Overview of IAS examination
The Civil Services Examination (CSE) offers the widest range of jobs in our country and is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). There are about twenty-three (23) services offered through this single examination. Some of the top services offered are the two All India Services, viz., the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) along with the other central services, viz., Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Customs & Central Excise Services, etc. Due to the importance and nature of such civil/public service jobs, UPSC takes utmost care in selecting the right people.
The candidates are put through three kinds of testing to measure their administrative potential and ensure that the persons selected have the following;
a) a wide range of general awareness
b) analytical ability and content retention capacity, and
c) strength of character and a cheerful mental disposition even under stressful conditions.
The Civil Services Examination comprises two successive stages:
1) Civil Services Preliminary Examinations (Objective Type) - for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and
2) Civil Services Main Examination (Written Test and Interview) - for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts
The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions - there are four alternatives for the answer to every question) and carry a maximum of 400 marks.
1) General Studies - 200 marks; and
2) Aptitude – 200 marks.
The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts.
Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in a year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.
The Main Examination will consist of
1) Written Examination and
2) Personality test.
The Written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type (in the subjects mentioned in section Civil Services (Main) Exam). Candidates, who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an Interview or a Personality Test.
The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about two and a half times the number of vacancies to be filled.
The Interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks, thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination, (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking.