Civil Services Examination(CSE)

What is CSE ?

Civil Services Examination is one of the most competitive and prestigious exam, popularly known as IAS is conducted by UPSC to recruit candidates for Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and several other Group 'A' and Group 'B' Central Services/ Posts. 

Civil Services offers premier job opportunities and challenging career. The selected candidates plays a major role in managing the bureaucracy of both the central and the state governments, holding strategic posts across the country. These candidates recruited as officers are involved in various responsibilities like framing of the policies, implementation, law and order, general administration, development of new projects etc. These officers will get a chance to work as authoritative posts like Sub-Divisional Magistrate, District Magistrate, Divisional Commissioner, Principal Secretaries/Financial Commissioners, Chief Secretary of state or central government. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), under Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension, is the cadre controlling authority.

Civil Services examination is conducted for the recruitment of below mentioned services. All appointments to Civil Services are made by the President of India. Civil Services examination is a single window entry for various Group A and Group B services. These services/posts will be allotted as per the ranking.

Group A Services

  • Indian Administrative Service
  • Indian Foreign Service
  • Indian Police Service
  • Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service
  • Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
  • Indian Defense Accounts Service
  • Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
  • Indian Postal Service
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service
  • Indian Railway Protection Force (Assistant Security Commissioner)
  • Indian Defense Estates Service
  • Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
  • Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III)
  • Indian Corporate Law Service

Group B Services

  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer's Grade)
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
  • Pondicherry Civil Service
  • Pondicherry Police Service



1. For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
2. For other services, a candidate must be either:
    a. a citizen of India, or
    b. a subject of Nepal, or
    c. a subject of Bhutan, or
    d. a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
   e. a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India. Provided that a candidate belonging to categories b, c, d, e shall be a person in whose favor a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the government of India. Provided further that candidates belonging to categories b, c, d above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service. A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the government of India.

Minimum Educational Qualification

  • The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.
  • Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination. All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination.
  • In exceptional cases the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate who has not any of the foregoing qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he/she has passed examination conducted by the other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his/her admission to the examination.
  • Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degree would also be eligible for admission to the examination.
  • Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit along with their application a copy of certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination. In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original Degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.
Category Upper Age Limit No. Of Attempts
Gen 32 Year 06
OBC 35 Year 09
SC/ST 37 Year Till upper age limit

Gen: 42 Year

OBC: 45 Year

SC/ST: 47 Year

Gen: 09 attempts

OBC: 09 attempts

SC/ST: Till upper age limit

J&K Domicile

Gen: 37 Year

OBC: 40 Year

SC/ST: 42 Year

PH: 47 Year

Till upper age limit
Disabled Serviceman

Gen: 37 Year

OBC: 38 Year

SC/ST: 40 Year

Till upper age limit


(Military Service)

Gen: 37 Year

OBC: 40 Year

SC/ST: 42 Year

Till upper age limit


  • A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years.
  • An attempt at a preliminary examination shall be deemed to be an attempt for the Civil Services examination.
  • If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the preliminary examination, he/she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the examination.
  • Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of a candidate of his/her candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.


The civil services Examination consist of three stages :

1. Preliminary 

2. Mains Exam

3. Personality Test

  • Question paper is set in English and Hindi.
  • If you apply online but remain absent in prelims, then your attempt is NOT counted.
Preliminary Examination
Subject Paper Type Duration No. of Question Marks Negative Marking
Paper-I GeneralStudies Objective 2 Hours 100 200 1/3 of Marks allotted to the ques.
Paper-II CSAT Objective 2 Hours 80 200 1/3 of Marks allotted to the ques.

NOTE 1: 33% marks are the minimum qualifying marks for paper-II.

NOTE 2: Preliminary examination will be conducted for screening purpose only. Only those candidates who qualify preliminary examination will be eligible for main examination.

Stage 2 Mains

Main Examination is a written type of examination conducted in IX papers. Out of those IX papers marks obtained by a candidate in I to VII papers i.e of Four papers of General Studies, Two papers of optional and an essay paper will be counted for merit. Language papers are of Qualifying Nature.

Stage 3 Interview

Interview according to UPSC is described to be a test of candidate’s overall personality which includes analytical ability, lateral thinking, logical decision making etc. The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a board of competent and unbiased observers.

Personality Test (Interview)
Marks 275 marks

Grand Total = 1750 (Witten) + 275 (Personality Test ) = 2025


NEXT IAS, an initiative of MADE EASY Group, under the tutelage of Mr. B. Singh renowned educationist and founder of MADE EASY Group, has successfully transformed many candidates into future bureaucrats of the country.

NEXT IAS provides Classroom programme, Online/Live Classes, Online/Offline test series, Postal Study Package, Interview Guidance Program. We offer the courses for GS, Essay, CSAT and Optional Subjects.



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