Skill India CSC (Rural & Urban Development Projects)

IAS Exam Paper-1 (GS)

IAS - Paper-1 (GS) & Paper-2 (CSAT)

Summary

Indian Adminstrative Service (IAS) is one of the three All India Services (Indian Adminstrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service). IAS officers can be appointed by both the Union Government and State Government. IAS was formerly known as ICS (Imperial Civil Service). For the selection of IAS Civil Services Examination is held by UPSC (Union Public Service Commision) each year and it covers IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS and many other Services. The Services are allocated based on the rank of candidates in Civil Services Examination. It is one of the toughest competitive Exams in India. Selection of the IAS officers is done in three steps which are as ….Preliminary Exam, Mains Exam and Interview.

Civil Service IAS Exam Attempts :

General candidates: 6 attempts
The OBC candidates: 9 attempts
There is no such restriction for the SC and ST candidates

Age Limit For UPSC IAS:

The candidate should be a minimum of 21 years age (Pre-final year Students can attempt it) and a maximum of 32 years of age. There is age relaxation for the students belongs to SC and ST of 5 years and other backward classes (OBC) candidates will get 3 years of relaxation.

Syllabus of Civil Services Examination :

Stage I: IAS Exam – UPSC Prelims

Sl. No.Name of the PaperNature of the PaperDuration of the ExamQuestionsMarks
1IAS Exam Paper – I: General StudiesMerit Ranking Nature2 Hours100200 Marks
2IAS Exam Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT)Qualifying Nature2 Hours80200 Marks
  • The questions in the IAS Exam (Prelims) are of the objective type or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • There is ‘Negative Marking’ in the IAS Exam for each incorrect answer but only in the Prelims stage. The negative marking for incorrect answers will be 1/3rd (0.66) of the allotted marks of that question.
  • The GS Paper II (CSAT) in IAS exam is of qualifying nature and candidates should score a minimum of 33 per cent in this paper to qualify to the next stage of the IAS exam i.e. the Mains.
  • Blind candidates are given an extra time of 20 minutes for each paper in the IAS Exam (Prelims).
  • It is mandatory for the candidates to appear in both the papers of civil services prelims exam for the evaluation.
  • The marks scored by the candidates in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final score. It is only a screening test where candidates not securing the cut-off marks are eliminated.

Stage II: IAS Exam – UPSC Mains

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.

Sl. No.IAS Exam PaperName of the PaperNature of the PaperDuration of the ExamMarks
1Paper – ACompulsory Indian LanguageQUALIFYING NATURE3 Hours300 Marks
2Paper – BEnglish3 Hours300 Marks
3Paper – IESSAYMERIT RANKING NATURE3 Hours250 Marks
4Paper – IIGeneral Studies I3 Hours250 Marks
5Paper – IIIGeneral Studies II3 Hours250 Marks
6Paper – IVGeneral Studies III3 Hours250 Marks
7Paper – VGeneral Studies IV3 Hours250 Marks
8Paper – VIOptional Paper I3 Hours250 Marks
9Paper – VIIOptional Paper II3 Hours250 Marks
TOTAL1750 Marks
 Interview or Personality Test275 Marks
 GRAND TOTAL2025 Marks

NOTE:

  • The candidates can select their medium of writing the UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains Exam as Hindi or English or any other language listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Indian Languages included in the IAS exam are as per languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The candidates who score above the prescribed cut-off marks in the IAS exam (Mains) will get the summons for the Personality Test (last stage of the IAS exam).
  • The final ranking of the candidates is on the basis of the marks obtained by them in the Main Examination and Personality Test/Interview Round of the IAS exam.

Stage III: IAS Exam – UPSC Interview/Personality Test

Candidates who clear the Mains stage 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.

IAS Exam Preparation

Read on for IAS exam preparation strategy:

  1. Analysing the trend, more current affairs based questions are being asked in both, Prelims and Mains stage of the IAS exam. Select only credible sources like PIB, The Hindu, Yojana etc. and align the current events as per the IAS exam syllabus. For the IAS exam, current affairs usually comprise events of national and international importance in the last 10-12 months.
  2. Go through the previous years’ IAS exam questions to gauge the amount of preparation needed from your end.
  3. Read the NCERT books and make notes. You will have to make at least two sets of notes i.e. short notes for Prelims and descriptive notes for UPSC Mains.
  4. The preparation for Prelims and Mains must be done simultaneously until 1-2 months before the date of the Prelims exam. Identify the syllabus overlap between Prelims and Mains and focus on those areas first.
  5. Select an Optional subject for the IAS exam based on your aptitude, interest and experience. Few optional subjects have a significant overlap with the General Studies syllabus in Mains, however, their syllabi are rather vast so do your due diligence before finalising one.
  6. Go through the standard books for each subject. Find the IAS exam book list, Current Affairs notes, NCERT notes and other information in the links below.
  7. Do not take lightly the CSAT paper in Prelims and Ethics paper in Mains. Similarly, the two qualifying language papers in Mains are also important as failing to score at least 25% in them will automatically eliminate you from the IAS exam process notwithstanding your stellar performance in all the other papers.
  8. Take out time for MCQ solving practice for Prelims and answer writing practice for Mains.
  9. Revise multiple times, update your notes, and revise some more.
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