What is the Civil Service Examination? How to prepare for it?

What is the Civil Service Examination? How to prepare for it?

The Civil service examination is the competitive exams for the recruitment of various government services of India. The exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. The UPSC also select the candidate for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), an Indian Police Service (IPS). Apart from these, there are 21 other services which also come under the recruitment process of UPSC.

The civil services exams are not an easy task. The selection procedure of the UPSC undergoes with 3 processes.

  1. Prelims
  2. Mains
  3. Interview.
  • The Preliminary examination is conduction to select the candidates for the main exams. This is an objective question-based paper.
  • The candidates who have cleared the cutoff of the prelims have to clear the written Main exam for the selection of Interview.
  • Last selection in Interview for personality test.


A candidate needs full concentration to crack the papers of the examination. Expert says that at least 1-year preparation is needed to get success.

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Eligibility for Civil Service Examination


The UPSC needs a degree as proof for the educational qualification. There are many exams based on 12th standard, but those candidates also need to verify their mark sheet to get the eligibility for sitting in the exam.


If you are applying for IAS and IPS, then it is mandatory to be a CITIZEN OF INDIA. But for other UPSC conducted exams a candidate must have one of the following nationalities:

  1. A citizen of India
  2. The candidates who have migrated from different countries like Pakistan, Myanmar, Tanzania, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zaire or Vietnam and permanently settled in India can also apply for the job.
  3. The Tibetan refugee who had settled in India before January 1st, 1962 can also apply for the UPSC services.
  4. A citizen of Bhutan or Nepal.


The age eligibility differs from person to person based on their caste and tribes. Apart from these some exams have a different age limit.

  1. General category: The minimum age limit is 21 years while the maximum age limit to sit in the examination is 32 years old.
  2. Scheduled castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (SC): They have the age limit of 37 years to crack the exams.
  3. Defense Services: The age limit for the defense services of 40 years.
  4. Ex-serviceman: The military people, Commissioned officers or other ex-serviceman have some special relaxation at the time of sitting in the examination.

Attempts for exam

There are some exams in which particular attempts are determined and after that, the candidates will not be eligible to sit in the exam. However, if you have applied and for some reason not able to give the exam, then that attempt will not be counted. The attempts are:

  1. General Category: 6 attempts.
  2. OBC Category: 9 attempts.
  3. SC/ST category: Unlimited attempts until the age of 35 years.


Tips to prepare for civil services

The UPSC exams are the toughest examination which undergoes with many selection processes. Studying for hours is not the best way to prepare yourself for the paper. Instead of indulging yourself totally in the books, try to make some smart studies with clever tips and tricks. Here are some of the best solution which will make your study time interesting and surely it will be proved very helpful while cracking the exam papers.

Gather Information

Knowing everything about the examination including syllabus, pattern, weightage of topics and many other examination related requirements is the first thing you must do as soon as you start the preparation of the civil services. This will help you in getting familiar with the type of topics and the type of question comes in the exam. The weight of the topic will let you know that how can you schedule each chapter so that can be completed and revised within time.


If you are not punctual then think you are not going to get success in life very easily. Being on time is one of the keys to achieving success. Make your timetable for the whole day according to your plans and adjust the maximum time for the studies but with small intervals in between those periods.

Follow you Goal

In the morning make a plan of completing the topics and before your last sleep of the night trying to finish that topic so that you can easily complete the topics.

Study resources

Choose wisely the medium of getting knowledge and proper guidance related to the examination. Proper books and guides are very important. Along with these, the right selection of the coaching centers and teachers are also very helpful. Best things always result in the best achievement and success. You also have the option of online preparation from various online websites.

No new topics at last time

The revision is very important while cracking any exam. You might not complete your whole syllabus but whatever you have completed, give revision of those chapters. Don’t try to learn new topics during the last day of the examination. This will make you more confused and might you will also lose confidence for the chapters which you have prepared very well.

Solve sample papers

Solve the online sample papers to understand the pattern and way of solving paper fast. You will easily get many sample papers online. You can also solve the previous years’ paper to clear your doubts.


The tricks are very helpful in the MCQ paper in saving the time. You will get to know many tricks from your teachers and online from which you can easily solve many reasoning and mathematics questions within a limited time.

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Useful Links

Lecture Video

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