The IAS exam (officially known as the Civil Services Examination) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. Those who clear all the three stages of the IAS exam enter into the prestigious civil services of the country, and become officers in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and a host of other services. Although regarded as one of the toughest exams in the country, with the right approach and strategy, an aspirant can crack the IAS examination in the very first attempt. It is essential for aspirants to know and understand the requirements of the IAS exam 2020 such as the UPSC syllabus for IAS Exam (Prelims and Mains), pattern, eligibility criteria, application procedure and other such significant details before kick-starting the preparations. Here, we present all the relevant UPSC Exam details for aspirants planning to crack the IAS Exam.
The IAS Exam pattern is:
- Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)
- Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
- Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)
Stage I: IAS Exam – UPSC Prelims
|Sl. No.||Name of the Paper||Nature of the Paper||Duration of the Exam||Questions||Marks|
|1||IAS Exam Paper – I: General Studies||Merit Ranking Nature||2 Hours||100||200 Marks|
|2||IAS Exam Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT)||Qualifying Nature||2 Hours||80||200 Marks|
- The questions in the IAS Exam (Prelims) are of the objective type or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
- There is ‘Negative Marking’ in the IAS Exam for each incorrect answer but only in the Prelims stage. The negative marking for incorrect answers will be 1/3rd (0.66) of the allotted marks of that question.
- The GS Paper II (CSAT) in IAS exam is of qualifying nature and candidates should score a minimum of 33 per cent in this paper to qualify to the next stage of the IAS exam i.e. the Mains.
- Blind candidates are given an extra time of 20 minutes for each paper in the IAS Exam (Prelims).
- It is mandatory for the candidates to appear in both the papers of civil services prelims exam for the evaluation.
- The marks scored by the candidates in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final score. It is only a screening test where candidates not securing the cut-off marks are eliminated.
Stage II: IAS Exam – UPSC Mains
The second stage of the IAS Exam is called the Mains Exam, which is a written descriptive examination and comprises 9 papers. The 9 papers in IAS Exam (Mains) are as follows: Paper-A (Compulsory Indian Language); Paper –B (English) which are qualifying in nature, while the other papers like Essay, General Studies Papers I, II, III, and IV, and Optional Papers I and II are considered for the final ranking.
|Sl. No.||IAS Exam Paper||Name of the Paper||Nature of the Paper||Duration of the Exam||Marks|
|1||Paper – A||Compulsory Indian Language||QUALIFYING NATURE||3 Hours||300 Marks|
|2||Paper – B||English||3 Hours||300 Marks|
|3||Paper – I||ESSAY||MERIT RANKING NATURE||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|4||Paper – II||General Studies I||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|5||Paper – III||General Studies II||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|6||Paper – IV||General Studies III||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|7||Paper – V||General Studies IV||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|8||Paper – VI||Optional Paper I||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|9||Paper – VII||Optional Paper II||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|Interview or Personality Test||275 Marks|
|GRAND TOTAL||2025 Marks|
- The candidates can select their medium of writing the UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains Exam as Hindi or English or any other language listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
- The Indian Languages included in the IAS exam are as per languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
- The candidates who score above the prescribed cut-off marks in the IAS exam (Mains) will get the summons for the Personality Test (last stage of the IAS exam).
- The final ranking of the candidates is on the basis of the marks obtained by them in the Main Examination and Personality Test/Interview Round of the IAS exam.
For a detailed IAS exam syllabus for prelims and mains, click on IAS Exam Syllabus 2020.
Stage III: IAS Exam – UPSC Interview/Personality Test
Candidates who clear the Mains stage of the IAS exam with the required cut-off marks qualify for the final stage of the IAS exam i.e., the Personality Test or Interview round with the UPSC Board Members. The candidates who qualify to the final stage will be sent an e-summon by the Commission for a face-to-face discussion round with the board members. In this round, the board assesses the personality traits of the candidates and questions will be asked on their hobbies, current affairs, general knowledge, situation questions, etc. to evaluate if they are fit for a career in the civil services or not. The UPSC personality test will be held only in the UPSC Bhavan in New Delhi.
IAS Exam Age Limit and Attempts
There are conditions of nationality, age, number of attempts and educational qualification if candidates wish to take the IAS exam. For the general category aspirants, the candidate must be a citizen of India or a PIO, must have a graduate degree, must be between the ages of 21 and 32, and must not have attempted the IAS exam 6 times. But there are certain relaxations and other conditions to the above.
IAS Exam Application Procedure
The application procedure for UPSC exams is online and UPSC Admit cards are also issued online, which IAS exam aspirants should download from the UPSC official website. Read on for IAS exam preparation strategy:
IAS Exam Preparation
- Analysing the trend, more current affairs based questions are being asked in both, Prelims and Mains stage of the IAS exam. Select only credible sources like PIB, The Hindu, Yojana etc. and align the current events as per the IAS exam syllabus. For the IAS exam, current affairs usually comprise events of national and international importance in the last 10-12 months.
- Go through the previous years’ IAS exam questions to gauge the amount of preparation needed from your end.
- Read the NCERT books and make notes. You will have to make at least two sets of notes i.e. short notes for Prelims and descriptive notes for UPSC Mains.
- The preparation for Prelims and Mains must be done simultaneously until 1-2 months before the date of the Prelims exam. Identify the syllabus overlap between Prelims and Mains and focus on those areas first.
- Select an Optional subject for the IAS exam based on your aptitude, interest and experience. Few optional subjects have a significant overlap with the General Studies syllabus in Mains, however, their syllabi are rather vast so do your due diligence before finalising one.
- Go through the standard books for each subject. Find the IAS exam book list, Current Affairs notes, NCERT notes and other information in the links below.
- Do not take lightly the CSAT paper in Prelims and Ethics paper in Mains. Similarly, the two qualifying language papers in Mains are also important as failing to score at least 25% in them will automatically eliminate you from the IAS exam process notwithstanding your stellar performance in all the other papers.
- Take out time for MCQ solving practice for Prelims and answer writing practice for Mains.
- Revise multiple times, update your notes, and revise some more.
1 Vajiram & Ravi IAS Coaching in Delhi
Vajiram & Ravi IAS Coaching in Delhi, a premiere IAS Coaching center in Delhi. This coaching is in the first rank because of its exceptionally good UPSC Coaching consistently for many years. This coaching offers you high-quality IAS or other UPSC exams preparation in every way. Faculties here are very professional and their coachings are completely unmatched in quality that you can hardly get in any other places of India.
2. Vidyalayam Classes
Vidyalayam IAS offers competitive exam coaching for individuals located in Delhi, India. Our team of certified instructors render specialised and comprehensive coaching assistance to various UPSC and SPSC exams including IAS exams, IPS exams, Indian Foreign Services exams, IRS exams, MPSC exams . Feel free to contact us to get our reliable and cost-effective competitive exam training.
3. Chahal Academy
Chahal IAS Academy motive is to make the best guidance available at our IAS institute with affordable fees. Chahal IAS Coaching Center specialized in proficient faculty team, up-to-date study material, most comprehensive test series, competitive peer groups and an efficient study environment who is looking for guided IAS/UPSC preparation. Chahal IAS Institute fees structure for UPSC IAS Coaching in Delhi can go from Rs 1,25,000 to as high as Rs. 2,50,000.
4. Vedanta IAS Academy
Vedanta IAS Academy one of the best IAS coaching centers in Delhi, since 1997. Vedanta IAS Institute offers separate training sections for UPSC prelims, UPSC mains and interview/personality test on a regular and weekend basis. Vedanta Civil Services Preparation Institute run by Expert Faculties and offer training according to the UPSC exam pattern. We provide online test series, monthly seminars and cover selected topics for prelims and mains exam. Vedanta IAS Academy Fees Structure after discount for regular batch 1 year Program: – Rs.1,06,200, 2 Year Program: – Rs.1,55,760, 3 year : – Rs.1,70,900.
5. Chanakya IAS Academy
Chanakya IAS Academy, a trusted name in coaching for Civil Services with world-class facilities to UPSC aspirants. Chanakya Institute offering quality education services to prepare for the Civil Service Exam which offers affordable fees structure among all the IAS Academy, Coaching Center, UPSC Exam Preparation Institute in Delhi. Enquire right now to know about Chanakya- fees structure, courses offered, UPSC PRELIMS Test Series and much more.
6.Vajirao Ias Academy Pvt.Ltd
Vajirao Coaching Center is a leading institute known for preparing candidates for the Civil Services Examination at multiple levels – Preliminary Test, Mains Examination and interview/Personality Test. Vajirao IAS Academy providing all types of UPSC exam guidance in affordable price for regular/weekend 2 years program- Rs 1,50,000 and 3 year program cost- 2,00,000 . Vajirao IAS Institute provide Classroom Learning Programme (CLP) throughout the year, CLP consists of Integrated Classroom Lectures for Prelims & Mains including Essay Writing, Optional Subjects and Language Papers. Also the UPSC Prelims Test Series as well as Mains exam and Interview Guidance are integral parts of this programme.