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Students mostly ask what is UPSC exam. UPSC Exam or as students usually call it IAS Exam is formally the UPSC Civil Services Exam which is one of the exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to recruit suitable candidates for Indian Civil Services including IAS, IPS, IFS. and other associated services. The USPC exam is conducted in three stages namely UPSC Prelims, UPSC Main, and a personality test which is sometimes referred to as UPSC Interview. The first stage is the IAS exam is the UPSC preliminary exam which is a screening test and a qualifying test as a result of which the marks obtained are not counted in the final grade. However, the marks in GS Paper-I are crucial to determine the UPSC Prelims Exam Cutoff. UPSC IAS exam paper consists of two papers which are based on objective type MCQ, unlike UPSC Civil Services Mains exam. While The UPSC Mains Exam is a descriptive exam consisting of nine papers.

Exam date

The Registration for UPSC civil services exam starts on 1st Feb 2023 and the process closes on 21st Feb. UPSC 2023 exam date Prelims Exam is scheduled to be held on 28th May 2023 and UPSC CSE Mains Exam will be held on 15th September 2023. The date of the interview for UPSC CSE 2023 is yet to be announced.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility CriteriaDescription
NationalityIndian citizenship is a must. For Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), the candidate must be a citizen of India. For other services, the candidate can be either: A citizen of India, or A subject of Nepal, or A subject of Bhutan, or A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, to settle permanently in India, or A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and have the intention of settling permanently in India.
Age LimitThe candidate must be at least 21 years old and must not have attained the age of 32 years on August 1 of the year of examination. There are age relaxations for candidates belonging to reserved categories and certain other categories as per government rules.
Educational QualificationThe candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from any recognized university or institution. Candidates who are awaiting their results or are in their final year of graduation can also apply, provided they submit proof of passing the requisite examination along with the Detailed Application Form (DAF) for the Main Examination.
Number of AttemptsThe number of attempts permitted varies depending on the category of the candidate: General Category: 6 attempts OBC Category: 9 attempts SC/ST Category: Unlimited attempts Physically Handicapped (General/OBC): 9 attempts Physically Handicapped (SC/ST): Unlimited attempts
Physical StandardsFor Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS), candidates must meet specific physical standards as per the guidelines provided by the UPSC.

Exam pattern

Preliminary ExamPaper-I (GS)Objective2 hours200General Studies Paper-I includes topics like current events, history, geography, polity, economy, environment, etc.
 Paper-II (CSAT)Objective2 hours200Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) evaluates comprehension, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning, etc.
Main ExamPaper-I (Essay)Descriptive3 hours250Candidates have to write essays on multiple topics to assess their ability to express ideas effectively.
 Paper-II (GS-I)Descriptive3 hours250General Studies Paper-I covers topics like Indian heritage and culture, history, geography of the world and India, etc.
 Paper-III (GS-II)Descriptive3 hours250General Studies Paper-II focuses on governance, constitution, polity, social justice, international relations, etc.
 Paper-IV (GS-III)Descriptive3 hours250General Studies Paper-III covers technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security, disaster mgmt.
 Paper-V (GS-IV)Descriptive3 hours250General Studies Paper-IV assesses ethics, integrity, and aptitude in governance.
 Paper-VI (Optional)Descriptive3 hours250Optional Subject Paper allows candidates to choose a subject of their interest from a list of given subjects.
 Paper-VII (Optional)Descriptive3 hours250Optional Subject Paper (Continued)
Personality TestInterviewVaries275The interview assesses the candidate’s personality, communication skills, and suitability for a career in civil services.


General Studies Paper-I

General Studies Paper-II

UPSC Exam Syllabus For Main Examination


Application Process

NotificationUPSC releases exam notificationThe Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) releases a detailed notification specifying the exam date, eligibility criteria, syllabus, and application process.
RegistrationOnline registration on UPSC websiteCandidates need to visit the official UPSC website and complete the registration process by providing personal and educational details.
Application FormFill the application formAfter registration, candidates need to fill the application form online, providing details such as name, address, educational qualifications, etc.
Document SubmissionUpload required documentsCandidates need to upload scanned copies of necessary documents such as photograph, signature, and certificates as per the specified format.
Application FeePayment of application feeApplicants must pay the prescribed application fee either online or offline through available payment modes.
Application ReviewReview and submission of applicationCandidates should review the filled application form for accuracy and completeness before final submission.
Admit CardDownload admit cardAfter successful submission, candidates can download their admit cards from the UPSC website within the specified time frame.


Being an IAS has many job benefits and is also a matter of pride and a deep sense of service. The job security for an IAS officer is huge and almost enviable as the process requires extensive investigation and inquiry to discharge an IAS officer. In addition, IAS officers enjoy lifetime pensions and other retirement benefits, and post-retirement officers can also be appointed to commissions or tribunals. However, it should be noted that IAS officers face the most anxiety and stress when they have to face a significant number of vulnerabilities and keep changing workplaces. But as an IAS Officer, you will have the power to bring about positive changes in people’s lives and can influence policy on social initiatives, education, health, and the economy. This ability to serve the people and the country will give you great satisfaction in your work and if you want to do that then becoming an IAS is a great pride.


Q1: What is the UPSC exam?

A1: The UPSC exam, or IAS exam, is the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Exam, conducted to recruit candidates for Indian Civil Services like IAS, IPS, and IFS.

Q2: When does the registration for the UPSC exam start?

A2: Registration typically begins on February 1st and closes on February 21st for the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

Q3: What are the stages of the UPSC exam?

A3: The UPSC exam consists of three stages: Prelims, Mains, and a Personality Test (Interview).

Q4: What is the exam pattern for UPSC Prelims?

A4: UPSC Prelims consists of two objective-type papers: General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II (CSAT).

Q5: What are the benefits of being an IAS officer?

A5: IAS officers enjoy job security, pensions, and opportunities to influence policy on various social initiatives, education, health, and the economy.

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