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IAS Exam - Overview

The UPSC exam is one of the most prestigious and challenging competitive exams in India.The exam aims to select individuals who possess leadership qualities, intellectual acumen, and administrative abilities to serve the nation. The UPSC exam is conducted in three stages: the Preliminary Examination (Prelims), the Main Examination (Mains), and the Personal Interview (Personality Test).
Preliminary Examination (Prelims):
This is the first stage and consists of two objective-type papers - General Studies (GS) Paper-I and CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Paper-II. GS Paper-I covers topics like history, geography, polity, economy, science, and current affairs. CSAT assesses candidates' analytical and comprehension skills.
Main Examination (Mains):
Those who clear the Prelims are eligible for the Main Examination, which is a subjective test. It comprises nine papers, out of which two are qualifying papers (regional language and English). The remaining seven papers assess candidates' knowledge in various subjects like GS, essay writing, and optional subjects chosen by candidates.
Personal Interview (Personality Test):
After clearing the Main Examination, candidates undergo a personal interview round. A panel of experts evaluates their personality traits, communication skills, and overall suitability for civil services.
The UPSC exam covers a wide range of subjects, making it comprehensive and challenging. The optional subject allows candidates to choose from a list of subjects based on their interests and educational background.

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UPSC Preparation Course Knowledge Partner - Thakshashila IAS Academy

Thakshashila IAS Academy is a renowned and distinguished knowledge partner of Entri, known for its exceptional expertise in civil services exam preparation. With a strong commitment to nurturing and guiding aspiring civil servants, Thakshashila IAS Academy has carved a niche for itself in the competitive landscape of coaching institutes. Its comprehensive and well-structured study materials, along with experienced faculty members, provide students with the necessary tools and insights to excel in the highly competitive IAS examinations.

Thakshashila's holistic approach to learning encompasses not only the core subjects but also current affairs, essay writing, and interview preparation, ensuring that students are well-rounded and well-prepared for all aspects of the examination. Entri's collaboration with Thakshashila IAS Academy has been instrumental in reaching out to a wider audience, enabling more aspirants to access high-quality study materials and guidance, ultimately helping them achieve their dreams of serving the nation as esteemed civil servants.

Best UPSC online Coaching in Kerala

Entri App is the perfect choice for online UPSC exam preparation. It offers comprehensive and accurate study material, live classes, mock tests, and other useful resources to help you prepare for the Civil Services Exam. 

Entri gives you ample opportunities to practice and evaluate your skills before the exam. The material is designed in such a way that it covers all the major topics and helps you understand the syllabus better. The mock tests also offer a wide range of questions to help you assess your performance. 

Entri has a dedicated support team that is always available to provide technical and exam-related assistance. The app provides personalized learning plans that are tailored to your learning needs, based on your performance graph. Additionally, Entri also helps you stay up-to-date with the latest news related to Civil Services, IAS, UPSC, and other competitive exams. It's the best choice for IAS/UPSC aspirants, as it provides complete guidance for exam preparation and is a complete package for aspirants. With its dynamic and comprehensive approach, Entri can help you get the best out of your exam preparation.

UPSC Eligibility Criteria & Exam Pattern
An overview of the UPSC Exam Pattern is given below. It is important that aspirants understand the nature of UPSC CSE questions and exam patterns before starting their preparation.
UPSC CSE Preliminary Examination Pattern
  • It consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs). 
  • Prelims exam comprises Paper 1 and Paper 2. 
  • Paper 1 focuses on topics pertaining to:
    • Current Affairs
    • History 
    • Economics
    • Science and technology
    • Geography etc. 
  • Paper 2 comprises questions related to:
  • Comprehension 
  • Logical reasoning
  • Basic numeracy 
  • Data interpretation etc.
  • There is a negative marking for Paper 1 and Paper 2, where one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to the question are deducted for every wrong answer. 
  • GS Paper II (CSAT) is qualifying in nature and candidates have to score a minimum of 33% in it.

S.No.

Paper

No. of Questions

Total Marks

Duration 

1

General Studies Paper I

100

200

2 hours

2

General Studies Paper II (CSAT)

80

200

UPSC Civil Services Main Examination
  • The CSE main examination consists of qualifying papers like Indian Language and English, and candidates have to score at least 25% marks on each paper.
  • Papers that are counted for merit include Essay, General Studies and optional papers.
  • The total duration of all the papers is 3 hours. 
  • The Indian Language paper is not compulsory for candidates from the states of Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

More information related to the UPSC exam pattern, i.e. total marks allotted for each paper, duration of the exam etc., is given in the table below.

UPSC CSE Main Exam Pattern

S.No.

Name of the Paper

Subject

Total Marks

1

Paper A

Indian Language

300

2

Paper B

English

300

3

Paper I

Essay

250

4

Paper II

General Studies I

250

5

Paper III

General Studies II

250

6

Paper IV

General Studies III

250

7

Paper V

General Studies IV

250

8

Paper VI

Optional I

250

9

Paper VII

Optional II

250

How to prepare for UPSC?

To prepare for the UPSC exam, follow these steps:

  • Understand the Exam Pattern: Know the three stages - Prelims, Mains, and Interview.
  • Know the Syllabus: Thoroughly study the syllabus for both Prelims and Mains.
  • Make a Study Plan: Create a structured plan with daily, weekly, and monthly targets.
  • Collect Study Material: Gather reliable books and study materials.
  • Stay Updated with Current Affairs: Focus on national and international events.
  • Practice Previous Year Papers: Understand the exam pattern and identify weak areas.
  • Take Mock Tests: Assess your preparation and time management.
  • Note-Making: Create concise notes for quick revisions.
  • Master Optional Subject: Dedicate time to excel in the optional subject.
  • Regular Revision: Reinforce your understanding through regular revision.
  • Take Care of Health: Prioritize physical and mental well-being.
  • Analyze Performance: Identify areas for improvement and work on them.
  • Stay Positive and Motivated: Keep your focus on the goal.
  • Consider Coaching (Optional): Join a reputed institute for guidance.
  • Interview Preparation: Enhance communication skills and general knowledge.

IAS Prelims Preparation Tips

IAS Prelims preparation requires a focused and strategic approach to cover the vast syllabus efficiently. Here are some tips to help you 

  • Understand the Exam: Familiarize yourself with the IAS Prelims exam pattern, syllabus, and marking scheme to plan your preparation accordingly.
  • Create a Study Schedule: Develop a well-structured study timetable, allocating time to cover all subjects thoroughly.
  • Comprehensive Reading: Read NCERT books for core subjects, followed by standard reference books and newspapers to build a strong foundation.
  • Focus on Current Affairs: Stay updated with current events, government schemes, and national/international issues to ace the General Studies (GS) section.
  • Practice Mock Tests: Regularly attempt mock tests and previous year's question papers to gauge your progress and improve time management skills.
  • Revise Regularly: Regular revision is vital to retain information and strengthen your understanding of various topics.
  • Analyze Weak Areas: Identify your weak areas and work on them to enhance your overall performance.
  • Learn Elimination Techniques: Practice eliminating wrong options in multiple-choice questions to increase your chances of selecting the correct answer.
  • Stay Stress-free: Maintain a healthy lifestyle, take breaks, and engage in recreational activities to keep stress at bay.
  • Join Test Series: Enroll in a reliable test series to gain insights into your performance and receive expert feedback.

IAS Mains Preparation Tips

IAS Mains preparation requires a focused and systematic approach. Here are some tips to excel in the exam:

  • Understand the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the IAS Mains syllabus and exam pattern to know what to study and how to allocate time.
  • Comprehensive Study Material: Select relevant and reliable study material, including standard textbooks and reference books, to cover all topics thoroughly.
  • Time Management: Create a realistic study schedule to balance all subjects effectively, allowing sufficient time for revision.
  • Answer Writing Practice: Practice writing answers regularly to improve articulation, clarity, and time management during the exam.
  • Analyze Past Papers: Solve previous years' question papers to understand the exam's pattern, question types, and recurring themes.
  • Current Affairs: Stay updated with national and international news to tackle contemporary issues in General Studies papers.
  • Optional Subject Proficiency: Master your optional subject with in-depth understanding and answer-writing practice.
  • Essay Writing Practice: Enhance essay writing skills by practicing on diverse topics and maintaining a coherent structure.
  • Revision: Regularly revise the entire syllabus to retain information and reinforce your knowledge.
  • Mock Tests: Take mock tests to simulate exam conditions and assess your performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses.
  • Analyze Mistakes: Learn from your mistakes and seek feedback to improve consistently.
  • Stay Positive and Healthy: Manage stress, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and stay motivated throughout the preparation journey.

UPSC Interview Preparation Tips

  • Know your DAF: Thoroughly understand your Detailed Application Form (DAF) to be well-prepared for questions on personal, academic, and professional aspects.
  • Current Affairs: Stay updated on recent national and international events, government policies, and issues of significance.
  • Polishing Your Personality: Work on communication skills, body language, and confidence. Practice mock interviews to gain experience.
  • Know the UPSC: Familiarize yourself with the structure, functioning, and objectives of the UPSC, as they may ask related questions.
  • Mock Interviews: Participate in mock interviews conducted by experienced mentors or coaching institutes to receive constructive feedback.
  • Analyze your Graduation Subjects: Review the fundamental concepts of your academic subjects to answer questions related to your specialization.
  • Ethics and Integrity: Understand the ethical dimensions of various situations and develop a principled approach.
  • Know Yourself: Reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, and experiences. Be honest in your responses.
  • Body Language: Maintain a positive and attentive body language, showing respect towards the board.
  • Stay Calm: Stay composed and confident during the interview, even if you don't know the answer to a question.
UPSC Eligibility Criteria
Below mentioned is the synopsis of the UPSC eligibility for all the categories of applicants. The Nationality and Qualification mostly remain the same for all categories. The major difference is in the UPSC age limit and the number of attempts
Summary
Nationality
Age Limit
Number of Attempts

Type of Applicant

IAS Qualification Criteria 2023

UPSC age limit for General Category

IAS Age Limit – 32 Years with 6 Attempts

UPSC Age Limit for OBC

UPSC Age Limit is 35 Years with 9 Attempts

UPSC Age Limit for SC/ST

32 years + 5 years with unlimited attempts.

Physically Disability

UPSC Age Limit is 42 years, where SC/ST category aspirants have unlimited attempts, and others have 9 attempts.

J&K Domicile

The UPSC age limit will be calculated as 32 years + 5 years + (5 years, if SC/ST OR 3 Years, if OBC), and the UPSC attempts depends on the reserved category.

Candidates should adhere to the nationality standards to be eligible for UPSC examination.

(i) The candidate must be an Indian citizen to be eligible for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), or Indian Police Service (IPS).

(ii) Apart from the above, here are the eligibility criteria for other services:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India, or
  • The candidate must be a citizen of Nepal, or
  • The candidate must be a citizen of Bhutan, or
  • The candidate is a refugee from Tibet who came and settled permanently in the territory of India before January 1st, 1962, or
  • The candidate is a person of Indian origin who migrated to settle in India permanently from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Eastern African countries of Kenya, The United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam

(iii) The candidates belonging to the category B, C, D, and E are required to have a certificate of eligibility from the Indian government.

(iv) The candidates whose eligibility certificate is mandatory will be allowed to sit in the examination but the appointment letter and offer may be given to them after the verification of the certificate or the issuance of the certificate by the Government of India.

The Union Public Service Commission prescribes the age limit in the official UPSC IAS notification 2023. As per the IAS age limit eligibility criteria, those between 21 to 32 years as on August 1, 2023, can fill the UPSC IAS application form. Applicants belonging to the reserved category are eligible for age relaxation as per the rules set by UPSC. For more details on IAS age limit and age relaxation, check the tables below:

UPSC age limit 2023 eligibility criteria

Category

IAS age limit

General

21 to 32 years

UPSC IAS eligibility criteria 2023 - Age Relaxation

Categories

Age relaxation

General

%

OBC

3 years

SC/ ST

5 years

Defense Services Personnel, who got disabled during operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence

3 years

Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers (CO) and ECOs/ SSCOs who will render at least five years Military Service as of August 1, 2021, and have been released

5 years

ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as of 1st August 2021

5 years

In the following cases: blindness and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, locomotor disability including acid attack, cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, victims and muscular dystrophy, intellectual disability, autism, specific learning disability and mental illness

10 years

Candidates ordinarily domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir from January 1, 1981, to December 31, 1989.

5 years

Each applicant who appears in the examination and is otherwise eligible will be allowed six (6) tries at the CSE. However, applicants from the SC/ST/OBC and PwBD categories who are otherwise qualified will be granted a reduction in the number of tries. The number of tries available to such applicants as a result of the relaxation is as follows:

(i) Number of attempts for SC/ST category is Unlimited

(ii) For the OBC category the number of attempts are 09

(iii) For the PwBD category the number of attempts for GL/EWS/OBC are 09 and for SC/ST unlimited.

Note-I: The terms GL (General), EWS (Economically Weaker Sections), SC (Scheduled Castes), ST (Scheduled Tribes), OBC (Other Backward Classes), and PwBD (Persons with Benchmark Disability) are used to denote the categories of candidates attending the Examination.

Note-II: A Preliminary Examination attempt is assumed to be a Civil Services Examination attempt.

Note-III: If a candidate appears in any one paper of the Preliminary Examination, it is assumed that the individual attempted the Examination.

Note-IV: Regardless of any future disqualification/cancellation of candidature, the candidate’s attendance at the Examination shall count as an attempt.

Summary

Type of Applicant

IAS Qualification Criteria 2023

UPSC age limit for General Category

IAS Age Limit – 32 Years with 6 Attempts

UPSC Age Limit for OBC

UPSC Age Limit is 35 Years with 9 Attempts

UPSC Age Limit for SC/ST

32 years + 5 years with unlimited attempts.

Physically Disability

UPSC Age Limit is 42 years, where SC/ST category aspirants have unlimited attempts, and others have 9 attempts.

J&K Domicile

The UPSC age limit will be calculated as 32 years + 5 years + (5 years, if SC/ST OR 3 Years, if OBC), and the UPSC attempts depends on the reserved category.

Nationality

Candidates should adhere to the nationality standards to be eligible for UPSC examination.

(i) The candidate must be an Indian citizen to be eligible for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), or Indian Police Service (IPS).

(ii) Apart from the above, here are the eligibility criteria for other services:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India, or
  • The candidate must be a citizen of Nepal, or
  • The candidate must be a citizen of Bhutan, or
  • The candidate is a refugee from Tibet who came and settled permanently in the territory of India before January 1st, 1962, or
  • The candidate is a person of Indian origin who migrated to settle in India permanently from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Eastern African countries of Kenya, The United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam

(iii) The candidates belonging to the category B, C, D, and E are required to have a certificate of eligibility from the Indian government.

(iv) The candidates whose eligibility certificate is mandatory will be allowed to sit in the examination but the appointment letter and offer may be given to them after the verification of the certificate or the issuance of the certificate by the Government of India.

Age Limit

The Union Public Service Commission prescribes the age limit in the official UPSC IAS notification 2023. As per the IAS age limit eligibility criteria, those between 21 to 32 years as on August 1, 2023, can fill the UPSC IAS application form. Applicants belonging to the reserved category are eligible for age relaxation as per the rules set by UPSC. For more details on IAS age limit and age relaxation, check the tables below:

UPSC age limit 2023 eligibility criteria

Category

IAS age limit

General

21 to 32 years

UPSC IAS eligibility criteria 2023 - Age Relaxation

Categories

Age relaxation

General

%

OBC

3 years

SC/ ST

5 years

Defense Services Personnel, who got disabled during operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence

3 years

Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers (CO) and ECOs/ SSCOs who will render at least five years Military Service as of August 1, 2021, and have been released

5 years

ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as of 1st August 2021

5 years

In the following cases: blindness and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, locomotor disability including acid attack, cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, victims and muscular dystrophy, intellectual disability, autism, specific learning disability and mental illness

10 years

Candidates ordinarily domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir from January 1, 1981, to December 31, 1989.

5 years

Number of Attempts

Each applicant who appears in the examination and is otherwise eligible will be allowed six (6) tries at the CSE. However, applicants from the SC/ST/OBC and PwBD categories who are otherwise qualified will be granted a reduction in the number of tries. The number of tries available to such applicants as a result of the relaxation is as follows:

(i) Number of attempts for SC/ST category is Unlimited

(ii) For the OBC category the number of attempts are 09

(iii) For the PwBD category the number of attempts for GL/EWS/OBC are 09 and for SC/ST unlimited.

Note-I: The terms GL (General), EWS (Economically Weaker Sections), SC (Scheduled Castes), ST (Scheduled Tribes), OBC (Other Backward Classes), and PwBD (Persons with Benchmark Disability) are used to denote the categories of candidates attending the Examination.

Note-II: A Preliminary Examination attempt is assumed to be a Civil Services Examination attempt.

Note-III: If a candidate appears in any one paper of the Preliminary Examination, it is assumed that the individual attempted the Examination.

Note-IV: Regardless of any future disqualification/cancellation of candidature, the candidate’s attendance at the Examination shall count as an attempt.

UPSC Syllabus
UPSC Prelims 2023 Syllabus

Here, we have provided the UPSC Prelims 2023 syllabus. The candidates can check the paper one syllabus for the prelims and start their UPSC 2023 preparation

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Studies (Paper I)

  • History of India and the Indian National Movement
  • Current Affairs (Events) of National and International importance
  • Indian and World Geography – Social, Physical, and Economic Geography of India & World
  • Economic and Social Development – Poverty. Social Sector Initiatives, Demographics. Etc.
  • Indian Polity and Governance
  • General Science
  • General Issues on Environmental

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus for CSAT (Paper-II)

The candidates can check the syllabus for the CSAT paper here. This section requires a lot of practice, reading newspapers, and articles, solving mock tests etc.

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Comprehension
  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical skills
  • General mental ability
UPSC IAS Mains Syllabus 2023
UPSC Mains exam includes 9 papers and the candidates will need to score minimum qualifying marks for each subject. Except for the language paper, the rest of the tests will be scored. The language papers are qualifying in nature.

Civil Service Coaching Online in Kerala with Entri - FAQs

Entri is an online learning platform that offers comprehensive preparation materials and resources for various competitive exams, including UPSC exams. It provides study materials, mock tests, quizzes, and other features to help aspirants prepare effectively for the UPSC examinations.
Entri covers a wide range of UPSC exams, including the Civil Services Examination (CSE) which consists of the IAS, IPS, IFS, and other central services, as well as various UPSC exams like CDS (Combined Defence Services), NDA (National Defence Academy), CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces), etc.
Entri offers both free and premium subscription options. While some of the basic study materials and quizzes are available for free, a premium subscription provides access to additional features like mock tests, personalized study plans, and in-depth content.
To start your UPSC exam preparation on Entri, you need to create an account on their website or app. Once registered, you can choose the specific UPSC exam you want to prepare for and explore the available study materials, practice questions, and mock tests.
Yes, Entri strives to keep its study materials updated with the latest UPSC syllabus and exam pattern. The platform's content is regularly reviewed and revised to ensure it aligns with any changes made by UPSC.
Yes, Entri is available as a mobile app on both Android and iOS platforms. You can download the app from the respective app stores and access all the study materials and features on your mobile device.
Entri primarily focuses on providing study materials, mock tests, and practice questions. However, they might offer recorded video lessons or other multimedia content for certain topics in the UPSC syllabus.
Mock tests on Entri simulate the actual UPSC exam environment, allowing you to practice and assess your knowledge and time management skills. Regularly taking mock tests can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to focus on areas that need improvement.

Being a working professional and preparing for the UPSC CSE examination can be a daunting task. However, you can use online learning platforms like Entri app for UPSC CSE Exam Training.

The Entri app offers convenient and user-friendly UPSC CSE Exam coaching for students and professionals alike. It is a comprehensive platform that provides top-notch training for the UPSC CSE Exam. With Entri, you can access a range of user-friendly and suitable training modules that cover all aspects of the UPSC CSE Exam, including general studies, current affairs, and aptitude. The training modules are curated by experienced educators and are updated regularly to ensure that you stay on top of the latest developments in the exam pattern.

UPSC exams are one of the toughest exams in India and require complete dedication and hard work to crack it. Entri app is one such platform that helps learners in preparing for UPSC exams.

Entri is an online application that provides a comprehensive library of subject-wise lecture videos, practice tests, mock exams, previous year's question papers, and more. The app offers online classes as well as live classes that are conducted by some of the best IAS/UPSC mentors in the country. Moreover, the app also provides personalized guidance and mentorship to aspiring candidates. It helps students to understand the concepts better in a more effective way. The app keeps track of candidates' progress and scores for practice tests, enabling learners to identify their weak areas and focus on what they need to work on the most. By using the Entri app, learners can access a wide range of topics and have a clear idea of what to expect in the exam. The app also allows for detailed analysis after every practice test and mock exam, giving students an in-depth understanding of their performance.