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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are serious about giving Civil Services Exam, it is absolutely mandatory that you get hold of the Notification for the year you want to apply. The Examination Notice is published every year in the Employment News and Rozgar Samachar late in November or early in December. You can find the latest Notification in the Archive section of the UPSC website at

Apart from that you could also read IAS Planner published by Chronicle Books for clearing all you conceptions, seeing various statistics and gearing you up with other info.

Competition Success Review, Civil Services Chronicle and other magazines come out with handy booklets from time to time regarding various questions relating to IAS. You can go through these useful documents.

  1. When does the notification for the exam come out?

    It comes out usually during the first week of December every year. The notification is published in Employment News and Rozgar Samachar.

  2. How many vacancies are there each year, on an average?

    Nowadays the vacancy is around 300-350. Even this number can be expected to come down in the coming days with the government trimming itself down. Just a few years back the vacancy used to be more than double.

  3. What is the exam scheme?

    It is a three stage exam, with only successful candidates eligible to apply in subsequent stages. The first stage is the Preliminary Exam, open for all applicants. Upon clearing this the successful candidate has to apply again to sit for the Main Exam. Successful candidates at this stage are called for the Personality Test or Interview. Those passing the Personality Test are the ultimate successful candidates.

  4. When is the Preliminary Exams held?

    The Preliminary Test is held usually in the third Sunday of May every year. The date is declared in the notification published during the previous December.

  5. Tell me about the Preliminary Exam.

    It is an objective test with multiple choice questions- there will be four options for each question, one correct. There are no negative marking. There are two papers- the compulsory General Studies paper of 150 marks, with 150 questions (2 hours answering time); the optional paper of 300 marks with 120 questions (2 hours answering time). The optional paper is held first, followed by a break of 2 hours, followed by the GS paper.

  6. When is the Mains Exam held?

    It's held over a period of almost one month during October-November every year.

  7. Tell me about the Mains Exam.

    The Exam has nine papers: Two GS papers, two papers of first optional subject, two papers of second optional subject, a compulsory essay paper, a compulsory English language paper, and an Indian language paper. Each paper is of a three hour duration and carries 300 marks, except for the essay paper which carries 200 marks. The two language papers are qualifying in nature- the marks acquired there is not counted for ranking.

  8. Where are the exams held?

    The Prelims exam is held in a large number of important towns and cities all across India. The actual list of cities are published along with the notification every year, but you will know your actual centre (school, college, etc) only in your admit card. The Mains exam is held at fewer places, in the bigger cities. The list of centres is posted to you along with other relevant documents once you clear the Preliminary stage.



IAS 2007 - Mains Final Results


UPSC Website
Official IAS Website
LBS Academy for IAS


Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
Various Civil Services in India
Examination Schedule
Eligibility Criteria
Subjects Available
Scheme of Exam
Sequence of Mains Papers
Constitution and Civil Services


Mistakes I Made
Prelims - Choice of Subjects
Newspapers and Mags - Should I read?
Language - Mains and Interview
Which books to read?


Social Background of IAS Officers
Limited Usefulness of Coaching Institutes
Nation Civil Service - A Critical Review
Good Governance - A Distant Dream
IAS as Career Option for IITians
What Ails Civil Services?


IISWBM Coaching Centre - A review
 Free coaching for SCs, STs

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