FAQ on Civil Services Exam

Exam fever is gripping students. Each year, a whole lot of students apply for a variety of national level exams to secure a seat in the best courses and colleges. One such coveted and reputed course is the civil services. With people from a variety of age groups trying to ace the exam, the level of competition that this exam sees each year has only seen a surge.

With a lot of students applying for the exam, it is evident that they might have a lot of queries too. Let us make it clear that there is no silly or unwarranted query and it is perfectly fine to ask even if you have a minute doubt in mind.

At Studydekho, we are of the view that if an aspirant is steered clear of all his qualms, it is only then that he can try to focus on the given syllabus.

With this view in mind, we bring to you some of the most common FAQs that are asked with respect to the civil services exam. Perhaps a lot of you might have the same sort of doubts. So if you are one of those who is engrossed in preparing for the IAS exam, take a close look at these questions before you get back to studying. We are sure it would be of value to you.

Question: what is the age limit for appearing for the UPSC exam?

For the General Category, the age limit is 32 years. For those belonging to the OBC category, the age limit is 35 years and those from the SC/ST category can apply until the age of 37 years. Either way, there is ample time until you can try your luck in the exam.

Question: what is the number of attempts a particular candidate can give?

People from General category can give 6 attempts. Those from the OBC section can give 9 attempts and those from the SC/ST category can give unlimited number of attempts.

Question: is there any relaxation for those who are differently able, with respect to the number of attempts?

Only those belonging to the reserved categories can claim such reservation.

Question: what is the pattern of the exam?

The exam is conducted in 3 stages: prelims, mains and interview. One who successfully clears the cut off for a particular level progresses to the next level. The prelims exam is an e=objective exam while the mains paper is a subjective one which one subject being your optional subject. The interview is conducted by a panel of experts who ask questions in order to assess the personality of the examinee.

Question: what is the optional subject one should ideally choose?

There is no ideal subject for the mains examination. One can choose from a variety of around 50 subjects depending on the subjects he has studied in his previous courses. However, one needs to be thorough with each and every aspect of the subject to ace the civil services exam.

Question: are candidates allowed to use calculators in the exam?

The use of calculators is strictly prohibited for the UPSC prelims. However, an examinee can use scientific calculators during the mains examination. Programmable calculators are not allowed and amount to use of unfair means.

Question: what is the language for the Mains exam?

Candidates have the choice to write their answers either in English or in any of the languages as specified in the Eighth Schedule.

Question: what is the tie breaking principle followed in the civil services exam?

In case of a tie, the candidate senior in age is to be ranked higher and in case the age is also same, then the candidate scoring higher marks in the compulsory papers is to be ranked higher.

Question: can a candidate clear the exam without going to formal tuitions?

Absolutely! There is no doubt about the fact that a lot of people from all over the country ace the exam without actually attending formal coaching classes. In the age of advancement in technology, one can easily access previous year papers or solved papers and prepare for the exam. You can also access several videos and blogs know about the preparation strategy that serves the best.

Question: when does the notification for the civil services exam come out in public?

The notification for the exam usually comes out during the 1st week of December of January each year. An aspirant can get to know the same from the UPSC official website or other allied media.

Question: is it necessary to opt for Humanities in your graduation in order to clear the civil services exam?

This is a myth which needs to be cleared right away! It is not at all mandatory for a student to opt for Humanities for his graduation to clear the exam. A lot of engineers appear for the exam each year. Your previous qualification is never a deterrent for you to clear the exam. You can choose your subjects for the Mains exam accordingly.

Question: can a person who has completed his education from an open university apply for the civil services exam?

Of course! However, the same is subject to the relevant conditions one needs to satisfy with respect to his previous qualification such as the University’s recognition among other things.

Question: can an aspirant who has completed his degree from a foreign university apply for the civil services exam?

No, only a person who has graduated from an Indian university which is duly recognized can sit for the examination.

Question: how should one begin his prep for the civil services exam?

The ideal way to start your prep is going through the pattern and syllabus of the exam. One you have a fair idea of both these elements, you can channelize your thoughts in the right direction. One must plan and implement the same in a much disciplined manner. Fix a time frame and schedule for yourself if you wish to score well in the exam.

Question: what should be referred to prepare for current affairs?

If you ask experts, they would refer The Hindu newspaper to you since it is considered as one of the most elite and comprehensive newspapers in India. However, there is no hard and fast rule for the same. You can also access other newspapers or current affairs magazines for that matter. It is all about grasping maximum information. We suggest that you read editorials from the newspapers since they provide useful insight which can aid you while preparing for your Mains examination.

So this was all about the most frequently asked questions with respect to the civil services exam. In case you have anything more to ask, feel free to approach the Studydekho helpdesk. You can always give in your comments and valuable feedback as well. We would be more than happy to accommodate the same.

Oh and for your information, there are a lot of other blogs as well that talk about the best coaching institutes for IAS prep, ways to study for IAS, etc.

So gear up and get going for the elitist exam in the country. Studydekho wishes you good luck with your preparations.

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