UPSC Examination

All About UPSC: How to Prepare, How to Apply, Tips, Books, Syllabus

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CSE or Civil Services Exam is India’s toughest and very competitive exam. This exam conducts by UPSC or Union Public Service Commission every year.

According to a report, every year, more than 900k to 1 Million candidates apply for the examination.

But only half of them means only 500k sit for the preliminary examination, which is the first step in the journey.

Now the main reason why every year, more than 1 Million students apply for this examination is. UPSC Civil Services Exam allows the qualified candidate to become Indian Police Service ( IPS ), Indian Forest Service ( IFS ), Indian Revenue Service ( IRS ), Indian Administrative Service ( IAS ), and many more.

Now let’s go into some history of UPSC. In 1923, the British Government set up the SCS or Superior Civil Service on the Royal Commission in India

This whole process happed under the vision of the chairmanship of Lord Lee of Fareham.

In 1924, the commission submitted its report and suggested setting up a PSC ( Public Service Commission ). This process happed under equal Indian and British members.

The suggestion that came up from Lee Commission was, recruit 40% of India’s directly, 20% of Indians should be promoted from provincial services, and left 40% must be British.

Because of this, The first Public Service Commission was established under Sir Ross Barker ( The Chairmen ). The Public Service Commission was handed a mere limited advisory function.

The freedom movement leaders were consecutively stretching this aspect and as a result, under the GOI ( Government of India ) act 1935, the Federal Public Service Commission was set up. After the independence of India, the Pubilc Service commission became Union Public Service Commission.

What is the UPSC Civil Service Exam?

The UPSC CSE is India’s toughest and competitive examination, which conducts by the UPSC ( Union Public Service Commission ) every year.

The exam is a gateway to some well-reputed posts like Indian Police Service ( IPS ), Indian Administrative Service ( IAS ), Indian Forest Service ( IFS ), and more.

Candidates have to go through three steps to become one of these officers. The first step is a preliminary examination, in which you’ll face two objective type papers.

Once you clear this, now you are qualified for the next step—the main exam. In this, You’ll face 9 papers.

Two of them are qualifying papers, and the rest seven marks will count in the last round, which is an interview or personality test.

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Eligibility Criteria

Not all people of India can apply for CSE. There are some certain eligibility criteria for that. So if you come under the eligibility criteria which I am going to tell you, then congrats, you are eligible for this examination, and you can apply for Civil Service Examination. Now let’s see what the eligibility criteria of CSE are:-

  • Nationality
  • Age
  • Education
  • Attempts

1. Nationality

  • If someone wants to apply for posts like IPS, IFS, IAS, then the candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • Candidates who are from Nepal & Bhutan can also apply, but they can apply for other services, not for IPS, IAS, IFS.
  • If you are a migrated person from countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Pakistan, and settled permanently in India, then you can also go for the Exam.
  • A refugee of Tibetan, who came and permanently settled in India before 1 January 1962, can also apply.

2. Age

  • The starting age for all candidates is 21. But the upper age limit is different for all.
  • The upper age limit for General caste is 32, for SC/ST candidates 37, and for OBC candidates it is 35 years.
  • The upper age limit is 40 years for candidates who were in Defence and had disabled in operations during hostilities.
  • The upper age limit is 32, for J&K Domicile from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989.
  • Thirty-two years upper age limit for EWS category candidates.
  • The upper age limit is 37 for PwD Candidates.
  • Upper age limit 32 for SSCOs/ECOs who have completed their starting five years assignment of Military Services.

3. Education

A candidate who wants to apply for CSE must have a degree from a state, central university. If you received a degree from distance education, an open university, or from a private college, still you can apply for CSE. If you have a degree from a foreign university, but the university is Associated with Indian Universities. In that case, you can apply for the exam—candidates who cleared their final exam of ICSI, ICWAI, and ICAI can go for the examination.

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4. Attempts

  • The attempts limit for a general caste or category candidate is 6.
  • For SC/ST candidates, the attempts are unlimited until they reach their upper age limit.
  • For the OBC category candidates, the attempts limit is 9.

How to Apply

  • First of all, visit the official website by clicking here.
  • Once you reach the site, you’ll see a link with This text – “UPSC Civil Services Examination 2021.”
  • If you don’t find the link look under the Active Examinations section.
  • Now fill in your personal, academic, parental, and the details you see in the form.
  • Remember before the final submission check your details very carefully, cause once you hit the final submission, the details can’t be changed.
  • The examination form fee is normally 100 rupees.
  • You’ll get two options to pay the form fee. The first one is online, and the second one is offline.
  • If you choose to pay online, then you can use your credit/debit/Rupay card or use the internet banking option.
  • Now if you choose to pay offline, then download your e-challan and the next day visit the SBI back and submit the fee in cash there.
  • Now next you’ll need to choose the center or city, where you want to give the exam.
  • Print out the application form for future use.

Selection process

The selection process for UPSC Civil Service Exam goes through three stages. Preliminary Exam, Main Exam, and interview or Personality Test these are the three stages which you need to clear to become Indian Police Service ( IPS ), Indian Administrative Service ( IAS ), Indian Forest Service ( IFS ), and more.

To make these stages or steps more clear, I have mentioned them in detail below, have a look!

1. Preliminary Exam

The preliminary exam is the first stage for CSE. It is a 400 marks exam. The exam contains two papers. Each paper has 200 marks, and the duration of each paper is 2 hours or 120 minutes.

The first paper that you’ll face will test general studies like Indian history, geography, current affairs, etc. This paper will contain 100 objective type questions. Each question has 2 marks and will be 2 hours long.

The second paper will a CSAT ( Civil Services Aptitude Test ). This paper will come with 80 questions, to qualify this paper you have to solve at least 28 to 29 questions.

The time you will get for this paper is 2 hours. The negative marking will be 1/3rd, that means for every 3 wrong answers you will lose 2 marks.

2. Main Exam

Next is the main examination. The exam contains 9 papers, and this exam has 1750 marks. The paper pattern mentioned below:-

  1. English:- This is a compulsory paper for all, and it has 300 marks.
  2. Any Indian Language:- You can pick any Indian language that is in the syllabus. It is also 300 marks paper.
  3. GS ( General Studies ):- You’ll face 4 GS papers and each paper will contain 250 marks.
  4. Essay:- This is an essay paper, and it is a 250 marks paper.
  5. Optional Subject:- You have to choose one Subject that you studied or not in your college. Once you select the Subject, then later you’ll face two 250 marks papers.

3. Interview or Personality Test

It is the last obstacle in a way to become IPS, IAS, IFS, IRS, and more. The interview or Personality Test is all about testing the candidate mentally.

I mean, they will ask you some tricky question and give you some stressful situation. So, they can see how mentally fit the candidate is and how he or she will handle a stressful situation.

The only tip that I can give you is, prepare yourself mentally before going for an interview, cause it will decide your future.

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Preparation Tips

  1. Before anything else, prepare yourself mentally and physically for the exam. I mean keep your mental & physics health on point. Cause if you are ill, you simply can not perform well in the examination.
  2. Set Goals for yourself that today I will complete this much of the syllabus and I will also revision the one I studied yesterday.
  3. Make a strict study time. In which, tell everyone who is around you, please don’t disturb me.
  4. Know the UPSC syllabus perfectly. Because not knowing the syllabus is just like using a pen without ink.
  5. Make a habit of reading newspapers daily so that you can keep yourself updated with current affairs.
  6. Solve UPSC’s previous year’s paper. It will help you a lot in the journey of clearing the UPSC exam.
  7. Also, make a habit of self-Analysis. It will help you to find the weak areas of you, and later you can work on those weak areas to make them your strong point.
  8. Use Important Government Resources. It will help you during your journey.
  9. Always revise what you learned. It will help you to understand the topic more clearly, and by this, you can keep it in your memory for a long time.
  10. Make some important notes for yourself.
  11. Prepare yourself mentally for the interview or personality test. Because it is the last stage and if somehow you won’t get selected, it may hurt you very badly.