The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) among others.


Indian Administrative Service
Indian Police Service
Indian Forest Service


Indian Foreign Service
Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service
Indian Audit and Accounts Service
Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
Indian Defence Accounts Service
Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
Indian Postal Service
Indian Civil Accounts Service
Indian Railway Traffic Service
Indian Railway Accounts Service
Indian Railway Personnel Service
Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force
Indian Defence Estates Service
Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III)
Indian Corporate Law Service


Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer's Grade)
Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
Pondicherry Civil Service


1 SCRA Examination
2 IES / ISS Examination
3 CAPF (ACs) Examination
4 Combined Medical Services (CMS) Examination
5 National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Examination
6 Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination
7 Combined Defence Services Examination
8 Engineering Services Examination
9 Other Examinations for Group A/B Service regularly notified.


By qualifying civil services examination, one gets the opportunity to join more than 23 top notch government services including the IAS which is the most sought after and prestigious of all. Other esteemed services include the IFS, IPS, IRS, etc. The very first appointment is a position where you command great executive authority and responsibility for development at the district/division/zone level.

The other attractions associated are
- Social prestige and respect
- Power to initiate changes for betterment of citizen, society and the government.
- Direct appointments to executive level.
- Postings in central government and international assignments on deputation.
- Increase in privileges are automatic.
- Special facilities like subsidised accommodation, telephone and transport facilities, medical benefits, leave travel concession, etc.
- Regular pay increases as recommended by Pay Commission.
- Special enrichment in the personality and career and broadening of mindset.
- Job security.
- Post retirement good social welfare facilities
- Last but not the least-Immense satisfaction by participating in the socio- economic development process of the country.


The Civil Services Exam is conducted in two phases - the Preliminary examination, consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies and Aptitude Test), and the Main examination, consisting of nine papers of conventional/subjective (essay) type followed by the Personality Test (Interview). Thus one has to qualify these three stages to get into the service i.e 1st stage - i.e. Preliminary, which serves as a screening test and 2nd stages which is comprises of 2 phases i.e Mains and Interview. Candidates are recommended for selection based on the performance in the 2nd Stage. The entire process from the notification of the Preliminary examination to declaration of the final results takes roughly one year.


The competitive examination comprises two successive stages :
(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examinations (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and
(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the final selection of candidates for the various services and posts.


A. Preliminary Examination

The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory papers (2 hours duration each) as follows
Paper I Marks counted For Merit 200 marks
General Studies (Conventional Subjects plus Current Affairs)

Paper II Qualifying (33%) 200 marks
CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test)

B. Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following 9 papers(3 hours duration each :
Qualifying Papers :
(One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution).
Paper-A One Indian Language 300 Marks
Paper-B English 300 Marks

Marks of Papers to be counted for merit
Paper-I Essay 250 Marks
Paper-II General Studies-I 250 Marks
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
Paper-III General Studies -II 250 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Paper-IV General Studies -III 250 Marks
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
Paper-V General Studies -IV 250 Marks
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Paper-VI Optional Subject* - Paper 1 250 Marks
Paper-VII Optional Subject* - Paper 2 250 Marks
Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks

Personality Test 275 Marks
Grand Total 2025 Marks

*Candidates may choose any one of the optional subject from amongst the list of 26 subjects.
Note – Detailed Syllabi is provided at the end


IAS, IPS, IFS - Citizen of India.
For other services - Citizen of India
Subject of Nepal* or
Subject of Bhutan*
Tibetan Refugee*
Person of Indian origin from Pakistan, Myanmar,
Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia,
Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam


1. Degree - Central, State or Deemed university
-Correspondence Education or Distance
-Open University
-MBBS degree but not completed the internship
-Passed Final exam of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), ICSI and ICWAI
-Private university
-Foreign university recognized by Association of Indian Universities (AIU)
-Any equivalent Degree as recognized by the Government.

2. Candidates who have appeared in an examination, the passing of which would render them educationally qualified enough to satisfy any of the above points


Persons belonging to Minimum Age Maximum Age
General 21 32
OBC 21 35
SC 21 37
ST 21 37
PH 21 42

Date from which age is calculated 1st August of every year. Thus One who turns 21 on August 1 is eligible whereas one who turns 30 on August 1 of the year of examination is not eligible.

An Attempt will not be considered if a Candidate has applied for the exam but did not appear for the exam
An attempt will be considered if a Candidates appears even in any one paper of the Prelims.