IAS Exam - Indian Administrative Services Exam

IAS Exam 2014 - Indian Administrative Services Exam is considered as one of the most sort after competitive exams in India among its graduate youths. IAS exam's importance lies in the fact that graduate of any stream or course whether it is Arts, Engineering, Science, Medicine and even Management etc. have an equal opportunity to compete in this exam.  IAS aspirants from prestigious IIT's or IIM's  will have equal chance of cracking IAS's as it will be to an MBBS from AFMC or AIIMs etc. IAS exam proivide equal opportunity to all, to reach the apex of Indian administrative system.

Young graduates who want to prove themselves and who wants to be a part of the Government machinery in real sense has to crack IAS exam. Also known as Civil Services exam before independence of India IAS exam is conducted by central body Union Public Service Commission every year in the month of May to selected approximately 400 candidates to serve on the top notch positions in the Central Government and its various departments.


IAS Exam Eligibility

Candidates applying for the IAS Exam have to fulfill  all the eligibility condition for appearing in examination.

Educational Qualifications:

The most basic IAS exam eligibility is that the aspiring candidate should be at least a Graduate in any discipline from a recognised university. Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognised by the government are also eligible. Those who have appeared in the final year but do not have the result can also apply but they would have to produce proof of passing the exam with their application for the Main Exam.

Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical degree Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However they must submit along with their Main Examination application, a certificate from the concerned authority of the University / Institution that they have passed the final professional medical examination. At the  time of Interview  they are supposed to produce a certificate from a competent authority that they have completed (including internship) all the requirements for the award of the Medical Degree.

Note: There is no minimum percentage of marks in the qualifying examination is  (Pass only) required to be eligible for taking IAS Exam.

For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India
For other services, a candidate must be either:

  1. A citizen of India, or
  2. A subject of Nepal, or
  3. A subject of Bhutan, or
  4. A Tibetan refugee who came over to India with the intention of permanently settling in India. or
  5. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Srilanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India. These candidates will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.

Age Limits:
Candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on the 1st August of the year in which examination is being held.

The upper age limit may be relaxed in respect of the SC/ST and other backward classes.

Number of attempts:
Maximum number of attempts permissible to different categories of aspirants, who are otherwise eligible, will be as given below:-


Number of Attempts

General category


Physically handicapped belonging to general category


Other backward classes


SC/ST candidates



Some Prerequisites:
The aspiring candidates are expected to have keen interest in the General Studies and are supposed to have a good amount of interest in current affairs.

Regular and detailed reading of a good national newspaper, a standard competition magazine and a basic book on general knowledge is the essential pre-requisite. Another important point is efficient time planning.

Physical Standards:
Candidates must be physically fit according to the regulations given in the rules for IAS Examination - 2014 published in the Gazette of the Indian Extraordinary dated 2nd Jan, 2014.


IAS Exam Pattern

This exam is normally held in three parts:

  1. Preliminary Exam taken by nearly 2,50,000-3,00,000 candidates every year
  2. Mains exam taken nearly 10,000 selected candidates at preliminary level
  3. Interview, the last part of the exam is taken by number of candidates nearly three times of the vacant seats.


IAS Exam Syllabus

IAS Preliminary Examination 2014 would consist of two papers- Paper I and Paper II.  The syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination would be as under :

Paper 1  (200 marks) -  Duration : Two hrs.

  • Current events  of national and international importance
  • History of India  and Indian national movement
  • Indian and World Geography- physical, social, economic geography of India and the world
  • Indian Polity and governance – constitution, political system, panchayati raj, public policy, Rights issues, etc.
  • Economic and social development – sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives etc.
  • General issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity and climate change-that  donot require subject specialization
  • General science.

Paper 2 (200 marks) -  Duration : Two hrs.

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc. (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. –Class X level)
  • English language comprehension skills (Class X level)

IAS Main Examination taken to assess the overall intellectual qualities and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. It will consist of a written examination and an interview test.

The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type in the selected subjects for main examination. Each paper is of 3 hours duration.

Papers for Main Exam




Paper I


Section 1 Essay 200 Marks
Section 2 English Comprehension & English Précis 100 Marks 
(Of Matriculation/ Xth standard 

Section 1 Essay 
Section 2 English Comprehension & English Précis

(Of Matriculation/ Xth standard level)

200 + 100 = 300  

Paper II


General Studies - I 

(Indian Heritage and Culture,  History and Geography of the World and Society) 



Paper III


General Studies – II 

(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)



Paper IV       


General Studies –III 

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 



Paper V

General Studies -IV

(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)


Paper VI Optional Subject – Paper 1  250
Paper VII Optional Subject – Paper 2  250
  Total  1800
  Interview 275
  Grand Total  2075



Important:  Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below (Group 1).  However, a candidate can opt for the literatures of a language, indicated in Group-2 below as an optional subject only if the candidate has graduated in the literature of that particular language as the main subject. 

NOTE: Marks obtained by the candidates for all papers (Paper I-VII) will be counted for merit ranking. However,  the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination. 

Note : For Santali language, question paper will be printed in Devanagari script; but candidates will be free  to answer either in Devanagari script or in Olchiki.


List of Optional Subjects for Main Exam


  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology 
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Medical Science
  18. Philosophy
  19. Physics
  20. Political Science and International Relations
  21. Psychology
  22. Public Administration
  23. Sociology
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology


Literature of any one of the following languages:

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Bodo
  4. Dogri
  5. Gujarati
  6. Hindi
  7. Kannada
  8. Kashmiri
  9. Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Malayalam
  12. Manipuri
  13. Marathi
  14. Nepali
  15. Oriya
  16. Punjabi
  17. Sanskrit
  18. Santhali
  19. Sindhi
  20. Tamil
  21. Telugu
  22. Urdu
  23. English

Interview: Candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination shall be summoned for an interview. It is usually conducted in the month of April/May every year. Candidate will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability and judge the mental caliber of the candidate. The interview will carry 300 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).

Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and posts.

There is also a medical test, especially rigid for IPS. Out of the final candidates selected top rankers  approximately upto 80-100 are appointed as Indian Administrative  Services (IAS) officers. 


IAS Exam Date

IAS exam is normally held in the month of August.

Civil Services Posts that are filled through IAS Exam

Major Civil Services posts that are filled through Indian Administrative Services Exam are:

Indian Administrative Service IAS Officer
India Foreign Service IFS Officer
Indian Police Service IPS Officer

Group - A

Group - B


IAS Exam Fee:

A candidate can buy an application form with information brochure from the General Post office by paying Rs.100 (No fee for women candidates).The duly filled in application form and the acknowledgement card should then be mailed in the special envelope supplied with the Information Brochure to : Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110


How to apply for IAS Exam? 

The aspirants must apply in the Common Application Form devised by UPSC for its examinations, which can be purchased from the Head Post Offices throughout the country on payment of Rs.30 only. Each such form can be used only for one examination once only. In case of non availability of the form from the designated PO immediately contact UPSC ”Form Supply Monitoring Cell” over Phone No. 011-23389366.


Address for receipt of the IAS Exam Application form

Union Public Service Commission
Dholpur House
Shahjahan Road
New Delhi-110069


IAS Exam Test Centres

IAS exam  is conducted in all major cities in the country and in leading cities abroad.

For details regarding the Syllabus and Scheme of the Examination, Centre of Examination, Guidelines of filling up the application form etc. visit website : http://upsc.gov.in

Questions related to Indian Administrative Services Exam
  Page Views: 70180 | Updated On: 20-Nov-2014