Civil Services Exam 2020 Eligibility, Syllabus, Exam Pattern

The Civil Services Exam (CSE) in India is a nationwide competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Via the Civil Services Examination, the UPSC recruits candidates for various Central and All India Civil Service posts in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), etc.

Latest update on Civil Services Exam:

UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021 Details:

Name of the Examination Civil Services Exam (UPSC CSE Exam | UPSC Civils)
Exam Level All India / National Level
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Exam mode Offline / Pen and paper mode
Number of vacancies 712 – Check the detail here.
Eligibility The Civil Services Age Limit for Indian Citizens is between 21 – 32 years.

For details on eligibility and age relaxation, see Civil Services Age Limit 

Number of attempts 6 attempts are allowed for General Category aspirants in UPSC Civil Services
Civil Service Exam Date 2021 UPSC CSE Prelims – October 10, 2021

Earlier Date of Civil Services Prelims 2021 – June 27, 2021

For details on UPSC Exam Dates, visit the linked article.

Candidates can download the UPSC Civil Service Examination (Preliminary) 2021 Admit Card from the official website once it is released.

The UPSC CSE toppers recommend starting preparation with the NCERT books. Aspirants can check Free NCERT Books Download to get all relevant books for UPSC CSE.

For latest details on 2021 UPSC Exam, refer to the linked article.

Download list of Civil Services Books PDF: –Download PDF Here

The Indian Civil Service Exam (UPSC IAS exam / UPSC Civils) is conducted in three stages:

  1. Civil Services Exam (Preliminary)  – Objective Type
  2. Civil Services Exam (Main) – Descriptive Type
  3. Personality Test / Interview

The entire process of the Indian civil services examination from the notification of the preliminary examination to the declaration of the final results takes place roughly within a year. The candidates who get selected are recruited and trained for various services by the Central Government and then allotted different State Cadres, as per their preference and ranking.

UPSC Civil Services Exam notification for 2021 was released on March 4, 2021. Aspirants can check detailed UPSC CSE notification in the linked article.

UPSC Civil Service Exam Posts:

The civil services exam posts are categorized into two categories: Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’.

Group ‘A’ services include three All India Services (the IAS, IPS and the IFS) and 18 other services as indicated in the table below.

(i) Indian Administrative Services (IAS)
(ii) Indian Forest Services (IFoS)
(iii) Indian Police Services (IPS)
(i) Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
(ii) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service
(iii) Indian Audit and Accounts Service
(iv) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
(v) Indian Defence Accounts Service
(vi) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
(vii) Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
(viii) Indian Postal Service
(ix) Indian Civil Accounts Service
(x) Indian Railway Traffic Service
(xi) Indian Railway Accounts Service
(xii) Indian Railway Personnel Service
(xiii) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force
(xiv) Indian Defence Estates Service
(xv) Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
(xvi) Indian Trade Service
(xvii) Indian Corporate Law Service
(xviii) Indian Revenue Service (CBEC)

Group ‘B’ has five services under it.

(i) Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer’s Grade)
(ii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
(iii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
(iv) Pondicherry Civil Service
(v) Pondicherry Police Service

UPSC Civil Services Exam Date:

Given below is a general time frame within which the UPSC schedules important events of the exam such as the Indian Civil Service notifications and exam dates.

Civil Service Exam - Date and schedule of Civil Services Exam 2021

In India, the different State Public Service Commissions also conducts civil service exams for recruitment to the state services. The State PSC Exams are modelled on the same lines as the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

Candidates can check the linked article on Public Service Commissions to find state-specific civil service exam details.

Civil Services Exam Pattern 2021

Prelims Exam:

Prelims is the first stage of the UPSC CSE process. It is a screening test to select the students for the further selection process. Prelims exam comprises two objective type papers of 200 marks each. Only those who manage to score more than the cut-off declared by the UPSC for that particular year will be summoned for the next level of examination. However, the marks scored in Prelims will not be counted for arriving at the final merit list.

Read more about the pattern and syllabus and preparation strategy for Civil Services Exam (Preliminary).

Mains Exam:

Mains Exam is the second level in the Civil Services Selection Process. Mains exam comprises 9 descriptive type papers: 1 Essay paper, 4 General Studies Papers, 2 Optional Papers (of your choice to be selected from the Civil Services Exam Optional Subjects), 2 language papers (marks scored in language papers will not be included to arrive at the final ranking order – however, candidates need to score at least 25% in each paper in order to qualify).

Civil Services Exam Pattern For Mains
Papers Subjects Marks
Paper A One of the Indian languages (listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India) mentioned below to be selected by the candidate (Qualifying) 300
Paper B English (Qualifying) 300
Paper I Essay 250
Paper II General Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society) 250
Paper III General Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relations) 250
Paper IV General Studies III (Technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security and disaster management) 250
Paper V General Studies IV (ethics, integrity and aptitude) 250
Papers VI, VII Two papers on subjects to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects below (250 marks for each paper) 250
Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test (Interview) 275
Total Marks 2025

Read in detail about the Civil Services Exam Syllabus 2021.


Personality test, commonly known as the interview, is the final round in the Civil Services Exam selection process. It is the gateway to your dream service. Only those candidates who manage to clear the mains exam cut-off are allowed to attend the interview. The purpose of the interview is to assess the suitability of the candidate to the Civil Services. At this stage, the candidates are tested for their mental alertness, the balance of judgment, intellectual and moral integrity, etc out of 275 marks. Marks scored by the candidate in the interview will be added to the marks scored by him/her in the mains exam for arriving at the final merit list.

Civil Services Exam Qualification:

Candidates who wish to appear for the Civil Services Exam must fulfill the conditions of nationality, age, and educational qualification. The candidate must not be less than 21 years of age and more than 32 years of age. The candidate must also have completed graduation in any discipline from a recognized university. However, there are age relaxations, depending upon the category the candidate belongs to.

For the latest Civil Services Exam updates and study material, candidates can turn to BYJU’S for assistance.

Civil Services Exam Preparation Related Links
IAS Salary IAS Toppers
Topic-Wise GS 1 Questions in UPSC Mains Topic-Wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains
Topic-Wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-Wise GS 4 Questions for UPSC Mains


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