UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission, which conducts the civil services examination on an all India level for 24 and more governmental services, including IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.
Every year more than five lakh aspirants apply for the IAS exam, but after the final round of selection, only less than 1000 candidates make it to the ultimate selection process.
The UPSC IAS Exam is conducted in three phases, i.e., Preliminary stage, Mains examination, and the interview.
In this article, you will learn about the IAS exam 2020 notification, important dates, eligibility criteria for UPSC exam, admit card, online application form, exam pattern, syllabus, results, etc.
Latest Updates – UPSC 2020 Notification Released – Download PDF
Highlights of Civil Services Exam 2020
|Official Exam Name||UPSC Civil Services Exam|
|IAS Exam Conducting Body||Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)|
|Number of candidates apply for the exam||10 – 12 lakhs|
|Number of Vacancies||796|
|Total Number of Services included in exam||24|
UPSC IAS Exam Dates 2020
|Issue of Official Notification||12th February 2020 – Released|
|Application Form availability||12th February 2020|
|Last date for Application Submission (online)||03rd March 2020|
|IAS Prelims Admit Card||April 2020 (Tentative)|
|IAS Preliminary Exam Date||31st May 2020|
|IAS Prelims Exam Result||Mid-July, 2020 (Tentative)|
|IAS Mains Exam Admit Card||August 2020 (Tentative)|
|IAS Mains Exam Date||18th September 2020|
|Declaration of Final Result||December 2020/ January 2021 (Tentative)|
|Interview Date||February to March 2020 (Tentative)|
UPSC IAS Eligibility Criteria 2020
The complete list of IAS Exam eligibility criteria is as stated under:
- For the IAS, IFS, IPS and other group A services, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
- For group B services, a candidate must be one of the following:
- A citizen of India or;
- 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 settling permanently in India.
To be eligible for UPSC IAS Exam, a candidate must possess one of the following educational qualifications
- A degree from a Central, State or Deemed university
- A degree received through correspondence or distance education
- A degree from an open university
- A qualification recognised by the Government of India as being equivalent to one of the above.
- Candidates who have successfully completed graduation in any stream are eligible to apply.
- Those candidates who are in their final year of graduation and awaiting results can also attempt the exam.
- In rare cases, a qualification owned by a candidate that is treated equivalent to graduation will also be considered by the commission upon fair analysis of the degree achieved.
- Candidates in possession of technical and professionally aided degrees are also eligible to apply.
- Candidates appearing for the exam are hereby requested to submit proof of having cleared the qualifying examination plus copy of the application submitted.
- The criteria for medical students are quite different, in case the student is in the final year but is yet to undergo internship and training process. Such students if qualified for the main examination, shall submit a copy of the internship program undertaken along with the main examination application without fail.
UPSC Age Limit
- The age limit as set by the UPSC panel is a minimum of 21 years, and the candidate should not have attained the age of 32 years as on 1st August of the year of examination.
- For OBC candidates the upper age limit is 35 years, and for SC/ST, it is 37 years.
- For physically disabled category, candidates from general merit can have maximum attempts till the age of 35, for OBC it is 38, and for SC/ST it is 40.
- For disabled servicemen, general category candidates can make attempts till the age of 35, for OBC it is 38, and for SC/ST it is 40
Number of Attempts
- The maximum number of attempts for IAS Exam, General category candidates is 6, for OBC it is 9, and for SC/ST candidates, it is unlimited, till their lifetime.
- For physically disabled, general category candidates and OBC candidates can have a maximum number of 9 attempts plus for SC/ST it is unlimited.
- For disabled servicemen of all categories, they can make an unlimited number of attempts.
UPSC IAS Application Form 2020
- Aspirants for civil services examinations need to fill the application form online.
- UPSC IAS Exam online application form will be available in February 2020 over the official website.
- Please note that there is no other mode to apply. Before applying the candidate must qualify the eligibility criteria and must also read the instructions very carefully.
- The aspirants will have to fill all their personal as well as academic information in the application form.
- The applicants will have to upload their scanned photograph and digital signature after filling all other details.
- The detailed application form for applying to the IAS mains exam is available from August 1st to 16th 2020 and candidates have to submit the form within this stipulated date.
- Necessary details like Prelims roll number, name, email id, date of birth etc. are essential details to be furnished.
- Please note that candidates who have successfully cleared the prelims exam are eligible to apply for the main examination.
Step by step guide to ease the registration process is provided herein for eligible candidates:
- Log into online registration portal and submit the form with necessary details.
- Fill in the detailed application form with all relevant information.
- Upload all necessary documents like age proof, degree certificates, caste/community certificate, photo ID proof and any other necessary document.
- Pay the fees either through online or offline mode.
- Candidates can pay fees in either online or offline mode.
- Online payment of fees can be made through internet banking facilities/ credit card/ debit card/ Rupay card.
- For paying fees offline, first, download e-challan and submit fees in cash at any of the SBI bank branches.
- For Prelims exam, the fee is INR 100, and for Mains exam, the fee is INR 200.
- After paying the requisite fees, kindly download and save the submitted online application for future reference.
- Female applicants, SC/ST candidates along persons with disabilities are exempted from paying fees.
UPSC IAS Admit Card 2020
- The IAS Exam admit card will be available for download on the official website of UPSC.
- The admit card contains all necessary details like candidates name, father’s name, age, DOB, photograph, signature, address and exam venue of the candidate.
- The admit card can be downloaded in PDF format.
- All the candidates appearing for IAS examination will be allotted a unique admit card with a roll number.
- All candidates need to take a printout of the same and carry it for the examination.
- Candidates who fail to show the admit card will strictly not be allowed to take up the examination.
- Along with the admit card, a candidate is also required to carry a photo ID proof for the examination centre.
UPSC IAS Exam Pattern
There are three stages of the UPSC IAS exam, but for the final selection, marks secured in Mains and the Interview will be considered. The complete selection procedure is split into three stages. These are:
- Stage-1: Preliminary Exam : 2 papers (Multiple Choice Questions -200 + 200 Marks)
- Stage-2: Mains Exam (Subjective Type): 9 papers
- Stage-3: Personal Interview (275 Marks)
UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Pattern
- Preliminary exam, commonly known as prelims, is also called CSAT, i.e., Civil Services Aptitude Test.
- In the prelims examination, there will be two papers each of 200 marks and to be completed in 2 hours duration for each.
- The first paper, known as the GS or General Science paper, will check the applicant’s knowledge over current affairs, Indian national movements, Indian history, Indian & world geography, Indian economy, Indian polity, social development, biodiversity, environmental ecology, etc.
- The second paper is designed to check the applicant’s reasoning and logic building aspects. Here questions are also asked to check in-depth understanding of comprehension skills, communication, and interpersonal skills, decision-making abilities, problem-solving techniques, English language, and data interpretation, etc.
- A candidate needs to score at least 33% in this exam though the marks are not counted for qualifying in mains.
The exam will be conducted offline. There includes negative marking as well. Each wrong answer will get a deduction of 1/3 mark as a penalty.
|Papers||Details of the question papers||Total Marks||Total Time|
|I||General Studies – this paper contains questions related to everything you have studied in class 6 to 10 along with current affairs. This is the qualifying paper for the mains.||200||2 hrs|
|II||Aptitude test (CSAT) – A candidate needs to score at least 33% in this exam though the marks are not counted for qualifying in mains.||200||2 hrs|
UPSC IAS Mains Pattern
- The IAS mains exam comprises a total of nine papers.
- Out of them, two papers are considered qualifying papers and the rest of the seven papers decide your ranking.
- After the examination, all successfully qualified candidates will be called for a personal interview round.
|Paper A (language)||One of the Indian languages from the list selected by the applicants (qualifying)||300|
|Paper B (language)||English (qualifying)||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|
UPSC IAS Interview Pattern
- UPSC Interview is conducted to asses the personal suitability of the candidate for a particular civil service.
- A panel of interviewers comprising of various dignitaries and subject experts will be judging applicants for their mental abilities, social traits, intellectual skills, and varied and diverse knowledge about current affairs.
- The nature of the Interview is to create room for adapting a natural tone interview and assess the students on a range of skills and aptitude parameters.
- There are certain expectations from the applicants from the panel of judges to be able to escalate them higher up the ladder into the services. Induction into the services requires a certain level of stability in knowledge and intelligence, plus aptitude and many other related parameters.
UPSC IAS Syllabus
The aspirants should be very clear about the IAS Exam syllabus to be covered starting from day 1.
UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus
The prelims exam consists of two papers of 200 marks each, making a total of 400 marks. The duration of each paper is 2 hours.
The two papers are GS and CSAT. CSAT is the general aptitude test and is just a qualifying paper. You need to score 33% of marks in the paper. The GS paper decides your ranking. The cutoff marks here will determine whether you will be qualifying for mains or not.
|GS Paper 1||CSAT (GS Paper 2)|
|Current Affairs||Interpersonal Skills and Communication|
|Polity and Governance||English language comprehension|
|Ecology and Environment||Decision Making|
|Modern History and INM||Logical Reasoning|
|Economic and Social Development||General Mental Ability & Data Interpretation|
|India and World Geography||Comprehension|
|Science and Technology||Class 10 Level numeracy|
UPSC IAS Mains Syllabus
Mains exam consists of nine papers. Paper A and B will be one of your preferred and chosen language, and the other is English, respectively. Both these exams are qualifying exams.
|Paper A||Indian languages (candidates should select ONE of the Indian languages)||300|
|Paper I||Essay (Candidate is required to write an essay on a specific topic)||250|
|Paper II||General Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, History and Geography of India and the World)||250|
|Paper III||General Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and International relations)management||250|
|Paper IV||General Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||250|
|Paper V||General Studies -IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)||250|
|Paper VI & Paper VII||Two papers on optional subject. Candidate should be opted subject from the list provided by UPSC.||500|
UPSC IAS Mains Optional Subject Syllabus
Candidates may choose any ONE optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.
Literature of any one of the following language
UPSC IAS Result
- A cut off list will be declared by UPSC after the examination and interview. The cut off list with the candidates will be shortlisted as per the vacancies available in that field.
- The results for both preliminary examination and the mains will be declared separately. The result for the prelims will be made available by July 2020 followed by mains examination in September and its result in January 2021.
- The results will be declared online and the students can check their results by entering their roll numbers in the official website of UPSC.
List of Services under UPSC
Civil Service exam is conducted to recruit officers for three types of services which are State Services, All India Services and Central Services.
All India Services
- Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
- Indian Police Service (IPS)
Central Services (Group A)
- 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)
Important functionalities of each service in UPSC
1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
- IAS officers have the responsibility to serve both the State and Central governments.
- They are the highest valued officers; moreover, they are close to the ministers, and they have higher authorities in the private sector too. They also serve as people’s representatives among the governments.
Some services or designations are allotted as follows:
- District Commissioner
- Secretary to Government of India
- Ministry of XYZ (Oil, Transportation, Textile, Telecommunication)
- Health Commissioner,
- Managing Director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation,
- Secretary, National AIDS Control Organisation, etc.
2. Indian Police Service (IPS)
- Law and Order are maintained by IPS officers appointed by the Government of India. They are equipped with strict dress codes and have gallantry ranks representing their cadre.
- These variations help officers to enhance their skill sets, which help them in cracking cases and mysteries.
- IPS team also heads the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). These forces are responsible for protecting local law and Orders and taking into account the highest level of security provided for the prime minister and president of India.
- They also protect the Indian borders; they serve as the commanding officers and have a lot of power due to the nature of their service.
- They are responsible for cracking international cases, which requires great minds, skill-sets, and man force.
3. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
- These are the soul of our country as they represent India in other countries. They justify the dignity and power of India on international shores.
- Consulates and embassies have been set up among multiple countries for contacting in case of any occasion or emergency by Indian nationals staying abroad.
- They represent our country in all International bodies like IMF, UN, UNESCO, UNICEF, etc.
- Their main motive is to sustain friendly relations with other countries and protecting the rights of Indians who are living away from India.
- Ministry of External Affairs comes under the ambit of IFS officers.
- For maintaining good relations, they have to hold high-level meetings amongst dignitaries and expats from foreign shores.
- They are responsible for maintaining cultural, trade, academic and military relations.
4. Indian Revenue Service (IRS-IT)
- These officers ensure the smooth implementation of financial rules and regulations to generate and maintain economic decorum and revenue from multiple sources for the Government of India. Money is generated mainly through income tax.
- Every year every citizen has to pay tax on their income depending on the income slab. Tax money has to be collected every year to meet the expenditure of the Government.
- With the latest technology being implemented, measures are taken to control and false regulations of tax, and a constant eye is kept on tax evaders and by passers.
- Tax slabs are made by the team based on the income and sources of income. Revenue generated at a personal level or corporate level is to be assessed by the department.
- They are also responsible for evaluating the expenditures done during significant events like elections, republic day celebrations at Red Fort, etc.
5. Indian Revenue Service (CBEC) (IRS-Customs)
- Department of Revenue has a branch which is known as the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). This department directly comes under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
- Customs and Excise duties include tax applied to the materials or purchasing done abroad, and they are taken back in India.
- Department controls service tax, preventing smuggling and administration of matters related to Customs, central excise as well as narcotics.
- The team designs multiple patterns to wipe out minute issues coming in Customs.
6. Indian Audit and Account Service (IAAS)
- Department of Indian Audits and Accounts controls the authority under the supervision of the Government of India, which is called CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General).
- IAAS officers are designated as the top management in the audit department. Checking inconsistencies and mysterious things are called Audit.
- Officers work free from political pressure, unlike other departments that come under the Government of India. But this independence is under the controlled environment of CAG.
- The auditing department of Union or State Government closely works with IAAS officers for better and efficient Audit.
7. Indian Information Service (IIS)
- These officers are responsible for managing the Government’s press, print, and electronic media.
- The government of India’s print media is known as the Print Trust of India (PTI). They are the controller of the official media of India.
- They also manage the work and revenue of Doordarshan and All India radio. These officers directly report to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
8. Indian Civil Account Services (ICAS)
- An ICAS officer does public Financial Management. These officers closely look at the accounts of every citizen and mainly fraud and large transactional accounts.
- They make rules and regulations to manage the payment of government employees, pensions, financial, and accounting reporting along with the internal Audit inside the civil ministries.
9. Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
- These officers across the country maintain the corporate sector. They are held for the Companies Act and Limited Liability Partnership Act.
- Officers monitor the working of a company which comes under either the public sector or private sector or in a public-private partnership.
10. Indian Trade Service (ITS)
- This service handles the international trade and commerce of India. They also maintain the policies of Foreign Trade.
- They are responsible for the negotiations involved in international trade at multiple forums like the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- Quality checks, export promotions are some of the tasks done by these officers.
11. Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES)
- The importance of the Ministry of Defence is of utmost importance among all other departments. It is the biggest stakeholder among all other departments.
- Officers allocated under this department have a crucial role in looking after the country’s civil affairs, export import of materials. They are appointed as the CEOs or CFOs of Cantonment Boards.
12. Indian Defence Account Service (IDAS)
- These officers are responsible for providing the advice related to financial structure, payments to different accounts and functions of internal Audit in respect to the Navy, Army, Air force, Ordnance Factories, DRDO, BRO, Canteen Stores, Department of defence and allied organisations
13. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
- Factories that manufacture defence equipment come under Ordnance Factories.
- More than 1.5 lakh employees are working in such factories. IOFS officers do administration of these factories
14. Indian Postal Service
- The officers posted here are responsible for managing and monitoring the postal services of our country. The post offices are available in every part of the country. So, sometimes the Government may use these post offices to provide some other needy services as well.
15. Indian Postal and Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service
- As the post offices are available across the country in every district and town, officers are required to maintain the accounts and finance of the postal department.
16. Indian Railway Account Service (IRAS)
- Officers appointed in IRAS manage the accounts of the railways.
17. Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
Officers appointed in IRPS are just like the human resources department of railways.
18. Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
- Management of passengers and regulation of the cargo traffic are the key responsibilities of the officers appointed in IRTS.
19. Railway Protection Force (RPF)
- The officers appointed here are known as security commissioners in the Railway Protection Force.
20. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (AFHQ)
- The officers appointed in AFHQ contribute to the proper functioning of Armed Forces Headquarters/Inter Service Organisations except for those which are related to technical and combat.
21. Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Island Civil Service (DANICS)
- The officers of DANICS take care of all the administrative aspects of Delhi, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
22. Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Island Police Service (DANIPS)
- Just like DANICS, the officers of DANIPS take care of law and order aspects of these territories.
23. Pondicherry Civil Service
- The officers take care of the administrative issues of Pondicherry.
24. Pondicherry Police Service
- The officers take care of the law and order aspects of Pondicherry.
How to prepare for IAS Exam?
You can start your IAS preparation during your first year of graduation. It is recommended to choose the subject of your interest. Having a proper understanding of the syllabus will help you to estimate your preparation time.
If you are planning for your first attempt, you can start preparing for your exams at least a year before the exam date.
Given below are a few important pointers on how to crack the IAS exam in the first attempt:
#1. Effective and strategic time table
Organizing the study approach is the first crucial step. Knowing what to study and preparing a systematic time table to complete the syllabus on time is essential.
Along with the set UPSC study material, it is good to refer to at least two national newspapers daily. Apart from being abreast with the current affairs, newspapers help to get knowledge and understanding about society. Vocabulary can also be improved simultaneously.
It’s very common for students to follow last year’s popular optional subject trend. But make sure you don’t take the overlapping option with GS, in case you are not too confident about it. The subject may turn out to be counterproductive and unexpectedly tough to crack.
Also, don’t opt for a subject that requires exhaustive and extensive preparation. As you have a limited time frame (four months), it’s better to choose a subject that can be finished within the specified time frame.
#2. Analyzing the most relevant and must-have study materials
If you search online for the syllabus to crack the exam, you will find an ocean of materials out there. You will have to absorb every detail that you see, and there are chances that you will lose track of a lot of things. Therefore it is better to go step by step.
Look at the preliminary and the main exam separately, see what sections you need to study up. Study each part in detail. It’s good to make a list of all relevant sub-sections in the exam paper so that it becomes easy for you to find relevant and associated syllabus.
Kick-off your IAS preparation by downloading all the authorized books such as NCERT books and their solutions.
Reading the newspaper regularly to stay updated with the current affairs on varied subjects. Always remember that UPSC will ask logical questions or the application-based ones and not direct questions.
If you are good in English, then you can read The Hindu, The Times of India, The Tribune, etc. You can also read magazines such as Yojana, The Front-line to improve your essay writing skills.
#3. Peer discussion and collaborating with people who have cracked the exam previously
Discuss ideas with other students who are also appearing for the IAS exam and network extensively. The peer group members can meet once a week to discuss important topics and exchange helpful information. This way, you will get a better idea of the exam.
#4. Developing your unique method of creating notes
Make sure you prepare an organized set of notes for your UPSC exam. It will reward you very well. Keep your notes organized is a good reference to look up to. Write down important points, highlight key facts, and remember to underline critical points.
Practice more and more questions from the previous year’s UPSC question papers.
#5. Revising frequently and making sticky notes for visual grasping
Revision is an important part of studying. It acts as a taste maker in your preparation. The more you revise, the better is your knowledge about the topic.
It is important to have clarity in your understanding and learning. What you find tough to remember can be written on a sticky note and kept at a place that you often lookup.
For example, you can make a chart of all the important dates you need to remember in a subject like History and hang it in your room. This way, your visual senses will keep looking at the chart, making you learn it faster.
#6. Organizing mock tests yourself with a strict timeline
Test yourself regularly. Self-assessment helps make you analyze your strong and weak points. You will learn time management too. You can improve your problem-solving skills and work at analyzing core concepts and applying them while solving problems.
You will also learn about the variety in the exam paper and anticipate the type of questions that may be asked. You will get acquainted with the paper pattern and have a rough idea about how much time to spend on each question. Learn to manage time judiciously.
#7. Taking help from a qualified coaching center
Coaching centers are there to train you strictly from an exam point of view. Be careful in your choice of a genuine coaching center. Make sure it is affordable and nearby your residence because you are bound to invest both money and time in it.
Also, take care not to pile up unnecessary study material as it will only confuse you and make you unorganised. Be crisp and clear in what you need for your preparation.
#8. Choosing your optional subjects wisely and carefully
Choose a subject area that you are good at or are an expert at. Look into what your previous specialisation was at the degree level. For instance, if you were good at history during your studies but were passionate about sociology, choose the one where you have more extensive knowledge.
Choose the subject where you have clarity in terms of conceptual understanding and factual grasping. Make sure you have access to keynotes and terminologies associated with the subject you choose.
Don’t make your choice on the basis of the trend or popularity. Choose the subject in which you are comfortable.
#9. Covering a wide range of topics is more important than going in-depth with fewer topics
General Studies is a subject that is common for both prelims and mains exam. Study them side by side. This will save your energy as well as time. The in-depth knowledge of a few topics would not be too significant.
It would be more functional and valuable if you can cover varied topics with reasonable knowledge in each one of them. By referring a lot of materials, you should be able to gauge what to learn and grasp under a given study topic.
The last few days before your exam should be exclusively meant for revision. Maintain a relaxed state of mind while attempting the paper. Motivate yourself to be organized in studies and set a road map to achieve positive results.
FAQ’s related to IAS Exam
- What is the Full form of IAS?
IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service. It is one of the most sought after, elite civil service posts in the administrative cadre of the government of India. Persons serving as IAS officers hold diplomatic and high profile positions in PSUs and central government.
- How to become an IAS Officer?
An aspiring candidate has to clear all three rounds of the UPSC civil service exams with a final ranking in the top slot (below 90). The civil service exams consist of the prelims, mains, and the interview round. Once selected for the IAS position, a candidate has to complete two years of probationary training upon which he will be declared an IAS officer.
- Is coaching mandatory for IAS Exam Preparation?
No. coaching is not mandatory for IAS preparation. Studying according to the prescribed syllabus, referring to the right books, and making good notes with the essential strategies will help a candidate to clear the exam with high ranking.
- What is the average salary of an IAS Officer?
According to current data, the basic pay of an IAS officer stands at INR 56,100. The Dearness allowance, house rent allowance, travel allowances will vary according to the grade and rank of the officer. Also, grade pay varies according to the officer rank. Pay is subject to government revision from time to time.
- How many hours of self-study are needed to become an IAS officer?
At least 9 to 10 hours of preparation per day for the initial three months is very much required. In the last two months before the exam, at least 12 hours of rigorous studies are essential to clear the exam.
- What is the minimum educational qualification to attempt the IAS exam?
Any aspirant wanting to attempt the civil services exam must hold a minimum graduation degree or equivalent that is recognized by the government of India under the UGC Act or Act of Parliament. Candidates who have appeared for their final year degree results can also attempt the IAS exam.
- What is the minimum age criteria and the number of attempts allowed for the IAS exam?
These conditions vary based on the category of the candidate. For general category, 6 attempts are allowed till 32 years of age, for SC/ST – no limit in number of attempts till 37 years of age, for OBC – 9 attempts till 35 years of age.
- How to choose the optional subject for the UPSC IAS mains exam?
There are around 50 optional subjects provided by UPSC for the mains exam. Choose the right optional subject based on your interest and aptitude. Do not get carried away by myths that misguide based on popularity and easy/toughness of the subject.
- Is there any negative marking in the IAS exam conducted by UPSC?
Yes. Negative marking is applicable in the preliminary round of the exam. The preliminary exam consists of objective type of questions. 1/3rd of the allotted marks are deducted for selecting a wrong answer to a particular question. No negative marking if a question is left unanswered.
- Where can we get previous year question papers of IAS Exam, and how are they useful?
Please download previous year question papers from the UPSC official website
You will be familiarized with the question paper pattern, maximum marks, and important topics to be covered and the type of questions asked in the exam. You will also get a fair idea to prepare on similar lines for the exam. Sometimes popular questions are repeated from previous year question papers.