Civil Service – A Promosing Career


Have you been pursuing a career that is intellectually stimulating, interesting and keeps you really motivated and learned at every phase?  Have you ever been passionate about making a difference and giving something beneficial back to the society? If yes, civil service befits your expectations of a varied and interesting career, much more than a mere means of living. Civil Service offers you a high profile and prestigious job, promising you with one of the most paid and most secure jobs in our country.


The entrance to Civil Services including IAS, IPS and IFS is determined by the UPSC Civil Service Examination conducted every year in three distinct phases namely

  • Preliminary Examination (Objective)
  • Mains Exam(Descriptive)
  • Personal Interview


The first phase is the Prelims exam which consists of the following two papers of 200 marks each, thereby amounting to a total of 400 marks :

  1. General Studies: This paper deals with general awareness and has questions with regard to such topics as Indian Polity, Indian Economy, Indian Geography, World Geography, History, Science and Technology, Ecology, International Relations, Current Affairs, General Knowledge, etc. The marks obtained in this section alone is counted to make the merit list.
  2. Civil Service Aptitude Test:  This tests the reasoning, analytical and interpersonal skills and includes reading comprehension and decision making questions. This is of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in this exam is not counted to prepare the merit list. However, a minimum of 33% is mandatory to get qualified for the Mains exam.

A total of 2 hours is allotted for each of these papers. An additional 20 minutes is allotted to blind candidates. Each wrong answer amounts to a 1/3rd reduction in the total marks allotted for the respective questions.


Those who are qualified in the Prelims enter the next level of evaluation and attempt the Mains exam. This exam consists of nine papers of which two are qualifying papers of 300 marks each. Any Indian Language paper and English language paper are the qualifying papers. This exam also consists of an Essay paper of 250 marks which can be written in the medium of candidate’s choice, 4 General Studies papers each of 250 marks and 2 Optional Subject papers each of 250 marks.  The Optional Subjects include 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 and Zoology. One can take English as the Optional Subject without a graduation in the same.

The maximum marks for the written exams are 1750. Marks of English and the Language papers is not added in the total marks of the Mains exam as these are basically qualifying papers.


Those who pass the Mains exam are called to attend the interview which forms the last level of evaluation. The interview test will be a personality test of 275 marks. It makes an attempt to analyze the mental qualities and to determine the suitability of the candidate by a brilliant team of impartial judges appointed by the UPSC. Try to answer only those questions which are asked. Try to keep your answers brief and crystal clear. Try to have an in-depth knowledge on the matters of relevance. Admit it frankly if you are not aware of the questions being asked, without any hesitation.

Persistent hard work and an unstirred passion and determination can assure you a higher rank in the bureaucracy.Good luck for your attempts!


One must be a graduate to be eligible to write the exam. The candidate must be of at least 21 years of age. The upper age limit for the General Category is 32 years while it is 35 for OBCs and 37 for SCST. The maximum number of attempts people in the General Category can make is 6 while it is 9 for OBCs. It is limitless for SCSTs till they acquire 37 years of age.