How to Become an IAS Officer in India

If you are a student studying in class 10th or 12th and dream to serve the country by working in the Indian administrative services, then this article is going to be very beneficial for you. Here in this article, we are going to tell you how to become an IAS officer after 12th standard. Keep on reading the article to know more!


We all hear about the IAS officers but very few of us know it’s full form. So let us understand this from the base. IAS stands or the Indian Administrative Service is one of the most prestigious government jobs in our country.

To become an IAS officer, a candidate needs to clear the civil services exam which is conducted through the Union Public Service Commission.

There are major three services that fall under all the India services machinery that is: The Indian police services, The Indian forest services and Indian administrative services. Without any political affiliation, this exam is the bureaucratic backbone of the nation which provides entry directly through to these departments.

IAS officer

IAS officer assess the ruling government in the whole policy framework in an administration. The main responsibility of an IAS officer is implementing the policies to the ministry and to the area under control. They are also answerable to the parliament and state legislatures and look after the disbursement of funds in the district, maintaining law and order, revenue collection, process management and other.

Eligibility and other requirements

The candidates are required to have at least an undergraduate degree from a recognized University or a foreign deemed university recognized by the association of Indian universities. Final year students can also apply for the first stage of the exam.

The UPSC examination has limited the age within the age group of 21 to 32 years when a relaxation of 3 years for OBC and relaxation of 5 years for Scheduled caste and Scheduled tribe candidates is given.


The first step towards becoming an IAS officer is to qualify the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Exam that is UPSC CSE.

The exam is conducted to recruit civil servants in 21 of the 25 services that includes all the India services, the central services and group B services.

The civil services exam is considered as one of the toughest exams in our country where lots of candidates apply for the exam and only 1000 manage to get through it and to the post of Indian bureaucracy. It is estimated that the success rate of the UPSC civil service exam is less than 1%.

The exams are conducted in 3 different parts that is: The preliminary exam, Main exam and Interview.

The application deadline is usually around February to March. The Prelims paper 1 is counted for merit rank, while the paper 2 is qualifying fun in nature. But it is critical to clear paper 2 as if the paper 2 is not clear then the paper 1 will not be checked further. The qualified candidates then further appear for CSE mains exam which is most probably conducted in October month. After clearing the mains exam, there is a personal personality interview which is for 275 marks.

Preliminary Exam

This exam consists of multiple-choice questions. And also has a negative marking of 0.33 marks as a penalty. The duration of the paper is of 2 hours with a total mark of 400.

No. of Papers 2 compulsory papers, Type of Questions Objective (MCQ) type and Total Maximum Marks 400 (200 each paper)

1. General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

  • It has 100 questions broadly covering the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.
  • Current events of National & International importance.
  • History of India & Indian National Movement.
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.
  • Current affairs, Indian history, and politics.

2. Paper 2 Civil service aptitude test (CSAT)

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • 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)

Mains Exam

After qualifying for the preliminary exam, the candidate is eligible for the Mains exam. Mains exam is a descriptive type of exam. It includes a total of nine papers and total marks of 1750.

Syllabus for the Mains Exam

Essay on any topic Indian Heritage, Culture, Geography Constitution, Governance, Social JusticeTechnology, Environment, Disaster Management, Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude, Indian Language (Anyone of the language), English language

Interview Process

After passing the objective and the subjective exam a candidate is eligible for the last interview process. Only a few candidates reached this final round. After qualifying and cracking the interview, the candidate becomes an IAS officer.
During the interview, subjective personal skills, as well as the mental ability of the candidate, are checked. After the selection of the candidate, he is given the training and posted accordingly.

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