One of the most frequently asked questions among government job aspirants is “What is UPSC Exam?”Well, UPSC Exam or more commonly known as IAS Exam is formally the UPSC Civil Services Examination. The UPSC Civil Services Examination(CSE) is one of the examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to recruit suitable candidates into civil services of India including IAS, IPS, IFS, and other allied services. This examination is conducted in three phases namely UPSC Prelims, UPSC Main, and the personality Test or UPSC Interview.
The first phase of the IAS Exam is UPSC Preliminary Examination which is the screening test and thus is qualifying in nature. The score obtained in the UPSC Prelims exam is not calculated in the final merit. However, the score in GS Paper-I is essential to determine the cutoff of the UPSC Prelims Exam. The IAS Prelims Exam paper consists of two papers that are objective-type MCQ-based as opposed to UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam. The UPSC Mains Exam is a descriptive exam consisting of nine papers.
In this article, we will discuss what is the UPSC exam, eligibility, IAS exam syllabus, UPSC Exam pattern, and other important details related to IAS Exam.
|Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification||February 02, 2022|
|Online application form||February 02 to 22, 2022|
|Preliminary admit card||2nd week of May|
|Prelims exam date||June 06, 2022|
|Preliminary result||August 2022|
|Main exam date||September 16, 2022 (5 days)|
|Main exam result||Nov / December 2022|
|Final result||June 2023|
|IAS Age Limit||21 to 32 years|
|Age relaxation||As per category (mentioned below)|
|Educational qualification for UPSC Civil Services||Graduation from any recognized university|
|Total number of vacancies
||796 (including 22 reserved vacancies)|
|Total reserved vacancies||22|
|Blindness and low vision||5|
|Deaf and hard of hearing||6|
The UPSC is responsible for releasing the admit card. Aspirants who submitted their online applications successfully can download the admit card from the Commission's official website. The admit card will be released separately for preliminary and main examination. The admit card will be available on the website until the exam date. The admit card download process is similar to the preliminary and main examination. Check the steps to access IAS E-admission certificate. Aspirants need to visit the official website to download the IAS admit card. Visit the E-Admit Cards tab. Click on the ''E-Admit Cards for Various Examinations of UPSC'' Select the relevant link and enter login credentials. Download the IAS admit card from the official website of UPSC.
Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one amongst the All India Services, which include Indian Foreign Services (IFS) and Indian Police Services (IPS). There are three ways to become an IAS officer: Through Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), promotion of State Civil Service officers to IAS and selection of non-State Civil Service officers. The best way to become an IAS officer is through clearing the CSE conducted by the UPSC because it will take you to the highest positions, such as Cabinet Secretary. The Civil Services is a common examination conducted every year to shortlist the candidates for various services, such as IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, IAAS, etc. To pass with flying colours in Civil Services, aspirants should know about the important stages to become an IAS officer.
Stage 1: Civil Services Preliminary The preliminary examination is the first stage in the selection process of Civil Services Examination (CSE). This is considered as the screening round. The Civil Services preliminary is an objective-type exam consisting of two papers and carries a total of 400 marks. The Paper-I consists of general studies subjects, such as history, geography, polity, science, environment, etc. Paper-II is a Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), which consists of comprehension, interpersonal skills, decision making, basic numeracy, etc. The preliminary is a screening test meant only to shortlist the candidates for the main examination.
Stage 2: Civil Services Main Examination Candidates who qualify in the preliminary examination and obtain minimum cut-off score are only eligible to appear for the main examination. The number of candidates eligible to appear for the main examination will be around twelve to thirteen times the total the approximate number of vacancies. The main examination is conducted to assess the overall intellectual traits of a candidate. It consists of nine papers that include two qualifying papers. However, the merit is counted only for an essay, general studies and optional papers. Candidates who obtain a minimum qualifying mark in the written examination fixed by the UPSC will be called for the interview/Personality Test. The total number of candidates called for the interview will be twice the number of vacancies.
Stage 3: Personality Test The personality test will be conducted in Delhi at the Commission's headquarters. The interview is conducted for 275 marks. There will be no minimum qualifying marks for personality test. Marks obtained by the aspirants in the main examination and interview will be considered for the final ranking. Candidates will be allotted the services such as IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS, etc. based on their ranks and preferences. Aspirants should note that apart from the selection through Civil Services Examination, UPSC also promotes the state government officers to the rank of an IAS officer.
UPSC Exam follows an extensive syllabus for the papers included in UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains. Make sure to download the micro list for the UPSC syllabus for better IAS Exam syllabus coverage.
The IAS Syllabus for UPSC Prelims Exam includes the following topics:
Current Events of National and International Importance.
History of India and Indian National Movement.
Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
General Issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization General Science
The GS-II in UPSC Prelims is also known as CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test. The following topics are included in the IAS syllabus for this paper:
Interpersonal skills including communication skills
Logica l reasoning and analytical ability
Decision-making and problem solving
General mental ability
Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc., - Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc., - Class X level)
Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.PAPER-II General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature & Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
History of the World will include events from the 18th century, such as Industrial Revolution, World Wars, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc., - their forms and effects on the society.
Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Role of women and women's organizations, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Effects of globalization on Indian society - Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
Salient features of the world's physical geography.
Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India); Important Geophysical phenomena, such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic activity, cyclones, etc., geographical features and their location - changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.
Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries, Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary, Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
Salient features of the Representation of People's Act.
Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Development processes and the development industry - the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Center and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Issues related to development and management of Social Sector/Services in the field of Health, Education, Human Resources.
Issues related to poverty and hunger.
Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance - applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
Role of Civil Services in a democracy.
India and its neighbourhood - relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.
Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Government Budgeting. Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints;
E-technology in the aid of farmers Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices;
Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Land reforms in India. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.
Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
This paper will include questions to test the candidates' attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects.
The following broad areas will be covered. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity;
Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen's Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on the above issues.
Optional Subject -Paper I and Paper-II (250 Marks Each )
The IAS exam pattern for UPSC Civil Services Exam for Prelims and Mains is tabulated below:
UPSC Exam Pattern For UPSC Prelims Exam
|Name of the Paper||No of Questions||Marks Allotted||Time Allotted||Nature of Exam|
|Paper I: General Studies (Objective-type)||100||200||2 hours||The score will be considered for Cut-off|
|Paper-II: General Studies-II (CSAT) (Objective-Type)||80||200||2 hours||Qualifying Nature - Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify for CSAT.|
|Paper||Subject||Duration||Total marks||Nature of paper||Type of Paper|
|Paper A||Compulsory Indian language||3 hours||300||Qualifying||Descriptive|
|Paper B||English||3 hours||300||Qualifying||Descriptive|
|Paper I||Essay||3 hours||250||Merit||Descriptive|
|Paper II||General Studies I||3 hours||250||Merit||Descriptive|
|Paper III||General Studies II||3 hours||250||Merit||Descriptive|
|Paper IV||General Studies III||3 hours||250||Merit||Descriptive|
|Paper V||General Studies IV||3 hours||250||Merit||Descriptive|
|Paper VI||Optional I||3 hours||250||Merit||Descriptive|
|Paper VII||Optiona lI||3 hours||250||Merit||Descriptive|
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