IAS Exam, also known as Indian Administrative Service, is a national level competition exam conducted by UPSC annually to recruit candidates for civil services like IPS, IFS (Foreign), IAAS, IRS, IDAS, CAPF-AF and others. Nearly 2 lac candidates appear for the Civil Services Examinations each year.
The IAS Exam Pattern consists of three stages viz.
- Stage 1: IAS Prelims
- Stage 2: IAS Mains
- Stage 3: Interview/ Personality Test
Age Limit & Educational Qualifications for IAS
Candidates have to fulfill the eligibility criteria set by the authorities to take the exam. The eligibility parameters are set on the basis of Nationality, Age Limit, Educational Qualifications, Number of Attempts and Physical Standards. Given below are the IAS Exam Eligibility Criteria:
- For IAS and IPS, applicants must be a citizen of India.
- Other services require candidates to be either,
- Citizen of India
- Subject of Nepal
- Subject of Bhutan
- Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962 to settle permanently.
- An Indian origin migrant from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam who came to permanently settle in India.
- The lower age limit for IAS Exam 2019 is 21 years as on August 1, 2019, while upper age limit is 32 years.
- There is upper age relaxation for reserved category candidates, which is as follows:
- SC/ST- Upto 5 years
- OBC- Upto 3 years
- Defence Services Personnel disabled in operations during hostilities- Upto 3 years
- Ex-servicemen- Upto 5 years
- ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service- Upto 5 years
- PwD candidates- Upto 10 years
- Domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 1989- Upto 5 years.
- Applicants must hold a graduate degree or equivalent qualification from a recognized university
Number of Attempts
- Only six attempts are allowed for a candidate to clear IAS Exam.
IAS Exam Pattern
The brief for all three stages of IAS are:
- IAS Prelims: It has two papers of objective type and carries a maximum of 400 marks. It is a qualifying round and the marks scored will not be added to the total IAS score.
- IAS Mains: There are two types of Papers- Qualifying Papers and Papers that will be counted for Merit formation. The former part will consist of two language exams, one of candidate’s choice and other of English. The latter part will consist of 7 papers and will have about 300 questions each. Mains will comprise of both essay writing and objective type questions. The sum total of all papers and the score secured in the direct interview will be used for ranking of candidate.
- IAS Personality Test: A test of 275 Marks would be taken of the candidates qualified in Mains Exam. This would include Psychometric Test, Assessment Test as well as the Personal Interview. Marks obtained in the test would be added in the calculation for the declaration of the final Merit list.
IAS Exam Pattern for Prelims
- The Prelims stage of IAS will consist of 2 compulsory papers- General Ability test (GAT) and Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). This will test the analytical skills of the candidates.
- All questions will be objective in nature. Candidates will be required to choose any one of the 4 answer choices given for each question.
- Questions will be set in both English and Hindi Language. However, questions relating to the English Language Comprehension skills of class 10th level will be tested through a passage from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
- IAS Prelims is qualifying in nature. Candidates have to get a minimum of 33 % to be qualified for the Mains.
- The number of candidates to be admitted to Mains will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination.
IAS Marking Scheme for Prelims
- Each question in General Studies paper carries 2 marks.
- Each question in Civil Service Aptitude Test paper carries 2.5 marks.
- For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
- If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens to be correct and the penalty will be the same as mentioned above for that question.
- If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.
- Candidates will have to score a minimum of 33 % to qualify for the exam.
IAS Exam Pattern for Mains
- IAS Mains is also an offline exam. Each paper will carry 250 marks.
- Each paper is of 3 hours. 30 minutes are given extra to blind students.
- The exam will contain 7 papers. A candidate will be tested on the basis of their knowledge and understanding of the subject
- Questions will be both- objective and subjective in nature. They will be given in both Hindi and English language.
- IAS Mains is further divided into two types – Qualifying Exam and Merit Exam. It is compulsory to appear in both.
- Paper A: (One of the Indian Language to be selected from the ones included in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution – 250 Marks)
- Paper B: English – 250 Marks
Merit Exams- Candidates will have to score a minimum percentage in the qualifying exam to qualify for the exam. The question papers are prepared to test the intellectual and interpersonal skills of the candidate. The essay type questions will test the students understanding of the subject and the concept. The students will be tested on the strength of an Indian Language.
IAS Marking Scheme for Mains
- The total marks of the Mains Examination are 1750 marks.
- Each question will carry 2.5 marks.
- Candidates will be graded on basics of opinion, Content flow, understanding the problems/ situation, offering feasible solutions/strategies, presentation, and language
- Candidates can choose two optional papers on which they will be questioned.
IAS Exam Pattern for Personality Test
- All candidates qualifying the Mains examination will proceed towards the Personality Test.
- This would include the Psychometric Test, Assessment Test as well as the Personal Interview.
- The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
- The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate.
- In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs.
- Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
- This test will be conducted in the language of choice.
- The interview will be graded for 275 marks. The total marks of IAS is 2025 marks
- Candidates will be ranked on basis of the grand total and called for the final interview.
IAS Syllabus 2019
Paper 1 – General Awareness
This paper will test candidates’ knowledge and passion towards the country. The questions will be from various aspects like history, geography, economy, etc pertaining to the country. Some of the important topics include:
- Events and Happening of National Importance
- Impact of Geography in the country
- Governance and Constitutional Structure
- Current Issues faced by the country
- Economic and Social Development
- Research and Development
- Scientific Developments
Paper 2 – English & General Aptitude
The command of English is mandatory in the field of Public Service and candidates have to score a minimum of 33 % to qualify the exam. The aptitude of a person determines his ability to solve complex problems, time management and agility. The important areas to practice for IAS Exam includes
- Logical Reasoning
- Problem Solving Capacity
- Interpersonal Skills
- Numerical Ability
- Analytical Skills
- Antonyms / Synonyms
Paper 3 – Essay Writing
Candidates can write the essay on the topic of their choice
Paper 4 – General Studies I
This paper will contain questions relating to ancient India pertaining to History, Geography, Heritage, Culture etc. Some of the topics include
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- History of India – Ancient and Modern
- Significant changes in Architecture, Literature, etc.
- Geographical Significance
- Notable events in World History
Paper 5 – General Studies II
This paper will contain questions about the reforms in Indian Governance post-Independence. The topics include
- Constitution of India
- Constitutional Analysis of the world
- Parliament and Legislatures
- Key issues faced by the nation and solutions
- Welfare Schemes by the Government
- Department and Structures in Government
Paper 6 – General Studies III
This paper will contain questions about Modern India and recent Key developments. The topics include
- Indian Economy
- Research and Development
- Information Technology
- Environmental Studies
- Achievements in various fields
- Security Challenges
- Industrial Growth
- Infrastructural developments
Paper 7 – General Studies IV
This paper will contain questions about Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. The topics include
- Ethics in Public Administration
- Emotional Intelligence
- Behavioral Analysis
- Functional Values
Paper 8 & 9 – Candidates can select their desired subject from the list of subjects given below
- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
- Civil Engineering
- Commerce and Accountancy
- Electrical Engineering
- Indian History
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Science
- Political Science and International Relations
- Public Administration