How to Apply for IAS Exam?

How to Apply for IAS Exam 2020

How to Apply for IAS Exam?

The UPSC conducts the Civil Service Examinations every year to recruit officers for various posts that are IAS, IPS, IFS, etc. Civil Service is one of the most prestigious jobs in India. Every year, lakhs of candidates apply for it and only a few hundred candidates find their name in the final list. 

The UPSC exam is conducted in three phases: Preliminary, Mains & Personality Test. Candidates who qualify for the Prelims Stage become eligible for the Mains Exam and after clearing the Mains Exam, they are eligible to appear for the personality test.

Here in this article, we will cover the comprehensive steps on how to apply for the IAS exam:

IAS Exam Overview

Before proceeding ahead with the detailed steps of the IAS exam application process, candidates are advised to take a quick look at the UPSC IAS Exam overview section


IAS 2020

Exam Level

National Level



Registration Process

Online and Offline (through the post office)

Exam Conducting Body

Union Public Service Commission

Selection Mode

Prelims, Mains, and Personality Test

Official website

IAS Exam Application Process

The entire process begins with the release of the official notification by UPSC. The notification is an important document as it mentions the last date for submitting the application and the process for submitting the application form for the IAS Examination. The notification is published in first week of February. Students are usually given 3 weeks to submit the application. The applicants can fill out the online application through the UPSC official website which is by following these steps:

Complete the Registration Process 

  • Go to the official UPSC portal ( for the IAS Application Form.
  • Tap on the ‘Fill Application Form’ button on the home page.
  • After this, click on the ‘APPLY’ button under ‘NEW CANDIDATE REGISTRATION’. This is the Part 1 of the Registration Process. 
  • Now, read the important instructions and click on the ‘Click here to Proceed’ button located at the bottom of the page.
  • Candidates are advised to enter personal details, contact details, set passwords, and enter the security pin. Then, Click on the ‘SUBMIT’
  • On successful submission of the registration form, a registration number will appear on the computer screen.

 Fill out the required IAS Application Form 

  • Go to the candidate’s log-in page again and complete the Part 2 Registration process with your application number and password.
  • Fill in other details such as educational qualification, and academic background and select the choices for examination centers.

 Upload Scanned Images of Signatures and Photographs

  • Upload the scanned images of your recent passport size photograph and signature in their prescribed format.
  • Make sure to upload the right image.

Photo and Signature Specifications are given by the UPSC:

Scanned Images





60 X 90

8 KB to 30 KB



140 X 160

10 KB to 200 KB


Application Fee payment

  • IAS application fee can be paid via Cash, E-Challan, and online mode by using a VISA/Master Debit or Credit card.
  • There is no application fee for SC, ST, PH, or Female applicants.

Application Fee


Application fee


Rs 100


Rs 100


Rs 0


Rs 0

 Print the Confirmation Page

  •  After successful payment of the application fee, candidates are advised to check the entire form carefully before final submission.  

Eligibility Criteria

Before filling out the IAS Application form, it is advisable to check out the eligibility criteria for the exam. As candidates who fulfill all the eligibility criteria can appear for the IAS Examination. 

Nationality: Candidates should hold citizenship of India only (to apply for the post of IAS, IPS, and IFS).

Age criteria: Candidates should belong to the age group of 21 years to 32 years (for General/EWS Category). The age relaxation for the exam would be provided to the candidates of reserved categories.

  • SC/ST: 5 years
  • OBC: 3 years
  • Defense service personnel: 3 years.
  • Ex-servicemen: 5 years

Education Qualification: Aspirants should have done graduation from any recognized university. Or candidates who are in the final year of graduation can also apply for the examination.

 Number of Attempts 


Number of attempts


6 attempts


9 attempts


No limit

IAS Criteria for Selection

 Applicants need to clear all three stages in order to crack the UPSC IAS Examination. The three stages are divided into

  • Preliminary Exam: which consists of Paper 1 (General Studies 1 which comprises 200 marks which is merit-based paper), and paper 2 (CSAT which comprises 200 marks and is qualifying in nature).
  • Main Exam: which consists of 9 papers in which two papers are qualifying in nature (and other papers are: Essay paper, GS- 1, 2, 3, and 4 paper and two Optional Subject papers).
  • Personality Test/Interview: which consists of 275 marks in the final result.       

IAS Admit Card

The UPSC IAS admit card is issued to the candidates who make successful online submission of the application form. The Commission issues the hall tickets before 10-15 days (in May) from the Prelims exam, while in September for the Mains exam. The admit card window remains available till the exam date. You can download the admit card from the official website of UPSC, which is before the examination process.

IAS Result and Score Card

The IAS result for the prelims exam is released by June-July of the same year, while for the IAS  Mains Exam, the result is announced in November of the same year. Candidates are required to check the result from the official website only.

Stay in touch with the official website of UPSC at and keep a check on the updates related to the UPSC IAS Exam.

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