IAS Officer: Become an IAS Officer – Step-by-Step Guide

IAS Officer
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Do you want to become an IAS officer? Do you also have a dream that you will serve service like IAS officer for your country? If your answer is yes then with the help of this post I am going to tell you how you can become an IAS officer step-by-step.

The exam of an IAS is conducted by UPSC which is known as the Union Public Service Commission. UPSC exams knew as one of the toughest exams in India. If anyone is saying that he is preparing for an IAS exam, then he is wrong. Actually, he is not preparing for IAS, but preparing for civil service.

There are many services under it like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, etc. There is a total of 24 services come under UPSC.

Overview of IAS entrance Exam

Exam NameUPSC Civil Services Examination 2020
Exam LevelNational
Conducted ByUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Official siteupsc.gov.in
Exam PeriodYearly
Examination ModeOffline (Pen-Paper Mode) 
Total No. of VacanciesNearly 900   

What Is an IAS Officer?

Indian Administrative Service(IAS) is one of the best and powerful government jobs in India. The candidates who achieve the top rank in the UPSC examination are made IAS. The IAS officer is posted as District Magistrate and Collector after a few years of service.

Usually, after serving for 14 years in some states, an IAS officer heads the entire Mandal in the state as a Mandalayukta. On reaching the highest scale, IAS officers lead all the departments and ministries of the Government of India.

IAS officers get the law enacted in Parliament implemented in their areas and also play an important role in making new policies and laws. IAS officers can also become cabinet secretary, Under Secretary, etc.

What are the Qualifications To Become IAS Officer?

The requirement to appear in the UPSC exam is that you have to pass your graduation degree any subjects. If you are a graduate with minimum marks from any subject or you are a graduate last year or last semester student, then you can also fill the IAS exam form.

If you have completed your graduation degree in BA, B.COM, BSC, BBA, BCA, Engineering, Medical or any degree, then you’re eligible for seating in UPSC exams.

One special thing is that the candidate should be a citizen of India. For becoming an IAS or IPS officer, the candidate must have Indian Citizenship. But for other services under administrative such as IFS, IRS, etc you can migrate from other countries like Nepal, Bhutan, etc.

What are Age Criteria?

In this, there is confusion in most of the people how long can a student take the IAS exam. Many different caste students are confused about what age criteria they have in their caste. Therefore, with the help of the table given below, you will be able to know which age students can sit in the Civil Service Examination.


If you belong to Jammu & Kashmir then the age criteria of the General category are 21 -37. For the physical challenge students, can give exams for up to 10 years and they can fill the form for up to 42 years of age. For disabled students such as blind and deaf have age criteria in general category is 37 years, for OBC 38 years, and for SC/ST have 40 years of the age limit.

This age limit should know all students who want to prepare exams of UPSC.

What Percentage Require For IAS Exam?

To become or to prepare for Civil Service Exams, there are no special percentage requirements. You just have to clear your graduation degree in any streams. You 10th and 12th percentage are not matter for UPSC examination.

Also Read: How to Become a Chartered Accountant

How Many Stage You Have To Clear in IAS Exam?

UPSC conducts the exams of the IAS officer or IPS officer. There are mainly 3 stages held in this exam. First called the IAS Prelims Exam and the second is IAS Main Exam. The 3rd is the Interview is held when you clear the last two stages successfully.

How Many Attempt You Can Give in IAS Exam?

How many times you can give in this exam is determined on the basis of a different caste. From the below-given line, you will know how many times students of which category can apply in this exam.

General Candidates6 attempts (Up to 32 Years)
SC/STNo limits (Up to 37 years)
OBC9 attempts (Up to 35 years)
Jammu & KashmirUp to the age limit

Note: The above attempts will be counted only when you sit in its prelims exam. It is not that you have filled the form and have not given the exam and your examination has been counted.

Civil Service Preliminary Examination

The first step of the Civil Services Examination is the Civil Services Preliminary Examination, which is held simultaneously in different centers in 42 cities across India in the month of June. About 6 lakh people fill the form for the examination and about 5 lakh people take the exam. These exams are conducted in 2 shifts.

The Preliminary Examination consists of 2 papers.

Paper 1 – General Studies 1 (Related to General Study)

Paper 2 – General Studies 2 (Related to Aptitude) and it requires only for qualification. In preliminary examination merit, its exam marks will not be added.

In the first paper, there will be 100 questions and the duration will be 2 hours. Each question will be for 2 marks.

In 2nd paper, there will be 80 questions and the duration will be 2 hours.

In these exams, 1/3 negative marking will allotted.

About 5 lakh people sit in this 1-day examination at a time. This is the only such test in which there is more competition because out of 5 lakh people, only 15 thousand people are selected.

It is important to note that it is mandatory to pass this preliminary examination, only then you can sit in the main examination of civil service.

What is the Syllabus in IAS Prelims Exam?

There are 2 exams in the Civil Services Preliminary Examination. The first paper covers all the areas of General Studies. All these topics like History, Geography, Economy, Current Events, General Science, Environment, Technology, Indian Polity, and Governance, etc. will be there.

And in 2nd paper, topics like SSC, Banking exam type questions will be there such as Comprehensive Logical Reasoning, Basic Numeracy, etc.

Civil Service Main Examination

The result of IAS Prelims is declared until the end of July. And the candidates who pass this have to apply online again to fill the Civil Services Main Examination Form. Time of about 20 days is given. It is also called the detailed application form.

It has great importance in the IAS interview. Candidates are selected 15 times the number of seats advertised in the main examination written. All the questions within this IAS exam are subjective and students are given 3 hour time to complete them.

The Civil Services Main Examination consists of 2 papers. One is the papers which are the same for all and the other are the papers of optional subjects which are different for each subject. The candidate selects the optional subject and gives the same paper.

There are a total of 6 papers in the Civil Services Examination, whose total is 1750 marks. In this, you have to focus on 7 of 9 subjects. Because merit is made on the basis of 7 subjects only. English and general language exams have to be passed only and its marks are not added.

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What is Syllabus in IAS Main Exams?

There are a total of 9 papers in this exam, whose total marks is 1750. There are 4 papers of General Studies and one essay paper, one English paper, and one language paper. Apart from this, there are also papers of 2 optional subjects.

Civil Services Essay Paper:

Duration – 3 Hours

Total Marks – 125

Topics: Politics, Society, Technology, Philosophy, etc.

Civil Service General Studies Paper:

General Studies paper consists of 20 questions, which have to be answered in 3 hours. The word limit is set for 150 words for every 10 marks and 250 words for 15 marks.

But the case of Ethics paper comes. So only 12 questions are asked in it. The structure of the paper is not fixed and can change any year. In the optional paper, 4 questions are asked, which have to be answered in 3 hours.

General Studies Paper 1:

Topics: Indian History, Culture, World Geography, Society

General Studies Paper 2:

Topics: Governance Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations

General Studies Paper 3:

Topics: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security & Disaster Management.

General Studies Paper 4:

Topics: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude(Generally speaking, what do you think, how are your thoughts, how do you react to an event).

IAS Officer Interview Test or Personality Test

IAS officer interview image
Image Credits: Jagranjosh.com

The civil service written result comes in the month of March next year. The interview is the second part of the Civil Services Main Examination which is also known as the Personality Test. This interview is of 245 marks and the questions asked in this interview are not pre-determined.

Most of the questions are asked from your detailed application form, so keep in mind that when you are filling your detailed application form, you should fill it with complete truth.

For the IAS officer interview, the candidate has to come to the Dholpur House building located in Delhi of the UPSC. Here, all the original documents of the candidates are verified and placed in a common hall.

How Much Salary and Facilities are Provides For IAS Officers?

For an IAS officer salary starts around Rs.55,000. As the experience of an officer increases, the salary will also increase.

If I talk about facilities that are given to an IAS officer will shock you. The Indian government provides a duplex bungalow in the restricted zone of the state capital. Along with this, they are given free electricity, a government-issued car for official or personal use, and security.

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