Got stuck!! What to do after being a graduate, how to certify oneself to become a successful bureaucrat, and to realize our dreams of becoming IAS, IPS, IRS, AND IFS. The wait is over the team I AM AN NITIAN is presenting series of preferred and beneficial competitive examinations of India. In this article all the relevant details about a well-known examination that is UPSC (Union Public Service Commission)

This article contains every information on UPSC exam listed below:-

  • UPSC, A Brief Introduction
  • Eligibility
  • Scope
  • Cut-off
  • Syllabus
  • Marking Scheme
  • Tips for preparation
  • No. of the post and much more

UPSC, A Brief Introduction

The competition is enormous, and the quality and quantity of competitors are increasing day by day. UPSC, one of the most esteemed national-level competitive Exam of India, is administered by the union public service commission for the recruitment of various civil services of the Government of India like: –

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • Indian Police Service (IPS)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Indian Forest Service (IFS)

It provides you the opportunity to serve the Nation by holding top positions in the Administrative Sector of India. It gives you a chance to assist the Government in carrying out legislature. The rank which you will secure will decide your post.

Now let us understand what these terms are.

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS)- the IAS is one of the three arms of the All India Services along with the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service. The members of these three services serve the Government as well as the individual states. IAS officers may also be stationed to various public sector undertakings too. His work is to make policies for the smooth running of the administration.

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS)- it is a Central Civil service as Foreign policy is the subject matter and prerogative of Union Government. The Ambassador, High Commissioner, Consul General, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Foreign Secretary are some of the offices held by the members of this service. This position involves managing foreign affairs and working under the Ministry of foreign Services and affairs. Working as a diplomat which consists in representing the country in other countries and working in the foreign ministry.

The Indian Police Service (IPS)- The service was envisaged to command and provide leadership to state police forces and the union territories and also Central Armed Police Forces (BSF, SSB, CRPF, CISF, & ITBP) and Central Police Organisations. This is one of the most significant posts in our country, which provides you the opportunity to serve to police and legal system of the country. S.P., SSP, DIG, I.G. are some of the posts in this service.

IRS(Indian Revenue Services)– This involves working under the finance ministry, having more excellent and effective knowledge of economic and monetary policies.

IFS(Indian Forest Service)– This is also a post that involves a District forest officer who controls all the officers, foresters, and forest rangers under him.

After discussing the post, here is rank vs. Post data given for your reference:-

Data for the Year 2019

Central Services Group ‘A’198985731384
Group ‘B’ Services3512150668


The points which have to be considered for eligibility are:-

  1. Nationality
  2. Age Limit
  3. No. of Attempts
  4. Educational Qualification


Nationality criteria for Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS):

  • Candidate must be a citizen of India

Nationality criteria for all other services:

  • Candidate must be either:-
  • a citizen of India, or
  • a subject of Nepal, or
  • a subject of Bhutan, or
  • a Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1 January 1962 to permanently settle in India, or
  • a person of Indian origin (PIO) who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, and Vietnam to settle in India permanently.


  • The minimum age required to be an eligible candidate for UPSC Exam is 21 years
CategoryAge limit in yrs.Relaxation up to:-(in yrs.)
General32No relaxation
Defense Service Personnel disabled during service353
Visually challenged/hearing impaired/physically tested candidates4210

Number of Attempts:-

CategoryNo. of Attempts
SC/STNo restriction
Physically Handicapped (General)6
Physically Handicapped (OBC)9
Physically Handicapped (SC/ST)No restriction


  • If a candidate appears for the UPSC prelims exam, it will be deemed as one attempt.
  • If a candidate clears the UPSC prelims, he/she will be eligible for appearing for the USPC mains of that year only.
  • Even if a candidate’s candidature is disqualified or canceled, his/her taking the Exam will be counted as one attempt.

Educational Qualifications:-

  • IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS(Foreign Services): Bachelor Degree in Any Stream in Any Recognized University in India
  • IFS (Forest Service): Bachelor Degree as one of Subject Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, and Zoology, Agriculture or Equivalent

NO. Of Posts

On average, the number of posts for this Exam remains between 800-1000. This year, the number of vacant positions for which the Exam is to be taken is 886 posts.

  • Civil services posts:-796
  • IFS posts:-90

Following are the posts which are to be filled through this Exam:-

Indian Administrative Service.Indian Foreign ServiceIndian Police Service.
Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group AIndian Audit and Accounts Service, Group AIndian Defence Accounts Service, Group A
Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group AIndian Postal Service, Group AIndian Civil Accounts Service, Group A
Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group APondicherry Civil Service, Group BPondicherry Police Service, Group B
Indian Trade Service,      Group A (Gr. III).Indian Corporate Law Service, Group AIndian Information Service (Junior Grade), Gr A
Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group AIndian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group AIndian Railway Accounts Service, Group A
Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group AIndian Defence Estates Service, Group AAssistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group A
Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group AIndian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group B


  • Candidates are required to apply Online by using the website ( Detailed instructions for filling up online applications are available on the website mentioned above. The online application is necessary for applying for preliminary examinations.
  • The application generally begins in February.
  • The Online Application Process consists of Part-I and Part-II Registration:
  1. In Part I registration, the candidate will have to fill the necessary information. On submission of details, the candidate will be prompted to check the details and make the corrections, if any, in the application. 
  2. Part-II Registration consists of filling up Payment details (except for fee exempted candidates), selection of examination center, uploading of Photograph, Signature, Photo Identity Card Document and Declaration.

Cost of application:-


  • General / OBC: 100/-
  • SC / ST / PH : 0/- (Exempted)
  • All Category Female : 0/- (Nil)


  • General/OBC: 200/-
  • Others : (Exempted)

Exam pattern

It is conducted in three phases:-

  • Phase 1-A preliminary examination consisting
  • Two objective-type papers (General Studies) Paper I and General Studies  (Paper-II )
  • Also known as the Civil Service Aptitude Test or CSAT.
  • Phase 2-A main examination subjective
  • type consisting of 9 papers
  • out of which 2 are qualifying, and remaining marks of 7 subjects are considered.
  • Phase 3-A final interview testing the attitude, etiquette, General IQ of the applicant.

It is considered to be one of the most demanding competitive examinations in India.

A single attempt takes two entire years of preparation – one year before the prelims and one year from prelims to interview.  On average, 900,000 to 1,000,000 candidates apply every year, and the number of candidates sitting in the preliminary examination is approximately 550,000. Competition becomes severe, but as the name suggests, this Exam produces the assets which play a most significant role in guiding our country as the administrative, police, and revenue officers.


PART-1(Preliminary Examinations)


  • 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.


  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical 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)

(Preliminary Examinations Details)

  • The questions in the IAS Exam (Prelims) are of the objective type or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • There is ‘Negative Marking’ in the IAS Exam for each incorrect answer but only in the Prelims stage. The negative marking for wrong answers will be 1/3rd (0.66) of the allotted marks of that question.
  • The GS Paper II (CSAT) in the IAS exam is qualifying, and candidates should score a minimum of 33 percent in this paper to qualify for the next stage of the IAS exam, that is, the Mains.
  • Blind candidates are given an extra time of 20 minutes for each paper in the IAS Exam (Prelims).
  • The candidates must appear in both the papers of the civil services prelims exam for the evaluation.
  • The marks scored by the candidates in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final score. It is only a screening test where candidates not securing the cut-off marks are eliminated.

PART-2(Main Examinations)

The second stage of the IAS Exam is called the Mains Exam

  • It is a written descriptive examination and comprises 9 papers
  • The pattern of questions would be broad as follows
  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precise Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essays. Indian Languages:—
  • comprehension of given passages.
  • Precise Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essays
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

2 Papers that are of English and Compulsory Indian Language are just qualifying in nature, whereas the other 7 paper’s marks are used to declare the merit rank of the aspirant.

Note:-Each main paper subjects of various disciplines will contain syllabus as per their scope and type.

Main Examinations Details

  • The candidates can select their medium of writing the UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains Exam as Hindi or English or any other language listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Indian Languages included in the IAS exam are as per languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The candidates who score above the prescribed cut-off marks in the IAS exam (Mains) will get the summons for the Personality Test (last stage of the IAS exam).
  • The final ranking of the candidates is based on the marks obtained by them in the Main Examination and Personality Test/Interview Round of the IAS exam.


General Studies IGeneral Studies IIGeneral Studies IIIGeneral Studies IV
Indian Heritage and CultureGovernanceTechnologyEthics
History and Geography of the WorldConstitutionEconomic DevelopmentIntegrity
Social JusticeEnvironment
International relationsSecurity and Disaster Management

The Optional subjects for Paper VI and VII of the mains examination have to be any one of the subjects from the following list:


AgricultureAnimal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceAnthropologyBotanyChemistry
Civil EngineeringCommerce and AccountancyEconomicsElectrical EngineeringGeography
Mechanical EngineeringMedical SciencePhilosophyPhysicsPolitical Science and International Relations
PsychologyPublic AdministrationSociologyStatisticsZoology

PART-3(Interview/Personality Test)


Candidates who get qualified in the mains stage of the Civil Services Exam with the required cut-off marks qualify for the final stage of the Exam:-UPSC INTERVIEW. In this round, The board assesses the personality of the candidates, their I.Q., problem-solving strategies, their habits, professional styles, and their vision towards the UPSC Profession. Questions based on hobbies, General Knowledge, Current Affairs, etc. are also asked to evaluate their fitness for these civil services professions.

PHYSICAL Interview is taken at UPSC Bhawan, New Delhi.

For more details: visit the UPSC website.


UPSC Prelims:-

Sly no.Name of PaperNature of PaperPaperDurationNo. of QuestionsMarks
1.Paper 1Merit Ranking Nature12 Hours100200
2.Paper 2Qualifying Nature22 Hours80200

Cut-Off:- (Year -2018)

CategoryUPSC Prelims Cut-off Marks(out of 200)
PwBD – 173.34
PwBD – 253.34
PwBD – 340
PwBD – 545.34

UPSC Mains:-

PaperSubjectDurationTotal marks
Paper ACompulsory Indian language3 hours300
Paper BEnglish3 hours300
Paper IEssay3 hours250
Paper-IIGeneral Studies I3 hours250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 hours250
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 hours250
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 hours250
Paper VIOptional I3 hours250
Paper VIIOptional II3 hours250

Interview Marks:-   275 Marks

Grand Total:-    2025 Marks

Cut-off:-  (Out of 2025)Including MAINS AND INTERVIEW)

Category       201820172016
PWD(Visually impaired)908948951
PWD(Hearing impaired)754830817



Date of beginning of application:-12.02.2020

Last date of applying online:03.03.2020

Pre Exam Date: 31/05/2020

Admit Card Available: May 2020

Results:-To be announced by UPSC


Admit card(available):-August 2020

Date of Exam: 18 September 2020

For more details visit:



Date of beginning of application:-12.02.2020

Last date of applying online:19.03.2020

Date of examination: 2 June 2019

Result: 15 August 2019


Mains Dates:20,21,22,28,29 September

Results: January 2020

Interview Dates: 17 February to 3 April(Postponed due to pandemic)


  1. Analyzing the trend, more current affairs based questions are being asked in both, Prelims and Mains stage of the IAS exam.
  2. Select only credible sources like PIB, The Hindu, Yojana, etc. and align the current events as per the IAS exam syllabus.
  3. For the IAS exam, current affairs usually comprise events of national and international importance in the last 10-12 months.
  4. Go through the previous years’ IAS exam questions to gauge the amount of preparation needed from your end.
  5. Read the NCERT books and make notes. You will have to make at least two sets of notes, i.e., short notes for Prelims and descriptive notes for UPSC Mains.
  6. The preparation for Prelims and Mains must be done simultaneously until 1-2 months before the date of the Prelims exam.
  7. Identify the syllabus overlap between Prelims and Mains and focus on those areas first.
  8. Select an optional subject for the IAS exam based on your aptitude, interest, and experience.
  9. Few optional subjects have a significant overlap with the General Studies syllabus in Mains. However, their syllabi are rather vast, so do your due diligence before finalizing one.
  10. Go through the standard books for each subject. Find the IAS exam book list; Current Affairs notes, NCERT notes, and other information in the links below.
  11. Do not take the CSAT paper lightly in Prelims and Ethics paper in Mains. Similarly, the two qualifying language papers in Mains are also crucial as failing to score at least 25% in them will automatically eliminate you from the IAS exam process, notwithstanding your stellar performance in all the other papers.
  12. Take out time for MCQ solving practice for Prelims and answer writing practice for Mains.
  13. Revise multiple times, update your notes, and revise some more.
  14. Have proper planning for the whole day and divide the time into different sections where you can devote time to all the sections equally.
  15. There should be an adequate timetable which should be followed religiously.
  16. You should know your weak and strong points do that you can devote time accordingly.
  17. Make the best use of all the available online resources.
  18. Be updated with all the general knowledge. Do maintain notes if the events that are happening worldwide. And keep an eye on the economy too. This not only increases our awareness but also helps us in enhancing our verbal skills too.
  19. Download previous years’ question papers because nothing can be much more beneficial than them. Do make short notes of the content which you have read to have a perfect last-minute revision.
  20. To enroll in a test series that will help in keeping pace with time.

Thanks for having a reading and good wishes!!

Mehul Kumar
Content writers Team

By Admin

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