A Guide To The Indian Civil Service Exam

civil service exam

What is the Civil service Examination?

In India, the Civil Services Examination is a national competitive examination administered by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to the higher Civil Services of the government.

UPSC Posts - Three Types of Civil Services

  1. All India Civil Services 

  2. Group ‘A’ Civil Services

  3. Group ‘B’ Civil Services-pondicherry police and civil service 


  • The Indian civil service consists of three departments: the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service, and the Indian Police Service. 

  • Accounts, law services, revenues, and traffic services are in Group "A" of civil services

  • Police and civil services of Pondicherry are part of Group "B" 


Eligibility Criteria :

  • The candidate must be an Indian citizen

  • A bachelor's degree from a recognized university is required

  • The Age Limit Is 21-32


No. of Attempts 

  • General candidates may appear a maximum of six times.

  • A student from an OBC/ST/SC category can attempt UPSC CSE 9 times


While the remaining two are counted as qualifying papers and are conducted in English and regional languages respectively. The details of the 7 ranking papers are as follows.

  1. The first one is a 250 marks essay paper.

  2. Next, there are 4 sets of papers on general studies. Topics covered in these papers include Indian Heritage, Culture, Governance, Politics, Technology, Biodiversity, Ecology, and Ethics, etc. Each of these papers carries a weight of 250 marks.

  3. The last two papers are based on optional subjects which can be selected by the candidates. Again these papers also carry a weight of 250 marks each.

For the written examination, the combined mark is 1750. Those who qualify for the written exam must then undergo a one-on-one interview. The total marks for the interview are 275. From the marks obtained by the candidates from 2025, the final marks list is calculated. 


Tips for civil service  preparation

1. Create a strategic plan

Create your own strategies and discover the tactics that are most valuable to you. Plan your strategies based on your strengths and weaknesses. Based on their optional subject, academic background, strengths, and weaknesses, you should develop your own strategy.

You should also take responsibility for your failures.



2. Focus on preparation 

It is better to focus on the strategy you will use for yourself instead of looking at other things. A candidate's strengths and weaknesses are considered in these strategies.

It's not important if there are fewer vacancies, or if UPSC is discontinuing optional subjects.


3. Concentrate on studying 

Every day, study for an average of ten hours with full concentration to retain and reproduce whatever you have read and studied. The key to studying effectively is to study without half concentration and quality over quantity. A half-hearted effort will yield no results.


4. Note-taking

Preparing notes on one's own is recommended. When preparing notes, whether they are online or off, it doesn't matter. Active learning cannot be achieved by reading others' notes.

Rather than waiting for the perfect notes, start preparing them from the first day.


5. Time Management

Managing time is the key to success on this exam. Managing your time well will solve half of your problems, and you should treat both general studies and optional subjects equally.

It is okay to change the ratio of effort to a topic based on how comfortable they are with it. 

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