All That You Need to Know About The UPSC Civil Services Examination 2017

How to prepare for UPSC Civil Services examination? Do’s & Don’t for the exam, toppers speech, bestselling books, previous year question papers with solution etc.

What is UPSC Civil Service Examination?

  • The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is an all India level open competitive examination.
  • It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India.
  • It includes the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS) among more than 20 highly cherished civil services.

What are the examination dates?

  • For this year Exam, Notification for Preliminary Test – 24 th Apr 2016, Date of Preliminary Test – 7th Aug 2016
  • Expected preliminary results- End of Sep 2016
  • UPSC Main Examination starts on 3rd Dec 2016
  • Expected Mains results- end of Feb/March 2017
  • Tentative Personality Test dates- Mar/Apr/May 2017
  • Tentative Final Results- End of May 2017.

Please visit here for complete information about UPSC Civil Services examinations.Please visit here for complete information about UPSC Civil Services examinations.

Who can appear for the civil services?
The eligibility norms for the examination are as follows

  • For the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For the Indian Revenue Service, a candidate must be one of the following:
    • A citizen of India
    • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India
  • For other services, a candidate must be one of the following:
    • A citizen of India
    • A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
    • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India

How do I apply for the examination?

  • One can apply online for the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary exam once the notification is released by the UPSC.
  • Upon clearing the Preliminary stage, candidates will be given link for further application procedures.

What are the future prospects for the candidate who clear the examination?

  • Depending upon his rank, a candidate is recruited to services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and other departments including Finance, Post and Telegraph, Revenue, Secretariat and so on.
  • The appointment offers executive power.
  • Promotions are time bound and increase in privileges are automatic.
  • Selected candidates are first put through a training session for a short period.
  • The greatest thing about civil service is the job security. Special facilities include subsidised accommodation, telephone and transport facilities, medical benefits, leave travel concession, etc.
  • After retirement, there are very good social welfare facilities.
  • Most importantly it gives immense satisfaction as they will able participating directly in the development process of the country.

How has the exam pattern changed?

  • In the past four years the Exam pattern has undergone tremendous changes.
  • Now General studies and current affairs have got more weightage.
  • A new Ethics paper was brought in and even Essay paper pattern modified.
  • However student has to choose one optional.
  • For more details, please see below.

What is the restriction on number of attempts in UPSC Civil Services Examination?

  • As on Mar 2016, number of attempts :- General-6, OBC-9, SC/ST- No restriction
  • However the above is subject to upper age limit. General- 32 Years, OBC- 35 Years, SC/ST- 37 Years.

Bestseller books for UPSC Civil Services exams.

Can a candidate who has completed his education from an open school/ University apply for this exam?

  • Yes, provided it is a recognized University and he possess the educational qualifications prescribed for the exam and is otherwise eligible

Is there any relaxation in number of attempts for physically handicapped?

  • No. However physically handicapped candidates belonging to SC, ST and OBC categories will be eligible for relaxation in number of attempts provided to such categories.

Whether a candidate belonging to a community included in the OBC list of states but not in the Central list of OBCs is eligible for age relaxation, reservation etc. for this exam?

  • No. Only candidates belonging to communities which are included in the Central list of OBC’s are eligible for such concessions.

If a candidate has applied for the CS (P) Examination but has not appeared at any paper in the CS (P) Examination will it be counted as an attempt?

  • No. An attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper in CS (P) Examination.

Can a candidate choose an optional subject, which he has not studied at graduate/PG level?

  • Yes.

Is a candidate who has done his graduation without passing class X and class XII eligible for Civil Service Examination?

  • Yes

Can a candidate write different papers of Civil Service (Main) Examination in different languages?

  • No, Candidates have the option to write their answers either in English or in any one of the Eighth schedule languages.

Can a candidate write the Civil Service (Main) Examination in English and take the interview in Hindi or any other Indian language?

  • Yes, however, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview of Personality Test.

I am a fresher, and soon I am planning to begin my UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation. How should I start?

Please click here to know more.

What is the structure of UPSC Civil Service Prelims Exam?

  • Yes, UPSC Civil Services Preliminary exam is objective in nature. But it has 1/3 negative marking.
  • There will be two papers – 200 marks each.
  • Paper 1 is related to General Studies and Paper 2 is related to English Comprehension, Mental Ability and Aptitude.
  • However, for selection to the main exam, only marks of Paper 1 will be counted, provided the candidate has 33 percent marks in Paper 2.

Practice sets for Paper 1 and Paper 2

What is the cutoff in the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary exam?

  • Cut off depends on multiple things like number of Posts notified that year, toughness of the question paper, students category etc. However to have a rough idea based on previous 7 years of UPSC preliminary exam analysis, if one can score  a net of 60 questions, safely they can expect to clear the first stage.

How is the rank decided and what is the structure of UPSC Civil Service Mains Exam?

  • The Main Examination will consist of written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of the conventional descriptive type. Two papers (out of 9) will be of qualifying in nature.
  • Marks obtained for all the 7 papers (4 GS + 1- Essay + 2 papers optional) (Paper–I to Paper-VII) and Marks obtained in Personality Test (275) will be counted (total 2025 Marks) for ranking.

How to select optional, what should be the criteria?

  • Students should opt for one Optional subject, which will have two papers of 250 Marks each. So, in total Optional subject carries 500 Marks in Mains.
  • Students should first go through the list of all the Optional Subjects(26 Literature +25 non literature subjects)
  • Your interest in the subject, availability of material are the key.

Previous years papers with solutions

What are the factors to be kept in mind while filling the Detailed Application Form (DAF)

Some important aspects that you must keep in mind while filling up the application forms (online mode only)

Your cadre preferences

Opting for the right cadre is crucial, since, after your selection, you will have to live with the cadre of your choice for the rest of your career. Hence, cadre preferences have to be given due attention before filling up the forms. Generally, the home cadre would be the first choice for almost 99% of the aspirants. Before you make your second and third choice, try to get as much information as possible from various sources, including people already in the services, your senior and other knowledgeable people.

Service preferences
There are 24 services on offer after you get selected in civil services. The important services are:

  • IAS, IPS, IFS (Foreign Service)
  • IRS (Income Tax) IRS (Customs and Excise)
  • IAAS (Indian Audits and account)
  • Indian Railway Services (Accounts, Traffic and Personnel), RPF
  • Indian Accounts Services Civil and Defense
  • Indian Information Service, Defense Estate
  • Group B services like DANICS, DANIPS etc.

Choosing the right Services is also important while filling up the form. Service preferences are very personal; they depend on your choice and attitude towards the services. So you should carefully fill up the preferences as per your conviction and stick with it.

Filling the bio data and other personal information

Fill this section in detail, and make a copy of it for your reference. These details are very much used in the interview process. Hence, while filling it, make sure you write bona-fide details, even related to your hobbies
and other personal traits.

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