About Civil Services

About Civil Services

The Civil Services Examination is a nationwide competitive examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.

The examination is a gateway to the most prestigious services in the country. The Civil Service forms the backbone of the whole administrative set-up in our democratic country. It plays an instrumental role in policymaking and bureaucrats have a great responsibility to implement these policies for the welfare of society and the enhancement of the nation.

It is not another lucrative job but an opportunity to serve our great nation by bringing out the best in you. Civil Servants are responsible for the complete efficient functioning of government machinery starting from the ordinary people of the country who have elected the legislators to the highest levels like cabinet secretaries and departmental heads. Civil services are the most coveted and sought after professions among the public. They have the power to change the quality of governance in the country.  

The candidates are selected through several rigorous written and oral examinations which are said to be the toughest exam in India with a success rate of only 0.1%- 0.3% from around 5 lakh students every year who appear for the examination. So this is like a dream for most civil service aspirants.  

“You can say India’s best brains are deployed for these most respected positions.”  

UPSC hunts for the most fertile minds annually through three-phase of examination.

The exam pattern

Preliminary examination

Preliminary exam in IAS Exam is a screening test to shortlist candidates for the further selection process. Questions asked in this examination are objective in nature.   Only the candidates who qualify the Preliminary Examination are sent the Detailed Application Form (DAF) to apply for the Main Examination. 

Mains examination

Only the aspirants who qualify for the Preliminary Examination would be eligible to apply for the Main examination. This particular examination is subjective in nature.  

Personality Test

The candidates who qualify for the Main Examination are interviewed by a panel consisting of members who are usually experts from different fields chosen by the UPSC. The unbiased panel assesses whether the candidate has the personality traits essential to be a Civil Servant. Questions based on matters of general interest are asked in the interview. The panel selects candidates who possess the basic personality traits a civil servant is expected to have.

Eligibility Criteria

Detailed Scheme of Examination

Preliminary Examination ·        


General Ability test (GAT): (Marks will be counted for short listing candidates in Prelims exam)


Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT): Qualifying in nature. 33% required to qualify the paper. Marks will not be counted for shortlisting candidates in the Preliminary examination. This will test the analytical skills of the candidates.  

Marking Pattern

UPSC Prelims Paper :

GS Paper-I

Total No. of questions : 100

Total Marks : 200 Marks for each Correct Answer : +2 Negative Mark for each incorrect answer : -0.66

Total Duration : 2 hours       

GS Paper-II

Total No. of questions : 80

Total Marks : 200 Marks for each Correct Answer : +2.5 Negative Mark for each incorrect answer : -0.83

Total Duration : 2 hours

Main Examination

UPSC Civil Services Main Written Examination is conducted in Offline mode. It consists of 9 papers, out of which 2 are qualifying papers and 7 are compulsory papers to be counted for final ranking.

Personality Test

Interview or personality tests for UPSC Civil Services is conducted for a total of 275 marks, with no minimum Qualifying Marks. Questions based on matters of General Interest will be asked in the Interview.

Concluding Words

So, those who are disturbed by the existing chaotic social, economic, infrastructural, and civic conditions of our country and have the thirst to improve it by contributing their extraordinary ideas and thoughts to the policy decisions on welfare and development with utmost integrity, patriotism, honesty, impartiality, and transparency must prepare dedicatedly to crack this prestigious exam.

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