Civil Services

Civil Services Exam

Working in coveted positions in government is no less than an achievement. While the top posts and jobs are lucrative as well as very demanding, they attract a lot of youth. The IAS, IES, IPS, IFS are considered the best work in civil services.

IAS is considered as one of the toughest exams with intake ratio of 0.1%-0.3%. Every year millions of fresher and working personals appear in this coveted exam. The cut-offs go high every year but the journey is worth it. Special trainings are provided to people who clear IAS with great learning experience and rigorous training.

The similar is true for IPS-Indian Police Service, IFS- Indian Forest Service, and IRS- Indian Revenue Service. The exams for these posts are called CSE (Civil Services Examination.) The eligibility, age, subject selection etc. are subjective to each of the post and may vary accordingly.

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The candidate should hold a graduation degree from a Government approved college or university. The minimum age should be 21 and maximum age differs for different posts. A person should be medically fit and in sound health.


The exam is conducted in three stages where a preliminary exam, then a main test, and afterwards an interview take place. The syllabus is very wide for the exams and thus continuous as well as rigorous practice is mandatory.

Preliminary exam or Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT): The preliminary screening test is the first level of exam that should be cleared for appearing in the mains exam. The marks of preliminary test are not calculated in the final score card. The preliminary test includes only two papers on the general studies and aptitude. A total of 400 mark question paper is set for the prelims. Based on the prelims cut off a candidate is selected for the mains.

Mains exam: The mains exam consists of nine papers with a total of 1750 marks. There are two qualifying papers, one based on the Indian Languages and second based on English. There are four subjective papers and two optional papers that one can choose accordingly to one’s interest. It is interesting to note that the Civil Services Exam provides options to opt exam in his/ her native language incorporates subjects with a better perspective and the papers are relevant to the modern world scenario as well.

Interview: An interview of 275 marks is scheduled for assessing the personality of a candidate. The interview itself carries significant marks that can decide the candidature of an aspirant. The personality test is carried out in the interview and a thorough knowledge of the subjects chosen, grasp on current happening, and representation of one’s self in tough situations is assessed during the interview.

Syllabus for CSE:

Syllabus for CSE
Preliminary Exam I. General Studies [200 marks] Current affairs with national and international context,  Indian Economy, General Science, General issues on Bio-diversity, Climate change, Environment, Ecology,   History of India, Important Movements, Indian and International Geography, Policies and Governance, Social development.
II. Aptitude [200 marks] Analytic ability, Communication skills, Data Interpretation, English language comprehension, Interpersonal skills, Logical ability, Mathematical aptitude of basic level.
Mains Exam A. Indian Language [300 marks] Comprehension of passages, Precis Writing, Short essays, Usage and Vocabulary of chosen language, Translation from English to chosen language or vice-versa.
B. English [300 marks] Critical reading of texts prescribed from English Literature period, Paper 1: 1600-1900 and Paper 2: 1900-1990. Prose and Verses from different writers.
I. Essay [250 marks] Essay writing on topics from a given set.
II. General Studies-I [250 marks] Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society: Questions from Indian Culture, History of Modern India, Freedom fight, Post-Independence consolidation, History of World since 18th century, Indian Society, Diversity of India, Women organizations, Globalization and its effect on Indian Society, Social empowerment, World’s physical geography, Distribution of natural resources across the world, Geophysical phenomena.
III. General Studies-II [250 marks] Constitution, Governance, International Relations, Polity, and Social Justice: The questions related to Indian Constitution, Union and State’s functions and responsibilities, Power separation, Parliament and State Legislatures, Judiciary system, Government policies, Welfare schemes, Social sector, Issues with poverty and hunger, Important international organizations, policies, India and Its neighborhood.
IV. General Studies-III [250 marks] Bio-Diversity, Environment, Economic Development, Security and Disaster management, Technology:

Indian economy, Government budgeting, Cropping patterns, Food processing and related industries, Land reforms in India, Liberalization, Infrastructure, IPR, Investment Models, Science and Technology, Role of external and non-state actors to internal security, Security challenges and management, Security forces, Conservation, Environment Pollution, and impacts of it, Space and IT sector.

V. General Studies-IV [250 marks] Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude:

Ethics and Human Interface, Attitude and aptitude of civil services, Emotional Intelligence, Contribution of Moral Thinkers, Public/ Civil service values, Probity in Governance, and case studies.

VI. Optional Subject Paper 1 [250 marks] Graduation level subjective based paper and questions on a chosen area. Or can be literature if in graduation.
VII. Optional Subject Paper 2 [250 marks] Graduation level subjective based paper and questions on a chosen area. Or can be literature if in graduation.


The syllabus is vast for Civil Services Examination therefore each optional subject should be carefully practiced. The candidates should choose the subjects according to the area of interest and practice regularly with a bit of newspaper reading for knowledge on economics, policies, and current affairs.

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