How to become an IAS Officer?
Updated on Dec 12, 2018 - 5:41 p.m. IST by Dinesh Goyal
#UPSC Civil Services Exam

How to become an IAS Officer - Indian Administrative service is commonly termed as IAS. To become an IAS officer one will have to crack Civil service examination (CSE). Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts this exam for selecting the candidates for IFS, IAS, IPS and other allied services. UPSC civil service exam is conducted in three stages: Preliminary (Pre), Mains and Interview. After the selection, the successful candidates undergo training as per the service they are selected for. An IAS officer serves the Government of India, Individual states and is sometimes deployed in various PSUs. The step by step description on how to become an IAS officer, eligibility criteria, pattern of exam and selection process is detailed in this article. This article also guides the candidates what to do after 10th or 12th to become an IAS officer; how to become an IAS officer after graduation and other important details.

What is the Eligibility Criteria to become an IAS officer?

The candidate will have to fulfil the following UPSC Civil Services Eligibility Criteria to appear in IAS exam or to become an IAS officer:

  • IAS exam is for Indian citizens only. So it's mandatory to have citizenship of India.

  • Candidate should have possessed at least a graduate degree. Final year students also allowed to apply for the first stage of the exam.

  • Candidate should be between the age of 21 to 32 years. Age relaxation is also allowed for SC/ST (5 years), PH (10 years), OBC (3 years) candidates, Ex-serviceman (5 years) and PH (10 years).

  • There are some constraints on attempts to clear the IAS exam. General Category candidates have only 6 attempts and OBC candidate has 9 attempts to clear IAS exam. No constraints on SC/ST for attempts to clear IAS exam, they can appear in the IAS exam till the upper age limit.

Exam Pattern of Civil Services Exam

Exam pattern awareness is an important aspect to prepare for any competitive exam. Exam pattern for IAS is structured in three stages. Clearing one stage will enable the candidate to go for the next stage. IAS exam pattern is explained below:

Stage/events

Paper

Description

IAS (Preliminary Exam)

Paper-I (General Studies)

  • 100 questions

  • 120 minutes

  • 200 marks

Paper-II (Aptitude)

  • 80 questions

  • 120 minutes

  • 200 marks

IAS (Mains Exam)

Written Examination

It comprises of 9 objective and subjective type papers. 7 papers carry 250 marks each, which are counted for merit and the rest 2 papers are of qualifying nature, both carry 600 marks.

IAS exam Interview

Personal Interview

Candidates with minimum qualifying marks (cut-off) in mains are called for a personal interview to test personality. It carries 275 marks.

IAS syllabus

IAS exam syllabus is given in the following table:

Stage

Paper

IAS syllabus

Marks

Preliminary

Paper-I

General Studies (Current affairs, History, Geography, Political science, economics, Environment and general science)

200 marks


Paper-II

CSAT (Comprehension, Numerical Ability, Logical reasoning, decision making, etc.)

200 marks




Mains

(total 9 papers, Paper A & B are of qualifying nature and rest 7 papers are of ranking in nature)

Paper A

One of the regional language, selected by candidates

300 marks

Paper B

English Language

300 marks

Paper I

Essay writing

250 marks

Paper II

General Studies-I (history and geography of the world and society, Indian heritage and culture)

250 marks

Paper III

General Studies-II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relations)

250 marks

Paper IV

General Studies III (Technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security and disaster management)

250 marks

Paper V

General Studies IV (ethics, integrity and aptitude)

250 marks

Paper VI and VII

Two papers on one optional subjects.

250+250 marks

Personal Interview

Interview

Personal interview is conducted to test the personality of candidate. Final merit list is prepared on the basis of interview and marks in main exam.

275 marks


UPSC IAS cut-off or minimum qualifying marks

UPSC Cut-off refers to the minimum qualifying marks to be obtained to qualify IAS exam. UPSC releases the cut-off for CSE / IAS exam for pre, mains, interview and final selection.

IAS 2017 all stages cut-off for all categories

This is the cut-off for IAS 2017. There can be some variation in the cut-off for this year. It is not released still. Candidate can get an estimate from this following list for the cut-off.

Exam

General

OBC

SC

ST

PH-1

PH-2

PH-3

Prelim

105.34

102.66

88.66

88.66

85.34

61.34

40.00

Mains

809

770

756

749

734

745

578

Final

1006

968

944

939

923

948

830

  • Preliminary exam cut-off is released on the basis of the marks secured in the Paper-I. And Paper-II is of qualifying nature with minimum 33% marks only. Candidates with minimum qualifying marks are eligible for the mains exam.

  • Mains exam cut-off is prepared on the basis of marks obtained in Paper I to Paper VII. Paper A and paper B are of qualifying nature. Candidates who clear the main exam cut-off are called for interview by UPSC.

  • After interview final cut-off is prepared on the basis of total number secured in the mains exam and interview test.

How to become an IAS officer? (Selection process)

UPSC conducts CSE exam to select the candidates for IAS and other civil services of India. CSE exam is conducted in three stages:

  • Preliminary: Pre IAS exam is the first stage of IAS exam. Candidates who pass the pre-exam are eligible to go for the next stage. Pre-exam is just a key that opens up the entry door to the main exam. Its marks are not counted in the final merit list.

  • Mains: The Main exam is the second stage that allows candidates to get the call for the personal interview. Candidates who will get minimum qualifying marks in mains exam are eligible for interview process.

  • Interview: Interview is conducted to test the personality of the candidate for civil services.

Final merit list of the selection process of IAS officer is prepared on the basis of total marks obtained in Mains and Interview test. Candidates are deployed to various services as per their rank in merit list.


IAS Books recommendations and preparation guidance for IAS

There are lots of books in the market for the preparation of IAS exam. Candidates can choose between the books. But we recommend choosing comprehensive books for special subjects. Never choose any mix-up book of all subjects to prepare for IAS, because it will bound the limits to IAS preparation. Some of the books recommended to crack IAS exam are listed below:

Book name

Author

Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations

M. Laxmikanth

Indian Economy

Ramesh Singh

Indian Geography

Majid Hussain

Indian Art and Culture

Nitin Singhania

India Year Book (Current Affairs)

Publication division of India

A Brief History of Modern India

Rajiv Ahir

Oxford School Atlas

Oxford

India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

History Of Medieval India

Satish Chandra

Preparation guidance

  • Read newspaper and articles daily.

  • Read newspapers and magazines daily

  • Keep the focus on study

  • Make a strong and smart time table for study.

  • Go through the previous year papers


IAS Previous year question papers

Previous year question papers are one of the most used and powerful tools to crack any competitive exam. Previous year question papers help to go through the pattern of the paper, types of questions asked and of course, there is always a chance to repeat any question in the exam. So previous year question papers and model papers help to prepare for the exam.

After preparation of IAS exam, It is a good strategy to practise using previous year IAS question papers and IAS model papers. It makes candidates aware of the type of questions asked in IAS exam, important areas of the subject. IAS previous year question paper helps to evaluate performance, mark shortcomings and work on it.


Salary of IAS Officer

An IAS officer gets many other additional allowances and benefits along with salary. A junior IAS officer salary is INR 56100 per month whereas the salary of senior IAS officer such as cabinet secretary can be 2.5 lakh per month. Apart from the salary, other allowances and benefits are given to every IAS officer by the government, which are listed below:

  • Discount on Govt. services

  • Transportation allowance

  • House rent allowance

  • Dearness Allowance (DA)

  • and many more things.


How to become an IAS officer after 10th?

  • IAS officer is an administrative level service. Graduation is the minimum qualification for IAS officer.

  • Candidates from arts, commerce and science stream with a graduation degree can apply for IAS exam. So it doesn't matter which stream candidate takes after 10th.

  • Candidates can start to prepare for IAS exam from the school level.

  • Candidates should read some other books, newspapers and magazines apart from the academic syllabus.


How to become an IAS officer after 12th?

  • After 12th candidate will have to complete graduation degree from a recognised university.

  • candidate can choose for a degree in any subject. But it will be a boost point for preparation to go for BA with the subject matching with IAS syllabus or choose any other degree whose syllabus matches with the syllabus of IAS.

  • Graduation with correspondence and distance education is also eligible for IAS exam.


Can diploma holder apply for IAS?

  • Candidates with diploma holder can’t apply for IAS exam. Because the IAS exam is a graduate-level exam and diploma is equivalent to 12th.

  • So after diploma candidate will have to complete the graduate degree to be eligible for IAS exam.


How to become an IAS officer after graduation?

  • Graduation is sufficient to apply for IAS exam. Now, it's time to prepare for IAS exam.

  • To prepare for any of the exam, the candidate should be aware of exam pattern, syllabus, eligibility criteria and other main points which are given above. Check that all the details under the headings: eligibility for IAS officer, exam pattern of IAS exam, IAS officer selection process and other things.

  • Read newspaper, magazine and article daily gain extra knowledge.

Questions related to UPSC Civil Services Exam

Showing 1093 out of 1093 Questions
13 Views

ias ki tyari kaise kare to success honge

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 23rd Feb, 2020
Hello,

UPSC Civil Service Exam consists of three level-

Preliminary
Mains
Interview


Preliminary numbers are not added in the final list, you just need to score the required cut offs against your category.It mainly consists of GS Paper-I and CSAT. Both consists of 200 marks, MCQs based.


Mains is more of a subjective type, one needs to write answer for Four General Studies Paper,Two Optionals, One Essay, two language paper, there are total nine papers here. 250 marks for each paper, total is 1750


You can go through the gradual steps as mentioned below in order to start your preparation for UPSC:


Be well acquainted with UPSC Syllabus, learn it by heart, that's the most crucial step to crack this exam, to know what to read and what to skip. In addition to this, never ever make a differentiation between prelims and mains, what I mean is do not prepare separately for each, because nowadays what's happening is even in prelims, UPSC frame questions based on Mains syllabus, So, the first towards preparation shall be a combined preparation for both.

Read any newspaper like The Hindu, or Indian Express on a regular basis to be updated as well as gaining knowledge which shall be highly useful to you in future exam preparation part.

Start with basics, for each subject, you can do with NCERTs for this.

As you progress, move on to other relevant books, keep your resources minimum like Polity by Laxmikanth, History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra etc.

Start practicing answer writing in advance, even in a little way, writing mains is a huge task for nine paper, it requires immense practice along with knowledge.

Practice previous year question paper which you can get from the site of UPSC,in addition mock papers, and test series which you can get it from any of the sites extensively dedicated to UPSC, , it's highly important to evaluate your performance while doing so.

Prelims is mcq based, but still it requires knowledge coupled with speed, and for mains, as I already mentioned the importance of answer writing.
5 Views

which college is best for IAS preperation after 12th

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 23rd Feb, 2020
Hello,

The eligibility for UPSC Civil Service is to have attained 21 years age and graduation in any discipline from a recognized university, even final students are eligible to apply.
You can enroll in any college with your choice of course, there's no discrimination done amidst the choices,hence UPSC allows people from all discipline to appear for it.
And,most importantly to be able to succeed in UPSC requires a lot more than good college and degree, it's solely your preparation and strategy that helps you achieve the goals. It requires one year of preparation and one year to appear for exam and interview, this is the schedule, if you plan right,you'll succeed in the very first attempt.
4 Views

can you tell me the best ias academy in Chennai?

Rohan Goyal 22nd Feb, 2020

Hi Vivekanandan,

IAS is an National Exam which is conducted by UPSC ( Union Public Service Commission ). IAS is an Indian Administrative Service  which is a civil service which has many functions for government bodies. There are many best IAS academies in Chennai they are as follows :-

1) Kamaraj IAS Academy

2) Topper's IAS Academy

3) Shankar IAS Academy

4) Success IAS academy

5) Ganesh IAS Academy

6) Smart leader IAS Academy

I hope you got your answer.

All the best for your future!

9 Views

tell me all about upcs exam (IAS)

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 23rd Feb, 2020
Hello,

UPSC Civil Service Exam consists of three level-

Preliminary
Mains
Interview


Preliminary numbers are not added in the final list, you just need to score the required cut offs against your category.It mainly consists of GS Paper-I and CSAT. Both consists of 200 marks, MCQs based.


Mains is more of a subjective type, one needs to write answer for Four General Studies Paper,Two Optionals, One Essay, two language paper, there are total nine papers here. 250 marks for each paper, total is 1750


You can go through the gradual steps as mentioned below in order to start your preparation for UPSC:


Be well acquainted with UPSC Syllabus, learn it by heart, that's the most crucial step to crack this exam, to know what to read and what to skip. In addition to this, never ever make a differentiation between prelims and mains, what I mean is do not prepare separately for each, because nowadays what's happening is even in prelims, UPSC frame questions based on Mains syllabus, So, the first towards preparation shall be a combined preparation for both.

Read any newspaper like The Hindu, or Indian Express on a regular basis to be updated as well as gaining knowledge which shall be highly useful to you in future exam preparation part.

Start with basics, for each subject, you can do with NCERTs for this.

As you progress, move on to other relevant books, keep your resources minimum like Polity by Laxmikanth, History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra etc.

Start practicing answer writing in advance, even in a little way, writing mains is a huge task for nine paper, it requires immense practice along with knowledge.

Practice previous year question paper which you can get from the site of UPSC,in addition mock papers, and test series which you can get it from any of the sites extensively dedicated to UPSC, , it's highly important to evaluate your performance while doing so.

Prelims is mcq based, but still it requires knowledge coupled with speed, and for mains, as I already mentioned the importance of answer writing.
21 Views

i want to know about nimset and preparing for 2021

Hrisheekesh Singh 19th Feb, 2020

Hi Bibhas,

NIT MCA Common Entrance Test (NIMCET), is the national level entrance exam conducted every year by one of the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) for taking admissions on merit basis to Master of Computer Applications (MCA) programme.

This exam works across the NITs located in Agartala, Allahabad, Kurukshetra, Calicut, Raipur, Warangal, Surathkal, Durgapur, Trichy, Jamshedpur, Bhopal and Kurukshetra.

The application form of NIMCET 2020 will be released soon through which the candidates can fill the form and appear in the entrance exam. NIMCET admit card will also be released to be downloaded by candidates. The exam will be conducted in offline mode and the result of the same will be declared on the official website of NIMCET 2020.

Total 809 seats are available and duration of exam is 2 hours.

NOTE:- NIMCET scores are used by many other universities and institutes for admissions to the MCA programmes offered by them.

You may refer to the source article for more information about NIMCET 2020 Exam.

I hope this information helps you.

Good Luck!

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