The Civil Services Examination is conducted by UPSC every year to select candidates to fill up the vacancies in the prestigious Civil Services such as the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service and the others. It is regarded as the toughest exam in India, as the number of candidates clearing the exam is minuscule when compared to the number of candidates appearing for the exam. This minute percentage of success rate is the origin of all myths and preconceived notions about this exam.
A widely believed myth is that it can be cleared by only those people who have a super brain. This is however not true. If we check the background of those who cleared the Civil Services Exam in the recent past, we can see that the toppers are from diverse backgrounds. Some are from a mediocre background and most of them have only average percentages in their educational background. This analysis helps in understanding that anybody who has the right strategy and has worked smartly can get through this exam. However, the toppers who cleared the exam have a few qualities in common: perseverance, patience and persistence. This article will help you understand the exam, which is the most essential step while beginning to prepare for the Civil Services Exam
Civil services exam is commonly known as the UPSC exam or IAS exam, which is conducted in 3 stages:
- UPSC Prelims
- UPSC Mains
- IAS Interview
UPSC Prelims Exam
UPSC Prelims or Civil Services Preliminary Exam is the first stage which consists of 2 papers: General Studies 1 which includes subjects like Current Affairs, Indian History, Geography, Polity, Economy, and so on. General Studies 2 or CSAT which is basically the aptitude exam that includes topics like comprehension, logical reasoning, data interpretation, quantitative aptitude, verbal ability, etc.
In UPSC Prelims, the CSAT paper or GS paper 2 requires candidates to obtain at least 33% to qualify and in GS paper 1, the UPSC will decide on the cut-off marks. Only those candidates who obtain above the cut-off marks will be eligible to write the Mains exam.
UPSC Mains Exam
After UPSC Prelims, comes the second stage of the exam which consists of 9 papers, out of which 2 are language based papers. The other 7 papers will be considered for merit ranking.
Out of the 2 language papers, one would be for Indian regional language in which the candidate can select one language of his/her choice from a list of languages and the other paper will be based on English language. Both the papers are of qualifying nature and require the candidate to obtain 25 per cent in each paper.
Among the other seven papers, four papers are based on General Studies, 2 papers based on an optional subject the candidate selects and one paper on the essay. UPSC decides a cut-off mark on the total marks of seven papers. Only those who obtain above the cut-off marks will be summoned by the UPSC for the final stage i.e, interview.
IAS Interview stage
The interview is the final stage of the IAS exam. The main objective of this stage is to assess the candidate’s personality. Typically, the interview is conducted by an interview panel consisting of about 4 members and a chairperson. The questions range from the background of the candidate, hobbies, educational background, optional subject and other current issues.
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