Civil services exam or Indian Administrative Services exam conducted by union public service commission has three stages- Preliminary stage, mains stage and personality test or interview. Applications for the exams will be generally available in the month of February or March. After the filling of the forms comes the selection through eligibility for the written exam.  Prelims Examination will be conducted in the month of June/August, mains examination will be conducted in the December and interview process will be in the process of March/April/May of the following year.

Let us have a look at each stage in detail –

Preliminary stage –

There are two exams in preliminary stage Paper 1 (General studies) and Paper 2 (General Studies CSAT), 200 marks each. Both the paper will test general knowledge of the candidates. Paper 2 will be qualifying in nature and candidates should score a minimum of 33 percent in this paper to qualify for the next stage of the exam.

  • The question in prelims exam is of objective type or multiple-choice questions.
  • Candidates will be awarded negative marks for each incorrect answer in the prelims exam. The negative marking of incorrect answers will be 1/3rd of the allotted marks of that question.
  • It is mandatory for the candidates to appear in both the papers of prelims exam.
  • Marks scored by the candidates will not be counted in the final score.

Mains stage –

Mains stage of an IAS exam comprises of 9 written papers. Paper A is compulsory Indian language and Paper B is English exam, 300 marks each. Both are qualifying are in nature. Duration of these exams is 3 hours. Other papers include an essay, general studies paper I, II, III, IV and optional paper I and II. These are papers are considered for final ranking:

  • Candidates can write the mains exam in Hindi or English.
  • The Indian Languages included in the civil services exam are as per languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Personality test or Interview –

The interview round for the IAS exam will be held for the candidates who have passed the mains exam with the set cut off. The interview will be conducted in the UPSC Bhawan in New Delhi. In the interview questions will be in the matter of general interest. The objective of the questions will be to judge the mental calibre of the students. Some of the qualities to be judged are –

  1. Mental alertness
  2. Balance of judgment
  3. The ability for social cohesion and leadership.
  4. Critical powers of assimilation
  5. Variety and depth of interest
  6. Intellectual and moral integrity.

At Himalai, we make sure candidates are well trained to clear all the three stages of the exam.  We have specialized exclusively in civil services exams since 1998. Our mock tests for the prelims and mains exam are exactly as the same level of IAS exam. Our interview panel consists of professional experts who will help you in overcoming your weakness and strengthen the positive aspects of your personality.