(Indian Administrative Service) IAS Exam is conducted in 3 successive stages- Prelims, Main and Interview test. The prelims stage is an objective test of 400 marks whereas Main is the subjective paper of 1750 marks followed by a personality test of 275 marks. IAS Prelims is qualifying in nature while performance in main and interview round determine the merit of successful candidates.

Both prelims and main exam have different syllabus

  • Stage 1: IAS Preliminary Exam – 2 papers of 200 marks each
  • Stage 2: IAS Main Exam – Written exam (9 papers)
  • Stage 3: Interview Round – 275 marks

The Indian Administrative Service exam officially called as Civil Services Examination (CSE) is the premier administrative civil service of the Government of India. Hierarchy-wise, IAS is the highest administrative post among the 24 services like IPS, IFS (Foreign), IAAS, IRS, IDAS, CAPF-AF to name a few.

Syllabus for Preliminary Exam

  • UPSC civil services preliminary exam is the first stage of the IAS selection process, candidates must clear prelims to qualify for the main exam.
  • It is meant to serve as a screening test only; marks scored in IAS Prelims will not be counted for the final merit list.
  • Preliminary Stage of IAS has two papers viz. General Ability Test (GAT) (Paper-1) and the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) (Paper-2).
Paper-1: (General Ability Test (GAT))
 Some Important Point
  • the paper -1 of IAS Prelims includes different topics that hold a weight of 200 marks.
  • All questions will be objective in nature.
  • Candidates must solve the paper in 2 hours.
  • Marks obtained in Paper 1 will be counted for the merit rank.
 Syllabus for Paper-1
  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian Polity and Governance Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, and Rights Issues
  • Economic and Social Development‐Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, and General issues on Environmental ecology
  • General Science
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Biodiversity and Climate Change ‐ that do not require subject specialization and General Science

Paper-2 : (Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) )
  Some Important Point 
  • All questions will be objective in nature.
  • The total weight of questions in Paper-2 is 200 marks.
  • The total duration of Paper-2 is two hours.
  • Marks obtained in Paper 2 will not be counted for the merit rank in Prelims but will be considered as a qualifying Paper.
  • Candidates need 33% marks to clear IAS Mains.
  Syllabus for Paper-2
  • Comprehension
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level)
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

Syllabus for Main Exam

 Some important Point:-
  • This paper assesses candidates’ academic expertise in their specialized subjects.
  • It also tests their ability to present knowledge in a clear and coherent manner and his overall intellectual traits and understanding of concepts.
  • The interview will be conducted to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of the candidate.
  • A number of candidates to be admitted to the IAS Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination.
  • The number of candidates to be invited for an interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled.


The written examination will consist of the following papers:—


Qualifying Papers :


Paper-A:- (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the
Eighth Schedule to the Constitution).  (300 Marks)


Paper-B:- English   (300 Marks)


Papers to be counted for merit


Paper-I:- Essay (250 Marks)


Paper-II:- General Studies-I 
(IndianHeritage and Culture, History and
Geography of the World and Society)- (250 Marks)


Paper-III:- General Studies -II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity,
Social Justice and International relations) (250 Marks)


Paper-IV:- General Studies -III 
(Technology, Economic Development,
Bio-diversity, Environment, Security
and Disaster Management) (250 Marks)


Paper-V:- General Studies -IV 
(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude) (250 Marks)


Paper-VI:- Optional Subject- Paper 1 (250 Marks)


Paper-VII:- Optional Subject -Paper 2 (250Marks)


Sub Total(Written test) 1750 Marks
Personality Test 275Marks
Grand Total 2025 Marks
Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from amongst the list of subjects