All You Need to Know About The Civil Services Exam

All You Need to Know About The Civil Services Exam

People who want to serve their country and like to bring constructive changes at the grassroot level, nothing could be better than joining the civil services. Making a career in civil services is desired not just because it’s a prestigious job with all the perks and benefits but also because it’s a fulfilling career offering you the satisfaction of serving your country.

In India, UPSC is responsible authority to conduct the civil service exams, in short, CSE. UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission. UPSC conducts examination every year to appoint mainly Indian Administrative Service (IAS), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), IPS (Indian Police Service) and etc. IAS is the highest designation offered to one who clears the civil services with flying colours. The selection depends on the cumulative scores of Mains and Personality test or the interview while prelims or preliminary examination is qualifying in nature.

Eligibility Criteria to Appear in Civil Services

Not all can appear in civil services. There are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled. The important eligibility criteria are -

  • A candidate must be graduate or above.
  • A candidate who has given his final exams of graduation or is appearing is also eligible for this examination.
  • Minimum age is 21 Years
  • Maximum age is 32 years (For General category students)
  • Maximum age is 37 years (For SC/ST category students)
  • Maximum age is 35 years (For OBC category students)

No. of Maximum Attempts

  • Students from General category - 6 Attempts
  • Students from OBC category - 9 Attempts
  • Students from SC/ST category - Unlimited Attempts

Examination Pattern

There are 2 stages in this exam. The first is the Preliminary exam and the second is the Mains exam. Mains exam further has (Written & Interview) Sections.

Preliminary Examination

It’s a written exam which is objective in nature. There are two question papers for this exam. The time given to solve each paper is 2 hours and each paper carries 200 marks with the provision of negative marking.

Paper-I - General Studies

This paper includes general and social topics like Indian and World Geography, current events of national and international importance, history, economy, social development, general science and ecology, and polity.

Paper-II - Aptitude Test (CSAT)

In this paper, questions are based to put the logical reasoning ability of candidates on the test. It includes topics like problem-solving, decision making, some basic concepts of Mathematics and comprehension.

Important! - Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Government of India, has made the provision that for every wrong answer there will be a penalty of 0.33 marks. To qualify the exam, students should at least score 33% marks in each paper individually.

Those who meet the minimum score criteria are eligible to appear in the Mains exam.

Mains Examination

The main examination has 8 papers in total. According to the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, students can write in any preferred language. Plus, out of the 8 papers, there are 2 language papers that are only for the purpose of qualifying and are not included for counting the rank list.

H4 - Paper

H4 - Subject

H4 - Marks

Paper I

Any Indian Language


Paper II



Paper III

General Essay


Paper IV

GS I (Indian heritage and culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)


Paper V

GS II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)


Paper VI

GS III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)


Paper VII

GS IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)


Paper VIII

Optional Subject (Paper I)


Paper IX

Optional Subject (Paper II)


Personal Interview

Only those candidates are called for the interview, who have cleared the mains exam. The personal interview is a total of 275 marks.

Roles & responsibilities of IAS and IPS

  • Taking decision for revenue matters.
  • Keeping good maintenance of law and order
  • Also acts as an executive magistrate
  • He is also Chief Development Officer (CDO)
  • Responsible for the implementation of policies framed by the central and state government.
  • Check the correct implementation of orders passed by him.
  • Supervise the correct expenditure of public revenue.
  • Formulation and implementation of policies in favour of the concerned city and make sure they are implemented correctly.
  • Follow the orders given by the state authorities.

Documents Needed

  • Email Address
  • Bank Account details
  • Marksheet of Class X
  • Marksheet of Class XII
  • Marksheet of graduation & above
  • Any medical certificate, if any
  • Photograph
  • Category certificate (If SC/ST)
  • Scanned signature

How to Apply for UPSC  Mains Exam?

  • Go to the official website of UPSC or click the link
  • Click on the option - "UPSC Civil Services (Mains) examination 2019" on the home page.
  • Login entering your 6 digit roll no. which you are given in the Prelims exam.
  • Enter Other Details like DOB, email, and your name.
  • Enter the captcha for security.
  • If everything goes well, a password will be generated and will be sent to your email id as entered.
  • Login again with the Prelims roll no. and password.
  • Your DAF (Detailed Application Form) will be generated.
  • Candidates have to fill all the required information such as their personal, parental, employment, and educational details.
  • Upload documents then.
  • Payment window appears then. Pay the fee.
  • Download and save the form

IAS Main Exams Fee Payment Details

For registering for UPSC Mains exams, a candidate of General category has to pay INR 200. Female candidates are fully exempted from paying the fees. This means that female candidates have to pay nothing for registering themselves for the UPSC mains exam. The same is the case with SC and ST students.

  • Candidates can pay the fee amount in both the online and offline mode.
  • For offline payments, candidates can remit the fee amount through SBI bank only.
  • Online payment of fees can be done through both SBI net banking and debit or credit card.
  • If a candidate chooses to pay offline, the amount has to be deposited at the counter of SBI.