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About UPSC Civil Service Examination in Inida

Updated on May 6, 2015
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IRSHAD CV has completed his graduation in economics. Education and related affairs is one of his favorite areas


Civil Service examination is one of the highly competitive examinations in the world conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India. It offers wide varieties of career opportunities for those who are addictive in public service. A distinguished feature of this competitive examination is nothing; it allows fabulous authority and responsibility towards public for those who are successfully completed the examination process. Another interesting matter is UPSC entrusted this authority at the young age of the qualified candidates.

Actually the civil service examination was conducted traditionally from the colonial rule of India onwards. British authority took their effort to develop a culture of civil service in 19th century. And even in this 21st century, it is the vital examination conducted in India. There are many younger people attempting the civil service examination very enthusiastically with the hope of developing an amazing India.

Why UPSC Civil Service Examination is vital?

Compared to politicians it is very different area, because politicians are elected by the people and they may defeat by the same people in another day. But in the case of civil servants if once they selected, they will post for a job. Actually the civil servants are the real leaders who ruling the country. The civil servants working in different area like ruling of a district, transport, tourism, railway tax or revenue …. There are many attractive posts like Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Information Service (IIS) etc. generally almost the majority of the candidates chooses IAS, IPS as their primary options. It may be because of the glamour of the post even though the other posts are very attractive.

There may be changes in the Criteria and Qualification from time to time. Please ensure to know the new updates from the official website of UPSC.

Eligibility for the Examination

Now let us go to know about the eligibility for attempting the examination.

Education: Educational qualification demanding by UPSC to attempt the civil service examination is any Bleacher Degree in any discipline from any recognized Indian universities. At the same time UPSC never give importance for the total market earned in the university degree examination. But degree is must.

Age: According to UPSC minimum age for attempting civil service examination is the candidate must pass 21 year old. In the case of general candidates, the candidate can only attempt until he/she reach up to a age limit (See UPSC official website).

Examination Process of UPSC Civil Service

UPSC conducts civil service examination once in every year. Generally about 750 – 1000 different posts are filled in each year. In short civil service examination for each year takes a period of one year. That is preliminary examination starts in May-June and the final stage (interview) conducts March/ April of preceding year. For simplicity there are three stages for the civil service examination. They are

i) Preliminary exam

ii) Mains exams

iii) Interview

i) Preliminary exam

Registration for civil service examination from candidates received though online. After the registration, the candidate can check notifications from the official website of UPSC. In preliminary stages UPSC ask questions in objective type. Actually in this stage, the majority of the candidates are fail. Any way the UPSC invite again for Main exams from all the candidates who are successfully qualified the preliminary exam.

ii) Main exams

This stage consist of different exams including Indian languages (Choices are allowed), English language (must for all), essays, general studies, and optional subjects. Here optional subjects can be select whatever the discipline which the candidate likes and the list of optional subjects can be seen in the notification of UPSC. Another important point is that, the total marks scored in languages are not accumulated to the overall mark. But there is a minimum pass mark requirement for language papers. From the Main exams UPSC select around 3000 candidates for the final stage of selection, which is interview.

iii) Interview

Interview is the final stage for getting passed in the civil service examination. Here UPSC aims to understand the view, personality, quality….. of the candidates. There also a mark system for interview.

Final selection

After interview, UPSC publish a list of passed candidates in the exam through online. Here the final selection is based on the total mark earned by each candidate both in interview and in Main exam (marks in language papers are not added).

Preparation for Civil Service Examination

This is the most confusing question for most of the young students. Actually there is no specific time to begin or end the study. But at the same time a study plan is very important. Since the minimum age requirement for attempting the Civil Service examination is 21 year, it is better to understand something from teenage period onwards. Here the important point is that UPSC may change the examination strategies. So, the better understanding of previous years question papers or sampling questions from UPSC are very much helpful than any other imposition from a third person. Anyhow, awareness about the world, general understanding about different disciplines … is the best tools for the examination preparation.

Tips:- I met few civil servants at my college when they came to interact with us. I think this kind of interaction will be a great resource to understand many concepts about the civil service examination. Similarly reading of different magazines and articles about civil servants is also valuable. At my college there few civil servants came to interact with students like Muhammad Ali Shihab (IAS), Sayyid Rabeehhashmi (IIS), Dr. Anees (IRS) and many more


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    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      It's good you wrote this post but the some of the information is not correct. Kindly edit.

    • profile image

      Ali 3 years ago

      All the very Best! No dream too big for determined Soul!

    • icv profile image

      IRSHAD CV 4 years ago from India, Kerala

      Thanks for valuable comment. Civil Service is the goal of many youngsters... I am too want to be a civil servant...

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing the ins and outs on this process. It seems to be a good opportunity for those who are interested in this career choice.