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Indian Administrative Services (IAS)

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

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IAS Eligibility Criteria

To attempt an IAS exam, the candidate must adhere to the following rules:


To attempt an IAS exam, the candidate must be a citizen of India and of age 21 years (minimum to 32 years (maximum).


The candidate must possess a degree of a recognized University of India. Candidates who have appeared or are appearing for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results can also appear for the IAS Preliminary Examination. All those candidates who qualify for the Civil Services Main Examination must be able to present the proof of having passed the said examination along with their application for the IAS Main Examination


The number of attempts for the exam is restricted to 6 for the general category candidates. However, there are some relaxations in the age limits and number of attempts for other category candidates.

IAS Exam Schedule

The preliminary IAS exam is conducted on a Sunday in the month of May in one day while the Main IAS exam is conducted in the month of December in 2 sessions during a span of 5 days. The official dates are announced online by the UPSC.

IAS Exam Pattern

IAS exam is conducted in two phases - the Preliminary examination, which consists of two objective type papers (General Studies and Aptitude Test) and the Main examination which consists of 9 subjective papers (essay type) that is followed by the last phase of Personality Test (Interview).
There is negative marking of 1/3 for each wrong answer in the preliminary exam. The preliminary exam is of 2 hours duration (for each paper) with weightage of 200 marks for each paper. The IAS exam is set both in English and Hindi language.

IAS Exam Syllabus

IAS exam is divided into two parts i.e Preliminary and Main exam. Mentioned below is the syllabus for the above two paper.

Preliminary Exam

Paper-I of IAS preliminary exam is based on knowledge of subjects like Current events of national and international importance, History of India, Indian-World Geography, Indian Politics & Governance, Economic & Social Development, Environmental Ecology, and General Science.

Paper-II is based on knowledge of subjects like Comprehension, Communication skills, Logical reasoning & Analytical ability, Decision-making, Basic numeracy, Data Interpretation, and English Language skills.

Main Exam

IAS main exam consists of the following papers-

Qualifying Papers:
Paper A- anyone Indian Language as selected by the candidate (300 Marks)
Paper B- English (300 Marks)
Papers (counted for merit)
Paper I-VII are of 250 marks each
Paper-I - Essay
Paper-II General Studies (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)
Paper-III General Studies (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Paper-IV General Studies  (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
Paper-V General Studies (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)
Paper-VI Optional Subject - Paper 1
Paper-VII Optional Subject - Paper 2
Sub Total (Written test) - 1750 Marks
Personality Test - 275 Marks
Grand Total - 2025 Marks

IAS Future Prospects

Being a member of the IAS Department offers exciting experiences and various learning opportunities for self-growth and development. The satisfaction derived from the fact that you work for the people is great. The job offers a sense of self-esteem and considerable perks. It is one of the most highly respected professions in India. Being in the IAS involves great responsibility as well as accountability towards the society to ensure holistic development of the state/region they are serving. Only the cream of Indian students is able to crack the IAS exam, as only first 100 successful candidates are chosen for this service. The salary of all Civil Servants is fixed by the Government of India and depends on the rank at which the officer is posted. More than the salary, it is the quality of perks and the authority exercised that is associated with IAS that attract many of brilliant students to it.

IAS Official Website