IAS Eligibility, Application Form, Exam Pattern, Admit Card and Exam Result

Previously known as the Civil Services Exam, the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) is administered by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) every year.

The IAS exam consists of three stages and the qualifying candidates become officers in the prestigious civil services of the country. The three stages of the IAS exam include Indian Foreign Services (IFS), Indian Police Services (IPS), and Indian Administrative Services (IAS), among others.

Conducted in the month of May every year, the IAS examination is conducted in offline mode to select eligible candidates for serving in the most sought after positions in the Central Government and related departments.

Keep in mind that a career in the Civil Services requires the officers to work under pressure, for which the applicants have to be physically and mentally fit.

Plus, IAS officers have to serve under varied State and Central governments on deputation basis. IAS officers have an important role in framing and implementing policies in different areas. Thus, candidates should be sure they can handle such responsibilities if they plan on applying for the IAS exam.

IAS Exam Highlights
Exam Name Civil Services Exam 2020
Short Exam Name IAS Exam
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission(UPSC)
Application Mode Online
Exam Mode Offline
Official Website https://www.upsc.gov.in/
Helpline Number 011-23098543 / 23385271 / 23381125 / 23098591
Languages Prelims – English and Hindi
Exam Level National
Exam Purpose Recruiting candidates for government services like IAS, IPS, IFS etc.
Exam Frequency Once a year

IAS Exam: Eligibility Criteria

Educational Qualification

As per the eligibility criteria of the IAS exam, the aspiring candidates are required to secure a Graduation degree in a relevant stream from any recognized educational board. 

Candidates who have outstanding professional and technical qualifications are also considered eligible to apply for the IAS exam. 

Even if any applicant is appearing for the final year graduation exams, they can apply. However, such groups have to provide proof of passing the final year exams during the screening process.


To be eligible for the IPS and IAS, only candidates who are Indian citizens should apply.

Where other services are concerned, the candidate is required to be a citizen of India, Bhutan, or Nepal.

Age Criteria

Aspiring candidates who are between the age groups of 21-30 years are deemed eligible to apply for the IAS examination.

Candidates who are applying via the scheduled caste categories are given relaxation in upper age limits.

IAS Exam: Exam Pattern

The three phases of the IPS exam include:

Phase 1: Preliminary Exam (IAS Prelims)

The IAS Prelims paper consists of two papers.

  • Paper-I: General Studies (2 hours, 100 questions, 200 marks)
  • Paper-II: General Studies (CSAT) (2 hours, 80 questions, 200 marks)

Phase 2: Mains Exam (IAS Main) 

The second stage IAS Mains exam has 9 papers. These include:

  • Paper A: Compulsory Indian Language (3 hours, 300 marks)
  • Paper B: English (3 hours, 300 marks)
  • Paper-I: Essay (3 hours, 250 marks)
  • Paper-II: General Studies-I (3 hours, 250 marks)
  • Paper-III: General Studies-II (3 hours, 250 marks)
  • Paper-IV: General Studies-III (3 hours, 250 marks)
  • Paper-V: General Studies-IV (3 hours, 250 marks)
  • Paper-VI: Optional Paper-I (3 hours, 250 marks)
  • Paper-VII: Optional Paper-II (3 hours, 250 marks)

Out of the 9 IAS Mains papers, Paper-A and Paper-B are qualifying in nature while the rest of the papers determine the candidates’ final marks. 

Phase 3: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview) 

The candidates who qualify the IAS Mains exam have to attend the third and final stage, the Personality Test or Interview round, carrying 300 marks. During this stage, the applicants are evaluated on various counts such as overall personality and judgement ability. The authorities assess the candidate’s personality to gauge their suitability for a career in the Civil Services.


The marks that the candidate scores in the Main exam and Personal Interview rounds are considered to calculate their final ranks. The marks that they secure in the IAS Prelims exam are not considered to calculate their final score.

The allotment to the various services ensues after taking into account the candidate’s ranks in the exam and their preferences.

Also, the aspirants have to undergo a medical test to determine their physical fitness. The selected candidates are then offered positions as IAS officers.

IAS Exam: Application Process

The UPSC authorities accept online applications of aspiring candidates, who have to visit the UPSC official website, www.upsc.gov.in, to download the online application form.

On visiting the UPSC official website, the applicants have to first click on the ‘Apply Online’ tab and follow by clicking on the ‘Online Applications for Various Examinations’ link. Then, they must search for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination tab and begin their IAS exam registration with Part-I. Here, they must furnish details of their educational background and other basic personal details.

The application process also includes choosing their exam center and paying the Application Fee via the accepted payment modes. More so, they have to upload the mandatory documents – including photo-ID proof, and signature specimen. Additionally, they must accept the ‘Online Declaration’.

Next, they have to check if all the given information is correct and follow by submitting their applications. Finally, they should take a print copy of the ‘Confirmation Page’, which contains all the application information.

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