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The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the government of India's highest-ranking administrative civil service. IAS is the top administrative role among the 24 services, such as Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS). Officially known as the Civil Services Examination (CSE), the IAS exam is held every year by the Union Public Service Commission, which is the principal recruiting agency (UPSC).

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the country's permanent bureaucracy and is part of the executive branch. It is one of the three All India Services, and its framework can work for the Union Government, State Governments, and public-sector associations. Among the 24 government services, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has been dubbed one of the most prestigious. The All India Services also comprises of Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS).

All of these exams are conducted by UPSC as part of the Civil Services Examination (CSE), which is used to select deserving applicants for various positions. Every year, lakhs of people take this exam, putting their dedication and hard work to the test in order to get selected for one of these prestigious positions. It should be kept in mind that any officer selected for the IAS can work for the Union government, state governments, or public-sector undertakings and gain experience in a variety of positions, including collector, commissioner, head of public sector units, cabinet secretary, chief secretary, and to name a few.

IAS Exam Pattern

The IAS Exam pattern is:

Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)

Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)

Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Courses provided for IAS Preparation

  • Foundation Courses
  • IAS Prelims
  • IAS Prelims Cum Mains
  • IAS Mains
  • IAS Mains Optional Subjects

Eligibility criteria for giving IAS Exams

  • Nationality : Candidates for the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Police Service must be Indian citizens. The candidate must be an Indian citizen. The candidate must be a Nepalese citizen or a Bhutanese subject. Candidate must be a Tibetan refugee who arrived in India before January 1, 1962 and wishes to remain in India permanently. Candidates must be of Indian origin and have migrated to India with the purpose of permanently residing in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zaire, or Zambia.
  • Educational Background : The following conditions must be met by candidates applying for the Civil Services 2022 exam: A Bachelor's Degree from one of the accredited universities is required of the candidate. Candidates who have taken the qualifying examination and are awaiting results, as well as those who have not yet taken the qualifying examination, are eligible to take the Preliminary Exam. Along with the application for the Main Examination, such candidates must provide documentation of passing the specified examination. Candidates with government-recognized or equivalent professional and technical qualifications are also eligible to apply. Candidates who have finished their final year of MBBS or any other medical examination but have not yet completed their internship can also take the Main Exam. They must, however, present proof of passing the final professional medical examination from the relevant university.
  • Age restrictions : A candidate must be at least 21 years old and no more than 32 years old. The above-mentioned upper age limit can be relaxed for the following:
  • 5 Years Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)
  • 3 Years Other Backward Classes (OBC)
  • 3 Years Defence Services personnel
  • 5 Years ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least
  • 5 Years Military Service as on August 01, 2022.
  • 5 Years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs
  • 5 Years Blind, deaf-mute, and orthopedically handicapped persons
  • Number of attempts a candidate can take : Restriction on the maximum number of attempts is effective since 1984: For General Candidates: 6 attempts (Up to 32 Years) Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Candidates (SC/ST): No Limits (Up to 37 Years) Other Backward Classes (OBC): 9 attempts (Up to 35 Years) Physically handicapped- 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST


The Preliminary Examination is composed of two components:

  1. General Studies I
  2. General Studies II [also known as Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)]
Paper Subjects Total Marks Duration
1. General Studies (GS) I 200 2 hours
2. General Studies (GS) II 200 2 hours

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Syllabus for GS Paper I (Prelims Paper I)

  • National and international current events
  • India's history and the Indian National Movement
  • Geography of India and the World-Physical, Social, and Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, and Other Aspects of Indian Politics and Governance
  • Economic and Social Development - Poverty, Inclusion, and Sustainable Development
  • Demographics, actions in the social sector, and so forth.
  • Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change — concerns that do not require topic specialisation.
  • General Science

GS Paper II or CSAT Paper Syllabus (Prelims Paper II)

  • Comprehension skills
  • Communication skills, as well as interpersonal abilities
  • Analytical and logical reasoning skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • General Mental abilities
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)


Paper Subject Marks
Paper I Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice) 250
Paper II General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society) 250
Paper III General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations) 250
Paper IV General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management) 250
Paper V General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude) 250
Paper VI Optional Subject – Paper I 250
Paper VII Optional Subject – Paper II 250