IAS Prelims Exam

The Civil Services Preliminary Examination is the first stage of the IAS Exam. It is only a screening test i.e only those candidates who come out successful in the Preliminary Exam are allowed to appear for the IAS Main Examination. It comprises two papers General Studies-I & General Studies-II (CSAT). Out of these two, Civil Services Aptitude Test is of qualifying nature only.

IAS Prelims 2018 - Free Package

आईएएस प्रारम्भिक परीक्षा 2018-फ्री पैकेज


IAS PRELIMS : Introduction, Eligibility, Application Procedure, Preparation Strategy, Exam Pattern 


Civil Services Preliminary Exam, :

UPSC IAS Exam has three stages. These are: IAS Prelims, IAS Mains & Interview Stage. It is necessary for a candidate to successfully clear all three stages to become an IAS Officer.

The Civil Services Preliminary Exam also known as IAS Prelims, is the first stage of the UPSC Civil Services Exam. Each year, lakhs of candidates appear for this exam and only those who clear IAS Prelims are eligible for IAS Mains. Therefore, even though marks for Civil Services Preliminary Exam do not get counted towards the final merit, it is very important.



How can I sit for the IAS Preliminary Examination? What is the eligibilty for IAS Prelims 2018?

The UPSC sets the eligibility criteria and syllabus for IAS Exam. In its official Civil Services Notification, UPSC has described in detail the eligibility criteria for appearing in Civil Services Preliminary Exam. Before attempting IAS Exam 2018, please make sure you are eligible to sit for the exam or not.

The Eligibility for IAS exam includes the following criterion: Nationality, Minimum Educational Qualification, Age Limit, Number of Attempts & Age Relaxation. These are described in detail below: 

IAS Exam 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.
a. For IAS & IPS: Indian Citizen
b. For other services: A candidate must be either:
  • A Citizen of India, OR
  • A Subject of Nepal, OR
  • A Subject of Bhutan, OR
  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, OR
  • 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.


IAS Exam 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.
Number of Attempts for IAS Exam 2018:
The number of attempts for UPSC IAS exam were recently revised by the Union Public Service Commission. These are given as under: 
  • For General Category candidates: 6.
  • For OBC Category candidates: 9.
  • For SC/ST Category candidates: There is no limit on the number of attempts.
  • For Physically Handicapped Candidate: The number of attempts are limited to 9 for both General and OBC candidates and unlimited for SC/ST category. 
Age Relaxation for IAS Exam:
  • There would be a 5 year age relaxation for SC/ST candidates;
  • There would be a 3 year age relaxation in case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation;
  • 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


How many candidates sit for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam?

The number of candidates applying for IAS Exam usually lies between 8-10 lakhs every year and this number is seen to be increasing every year. However, the number of candidates who appear for the IAS Preliminary Exam lies between 4-5 lakhs. This number is also witnessing an increasing trend every year. Out of these 4-5 lakh candidates, 13,000-16,000 qualify for IAS Mains. The number of candidates who are called to sit for IAS Mains Exam is usually 13-15 times the number of vacancies for that particular year. 

In 2014, a total of 9,44,926 candidates applied for the Civil Services Exam. Out of this, 4,51,602 candidates appeared for the IAS Prelims 2014. Similarly, in the year 2015, a total of 9,45,908 candidates applied for the Civil Services Exam, 2015. Out of this, 4.63 lakh candidates appeared for the IAS Prelims 2015. Similarly, in the year 2016, a total of 9,55,407 candidates applied for the Civil Services Exam, 2016. Out of this, 4.67 lakh candidates appeared for the IAS Prelims 2016. in the year 2017, a total of 11.36 lakh candidates applied for the Civil Services Exam, 2017. Out of this, 5.34 lakh candidates appeared for the IAS Prelims 2017. 



How to apply for UPSC IAS Preliminary Exam 2018?

The UPSC comes up with its Official Civil Services Notification every year. Through the Civil Services Notification, candidates are notified about the commencement of application for Civil Services Exam as well as the important dates. For IAS Exam 2017, the official notification will be issued on 22nd of February, 2018.



Candidates will be required to complete the "Online Application Form" containing two stages viz. Part-I and Part-II as per the instructions available in the above mentioned site through drop down menus.

Before starting filling up of online application, a candidate must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the '.png' or '.jpg' format in such a manner that each file size should not exceed 40KB each.

If any candidate who took the Civil Services Examination held in the previous year wishes to apply for admission to this examination, he / she must submit his / her application so as to reach the Commission's Office by the prescribed date without waiting for the results or an offer of appointment.



How to prepare for IAS Prelims 2018?

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 2017: How to Prepare for Indian History?

IAS PRELIMS 2017: How to Prepare for Indian Polity?

IAS PRELIMS 2017: How to Prepare for Indian Economy?

IAS PRELIMS 2017: How to Prepare for Ecology, Environment, Biodiversity & Climate Change?

IAS PRELIMS 2017: How to Prepare for Science & Technology?

IAS PRELIMS 2017: 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

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. 

What is the minimum qualifying marks to clear CSAT 2018? 

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.

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.

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