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IAS Exam 2023 Dates, Eligibility, Exam Pattern And Syllabus

09 January,2023  |  By Brainwonders

IAS Exam 2022 Dates, Eligibility, Exam Pattern And Syllabus

What is the IAS EXAM?

The Civil Services Examination, presently known as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), was once known as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS). It is widely regarded as one of India's most difficult and competitive examinations. 

The Union Public Service Commission is in charge of organising this examination for the purpose of filling officer positions in the All India Administrative Civil Service. Established in 1858 (under the name Imperial Civil Service) and renamed on January 26, 1950 (as Indian Administrative Service) 

What is IAS ?

The Indian Administrative Service is the highest-ranking and most prestigious branch of the administrative civil service in the Indian government. When compared to the other 24 services, such as IPS and IFS, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) holds the position of highest administrative rank. Although it is more commonly referred to as the IAS exam, the official name of this examination is the Civil Services Examination (CSE). 

This examination is held annually by the Union Public Service Commission, which is the central recruiting agency (UPSC). The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a part of India's executive branch and serves as the country's permanent bureaucracy. It is one of the three services that make up the All India Services, and members of its cadre are eligible for employment with the Union Government, the State Governments, and public-sector businesses. 

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is considered to be one of the most prestigious services out of the 24 that make up the Indian government, along with the likes of the IPS, IFS (Foreign), IFS (Forest), IP & TAFS, IAAS, IRS, IDAS, CMSE, IRTS, IRAS, ITS, CAPF-AF, and IAAS, to name a few. 

Who take this test ?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is in charge of administering all of these tests under the guise of the Civil Services Examination (CSE) in order to choose the most qualified applicants for the available positions. Each year, lakhs of people put themselves up for this examination, putting their skills, experience, and good fortune to the test in the hopes of earning one of these prestigious positions. It is important to note that any officer selected into the IAS can be employed by the Union government, state governments, and/or public-sector undertakings.

Additionally, IAS officers get experience in a variety of job roles, such as the collector, head of public sector units, commissioner, chief secretary, and cabinet secretary, to name a few. During their time spent on deputation outside of India, 

Where IAS officer work ?

IAS officers may work for intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Bank (WB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or any of the UN's agencies. 

Before beginning the registration process, those who are interested in taking the UPSC IAS exam should make sure they are familiar with and have a good understanding of the requirements of the exam, including the syllabus, pattern, eligibility criteria, and application procedure, as well as any other pertinent details.


IAS Exam Conducting Body UPSC
Mode of IAS exam Offline
Number of times conducted Once every year
Prescribed age limit 21 – 32 years (upper age relaxation for reserved candidates)
IAS Exam – Prelims 2022 Sunday – 5th June, 2022 (Prelims 2021 was on 10th October 2021)
IAS Exam – Mains 2022 16th September 2022 onwards (exams for five days)(Mains 2021 took place between 7th and 16th January 2022)
IAS Exam Pattern Prelims (MCQs), Mains (Descriptive papers)

The IAS Exam pattern

The IAS Exam pattern is:

  1. Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)
  2. Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
  3. Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)

Sl. No. Name of the Paper Nature of the Paper Duration of the Exam Questions Marks
1 IAS Exam Paper – I: General Studies Merit Ranking Nature 2 Hours 100 200 Marks
2 IAS Exam Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT) Qualifying Nature 2 Hours 80 200 Marks
  • The preliminary examination for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) consists of questions that are of the objective kind or multiple choice questions (MCQs)
  • Only the preliminary stage of the IAS exam includes a component known as "negative marking," which deducts points from candidates' totals for each erroneous response. A negative marking of one-third (0.66) of the available points for that question will be assigned to responses that are wrong.
  • The General Studies Paper II, also known as the CSAT, is a qualifying exam, and in order to move on to the next level of the IAS examination, known as the Mains, candidates need to achieve a minimum score of 33 percent in this paper.
  • During the Civil Service Examination, candidates who are blind receive an additional 20 minutes of time for each paper (Prelims).
  • The evaluation process for the applicants in the civil services preliminaries requires that they participate in both of the exams that are offered.
  • The scores that the contestants received in the preliminary exam will not be factored into their overall score in any way. This is merely a screening test, and applicants who do not get the required minimum score will be disqualified.

Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)

The second stage of the IAS Exam is referred to as the Mains Exam, and it is a written descriptive examination that consists of 9 separate papers. The following is a list of the nine papers that are included in the IAS Exam (Mains): Paper-A (Compulsory Indian Language) and Paper-B (English) are of a qualifying character, whilst the other papers, such as the Essay, General Studies Papers I, II, III, and IV, and Optional Papers I and II, are taken into consideration for the final ranking..

Sl. No. IAS Exam Paper Name of the Paper Nature of the Paper Duration of the Exam Marks
1 Paper – A Compulsory Indian Language QUALIFYING NATURE 3 Hours 300 Marks
2 Paper – B English 3 Hours 300 Marks
3 Paper – I ESSAY MERIT RANKING NATURE 3 Hours 250 Marks
4 Paper – II General Studies I 3 Hours 250 Marks
5 Paper – III General Studies II 3 Hours 250 Marks
6 Paper – IV General Studies III 3 Hours 250 Marks
7 Paper – V General Studies IV 3 Hours 250 Marks
8 Paper – VI Optional Paper I 3 Hours 250 Marks
9 Paper – VII Optional Paper II 3 Hours 250 Marks
TOTAL 1750 Marks
Interview or Personality Test 275 Marks
GRAND TOTAL 2025 Marks



  • The candidates for the UPSC Civil Services IAS Main Exam have the option of writing in either Hindi or English, as well as any other language that is included on the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) test covers the same set of Indian languages that are featured on the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • Candidates who take the IAS exam (Mains) and achieve a score that is higher than the minimum qualifying score will be invited to take part in the Personality Test (last stage of the IAS exam).
  • The applicants' scores on the IAS exam's Main Examination as well as the Personality Test and Interview Round are combined to determine their final ranking. This ranking is based on the candidates' total points.

Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Candidates who pass the Mains stage of the IAS test with the required minimum score are qualified to move on to the last step of the IAS exam, which is the Personality Test or Interview round with members of the UPSC Board. The Commission will send an electronic summons to the candidates who have advanced to the final stage in order for them to participate in a face-to-face discussion round with the members of the board.

 During this phase of the selection process, the panel will question the candidates about their hobbies, general knowledge, current events, and situational questions among other topics in order to determine whether or not they possess the personality characteristics necessary for a successful career in the civil service. Only the UPSC Bhavan in New Delhi will be the location of the personality test administered by the UPSC.

IAS Exam Requirements Regarding Age and Attempts

Candidates who want to take the IAS exam need to meet certain requirements, including those pertaining to their nationality, age, number of attempts, and educational background. Aspirants who wish to be considered for the general category must fulfil the following requirements: they must be a citizen of India or a PIO; they must also hold a graduate degree; they must be between the ages of 21 and 32; and they must not have taken the IAS exam more than six times. Having said that, the parameters outlined above are not without exceptions or other relaxations.

Application Procedure for the IAS Exam

The application process for UPSC exams is done online, and admit cards for UPSC exams are also provided online and may be downloaded from the official UPSC website by those who are interested in taking the IAS exam. 

Preparation for the IAS Exam

  • As a result of this trend, more questions based on current events are being asked in both the Preliminaries and Mains stages of the Civil Service Examination (IAS). Choose only reliable sources to study from, such as the PIB, The Hindu, and Yojana, and organise the current events in accordance with the IAS test curriculum. In the context of the Indian Administrative Service test, "current affairs" typically refers to happenings of national and international significance that occurred within the most recent ten to twelve months.
  • Examine the questions from the IAS exams of past years to have a better idea of how much preparation is required on your end.
  • Read the books provided by NCERT, and take notes. You will be required to create at least two different sets of notes, namely concise notes for the UPSC Preliminaries and detailed notes for the UPSC Mains.
  • Both the preliminary examinations and the main examinations need to be prepared for at the same time up until one to two months before the preliminary examination date. Determine whether topics on the Prelims and Mains curricula are similar and prioritise your study time accordingly.
  • Choose an optional subject for the IAS exam based on how well you know it, what interests you, and what kind of work you've done in the past. There is little overlap between the syllabi of the optional courses and those of the General Studies curriculum for Mains; nonetheless, the optional subject syllabi are very extensive, so you should do your research before choosing one.
  • Read the canonical works in each of the fields you're interested in. NCERT notes, and current affairs notes.
  • Both the CSAT paper in the preliminary examinations and the ethics paper in the main examinations should not be taken lightly. Similarly, the two qualifying language papers in Mains are also important because if you fail to score at least 25 percent in either of them, you will be eliminated from the IAS exam process regardless of how well you performed in all of the other papers. This is the case even if you had an excellent performance in all of the other papers.
  • Set aside some time to practise answering multiple choice questions (MCQs) for the preliminary exams and drafting answers for the main exams.
  • Revise numerous times, update your notes, then revise some more.


Pursuing higher education in the relevant discipline is the initial step toward a career. You can get the training you need to do what you want to do at some of the best educational institutions in the world. 

So, tell me, what exactly are you anticipating?

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Are you aware which subjects and courses will bring you closer to your dream career?

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