General Category – 6 attempts
- Economically Weaker Section – 6 attempts
- OBC – 9 attempts
- ST/SC – N/A
IAS Exam Pattern
The IAS Exam Pattern consists of three significant stages – Prelims, Mains, and Personal Interview. Each exam stage has a different set of patterns and question formats. The number of questions, type of questions, and marks allocation for each stage are given below.
IAS Prelims Exam Pattern
The preliminary exam consists of two papers, i.e., Paper-I and Paper-II. Cut off marks is calculated for Paper-I only and Paper-II is qualifying in nature. The candidate needs to score 66 marks (33% is the cut off score) to qualify for the IAS Main Exam.
|Exam Mode||Offline (Candidates would be provided with OMR sheets to mark answers)|
|Medium of Exam||English & Hindi|
|Number of Papers||2 (General Studies & CSAT)|
|Type of Questions||MCQ’s (Objective Types)|
|Number of Questions (GS Paper-I)||80|
|Number of Questions (GS Paper-II)||100|
|Exam Duration||2 Hours (for each paper)|
|Negative Marking||1/3rd of marks are deducted for every wrong answer.|
IAS Main Exam Pattern
All candidates who successfully clear the IAS prelims exam and secure marks above the cut-off range shall be provided with a chance to attempt the IAS mains exam. The main exam is subjective in nature. There are 9 papers to be attempted in the mains exam. Language papers based on English and Hindi are only for qualifying purposes. Marks obtained by candidates in these two papers are not considered for the final calculation of marks. The rest of the seven papers are considered for final marks calculation.
|Paper A||Compulsory Indian Language||300|
|Paper-II||General Studies I||250|
|Paper-III||General Studies II||250|
|Paper-IV||General Studies III||250|
|Paper-V||General Studies IV||250|
|Paper VI, VII||There will be two papers of 250 marks each based on the subject which the candidate has selected at the time of application filing.||500|
IAS Personality Test
- Candidates who successfully clear IAS main examination by securing more marks than the cut-off range shall move to a personal interview round.
- All selected candidates for personal interviews shall appear before the UPSC panel board for a personality test.
- This round is conducted for a maximum of 275 marks.
IAS Syllabus 2021
The UPSC prescribes a standard syllabus for each paper of the IAS examination. Candidates must refer to the in-depth IAS syllabus for attempting each paper.
IAS Prelims Syllabus
- Paper I – Modern history, Indian national movement, Indian geography, world geography, Indian polity and governance, socio-economic development, environmental studies and ecology, science and technology developments, current affairs.
- Paper II – Comprehension, logical reasoning, decision making and interpretation, general ability, basic numerical problems, interpersonal skills, English language skills.
IAS Mains Syllabus
- Paper A: Candidate should select any one of the Indian languages that have been listed in the eight schedules of our constitution.
- Paper B: General English language.
- Paper I: General Essay – Candidates shall be provided essay topics based on current affairs or topics of national/ international importance pertaining to various disciplines, etc.
- Paper II: General Studies I – Indian heritage and culture, History and Geography of India and the World
- Paper III: General Studies II – Governance, constitution, polity, social justice, and International relations management.
- Paper IV: General Studies III – Technology, Economic Development, biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
- Paper V: General Studies IV – Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
- Paper VI and VII – All candidates should choose an optional subject for this paper. UPSC provides the list of optional subjects a candidate can choose from.
List of Optional Subjects for IAS Exam
For UPSC Mains, the committee has provided a list of optional subjects. Candidates have to choose any one optional subject from the given list.
List of Literature Optional Subjects in UPSC
IAS Exam 2021 Application Form
All candidates who wish to apply for IAS Exam 2021 should apply through ONLINE mode only. Candidates can login to the official website of UPSC [upsc.gov.in.] to access the IAS application form. Below we have provided step by step process to fill IAS 2021 online application form in detail.
- Visit the official website of UPSC – upsc.gov.in.
- Click on “Online application form for various UPSC Exam”.
- Go to the Registration section. Enter basic candidate details and complete registration formalities.
- Login to the website again with registered candidate details.
- Enter candidate details in Part I – UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam
- In Part-II of the registration form, enter further details requested.
- Upload candidate photograph, signature, ID proof etc. to complete application form filling process.
- Now come to the fee payment section. Pay relevant exam fees.
Submit the application form.
- Candidates who successfully submit the application form by entering correct details and registering themselves shall receive an e-mail acknowledgement.
IAS Application Fee
The IAS application fee can be remitted in both ONLINE and OFFLINE modes. In online mode, the candidate can pay via credit card/debit card/Rupay card or net banking. In offline mode, the candidate needs to download the e-challan and submit the cash in SBI bank branches on the next day itself. Below we have provided application fee for various categories.
- General Merit/OBC/EWS – INR 100
- SC/ST/PwD – No Fee
- Female candidates – No Fee
IAS 2021 Admit Card
Candidates who have successfully filled the online application form will receive an e-mail acknowledgment of application submission and will be able to download IAS admit card from the official website. The IAS 2021 admit card contains important information like candidate name, registration number, exam centre, timings and duration of exam, contact number and address, etc. All candidates need to carry the UPSC IAS admit card to the exam venue without fail.
- Visit the official website of UPSC.
- Click on the link ‘Download IAS Admit Card 2021’
- Enter details like ‘Registration Number’ and ‘Date of Birth’
- Enter Captcha code if displayed.
- Submit details. Admit card shall be displayed on the screen.
- Download the UPSC admit card and take a hard copy print of the same.
Please Note: Candidates should check for correctness of details. IF there are wrong entries, the same should be reported to the grievance cell of UPSC commission immediately
IAS 2021 Selection Process
There are three steps in the selection process of candidates who have successfully cleared all rounds of the UPSC Civil Service Exam with high scores.
- The first round of selection is the IAS Preliminary exam. Candidates who achieve more than the cut-off marks shall move on to the Mains exam.
- In the IAS mains exam, candidates shall further attempt 9 papers. All candidates who successfully score above the cut-off marks [the last 7 papers are considered for calculating cut-off marks] shall qualify for the personal interview round.
- In the last round of personality tests, candidates who possess very good communication and interpersonal skills and exceptional skill sets eligible for officer cadre roles are selected.
- The total score of candidates selected in the personal interview round is calculated. Total marks include mains exam marks [last seven papers] plus personality test round marks.
- Based on final marks, all candidates are shortlisted according to ranking.
- Candidates who score exceptionally high marks occupy top ranks and get postings as IAS, IPS, and IFS officers.
- The remaining ranks are allotted for other All India services plus Group A and Group B services.
IAS 2021 Result
All candidates have to check for their IAS results on the official website of UPSC. Here are the steps to follow for checking results on the official website:
- Go to the official website of UPSC, i.e. upsc.gov.in
- Login to the homepage.
- Click on the “Results” section.
- Click on the link indicating results for CSE Prelims/ Mains/ Personal Interview Round 2021.
- Enter the date of birth/candidate registration details.
- Results shall be displayed.
IAS Exam Preparation
The journey to crack the IAS exam is quite tough and challenging. With the right strategy and approach, candidates can aim to clear the IAS exam in the very first attempt; here are some valuable tips to follow:
- Follow strategic time management tips with a strict, working timetable.
- Extensive reading habits and in-depth learning of all topics indicated in the syllabus is the biggest trick.
- Always structure your studies around UPSC provided syllabus only. Do not leave any topic untouched in the syllabus.
- Solve previous year’s IAS exam question papers. Practice enough with mock test series.
- Achieve a good understanding of your basics by referring to a whole lot of NCERT textbooks. Fundamental knowledge in all subjects is essential.
- Read at least two newspapers every day. One national newspaper plus another local newspaper is mandatory.
- Update yourself every day with current affairs, both at national and international levels.
- Revision is crucial. Dedicate the last month before exams to thoroughly revise what you’ve studied for your exams.
- Practice studies with good illustration techniques. Pictorial depictions, representations, charts, and visual learning aids are very effective.
- Last but not least, maintain a good and positive frame of mind. Develop confidence and approach the exam with a calm mindset for optimum results.
Posts offered through IAS Exam
Once the UPSC final merit list is out, candidates get a call for postings based on their ranking. The list of services that candidates get to choose from are:
Group A Services
- Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
- Indian Police Service (IPS)
- Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
- Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
- Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)
- Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
- Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
- Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
- Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
- Indian Information Service (IIS)
- Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
- Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
- Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
- Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
- Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
- Indian Revenue Service (IRS-IT)
- Indian Revenue Service (IRS-C&CE)
- Indian Trade Service (ITrS)
- Railway Protection Force (RPF)
Group B Services
- Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHCS)
- Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS)
- Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS)
- Pondicherry Civil Service (PCS)
- Pondicherry Police Service (PPS)
UPSC IAS 2021 – FAQs
1. What is IAS Exam?
Answer: UPSC conducts the coveted Civil Services Exam for recruitment to various All India Services like IAS, IPS and Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ services. This exam is commonly known as the IAS exam.
2. How to apply for IAS Exam?
Answer: To apply, visit the official website of UPSC in the stipulated time duration. Download and fill all details in the application form. Upload documents and pay the application fee. Submit the form.
3. What is the last rank for IAS?
Answer: It generally depends on vacancies. Usually, the rankings till 90 get IAS postings, though the ranking limit is bound to vary every year.
4. Which degree is best for IAS?
Answer: A Bachelors’ degree is the minimum qualification required. Degree in any stream or specialisation is equally good for applying to Civil Services Exam.
5. Which optional subject is best for IAS Exam?
Answer: The choice of optional subjects should be made depending on the candidate’s specialization, aptitude, understanding and interest in the subject. Choices shouldn’t be made depending on the popularity or toughness level of the exam.
6. How to become an IAS Officer?
Answer: All aspirants who clear all three rounds of the UPSC Examination with top-ranking [below 100 ideally] shall be eligible for posting to IAS cadres.
7. Who got the highest marks in UPSC ever?
Answer: Anudeep Durishetty scored the highest ever marks in UPSC exam. He was the topper of the 2017 year exams. He scored a whopping 1126 out of 2025 marks in the IAS exam.
8. What is UPSC?
Answer: UPSC is the main exam conducting body for recruitment to various All India services, Group A, Group B services. It also conducts exams for various other subordinate services and state level public service exams. It looks into the recruitment, examination, posting and other major decisions related to these exams.
9. What is the age limit for IAS Exam?
Answer: Minimum age is 21 years, and the maximum age allowed is 32 years. This is the general rule applicable for all. For other categories, there are various reservations in age limits.
10. Can an average student crack IAS?
Answer: YES. Any student – average/ bright/ exceptional can clear the UPSC Civil Services Exam with the right preparation strategy, good practice and effective time management skills.