Essential UPSC Tips In 2023: Unlock Your Civil Services Exam Success!

The UPSC, or Union Public Service Commission, is a constitutional body in India that is responsible for conducting recruitment examinations and selecting candidates for various prestigious government positions. Established under Article 315 of the Indian Constitution, UPSC plays a crucial role in the recruitment process for civil services, defence services, and other administrative posts at the national level.


UPSC conducts a range of examinations, including the Civil Services Examination (which includes IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.), Engineering Services Examination (IES), Combined Defense Services (CDS) Examination, National Defense Academy (NDA) Examination, and more. The commission’s mandate is to ensure a fair and transparent selection process based on merit and competence.

What is UPSC?


Upsc Full formThe UPSC Civil Services Exam is an esteemed and highly competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) of India. It serves as a gateway for individuals aspiring to become civil servants in various government departments and services. This comprehensive article aims to provide a detailed overview of the UPSC Civil Services Exam, including its syllabus and eligibility criteria.

UPSC Post List

The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) conducts various examinations for recruitment to different posts in the Indian government. Here is a list of some prominent posts for which UPSC conducts examinations:

  1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  2. Indian Police Service (IPS)
  3. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  4. Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
  5. Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS)
  6. Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
  7. Indian Information Service (IIS)
  8. Indian Forest Service (IFS)
  9. Indian Economic Service (IES)
  10. Indian Statistical Service (ISS)
  11. Combined Defense Services (CDS)
  12. National Defense Academy (NDA)
  13. Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF)
  14. Engineering Services Examination (IES)
  15. Combined Medical Services (CMS)
  16. Geologists’ Examination
  17. Indian Engineering Services (IES)
  18. Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination
  19. Special Class Railway Apprentices (SCRA)

This list is not exhaustive and there are many more posts for which UPSC conducts examinations. It’s recommended to refer to the official UPSC notifications for detailed information about each examination and the posts associated with them.

UPSC Syllabus

The UPSC syllabus encompasses a wide range of subjects, ensuring the holistic development of aspiring civil servants. Here are the key components of the UPSC syllabus:

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination has two types of  objective papers:

General Studies Paper I

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and the Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography
  • Indian Polity and Governance
  • Economic and Social Development
  • Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change
  • General Science

General Studies Paper II (CSAT)

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy

Mains Examination

  • Paper I: Essay
  • Paper II: General Studies I
  • Paper III: General Studies II
  • Paper IV: General Studies III
  • Paper V: General Studies IV
  • Paper VI: Optional Subject Paper I
  • Paper VII: Optional Subject Paper II
  • Papers VIII and IX: Indian Language and English Language (qualifying in nature)


Candidates who clear the main examination are shortlisted for the interview, also known as the Personality Test. This stage assesses a candidate’s overall personality, communication skills, and their ability to handle stressful situations. It provides an opportunity for candidates to showcase their knowledge, analytical skills, and suitability for administrative roles.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the UPSC Civil Services Exam, candidates need to fulfil certain criteria. Here are the key eligibility criteria:


  • Candidates must be citizens of India.
  • Candidates from Nepal, Bhutan, or Tibetan refugees who arrived in India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India are also eligible.
  • Individuals of Indian origin who migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India are also eligible.

Age Limit

  • The minimum age limit is 21 years.
  • The maximum age limit varies depending on the different- different category:
  • General Category: 32 years
  • OBC (Non-Creamy Layer): 35 years
  • SC/ST: 37 years

Educational Qualification

  • Candidates must have graduated from any recognized university.
  • Final-year students are also eligible to apply.

How to Apply Online

Here are step-by-step processes to apply online:-

Check Eligibility: Firstly Ensure that you have met the eligibility criteria, including age, educational qualifications, and other specific requirements mentioned in the official notification.

Online Registration: Visit the official UPSC website. Look for the active notification related to the Civil Services Examination (CSE). Click on the “Apply Online” link.

Part-I Registration: Fill in your basic details such as name, date of birth, gender, nationality, etc. Give your contact information, such as your email and phone number. Choose your preferred examination centre from the options provided. Submit the form once the details have been entered. You’ll receive a registration ID.

Fee Payment: You need to pay the application fee to complete the registration process. The fee can be paid online using credit/debit cards, net banking, or offline through SBI bank challan.

Part-II Registration: Log in using your registration ID and date of birth. Complete the payment process if not done earlier. Upload scanned images of your photograph and signature following the specified format and size. Fill in other required details, including choice of optional subject (for mains exam), and educational qualifications.

Final Submission: Review all the details you’ve entered. Once you are sure that all the information is accurate, submit the application form.

Print Application Form: After submitting the form, you’ll be provided with a confirmation page.

Admit Card: UPSC will release the admit cards for the preliminary exam on their website a few weeks before the exam date. You can download it using your login ID details.

Appear for Preliminary Exam: Attend the preliminary examination as per the schedule mentioned in the admit card. The preliminary exam includes two papers.

Main Examination: If you qualify in the preliminary exam, you’ll be eligible to appear for the main examination. The main exam consists of written papers and an interview (personality test).

Interview (Personality Test): Candidates who clear the main exam are called for the interview round. The interview assesses your personality traits, communication skills, and suitability for administrative roles

Final Selection: The final merit list is prepared based on the marks obtained in the main exam and the interview. Candidates with the highest scores are offered various Civil Services positions. Make sure to regularly check the UPSC website for updates and notifications. The application process may vary slightly each year, so it’s important to follow the instructions provided in the latest notification.

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Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) along with their answers:

Q. What is UPSC?

A. The UPSC, or Union Public Service Commission, is a constitutional body in India responsible for conducting recruitment examinations and selecting candidates for various government positions.

Q. What are the major exams conducted by UPSC?

A. Some of the major exams conducted by UPSC include the Civil Services Examination (IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.), Engineering Services Examination (IES), Combined Defense Services (CDS) Examination, and National Defense Academy (NDA) Examination.

Q. What is the Civil Services Examination?

A. The Civil Services Examination is a highly prestigious exam conducted by UPSC to select candidates for administrative, police, foreign service, and other key government posts.

Q. How can I apply for UPSC exams?

A. You can apply for UPSC exams through the online application process available on the official UPSC website. Detailed instructions are provided in the exam notifications.

Q. Age limit for UPSC exams?

A. The age limit varies for different exams and categories. Generally, it is around 21 to 32 years for the Civil Services Examination, with relaxations for reserved categories.

Q. How many times can I attempt UPSC exams?

 A. The number of attempts varies with categories. Generally, it’s 6 attempts for general candidates, 9 attempts for OBC candidates, and no limits for SC/ST candidates for the Civil Services Examination.

Q. What is the selection process for UPSC exams?

 A. The selection process usually involves a preliminary examination, followed by a main examination and an interview.

Q. What are the optional subjects in UPSC exams?

A. In the Civil Services Main Examination, candidates can choose an optional subject from a list provided by UPSC. These subjects cover a wide range of disciplines.

Q. Is there a negative marking in UPSC exams?

A. Yes, there is a negative marking for incorrect answers in the preliminary examination of most UPSC exams.

Q. How can I prepare for the UPSC exams?

A. Preparation involves a comprehensive study of the syllabus, current affairs, practice of previous years’ question papers, mock tests, and continuous revision.

Q. What is the significance of the interview in UPSC exams?

A. The interview assesses candidates’ personality traits, communication skills, and suitability for administrative roles.

Q. Can foreign nationals apply for UPSC exams?

A. In general, only Indian citizens are eligible for most UPSC exams. There might be exceptions for certain exams; refer to the official notifications for details.


The UPSC Civil Services Exam is a demanding yet rewarding journey for individuals aspiring to serve the nation through the civil services. By understanding the syllabus and eligibility criteria, aspiring candidates can better prepare themselves for this prestigious examination. With dedication, perseverance, and a comprehensive study plan, success in the UPSC Civil Services Exam is within reach. Good luck to all the aspirants.

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