Civil Services Examination


Civil Services Examination (CSE), conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), is one of the most competitive and highly prestigious examination for the recruitment of candidates to fulfill various posts of Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and several other Group 'A' and Group 'B' Central Services/ Posts.

Civil Services not only offers premier job opportunities, but also a career full of challenges and opportunities to selected candidates. These Candidates or officers play a vital role in managing the bureaucracy of both the central and the state governments by holding strategic posts all across the country. These candidates recruited as officers/ bureaucrats are involved in various responsibilities like framing and implementation of policies, maintaining law and order, handling general administration, development of new projects etc. These officers get a chance to work at authoritative posts like District Magistrate, Divisional Commissioner, Principal Secretaries/Financial Commissioners, Chief Secretary of state or the Central Government.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), under Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension, is the cadre controlling authority.

Civil Services Examination is conducted for the recruitment of below mentioned services. All appointments to Civil Services are made by the Honorable President of India. Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a single window providing entry for various Group A and Group B services in Government of India. These services/posts are allotted to the selected candidates based on their pre-filled choice of service as per the ranking.

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  • Indian Administrative Service(IAS)
  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • Indian Police Service (IPS)
  • Indian P&T Accounts & Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Customs and Central Excise
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Income Tax
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
  • Indian Railway Protection Force (RPF) (Assistant Security Commissioner)
  • Indian Postal Service
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
  • Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
  • Indian Information Service (IIS) (Junior Grade)
  • Indian Trade Service (ITS)
  • Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)


  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service (DANIPS)
  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service (DANICS)
  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQCS) (Section Officer Grade)
  • Pondicherry Police Service
  • Pondicherry Civil Service


A Candidate must be a citizen of India to appear for Indian Administrative service(IAS) and Indian Police Service(IPS).

For other services, a candidate must be either:

  • A citizen of India, or
  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A subject of Bhutan, or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  • A Person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with intention of permanently settling down in India.


Candidates belonging to above category in point 2 shall be a person in whose favor a certificate has been issued by the Government of India and further above mentioned candidates will not be eligible for the appointment in Indian Foreign Services(IFS). Any candidate in whose case a certificate is necessary may be permitted to enter the examination hall. However, the letter of appointment will only be issued after the issuance of necessary eligibility certificate.


Civil Services Examination is one of the most competitive and prestigious exam, popularly known as IAS is conducted by UPSC to recruit candidates for Indian Administrative Service.

  • The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.
  • Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commission's examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination. All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination.
  • In exceptional cases the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate who has not any of the foregoing qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he/she has passed examination conducted by the other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his/her admission to the examination.
  • Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degree would also be eligible for admission to the examination.
  • Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit along with their application a copy of certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination. In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original Degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.

Age and Number of Attempts


Upper Age Limit

No. Of Attempts


32 Year 06


35 Year 09


37 Year Till upper age limit


Gen: 42 Year

OBC: 45 Year

SC/ST: 47 Year

Gen: 09 attempts

OBC: 09 attempts

SC/ST: Till upper age limit

J&K Domicile

Gen: 37 Year

OBC: 40 Year

SC/ST: 42 Year

PH: 47 Year

SC/ST: Till upper age limit

Disabled Serviceman

Gen: 37 Year

OBC: 38 Year

SC/ST: 40 Year

SC/ST: Till upper age limit


Gen: 37 Year

OBC: 40 Year

SC/ST: 42 Year

Till upper age limit


  • A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years.
  • An attempt at a preliminary examination shall be deemed to be an attempt for the Civil Services examination.
  • If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the preliminary examination, he/she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the examination.
  • Not with standing the disqualification/ cancellation of a candidate of his/her candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.

The civil services Examination consist of three stages:

  • Preliminary
  • Mains Exam
  • Personality Test

Question paper is set in English and Hindi.

If you apply online but remain absent in prelims, then your attempt is NOT counted.

Preliminary Examination

Subject Paper Type Duration No. of Question Marks NegativeMarking
(General Studies)
Objective 2 Hours 100 200 1/3 of Marks alotted to the ques.
Objective 2 Hours 80 200 1/3 of Marks alotted to the ques.

NOTE 1: 33% marks are the minimum qualifying marks for paper-II.

NOTE 2: Preliminary examination will be conducted for screening purpose only. Only those candidates who qualify preliminary examination will be eligible for main examination.

Stage 2 Mains

Main Examination is a written type of examination conducted in IX papers. Out of those IX papers marks obtained by a candidate in I to VII papers i.e. of Four papers of General Studies,Two papers of optional and an essay paper will be counted for merit. Language papers are of Qualifying Nature.

Stage 3 Interview

Interview according to UPSC is described to be a test of candidate’s overall personality which includes analytical ability, lateral thinking, logical decision making etc. 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.

Personality Test (Interview)


275 Marks