What is UPSC ?

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a national level competitive examination conducted in India by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This is simply referred to as the UPSC Examination. The UPSC Examination is given for recruitment into a number of Civil Services of the Government of India which include Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) , Indian Foreign Service (IFS - Foreign).

UPSC examination can be divided into three parts - The preliminary examination and the main examination and the interview.

The preliminary examination of UPSC consists of 2 papers which is popularly known as the General Service Aptitude Test (CSAT).

The main Examination consists of 9 essay type papers out of which only 7 are counted and the rest of the 2 papers are only to qualify.

The third part of UPSC is the interview or a personality test where the candidates are interviewed by qualified personnel.

This exam is conducted offline and a candidate can give maximum upto 6 attempts for the UPSC Examination.

More than 8 lakh students register for prelims out of which 6 lakh appear for the prelims out of which 10,000 students qualify for the main exam out of which 1200 to 1500 people qualify for the interview for approximately 900 vacancies across 25 posts out of which IAS, IPS and IFS - Foreign are the most desired posts.

Important Dates (UPSC 2020)

UPSC 2020 Date
UPSC Notification February 12 , 2020
UPSC Registration Start Date February 12, 2020
UPSC Registration Last Date March 3, 2020
Distribution of Admit Card Tentatively in April
UPSC Prelims Exam Date May 31, 2020
UPSC Mains Exam Date September 18, 2020

UPSC Exam Syllabus

The UPSC Syllabus for the preliminary as well as main examination is the same as the NCERT Syllabus from the 6th to the 10th grade of the state board. It further includes current affairs and logic.

UPSC Exam Pattern

Preliminary Examination:

The Civil Service Aptitude test or CSAT is a common test for all the candidates who apply for the UPSC Examination.

The preliminary examination consists of 2 objective based papers of 200 marks each. It consists of a number of MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) where the candidate has to select the correct answer.

The question papers of CSAT will be set in Hindi and English but questions related to testing of English Comprehension Skills of the candidate will be provided only in English.

These papers will be conducted for a period of 2 hours each.

Hence, the total marks for the CSAT or the Preliminary Examination are 400 and the total time provided to the candidate to complete these papers is 4 hours.

A minimum of 33 percent is required to qualify for the CSET - 2 Paper and the second paper is merit based.

Main Examination:

The candidates to have qualified for the Preliminary Examination will be able to give the main examination.

The following table will help you understand the main exam better.

Paper Subject Marks
A One Indian Language Selected by the Candidate From the languages included in the 8th Schedule (will not be counted for merit/ranking) 300
B English (will not be counted for merit/ranking) 300
1 Essay 250
2 General Studies- 1 250
3 General Studies- 2 250
4 General Studies- 3 250
5 General Studies- 4 250
6 Optional Subject Paper- 1 250
7 Optional Subject Paper- 2 250

General Studies- 1 includes History and Geography of the World and Society and Indian Heritage and Culture

General Studies- 2 includes Polity, Governance, Social Justice and International Relations and Governance

General Studies- 3 includes Bio- Diversity, Technology, Security and Disaster Management, Economic Development and Environment

General Studies- 4 includes - Integrity and Aptitude and Ethics

Optional Subject Papers 1 and 2 include and two subjects from - Agriculture, Anthropology, Chemistry, Commerce and Accountancy, Electrical Engineering, Geology, Law, Mathematics, Medical Science, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Zoology, Literature of one of the following languages(Assamese, Bodo, Gujarati, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Telugu, English, Bengali, Dogri, Hindi, Kashmiri, Maithili, Manipuri, Nepali, Punjabi, Santhali, Tamil and Urdu), Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Botany, Civil Engineering, Economics, Geography, History, Management, Mechanical Engineering, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Public Administration and Statistics.

Hence, the total marks of the written test will be 1750 marks (excluding the papers which are not counted for merit.

Once a candidate passes in the main exam, he will be called for an interview which will be out of 275 marks.

A minimum of 75 marks for the qualifying papers is essential. Based on the 2 non ranking papers, a candidate will be allowed to give the merit based papers.

Eligibility for the UPSC Examination

1) Educational Qualification:

To appear for the UPSC Examination, a candidate must have a Bachelor’s Degree from a well recognised University.

If a candidate has technical or professional qualifications which are recognised by the government, he can also apply for the UPSC Exam.

Candidates who have appeared in an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified enough to give the examination.

Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination.

However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned University that they have passed the final professional medical exam to appear for UPSC.

2) Number of Attempts:

Candidates from the general category can attempt 6 times for the UPSC Exam upto 32 years of age. Physically handicapped candidates of this as well as OBC Category can attempt it 9 times.

On the other Hand, candidates from the OBC Category can attempt it 9 times upto 35 years of age while SC/ST Candidates attempt it any number of times till the maximum age of 37. Physically Handicapped candidates from this category can give the UPSC Exam any number of times.

3) Nationality:

For the post of an IAS or IPC, the candidate must be a citizen of India.

For the other services, the candidate must be an Indian or a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan or a Tibetan Refugee who settled permanently in India before January 1, 1962 or a person of Indian Origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Zaire or Vietnam and intend to permanently settle in India.

4) Age Limits:

The candidate appearing for the UPSC Examination must be at least 21 years old and not exceed 32 years for the General Category,ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service and Domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989, 35 years for the OBC Category, 37 years for the SC/ST Category as well as candidates of the PwD Category, as on August 1 of the year of examination.

Relaxation of up to a maximum of five years will be given in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1 August of the year and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months' notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment, the limit is 32 years.

Cut Off For the UPSC Examination

A minimum of 33 percent is required to qualify for the CSET - 1 Paper and the second paper is merit based.

The cut off for each of the services is decided once the results have been declared. It is a merit based selection. The cut off for the UPSC Examination is also based on the number of candidates that apply, total vacancy, reservation and a few other factors. This is applicable for each of the services including IAS, IPS and IFS- Foreign.

The 2018 cut-off for UPSC Prelims is as follows -

Category Cut Off
General 98
OBC 96.66
SC 84
ST 83.34
PWD (Hearing Impaired) 40
PWD (Physically Handicapped) 73.44
PWD ( Visually Impaired) 53.34

UPSC Examination Results

The UPSC Exam Result will be declared on the official website of UPSC. That is www.upsc.gov.in.

The Preliminary Exam Result will be announced in the 2nd week of July while the main exam result will be announced in the 2nd or 3rd week of January. After which the interview for UPSC for various services will be conducted by the end of January itself and the final results will be announced in April.

How to Prepare for UPSC

When to start preparing for UPSC?

A candidate can start preparing for UPSC once he/she has finished his/her graduation and has attained 21 years of age.
Hence, a person can start preparing for the UPSC Prelims a year before they wish to appear for it.

UPSC is also considered as the toughest exam in India and hence the candidate should study properly for it.

The most important thing is to plan according to the time left for the exam. Before you make solid prep plan, decide whether you want to study with the help of a coaching class or through self study.

If you are planning to join a coaching class, know how which one can help you reach your dream institute by visiting our website www.studysid.com . This will help you to decide which class to choose.

If you are preparing all by yourself you should be well acquainted with the portion. Gather the relevant study material and practice as many sums as you can. Make sure you appear for mocks available online. Secondly, it is necessary to realise the time left for preparation and schedule it accordingly. Do not forget to consider these points in schedule:

  1. Basics: Many people tend to skip this part and jump into sums directly. But starting from the basics like tables, mental calculation tricks, grammar, formulas,etc makes a huge difference.
  2. Practice: Once all the basics are covered, you should make sure that you practice as many sums as you can. The more questions you solve the more templates you will come across. An easy question would not take much time later when you are appearing for the actual examination as you have already done similar type questions previously.
  3. Mocks and analysis: Taking mocks regularly is the most integral part of consideration. Also make time for analysis of each mock given by you. This improves your efficiency and helps to avoid the same mistake again and again. Building a proper test taking strategy can save time and increase your accuracy.
  4. Stay updated with current affairs: The UPSC Exam tests a candidate’s knowledge about the Indian as well as international affairs.
  5. Read Newspapers: Reading newspapers is essential because it is one of the ways to know what is happening in our country as well as the other countries. This makes the candidate well informed about the world around him. Reading newspapers in english as well as other regional languages can also be extremely beneficial to the candidate as it helps him to be fluent in those languages. Reading more than one newspaper can be very helpful as it can cover all the information as compared to reading one.
  6. Improve communication Skills: The UPSC interview is the final and most important part of the UPSC Examination. It is important for a candidate to clearly be able to state his thoughts and perspectives in front of the interviewers. This cannot be done without proper communication skills. Body Language also plays a very important role in the interview. A candidate who is excellent in communication as well as has an excellent body language that includes posture, movements of the body, facial expressions, etc. is bound to impress his interviewers.
  7. Practice Previous years Question Papers It is extremely necessary to solve the question papers of the previous years. A candidate should solve at least 5 years question papers. This can make him familiar with the UPSC Examination. Because of this a candidate will know what to expect in his paper. Solving papers can also help a candidate to recognise his weak points which he can further work on and overcome his weakness.
  8. Honesty: In an interview it is important for the candidate to be honest to his interviewers. This is because he is tested on his personality. Lying about hobbies or qualifications will get him nowhere.
Top Coaching Classes for UPSC in Mumbai
  1. Prayas Academy
  2. A.A. Shah’s IAS Institute
  3. Chahal Academy
  4. Dronacharya IAS Academy
  5. Lakshya Academy
  6. Paradigm IAS Academy
  7. Royale IAS Academy
  8. Lokayan Academy
  9. Guidance Group
Top Coaching Classes for UPSC in Pune
  1. ALS IAS Academy
  2. Paradigm IAS Academy
  3. Abhyankar’s IAS Academy
  4. Pioneer Academy
  5. Chanakya IAS Coaching
  6. Unique IAS Coaching
Some books that can help you prepare for UPSC
  1. NCERT Books from Middle and High School of Geography, History, Biology, Chemistry and Economy.
  2. Prelim and main papers of the previous years.
  3. History of the modern world by Rao or Jain and Mathur
  4. History, Geography and G.K.Ethics books by Arihant.
  5. Economic Survey by the Ministry of Finance.
Why are UPSC jobs so prestigious?

UPSC offers jobs in the central government. The best part about having a job in the central government is that the job comes with many upsides such as pension, health insurance, family insurance, free schooling for children in good schools, housing, etc.

The salary of an IAS ranges from Rs. 56,100 to Rs. 2,50,000 per month excluding benefits.

The salary of an IFC- Foreign ranges from Rs. 12,750 to Rs. 90,000 per month excluding benefits.

The salary of an IPC ranges from Rs. 39,000 to Rs, 2,12,650 per month excluding benefits.

Along with these, there are several other job opportunities in other services but these are the most desired jobs.

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