Dr.Rajkumar Academy for Civil Services



The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) exam is a highly competitive examination conducted by the Government of India for the recruitment of various civil services and administrative positions in the Indian government. The UPSC exam is one of the most prestigious and sought-after examinations in India. Here are some key details about the UPSC exam and who can take it:

The UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) annually. This examination is the gateway to a wide range of services, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and various other central government services.

Information about the UPSC Exam and who can take it

    • Nationality: Candidates must be Indian citizens or citizens of Nepal or Bhutan, or persons of Indian origin who have migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.
    • Age: The age eligibility varies depending on the specific service for which a candidate is applying. Generally, candidates must be between 21 and 32 years old as of August 1 of the examination year. Age relaxations are provided for certain categories like SC/ST, OBC, and others.
    • Educational Qualification: Candidates should have at least a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. There are no specific restrictions on the type of bachelor’s degree, so candidates from diverse academic backgrounds are eligible to apply.
    • Number of Attempts: The number of attempts allowed for the UPSC CSE varies based on the candidate’s category. Generally, a candidate can appear for the exam a maximum of six times, but there are relaxations for candidates belonging to certain categories, such as SC/ST and OBC.

Preliminary Examination (Prelims): This is an objective type exam consisting of two papers, one on General Studies and another on Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). It serves as a screening test.
Main Examination (Mains): This is a written examination consisting of nine papers, including two qualifying language papers and seven papers that are counted for ranking.
Interview/Personality Test: Candidates who qualify the mains exam are called for an interview where their personality and suitability for a career in civil services are assessed.
Selection Process: Candidates are selected based on their performance in the mains examination and interview. The final ranking determines the service and cadre allocation for the candidates.

Application Process: The UPSC CSE notification is typically released in February/March, and the examination is held in stages over several months. Candidates need to apply online through the UPSC website during the application window mentioned in the notification.

It’s important to note that the eligibility criteria, exam pattern, and other details may be subject to change, so it’s advisable to refer to the latest UPSC notifications and guidelines when considering appearing for the UPSC examination. Preparing for the UPSC exam requires dedication, thorough study, and a deep understanding of various subjects, as it is one of the most challenging competitive exams in India.

Pattern of the UPSC Exam

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is conducted in three stages: The Preliminary Examination, the Main Examination, and the Personality Test (Interview). Here is an overview of the pattern of each stage:
This is the first stage of the UPSC CSE and serves as a screening test. The Preliminary Examination consists of two objective-type papers:
    • Paper I: General Studies (GS)
  • Paper II: Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)
    • Paper I (General Studies) is counted for merit ranking and has questions on various topics such as History, Geography, Economics, Polity, Environment, and Current Affairs.
  • Paper II (CSAT) is a qualifying paper, and candidates need to score at least 33% in this paper to qualify for the Mains. It tests candidates’ comprehension, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning, and decision-making abilities.

The Main Examination consists of nine papers, of which seven are counted for merit ranking, and two are qualifying papers.
The seven papers counted for merit ranking are as follows:

  • Paper A: Indian Language (Qualifying)
  • Paper B: English (Qualifying)
  • Essay Paper
    – General Studies Paper I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)
    – General Studies Paper II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations)
    – General Studies Paper III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management)
    – General Studies Paper IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)
    – The Indian Language and English papers are qualifying in nature, and candidates need to score at least the prescribed marks in these papers, which are set at a minimum level.
    – The Essay paper and the General Studies papers are essay-type questions.

Candidates who qualify the Mains examination are called for a Personality Test, which is also known as the Interview.

The Personality Test is conducted by a board of competent and unbiased observers.

It assesses the candidate’s intellectual qualities, social traits, interest in current affairs, and suitability for a career in civil services.

The final selection is based on the cumulative marks obtained in the Main Examination (Mains) and the Personality Test (Interview). The Preliminary Examination (Prelims) is conducted to screen candidates for the Mains, and the marks obtained in the Prelims are not counted for the final ranking.

Candidates should be well-prepared in various subjects, including General Studies, to excel in the UPSC CSE. Additionally, the Ethics and Aptitude paper in the Mains examination evaluates the ethical and moral dimensions of candidates, making it important for aspirants to develop a strong understanding of ethics and integrity. It’s crucial to stay updated with current affairs, national and international issues, and have a thorough knowledge of the Indian polity and governance system.

UPSC Course Highlights