Civil Services Exam 2022 Eligibility, Syllabus, Exam Pattern

Civil Services Exam: Every year lakhs of candidates appear for the Indian Civil Service exam, often rated as the toughest competitive examination in the country, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Out of the 24 services that come under the purview of All India Services. As there are 3 main services that are the most sought after among civil service candidates for their career potential.

Namely the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), the Indian Police Service (IPS), and finally the most prestigious and top class of them all – the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

The IAS forms the basis of the Indian government’s bureaucracy and consists of all senior officials of the state and central government, who are tasked with helping the government function efficiently.

Candidates must successfully complete the three main stages of this exam, such as Preliminary, Mains, and Final Interview rounds before they are selected for a career in the Indian Administrative Service.

Civil Services Exam

Types of Civil Services in India

  • Indian Administrative Service.
  • Indian Foreign Service.
  • Indian Police Service.
  • Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Defense Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Revenue Service (IT), Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Ordnance Factory Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration).
  • Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Railway Transport Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Defense Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
  • Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ (Grade III).
  • Indian Corporate Law Service, Group “A”.
  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer Grade).
  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli Civil Services, Group ‘B’.
  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group ‘B’.
  • Pondicherry Civil Services, Group ‘B’.
  • Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’.

Note: You can also read about the classification of services into technical services and non-technical services on the basis of the Civil Services Examination (CSE).

Civil Services Examination (CSE)

Though popularly known as the ‘IAS Exam’, the official name of the exam is UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). There are many people who consider this exam to be the toughest exam in India (and globally too!) The exam is attempted by around 5 lakh candidates every year.

UPSC CSE will be conducted in 3 stages: 1) Preliminary & 2) Main 3) Interview. The exam window extends for more than one year (from June month of one year to June month of the next year when the result is declared).

UPSC 2023

The notification for UPSC Civil Services Examination for 2023 will be published on February 01, 2023. You can apply for UPSC CSE 2022 between February 01, 2023, and February 21, 2023.

  • UPSC CSE 2023 Prelims Date: May 28, 2023 (Sunday)
  • UPSC CSE 2023 Mains Date: September 15, 2023 (5 days)
  • UPSC CSE 2023 Interview Date:  January-March 2024 (expected)
  • UPSC CSE 2023 Final Result Date: April 2024 (expected)

What does an IAS officer do?

As mentioned above, the greatest priority of an IAS officer is to help senior government officials and ministers frame policies and operate their respective departments/ministries.

However, they will also have to report back to the Ministry concerned. Share feedback on the steps taken to implement the same and the ground impact and areas for improvement

IAS officers normally start their careers at the lowest sub-divisional level and are also accountable to both their state legislatures and the central parliament.

Revenue collection, fund disbursement, crisis management, disaster relief, maintaining law and order, and policymaking – are some of the other major responsibilities of an IAS officer.

The promotion of an IAS officer to the post of District Magistrate or DM of the district depends on the overtime and performance of the District Collector or Commissioner.

Upon reaching a certain level of seniority, officers are often deputed for central posting as deputy / joint / cabinet secretaries with the central government.

Some senior IAS officers also held in prominent positions in reputed public sector undertakings or public sector undertakings.

How much do they earn per month?

Apart from influential power in matters of public administration and their proximity to influential politicians, IAS officers are also very good for their services.

For example, a junior officer can expect to approximate. INR 60,000 per month, hosting additional allowances (HRA / TA) if applicable. Still not learning on a bad job for a rogue officer.

At the other end of the spectrum, a very senior IAS officer – at the level of cabinet or joint secretary – is paid around 2.5 lakh rupees per month – all thanks to the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

what is the average salary in India

Civil Services Preliminary Exam

There are two papers in the Civil Services Preliminary Examination. The questions are of objective nature.

  • General Studies Paper 1 [which deals with subjects like History, Polity, Economics, etc.]
  • General Studies Paper 2 [which deals with subjects like Mental Ability, English Comprehension, etc. This paper is popularly known as CSAT – Civil Services Aptitude Test).

IAS Prelims Exam Date:

  • Civil Services Preliminary Notification Date: Feb.
  • UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam Date: June.

The preliminary exam is primarily an elimination test and hence its marks are not considered for the final ranking. The syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Preliminary and Main Examination is given on this website. For more details about the Preliminary Exam visit: “How to Crack Civil Services Preliminary Exam?”.

Civil Service Main Examination

The main stage is subjective in nature as the answers are to be written on paper. The Civil Services Main Question Papers as per the revised syllabus are given below.

UPSC Civil Services Main Exam consists of 9 papers as per the revised syllabus. Out of these 9 papers, the marks of 7 will be counted for the final ranking, while Paper 2 will be of qualifying nature.

Arithmetic Question Paper in UPSC Civil Services Main Exam

  • 1 paper on essay. (250 marks x 1)
  • 4 papers from General Studies (which includes subjects like History, Geography, Economics, Politics, Technology, Ecology, Ethics, etc.). (250 marks x 4)
  • 2 papers on one optional subject – which can be chosen from 25 subjects and 22 languages. (250 marks x 2)

Qualifying Papers in UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam

  • 1 English language paper (comprehension, precise writing, etc.).
  • 1 regional language paper (comprehension, precise writing, translation, etc.).
  • The marks for the Civil Services Main Examination are calculated out of 1750.

IAS Main Exam Dates:

  • UPSC Civil Services Mains Notification Date: Aug.
  • Date of UPSC Civil Services Main Exam: October.

civil service interview


The interview is a face-to-face process that evaluates a candidate’s potential and commitment to the society. The interview is out of 275 marks.
The final rank is calculated by adding up the Mains (out of 1750) and interview marks (out of 275) and the rank list will be prepared on the basis of marks obtained out of 2025.

IAS Interview Dates:

  • UPSC Civil Services Interview Notification Date: Dec.
  • UPSC Civil Services Interview Date: February/ March.

Eligibility criteria for civil services exam

Here is a look at some of the primary eligibility conditions which should be fulfilled by the aspirants who wish to appear in the UPSC exams.

  • Those wishing to join IAS or IPS should be Indian citizens only.
  • Every candidate needs good physical and mental health, to resolve any issues that may affect his or her official performance.
  • Candidates are required to make themselves for a medical examination conducted by the Central Permanent Medical Board (CSMB) to determine their mental and physical condition.
  • Candidates must be between 21-32 to pass this exam. The calculation of the age of the candidate is generally taken into consideration from August 01 of the year of the examination.
  • This limit of appearing for the UPSC examination is 3 years for OBC candidates and 5 years for SC / ST candidates and Ex-servicemen.
  • Candidates are required to obtain a bachelor’s degree from a government-recognized, renowned, or major foreign university.
  • A distance education degree or equivalent qualification (recognized by the Government of India) is also eligible to apply।
  • Final-year college students can usually take the first phase of the UPSC exam.
  • The general category candidates have a total of 6 attempts to clear the UPSC exam.
  • OBC candidates are allowed 9 attempts, while SC / ST candidates may have unlimited attempts until they exceed the maximum age limit of 32 years.
  • Candidates can apply online on the UPSC website, or through various post offices across the country.
  • The application deadline is usually around the months of February and March

IAS exam syllabus and related details

With a success rate of less than 10 percent, this exam is one of the toughest public service examinations in the country.

To add, rigorous UPSC preparation and serious study are required for several months to clear all three rounds before the selection of the candidate.

There are three primary categories of examination,

  • Preliminary Aptitude Test or CSAT
  • Main exam (written)
  • Face-to-face interview
  • The first phase, which is the preliminary (objective) examination, is usually conducted around the month of June, while the written examination is held around October each year.

Only those students who have passed both exams are shortlisted for the final interview/personality test round which is held every year in March-May.

The final results are announced in the month of June.

Freshers must prepare a study plan to prepare for the UPSC exam, for the first time it is necessary to gain a better understanding of the exam syllabus and pattern.

The first stage, which is a preliminary examination, consists of two compulsory tests – General Studies I and General Studies II.

If you want to reach the next level, then each paper carries 200 marks and both are compulsory.

To give you a better idea about some of the main topics covered in the written examination, here is a preview of some important topics, which you have to read to be included in the written examination.

  • Important national and global events.
  • Indian Constitution and System of Governance.
  • Indian History and Freedom Struggle.
  • Issues and challenges of socio-economic and sustainable development.
  • Global warming, climate change, environmental ecology, and general science.

These critical tests are also used to assess some of your major personality traits including

  • Your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Writing and comprehension skills
  • The ability for logical reasoning and analytical analysis.
  • General mental and cognitive ability.
  • Preparation of aptitude tests for basic numbers and data interpretation.

Reference books and study material

There is no shortage of books and academic literature, which can help you crack the UPSC exam on the first attempt.

You can also see many NCERT books and subjects which are used as reference and preparation material, especially by IAS aspirants.

People also ask for civil services exam

What is the qualification for the civil service exam?

Educational Qualification for IAS Exam: The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University. UPSC Civil Services Exam Age Limit: Candidate age should be minimum 21 years and not more than 32 years. General Category & EWS: 32 Years; 6 attempts.

Is the civil service exam the same as UPSC?

The full form of UPSC is Union Public Service Commission. It is the apex body that conducts various examinations. Civil Services Exam is one of the exams conducted by UPSC which recruits for IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, etc. Find out the dates of these exams in UPSC Calendar 2022.

How many exams are there in civil services?

UPSC Civil Services Exam consists of 3 stages – (1) Preliminary Exam (Objective Test) (2) Main Exam (Written Exam) (3) Personality Test (Interview).

What are the subjects in civils?

UPSC exam is one of the toughest exams in India but it is not impossible if you follow the right strategy. Here is a 10-point strategy list from an expert on how to crack UPSC. UPSC exam is one of the toughest exams in India but it’s not impossible if you follow the right strategy

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