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.
Candidate will have to fulfill 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 its mandatory to have citizenship of India,.
Candidate should have possess at least graduate degree. Final year students also allowed to apply for the first stage of 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 IAS exam. General Category candidates have only 6 attempts and OBC candidate have 9 attempts to clear IAS exam. No constraints on SC/ST for attempts to clear IAS exam, they can appear in IAS exam till the upper age limit.
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 next stage. IAS exam pattern is explained below:
IAS (Preliminary Exam)
Paper-I (General Studies)
IAS (Mains Exam)
It comprises of 9 objective and subjective type papers. 7 papers carries 250 marks each, which are counted for merit and the rest 2 papers are of qualifying nature, both carries 600 marks.
IAS exam Interview
Candidates with minimum qualifying marks (cut-off) in mains are called for personal interview to test personality. It carries 275 marks.
IAS exam syllabus is given in the following table:
General studies (Current affairs, History, Geography, Political science, economics, Environment and general science)
CSAT (Comprehension, Numerical ability, Logical reasoning, decision making, etc.)
(total 9 papers, Paper A & B are of qualifying nature and rest 7 papers are of ranking in nature)
One of the regional language, selected by candidates
General Studies-I (history and geography of the world and society, Indian heritage and culture)
General Studies-II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relations)
General Studies III (Technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security and disaster management)
General Studies IV (ethics, integrity and aptitude)
Paper VI and VII
Two papers on one optional subjects.
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.
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.
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 estimate from this following list for the cut-off.
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.
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 next stage. Pre exam is just a key that opens up the entry door to the main exam. Its marks are not counted in final merit list.
Mains: 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 candidate for civil services.
Final merit list of 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.
There are lots of books in the market for the preparation of IAS exam. Candidates can choose between the books. But we recommend to choose 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:
Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations
Indian Art and Culture
India Year Book (Current Affairs)
Publication division of India
A Brief History of Modern India
Oxford School Atlas
India’s Ancient Past
History Of Medieval India
Read newspaper and articles daily.
Read newspapers and magazines daily
Keep focus on study
Make a strong and smart time table for study.
Go through the previous year papers
Previous year question papers are one of the most used and powerful tool to crack any competitive exam. Previous year question papers helps 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 exam. So previous year question papers and model papers helps to prepare for exam.
After preparation of IAS exam, It is good strategy to practise using previous year IAS question papers and IAS model papers. It makes candidates aware with the type of questions asked in IAS exam, important areas of subject. IAS previous year question paper helps to evaluate performance, mark shortcomings and work on it.
An IAS officer gets many other additional allowances and benefits along with salary. A junior IAS officer salary is INR 56100 per month whereas 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 government, which are listed below:
Discount on Govt. services
House rent allowance
Dearness Allowance (DA)
and many more things.
IAS officer is an administrative level service. Graduation is the minimum qualification for IAS officer.
Candidates from arts, commerce and science stream with 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.
After 12th candidate will have to complete graduation degree from a recognised university.
candidate can choose for 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.
Candidates with diploma holder can’t apply for IAS exam. Because 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.
Graduation is sufficient to apply for IAS exam. Now, it's time to prepare for IAS exam.
To prepare for any of the exam, candidate should be aware with 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.
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