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IAS Prelims Exam

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.

Even though there are lakhs of aspirants who write UPSC exam, you real competition is only with a few thousand serious contestants. You should not get intimidated and enter the race fearlessly.

For this exam you get the golden opportunity to be a civil servant. You participate positively in the upliftment of the society. People shared their grievances with you and you have the power to change all of it and make society a better place to live in. It is an exciting job where you are often confronted with challenges. You can also become a crises manager, which means handling the crises that takes place in your area/district. The feeling of helping others and the satisfaction of providing food, shelter, and clothing to the crises striken is amazing.

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is conducted in two phases - a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II also popularly known as Civil Service Aptitude Test or CSAT), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type, followed by a personality test (interview).

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All you need to know about IAS Prelims Exam

Latest Update

Date : 27-30 April 2018

The most competitive civil services recruitment exam is just a few months away. Thinking of how to stay ahead of others? It is time to put your skills to the ultimate test – IAS Prelims All India Test 2018.

Click Here to Attempt IAS Prelims All India Test 2018.

As per as UPSC Exam Calendar -

Prelims Admit card :  May 2018

Date of commencement of Exam : 3rd June 2018 (SUNDAY)

Exam Dates/Notifications

Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2018

Issue of Notification : 07th February, 2018

Application form availability: 07th February, 2018

Last date for Application Submission (online) : 6th March 2018

Prelims Admit card :  May/June 2018

Date of commencement of Exam : 3rd June 2018 (SUNDAY)

Duration of Exam : 1 DAY

Prelims exam result : August 2018

Study Plan

The Civil Services Exam is considered to be the mother of all exams. The syllabus is very vast and each part of the syllabus calls for a detailed strategy which may be unique for each candidate. However, Onlinetyari has set out a new initiative wherein we guide IAS aspirants by providing detailed strategies to tackle the IAS Exam. Kindly refer to our blog for detailed strategies. You can reach that through the following links:

IAS PRELIMS 2018 : How to Prepare for Indian History?

IAS PRELIMS 2018 : How to Prepare for Indian Polity?

IAS PRELIMS 2018: How to Prepare for Indian Economy?

IAS PRELIMS 2018 : How to Prepare for Ecology, Environment, Biodiversity & Climate Change?

IAS PRELIMS 2018 : How to Prepare for Science & Technology?

IAS PRELIMS 2018 : How to Prepare for Geography?

NCERT BOOKS FOR IAS EXAM: Importance of NCERT Books in IAS Exam Preparation

10 Must Have Books for cracking IAS in first attempt

How Rote Learning can help in IAS Exam Preparation

80+ Days Study Plan for IAS Prelims Examination 2018

Application Process

Last date for Application Submission (online) : 6th March 2018


Total number of vacancies : 782 (Approximately)

which include 32 vacancies reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disability Category, i.e.
13 vacancies : for candidates of (a) blindness and low vision;
8 Vacancies : for (b) deaf and hard of hearing;
9 Vacancies : for (c) locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy; and
2 Vacancies : for (e) multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (c) including deaf-blindness.

Selection Process

The Civil Services Examination will consist of two successive stages –
(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination; and
(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.
Applications are now invited for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination only.

Candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified for admission to the Civil Services (Main) Examination will have to apply online again, in the Detailed Application Form which would be made available to them.


Eligibility Criteria


1. For IAS & IPS: 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, the 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) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.

Age Limit

Age limit for UPSC Prelims 2018, would vary as per your category. Have a look: 

  • For General Category candidates32 years 
  • For OBC Category candidates35 years 
  • For SC/ST Category candidates37 years
  • For Physically Handicapped Candidate42 years for General candidate, 45 years for OBC candidate and 47 years for SC/ST candidates.

There would be a 5 year age relaxation if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st December, 1989.

Educational Qualification

Minimum Educational Qualification for IAS Prelims 2018

Candidates need to have the following minimum educational qualification to be eligible for writing Civil Services Preliminary Exam: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree from any recognised University 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 or intend to appear for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to appear for Preliminary Examination. However, they are supposed to submit the proof of passing in the requisite qualification along with detailed application form for Civil Services (Mains) Examination.


UPSC PRELIMS 2018 SYLLABUS: General Studies for IAS Prelims 2018, CSAT for IAS Prelims 2018

Syllabus for IAS Prelims 2018:

IAS Preliminary Examination comprises two papers General Studies Paper-I & General Studies Paper-II i.e. CSAT.

The syllabus of both these papers is given below: 

Paper I - General Studies

Maximum Marks: 200 

Duration : Two hours  

1. Current events of national and international importance.

2. History of India and Indian National Movement. 

3. Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

4. Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc. 

5. Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc. 

6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialisation

7. General Science. 

Paper II- Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

Maximum Marks: 200 

Duration: Two hours 

1. Comprehension 

2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills

3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability 

4. Decision-making and problem solving 

5. General mental ability 

6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level) 

7. Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level)

NOTE: The General Studies Paper II is qualifying in nature.

Exam Pattern

IAS PRELIMS 2018 PATTERN: General Studies, CSAT, Minimum Qualifying Marks for CSAT 2018

The Civil Services Preliminary Examination is objective type in nature. As per the latest IAS Exam 2018 pattern, there are 2 objective type papers in IAS Prelims 2018. These are:

1. General Studies Paper-I

2. General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)

Out of these two, marks for only General Studies-I are taken into consideration. Civil Services Aptitude Test or CSAT is merely qualifying in nature and the candidate has to score minimum marks prescribed by UPSC to qualify i.e. 33%.  

Both these exams are of 200 marks each. 

Note : The Civil Services Aptitude Test is merely of qualifying nature with minimum qualifying marks of 33% i.e. The UPSC will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Service Main Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies PaperII of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper-I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission. 

*Please note that the marks secured by the candidate in the preliminary examination will not be taken into consideration while preparing the final list of selected candidates.

Job Profile

Civil Services Examination conducting for recruitment to the Services and Posts mentioned below-
(i) Indian Administrative Service.
(ii) Indian Foreign Service.
(iii) Indian Police Service.
(iv) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’.
(v) Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(vi) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’.
(vii) Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(viii) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’.
(ix) Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration).
(x) Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.
(xi) Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(xii) Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.
(xiii) Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'.
(xiv) Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
(xv) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
(xvi) Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
(xvii) Indian Information Service(Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
(xviii) Indian Trade Service, Group 'A'.
(xix) Indian Corporate Law Service, Group "A".
(xx) Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade).
(xxi) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group 'B'.
(xxii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group 'B'.
(xxiii) Pondicherry Civil Service, Group 'B'.
(xxiv) Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’.


Prelims Exam Result : August 2018 (Tentative)


Civil Services Examination, 2017 official cut off : Not yet officially announced.

So, here's the official cut off of 2016.

Civil Services Examination, 2016 – minimum qualifying marks

In the Civil Services Examination 2016, the minimum qualifying standards/marks secured by the last recommended candidate in various categories at various stages are as under:-

*Cut off marks on the basis of GS Paper-I only. However, GS Paper-II was qualifying with 33% marks (Rule-15 of Civil Services Examination, 2016)# Subject to 10% marks in each of the seven competitive papers i.e. Essay, GS-I, GS-II, GS-III, GS-IV, Optional-I and Optional-II. 

























CS (Final)








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