Snapshot About the ExamThe Civil
Services Examination is conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service
Commission) every year to select candidates for the prestigious
all-India services which include the IAS,IPS,IFS,IRS and others like
Group A and Group B central jobs.
Details The examination is conducted in 3 stages:
  1. Preliminary exam – The format is going to change from 2011 onwards.
  2. Main Exam – Only those who clear the 1st
    stage can take this exam. The pattern for this exam remains the same.
    There are 9 papers to be attempted in this section spread of a few days.
  3. Interview - Those who clear the mains examination have to appear before an Interview Board at New Delhi.
for the civil services will be facing a different pattern of
examination from next year (2011) since the government has approved a
proposal to introduce an aptitude test (CSAT-Civil Services Aptitude
Test) in place of the preliminary exam to shortlist candidates for the
main exam. Till the preliminary exam of 2010, aspirants had to attempt
two papers: a General Studies Paper and an optional paper in which
aspirants had to select one subject among the 23 subjects listed by
UPSC. Now instead of this optional subject, there will be a general
aptitude test. The only hint received from the Government about the
content of General Aptitude test is that “greater emphasis will given to
test the aptitude for civil services as well as on ethical and moral
dimensions of decision-making”. This change will be effective only for
the Preliminary examination while the Main examination will remain
unchanged until an expert committee gives a detailed report for changing
?Format of the Main Examination:
   of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the 18
languages   included in the VIIIth Schedule to the Constitution
(Qualifying Paper)
300 Marks
Paper-2English   (Qualifying paper)300 Marks
Paper-3Essay200 Marks
Paper 4 & 5General   Studies (300 Marks for each paper)600 Marks
Paper 6,7,8 & 9                Any two subjects (each   having 2 papers) to be selected from the prescribed optional subjects (300   marks for each paper)
1200 Marks
Total Marks for Written Examination2000 Marks
Interview Test300 Marks
Grand Total2300 Marks
subjects: Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science,
Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce &
Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology,
History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical
Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science & International
Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics,
Languages: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada,
Kashmiri, Konkani, Marathi, Malayalam, Manipuri, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi,
Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu.
Eligibility The
candidate must hold a degree from any of the government recognised
and/or deemed universities or must possess an equivalent qualification.
He must have completed 21 years of age in the year he is appearing for
the exam. The maximum age limit is 30 for a general candidate, 33 for
OBCs and 35 for SCs/STs. Ex-servicemen will get 5 more years exemption
from the prescribed age limit. Similarly the number of allowed attempts
is 4 for general category, 7 for OBCs and unlimited for SC/STs.
Appearing for the preliminary exam or even one paper is counted as an
How To Prepare Your
preparation for the civil services examination should be systematic and
well thought out right from the word go. Begin with the preparation for
the prelims i.e. CSAT. There is NO optional paper from 2011, so the new
syllabus would include general studies and general aptitude. The
syllabus of General Studies is too spread out and would cover current
events of national and international importance, history of India and
Indian national movement, Indian and World Geography: Physical, social,
economic geography of India and World, Indian Polity and Governance:
Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights
issues, Economic and Social Development: Sustainable development,
Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social sector initiatives, General
issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, Climate Change,- that
don’t require subject specialization and General Science. Be updated
with the current affairs of at least the last 2 years. Since there are 2
papers on General studies in the Mains exam as well, be thorough with
this section.  From 2011 onwards, be prepared to face psycho-analytical
questions that test your overall personality and decision making
abilities in the General Aptitude section.
Preparation for the
main exam should not be kept till the results of the prelims are
declared. There isn’t just enough time after that.
You have 9
papers to take, so start preparing well in advance. You have to select 2
subjects out of a list of optional subjects. There are 2 papers each on
each of these two subjects. Select the subjects wisely. Do not just
select them on the basis of how scoring they can be, instead select
subjects that interest you.
Pick out the right textbooks after
selecting your subject. Read the text fully and make notes side by side
so that you don’t have to go through the whole text again. This would
save your time and energy.
The essay paper is an important section
because it is a compulsory paper and is a level playing field as there
are no specialisations here.  Practice writing well-organised and
effective essays. Go through the previous years’ essay topics to get an
idea about the kind of questions to expect. Work on your writing skills
and stick to producing comprehensive, concise and correct text.
interview judges your personality and confidence. It can be quite
subjective, differing from person to person and also from one interview
panel to the other. The interview carries 300 marks and if it goes well
can tilt the balance in your favour. There are no hard and fast rules to
prepare for an interview. However some important points to be kept in
mind: Prepare and polish your views and opinion on events and issues of
current interest. Do not bluff around if you don’t know the answer to a
question asked. Be regular with reading newspapers and magazines. Have
active discussions with friends. This will help improve the way you
present an answer or opinion. Be polite and courteous while answering a
question during the interview.
Colleges Accepting This ExamThis
exam selects candidates for the prestigious all-India services which
include the IAS,IPS,IFS,IRS and others like Group A and Group B central
jobs. The National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie now known as
the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration imparts
training to IAS probationers.
Important Dates
  • Prelim: 12th June 2011
  • Mains: 29th Oct 2011 (different papers spread over around 21 days).

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