UPSC Civil Services Exam

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examination in order to recruit candidates for different services and posts available in the Government of India.

UPSC Civil Services Exam 2019 Eligibility

All candidates who wish to appear for UPSC Civil Services exam 2018 need to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria mentioned below:


For Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), a candidate must be a citizen of India. For all other services a candidate can either be a citizen of India or

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

Note: Candidates who are subjects of Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugees are not eligible to apply for Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Age Criteria

Candidates must be minimum 21 years and maximum 31 years in age as on August 1, 2019. This means that candidates must have born not earlier than August 2, 1986 and not later than August 1, 1987.

There is also age relaxation of some years for reserved category candidates:

Category Age Relaxation 
SC/ ST 5 Years
OBC 3 Years
Defence Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof 3 Years
Ex-servicemen including commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years military service as on August 1, 2018 and have been released 5 Years
PwD [(a) blindness and low vision; (b) deaf and hard of hearing; (c) locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy; (d) autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness; and (e) multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness] 10 Years

Minimum Educational Qualifications

Candidates must hold a graduation degree in any stream from a recognised university.

Candidates who are awaiting results of their graduation exams are also eligible to apply for Preliminary exam. However, such candidates need to submit the proof of passing the requisite exam at the time of applying for Main exam (if qualified). The applications for Main exam are usually released in the month of July/ August.

Note: Candidates who have cleared MBBS or any other medical exam but have not completed their internship, by the time of submission of their Civil Services Main Exam applications, will be provisionally admitted to the exam. However, provisional admission to the exam will be given only if candidates 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 exam, informs the official website.

Physical Standards

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Civil Services Exam, 2019.

Number of Attempts Allowed for Civil Services Exam

All candidates are allowed maximum six attempts in UPSC Civil Services Exam. However, it may be noted that the criteria of number of attempts is not applicable for candidates belonging to SC/ ST category. Also, candidates belonging to OBC and Persons with Benchmark Disabilities categories are allowed maximum nine attempts in the exam.

The official website informs, “An attempt at a preliminary examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at 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.”

UPSC Civil Services Exam 2019 Process

Step 1: Fill UPSC Civil Services Exam Application Form

Candidates can fill UPSC Civil Services exam 2018 application form in online mode on the official website of the commission. Once the application form is filled, candidates also need to pay Civil Services exam application fee in online or offline mode.

Category Preliminary Exam Fee Mains Exam Fee
General/ OBC Rs 100 Rs 200
Females/ SC/ ST/ Persons with Benchmark Disability Nil Nil

Step 2: Download UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam Admit Card

Candidates can download their Civil Services Exam 2019 admit card from the official website of the commission three weeks before the commencement of the exam. It may be noted that admit cards will not be sent by post to any candidates. Also, candidates who fail to carry their admit card on the day of the exam will not be allowed to take the exam.

Step 3: Appear for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam

Next, candidates need to appear for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2018. The Preliminary exam is conducted in order to shortlist candidates for the next stage of Civil Services exam.

Step 4: Download UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam Admit Card

All candidates who clear the Preliminary exam can download their admit cards for Civil Services Mains 2019 exam. The admit cards will be available on the official website of UPSC three weeks before the commencement of Mains exam.

Step 5: Appear for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam

Candidates need to appear for Civil Services Mains 2018 Exam as per the details mentioned on the admit card. Mains exam of Civil Services will consist of a total of two qualifying papers, seven merit-based papers and one personality test. Candidates need to take all the papers to clear the exam.

Step 6: Check UPSC Civil Services Exam Final Results

After both the stages of Civil Services Exam (Preliminary and Mains) are conducted successfully, UPSC will release a final merit list on its official website. Candidates whose names/ roll numbers appear in the merit list will then be eligible for recruitment in different services and posts on offer through Civil Services Exam.  

UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in two stages – Preliminary and Mains. Civil Services Exam 2018 pattern for both the stages is mentioned below:

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam Pattern

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2018 will consist of two papers of 200 marks each containing objective-type multiple choice questions. Candidates need to mandatorily appear for both the papers and complete them in two hours duration each.

Paper Type of Questions Total Marks Duration
I Objective 200 2 Hours
II Objective 200 2 Hours
Total 400 4 Hours


Note: The question papers for both the papers (I and II) will be set in English as well as Hindi languages. Paper-II of Preliminary exam will be a qualifying paper with 33% as minimum qualifying marks.

UPSC Civil Services Main Exam Pattern

The Main exam will consist of a total of two qualifying papers, seven merit-based papers and a personality test (interview round). Each paper will be of three hours duration. Details regarding all the papers are mentioned below:

Qualifying papers:

There will be two qualifying papers mentioned below. It may be noted that marks for the below two papers will not be counted at the time of preparation of rank list.

Paper Description Marks
A One of the Indian language to be selected by the candidate from the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the constitution 300
B English 300
Total 600


Note: Paper A is not mandatory for Persons with Benchmark Disability (only Hearing Impairment sub-category) and candidates hailing from the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.

Marking Scheme: There will be negative marking of 0.33 marks for wrong answers marked by a candidate in objective-type question papers.

Merit-Based papers:

There will be a total of seven papers whose marks will be counted at the time of preparation of merit list:

Paper Description Marks
I Essay 250
II General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) 250
III General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 250
IV General Studies –III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250
V General Studies –IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 250
VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
Sub-Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test (Interview) 275
Grand Total 2025


Note: Question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English languages only. However, candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers (except the qualifying language papers, Paper-A and Paper-B) in either English or any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India, informs the official website.

List of optional subjects for papers VI and VII

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology
Botany Chemistry Civil Engineering
Commerce and Accountancy Economics Electrical Engineering
Geography Geology History
Law Management Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering Medical Science Philosophy
Physics Political Science and International Relations Psychology
Public Administration Sociology Statistics
Zoology Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

 UPSC Civil Services Interview Test

After candidates clear all the written tests, they will be interviewed by a board of competent observers. In the Civil services interview test, candidates will be judged on different skills mentioned below:

  • 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 IntegritySyllabusUPSC releases detailed Civil Services exam syllabus for both Preliminary and Main papers. Check Civil Services exam 2018 syllabus for both the papers below:UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam Syllabus
    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 ClimateChange – 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)

Course Content

Time: 10 weeks

Curriculum is empty



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