Game Plan

IAS exams include a number of All India & Central Services of ‘A’ & ‘B’ grades. Now-a-days the total number of seats for these services are around 1300. These vacancies are generally advertised in May/June every year. Around 9.5 lakhs candidates apply for these vacancies. Around 5 lakhs appear in the exams. Out of these around 1300 candidates are recommended for final appointment.

Therefore getting an IAS job is highly competitive & thus highly regarded. An ordinary person studying in isolation comes to the limelight & becomes a celebrity when his/her name appears in the UPSC merit list.

IAS Exam – a three stage process

UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission. It is provided under articles 315-323 of the Indian constitution. UPSC conducts examinations for various premier recruitments under the Union of India. The body only recommends the names of the most suitable candidates that it finds on the basis of competitive exams. Therefore, UPSC is regarded as the ‘Watch-dog of Merit System in India.

Preliminary Exams:

Preliminary exam is generally conducted in May. It is regarded as C-SAT these days. C-SAT includes two papers—Paper-I & Paper-II.

Paper 1

( Determinant of Merit )


Total Questions: 100

Each question: of 2 marks.

Total Marks: 200

negative marking: 1/3

Duration : 2 Hours

Nature of questions :Multiple choice & objective type


1. Current events of national and international importance.
2. History of India and Indian national movement.
3. Indian and World Geography- physical, social, economic geography of India and the world.
4. Indian Polity and governance – constitution, political system, panchayati raj, public policy, Rights issues, etc.
5. Economic and social development – sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives etc.
6. General issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity and climate change-that donot require subject specialization
7. General science.

Paper 2

( Only of Qualifying Nature; No Role in Merit )


Total Questions: 80

Each question: 2.5 marks

Total Marks: 200

negative marking: 1/3

Duration : 2 Hours

Nature of questions :Multiple choice & objective type


1. Comprehension
2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
4. Decision making and problem solving.
5. General mental ability.
6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc. (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. –Class X level).
7. English language comprehension skills (Class X level)Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

The merit list will be prepared on the basis of Paper I only. Paper II is only of qualifying nature.

Mains Examinations:

The mains examination is conducted in the month of December every year. It is of subjective type examination without any negative marking. The time duration of each paper is 3 hours. The mains examination consists of following papers:

Paper Area Covered Marks New Syllabus
Paper—I General Studies-I (Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) 250 Click Here
Paper—II General Studies-II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
250 Click Here
Paper—III General Studies-III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-
diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
250 Click Here
Paper—IV General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 250 Click Here
Paper—V Any Indian Language ( e.g. Hindi, Punjabi) 300 ( Only of Qualifying Nature i.e. its marks are not counted while calculating the rank in final merit list. But if a candidate doesn’t qualify it, he/she will be disqualified irrespective of his performance in other papers.) Tenth Standard
Paper—VI English 300 ( Only of Qualifying Nature i.e. its marks are not counted while calculating the rank in Tenth Standard
Paper—VII Essay 250 click here
Paper—VIII Optional Subject 250 click here
Paper—IX Optional Subject 250 click here
Total Marks of Main Exams which contributes to final merit list 1750
(Paper-V Paper-VI are not counted in merit list)
Candidates Appearing for Mains Exams Please Note Down the Following Points:
  • Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.
  • If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.
  • Credit will be given for orderly, effective, and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.



    Geography, Psychology, Sociology, History, Economics, Public Administration, Pol. Sc. & International Relations, Philosophy, Anthropology


    chemistry, Physics, Zoology, Botany, Medical Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Geology.

    Engineering subjects:

    Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering.

    Literature of any one language to be selected from :

    Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada Kashmiri, Konkani,Marathi, Malayalam,Manipuri, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.


    Commerce & Accountancy, Management,Law .

    About 2.5 candidates of the vacancies advertised are called for interview.

    Interview: The final stage


    • How do you behave in a given situation
    • Your confidence level
    • How gentle you are
    • Your problem solving ability
    • Spontaneity
    • Your integrity
    • Your aptitude & attitude
    • Your creativity
    • Your value system & so on.

    Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
    The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidate which has been already tested through his mains examinations. Candidate is expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in his special subjects of academics but also in the events which are happening around his both within and outside his own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.
    The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.


    The marks of Interview: 275 Marks

    A merit list of successful candidates is prepared on the basis of a candidate’s score in Mains Exams( out of 1750 marks) & Interview (out of 275 marks) i.e out of total score of 2025). On the basis of the total score & choice mentioned in the mains form, a candidate is allotted a service ( VIZ. IAS/IPS etc.) & a cadre if it is an all India service.

    Thus around 1300 candidates are selected for recruitment after passing around 9.5 lakh candidates through rigorous examination procedure. Therefore getting in IAS Job is highly competitive and highly regarded.

    Therefore the scenario demands that a serious contender to the job must adopt a more rational, systematic strategy & approach right from the moment he/she thinks of preparing for the civil services i.e. IAS.

    General Studies- I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

    1. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

    2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues…Read More>>

    General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

    1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

    2. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up….Read More>>

    General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and
    Disaster Management.

    1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

    Inclusive growth and issues arising from it…Read More>>

    General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
    This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.

    1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

    2. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it…Read More>>


    I am heartly thankful to whole
    team of SANSWEE for incessant support provided by them at every corner of this preparation.Its not only the students but the

    - Kanika Aggarwal Student