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VIAS ACADEMY

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VIAS ACADEMY

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.

  • IAS 2020 Final Results are out. Shubham Kumar is the IAS Topper 2020. Download the results from the linked article.
  • IAS Prelims Exam 2021 Result Out on 29th October 2021.
  • IAS Exam Calendar 2022 is out with dates of IAS Prelims & Mains 2022.

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 Date

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)

IAS Exam Date

The IAS Exam pattern is:

Stage 1: IAS Exam – UPSC Prelims

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

Stage 2: IAS Exam – 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.

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
TOTAL 1750 Marks
Interview or Personality Test 275 Marks
GRAND TOTAL 2025 Marks

Stage 3: IAS Exam – Interview/Personality Test

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.

IAS Exam Age Limit and Attempts

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.

IAS Exam Application Procedure

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.

IAS Exam Application Procedure

  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.