Get Started on IAS (Civil Services Exam) Exam 2016: Prelims and Mains Papers, Syllabus, Study Material, Interview Tips, Preparation Strategy and Exam Details (Eligiblity, Dates, Age Limits, Test Centers, Salary)

Key Aspects to Get You Started on IAS UPSC Exam Preparation Summarized in 2 Tables

IAS Stages: Dates, Eligibility, Marking, Subjects, Preparation Resources

IAS Stages and Details
IAS prelims, mains and interview stage: corresonding dates, marks, marking, eligiblity subjects, books, and references sources to get you started





Mark the Dates!

7 August 2016

3 December 2016

March-May 2017

Who can appear?

Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree

Minimum 21 years of age

Indian Citizen

Once you clear Prelims

Once you clear Mains

Marks Added


Added to Final Merit

Added to Final Merit

What Matters?

  • Paper - 1: General Studies

  • Paper - 2: Aptitude

  • Syllabus

  • Essay

  • English

  • GS Paper I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)

  • GS Paper II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International relations)

  • GS Paper III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security & Disaster Management)

  • GS Paper IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)

  • Optional Subject (Paper I & II)

  • Language Paper

  • Syllabus

  • Interview Questions

  • Additional Qualification (Sports, NTSE etc.)

  • Percent Marks in Bachelor’s/Master’s

Negative Marking?

Negative Marking

No Negative Marking


Maximum Marks







March - May

How to get Started?

  • Watch video lecture on YouTube: How to Write Answers for Mains?

    Develop Speed Writing

  • Watch video lecture on YouTube: Essay Writing Tricks for IAS Mains

    Practice Essay Writing

  • Extensive Study with In-depth Knowledge

  • Refer Best Resources

  • Practice Questions

  • Develop Confidence

  • Have Good Command on Your Subject

  • Details

Age Limit & Permissible Attempts

IAS UPSC Age Limit and Permissible Attempts for Various Categories
Age limit and permissible attempts for various categories of students: General, SC/ST, OBC, Physically Disabled, and J&k Domicile


Minimum Age

Maximum Age

Number of Attempts


21 years

32 years



21 years

35 years



21 years

37 years

No Limit

Physically Disabled (Blind, Deaf, Orthopedic)

21 years

42 years


J & K Domicile: General Category: 37 years, OBC: 40 years, SC/ST: 42 years & PH: 50 years

IAS: GS Articles, Notifications, Dates & More

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IAS Mains 2013 Changes

Chairman informed media that Change in Inevitable. The change in the UPSC mains paper may likely to be effective from year 2013. Find some relevant and updated information on the same.

IAS Book List

Comprehensive booklist for Indian Administrative Services Exam 2017 by UPSC

IAS Exam Pattern & Notification

Information on examination pattern, scheme and sample notification for Indian Administrative Services 2016

IAS: Examrace Distance Learning

Succeed with Examrace Coaching Program for IAS (per revised syllabus for 2016 − 2017). Choose one our smart learning tools & join our family of 1000's of accomplished students since 2008:

IAS Interview Preparation

Interview is one of the most crucial as well because every single mark at this stage can decide a candidate's fate. Information on IAS intrview 2016 facts, tips and myths.

IAS Mains Previous Years (Past) Papers

View & download complete set of previous years (past) papers for various optionals of IAS Mains-2016. Examrace has the largest and most complete series of question papers for various optionals of IAS Mains

IAS Prelims MCQs

Free IAS Prelims 2016 practice questions with explanations in most of the tests

IAS Prelims Previous Years (Past) Papers

View & download complete set of previous years (past) papers for various optionals of IAS Mains-2016. Examrace has the largest and most complete series of question papers for various optionals of IAS Mains

IAS Services

Information on IAS, IFS, IPS, Indian revenue service, Indian Customs and Excise service, Indian accounts and auditing service and many more related services in which one can be admmitted after clearing UPSC CSE.

IAS Syllabus

Updated 2016 syllabus for CSAT 1 & 2 (aptitude & general studies) for prelims and optionals, gs, languages papers for mains for Indian Administrative Services (IAS) Exam

Last Updated:

Discussions & Questions

  • Please provide the details of Mains -2016 Geography Optional test series. Thank you in advance. ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Details of Geography Optional Test Series for UPSC Mains are available at -

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  • I am studying btech 1st year in ECE at RGUKT. Am I eligible for writing IAS exam? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Yes when you are in your final year of Bachelor's and have completed 21 years of age you can appear for IAS exam.

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  • I am preparing for UPSC with geography optional. I want to buy study material for geography by post. I am living in Ranchi. Can you please tell me how much time after payment ,can i get the study material? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    If the online payment is done we send the material by speed post. For cash on delivery, it usually takes 7-12 business days. The details of the postal course and sample preview are available at -

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  • I want prepare for civil services examination 2017 without coaching .what are the best books that are used for my preparation? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    You can refer Examrace postal course available at - and free videos at Youtube Examrace channel for GS and Prelims CSAT -

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  • What are the best books for preparation of prelims? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Examrace IAS Prelims paper 2 postal course covers the range of questions asked in Prelims -

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  • Respected Madam (Geography teacher), It is my humble request to you to provide the ppt or same printable material of MODELS IN GEOGRAPHY ( You taught in videos). ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    The printable material for the lectures is available at -

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  • Sir can I choose Urdu as medium for writing in mains ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    You will have to maintain a common language across all papers including GS and optionals.

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  • I want to know how can I do my preparation without join coaching ? Which books and lectures can be useful to help prepare for exam of IAS? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    We recommend that you do extensive self-study, joining coaching centers would be more waste of time. Start with NCERT and read the Hindu Daily. You can refer the free video tutorials we have at -

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  • Do I have to read the whole syllabus of all subjects for prelims and mains? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Yes you need to cover the complete syllabus for prelims and mains.

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  • I have passed 12 this year and i got 94% in commerce and i want to prepare for IAS but I am confused which subject should I choose for graduation which also help me as optional for UPSC?i want economics ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Please refer the following video which will help you in deciding optional paper for UPSC -

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  • prelims examinations are common to all or we can opt subjects like geography etc....? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    The pattern has few years back and now it is common paper for prelims. For prelims there are 2 papers, paper 1 is general studies and paper 2 is aptitude testing, for IAS CSAT you can refer

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  • I will be preparing for Civil Services for 2017; regarding the main optional papers for languages, is it possible to write the main papers in English & also choose English as our Indian Language? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    You must write all the papers in a common language, you can opt English there. You can also choose English Literature as a optional paper. Both are entirely different.

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  • I have completed my graduation in science. but i have not taken Major and my % is only 49. but sir, i am very interested UPSC exams. Is there any restricted on percentage and in general subject? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

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  • I want to know about the citizenship criteria for IAS. Actually my family dwells in nepal and I want to fight for civil services in India. ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.

    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.
    A candidate, in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him by the Government of India.

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  • I got 52% in graduation, So will It create any Problem For Civil Service Exam.. Specially At the Time Of Interview? Please Clear My Doubts.. ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Good percent in examination do matter but is not teh sole criterai for success. Since teh proportion of interview in Civils iss so less that if you do well in Mains you will automatically surpass the issues in interview.

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  • How to prepare for IAS Exam? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Please check out the preparation tips for IAS- and postal courses details are available at-

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  • I want to prepare before the exams and now I have passed class X . What should I do? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    IAS examination at the earliest can be given in the final year of your bachelor's course, however if you want to start at this age it is considered as the best option. You have ample time for self-study, so try to cover all NCERTs class 6 to 12 (Science and Social Science). Practice a lot of mental ability and numerical ability questions. Do a thorough reading of the newspapers specifically the editorial section. You can also think about choosing the optional and start working on that optional as per the syllabus.

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  • I am interested in IAS so please tell me that after graduation should I do post graduation? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    To appear in IAS the minimum eligibility is graduation, so you can appear in IAS without a postgraduate degree. However, to secure your career, it is good to pursue post graduation along with your preparation for IAS examination.

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  • Sir, Is this true that upsc decreased age limit for civil service? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    No final decisions have come up regarding this isssue. This issue was in consideration under UPA government but after the shift in government no final decision has come up. It was proposed that the age limit must be reduced from 32 to 26 years considering the fact that the person completes graduation at an average age of 21 years and has 5 years in hand to clear the examination. However, no final wording is yet released and we suggest that you wait for the coming notification and check out the age limits then.

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  • Are no.of attempts for IAS and IFS exam separate? being belonging to general category can I give IAS and IFS exam 4 times each? for both IAS and IFS exam can I choose mechanical engineering ? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Since the prelims is now common for IAS and IFS, you can appear for prelims examination 4 times. Mechanical engineering is a optional that is common in both IAS and IFS examination.

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  • I have doubts about IAS (civil group) examination. I need help about how to study and how to prepare from earlier age? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    You must cover NCERT class 6 to 12 for science and social science, refer one monthly magazine, one good newspaper like The Hindu. You can refer for postal courses on various optionals for mains and Prelims papers.

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