IAS Exams (Civil Services Exams)
Dates Prelims: June 02, 2019
Eligibility Eligibility for IAS Exams
Past Papers Previous Papers
Pattern IAS Exams Pattern
Success plan How to become an IAS Officer
Syllabus Prelims | Mains
IAS Exams (Civil Services Exams)
Civil Services Exams (popularly known as IAS Exams) are being conducted every year in India to fill prestigious posts like IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), IRS (Indian Revenue Service) and many other central government services. The Civil Services Exams (IAS Exams) are conducted in three phases.
Preliminary exam (Civil Services Prelims) in June/July
Main exam (Civil Services Mains) in September/October
Personality test (interview) in March/April of the following year
Prelims (Civil Services Preliminary exam)
IAS Prelims is an objective-type test that acts as a screening test to Civil Services Mains exam. Conducted annually on a Sunday in June/July by Union Public Service Commission of India, it consists of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each Paper - Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (General Aptitude) The questions will be of objective type. The marks in prelims will not be counted for final ranking, but just for qualifying for the main exam.
A candidate’s rank in UPSC Civil Service Exam depends only on the mark scored in Main and Interview.
Civil Services (Preliminary) exam is an objective-type test. It consists of two papers. Paper-I (General Studies) is all important as its score is counted for selecting candidates for the Civil Services (Mains) exam. Paper-II (General Aptitude) is of qualifying nature and it is enough to pass (score at least 33%) in it. So, Paper-I of all the candidates who pass in the Paper II by scoring at least 33% in it will be evaluated and the score in Paper-I alone will be used for selecting candidates for the Civil Services (Mains) exam. Scores of the Civil Services (Preliminary) exam will be used only for for selecting candidates for the Civil Services (Mains) exam and will not be added to the scores of the Civil Services (Mains) exam.

Paper Time limit Marks Pass %
Paper - I (General Studies) 120 minutes 200 marks NA
Paper - II (General Aptitude) 120 minutes 200 marks 33%
How much score is enough to pass in the Civil Services (Preliminary) exam?
Minimum score in Paper I (General Studies) of candidates in each category who are successful in the Preliminary exam by scoring at least 33% in Paper II (General Aptitude)

Category 2017 Cut-off 2016 Cut-off 2015 Cut-off
General 105.34 116 107.34
OBC 102.66 110.66 106
SC 88.66 99.34 94
ST 88.66 96 91.34
PH‐1 85.34 75.34 90.66
PH‐2 61.34 72.66 76.66
PH‐3 40 40 40
Mains (Civil Services Mains Exams)
Civil Services Mains Exams are subjective exams (short answer and essay type questions) that are generally conducted in September/October. The score obtained in the seven papers of Mains (four general studies papers, two chosen optional subject papers and one essay paper) will be used to short-list candidates for interview (personality test) The combined score (mains and interview) determines the final ranking for postings. All the seven papers of the Mains carry equal marks (7x250 = 1750 marks) Typically, scores of 700 and above (out of 1750) are sufficient for a general category candidate to qualify for an interview call. Tina Dabi, the all India topper in 2015, scored 824 in the Mains
Personality test (interview)
Every year, UPSC constitutes many interview boards for the Civil Services Interview. Typically, each board consists of six eminent persons with varied specializations and expertise. UPSC member of the board will officiate as the chairman. IAS interview typically revolve around candidate's background and current affairs. It generally lasts for about 40 - 60 minutes. The interview is for a maximum of 275 marks, so it has about 14% weightage (275 out of 2025). The interview board will assess the candidate’s appearance, manners, poise, alertness, emotional balance, rational and unbiased judgment, decision making ability under stress, depth of knowledge, communication skills, analytical skills, leadership skills and integrity. Each interview will generally last about 30 - 50 minutes. Each board is adept at making each candidate comfortable by starting the interview with pleasantries and ice-breaker questions. So the friendly interview boards make sure that the time flies in the interview room and most candidates admit that the interview was pleasant and not at all intimidating. Candidates are allowed to choose their preferred language for the interview from the list given by UPSC and it need not be the same medium that the candidate chose for the Mains
Any score above 200 is very impressive and scores above 250 are extremely rare. Preparation should start soon after the Mains, without waiting for the result of the Mains. Each candidate is advised to keep the photocopy of the application form he/she has filled for the Mains as to prepare for any question about the data that was on the form. Prepare for questions on your home town, home state, your present and past jobs and your hobbies. Brush up your optional subjects for any question. For current events of national and international significance, read good news papers and magazines everyday (see book list for recommendations on newspapers and magazines) Participate in as many mock interviews as possible with a good institute or with your study group.
Interview questions broadly fall into eight categories: 1) Questions about your place of birth/hometown, your home state and your current place 2) Questions about your hobbies 3) Questions about your school/college/University 4) Questions about your subjects/specialization at school/college/university 5) Questions about your optional subjects 6) Questions about your current/past jobs (if you have worked or working currently) 7) Questions current events of national and international importance. 8) Surprise questions or stress questions
When the exams will be held in 2019
Date of Notification for Civil Service Prelims: February 19, 2019
Last date to apply for Civil Service Prelims: March 18, 2019
Date of CSE Prelims 2019: June 02, 2019
Date of CSE Mains 2019: September 20, 2019
Who is eligible to attempt the IAS Exams
Candidates who obtained any degree from any Indian government recognized University or Institute possess an equivalent qualification. Candidates who are in their final year or awaiting results are also eligible to appear for UPSC preliminary Examination provided they can produce proof of degree along with the application for the Civil Services (Main) examination. The minimum age limit for UPSC IAS Exams (Civil Services) is 21 years. The upper (maximum) age limit for 2019 (age on the 1st of August 2019) varies by the candidate's category and domicile (for complete list, refer to official notification)

Category Upper age limit
General 32 years
OBC 35 years
SC/ST 37 years
PwD (general) 42 years
How many times the IAS Exams can be attempted?
General and OBC candidates have a limit on the number of times they can take the Civil Services (preliminary) exam. An attempt is counted if a person attempts any paper of the preliminary exam. It is not counted as an attempt if a person is absent for both papers of the preliminary exam even after applying

Category Max. attempts
General 6
PwD (general) 9
SC/ST No limit

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