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The IAS exam (officially known as the Civil Services Examination) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. The official UPSC Notification for IAS Exam 2021 has been released. Check the link for more details.
Those who clear all the three stages of the IAS exam enter into the prestigious civil services of the country, and become officers in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and a host of other services. Although regarded as one of the toughest exams in the country, with the right approach and strategy, an aspirant can crack the IAS examination in the very first attempt. It is essential for aspirants to know and understand the requirements of the IAS exam 2021 such as the UPSC syllabus for IAS Exam (Prelims and Mains), pattern, eligibility criteria, application procedure and other such significant details before kick-starting the preparations. Here, we present all the relevant UPSC Exam details for aspirants planning to crack the IAS Exam.
|IAS Exam Conducting By||UPSC|
|Mode of exam||Offline|
|Number of times conducted||Once every year|
|Prelims 2021||Sunday – 10th October, 2021 (Prelims 2020 was on 4th October 2020)|
|Mains 2021||7th January 2022 onwards (exams for five days)(Mains 2020 took place between 8th and 17th January 2021)|
|IAS Exam Pattern||Prelims (MCQs), Mains (Descriptive papers)|
The IAS Exam pattern is:
|Sr No.||Name of the Exam||Nature||Duration||Questions||Marks|
|1||IAS Exam Paper – I: General Studies||Merit Ranking Nature||2 Hours||100||200 Marks|
|2||IAS Exam Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT)||Qualifying Nature||2 Hours||80||200 Marks|
The second stage of the IAS Exam is called the Mains Exam, which is a written descriptive examination and comprises 9 papers. The 9 papers in IAS Exam (Mains) are as follows: Paper-A (Compulsory Indian Language); Paper –B (English) which are qualifying in nature, while the other papers like Essay, General Studies Papers I, II, III, and IV, and Optional Papers I and II are considered for the final ranking.
|Sr No.||IAS Exam Paper||Name||Type||Duration||Marks|
|1||Paper – A||Compulsory Indian Language||QUALIFYING NATURE||3 Hours||300 Marks|
|2||Paper – B||English||3 Hours||300 Marks|
|3||Paper – I||ESSAY||MERIT RANKING NATURE||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|4||Paper – II||General Studies I||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|5||Paper – III||General Studies II||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|6||Paper – IV||General Studies III||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|7||Paper – V||General Studies IV||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|8||Paper – VI||Optional Paper I||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|9||Paper – VII||Optional Paper II||3 Hours||250 Marks|
|Interview or Personality Test||275 Marks|
|GRAND TOTAL||2025 Marks|
Candidates who clear the Mains of the IAS exam with the required cut-off marks qualify for the final stage of the IAS exam i.e., the Personality Test or Interview round with the UPSC Board Members. The candidates who qualify to the final stage will be sent an e-summon by the Commission for a face-to-face discussion round with the board members. In this round, the board assesses the personality traits of the candidates and questions will be asked on their hobbies, current affairs, general knowledge, situation questions, etc. to evaluate if they are fit for a career in the civil services or not. The UPSC personality test will be held only in the UPSC Bhavan in New Delhi.
There are conditions of nationality, age, number of attempts and educational qualification if candidates wish to take the IAS exam. For the general category aspirants, the candidate must be a citizen of India or a PIO, must have a graduate degree, must be between the ages of 21 and 32, and must not have attempted the IAS exam 6 times. But there are certain relaxations and other conditions to the above.
The application procedure for UPSC exams is online and UPSC Admit cards are also issued online, which IAS exam aspirants should download from the UPSC official website.