IAS Exam (Main)

The second and most crucial stage of selection for IAS (Indian Administrative Services) is the Main Examination.

Created On: Jan 6, 2011 11:56 IST
Modified On: Apr 6, 2013 16:51 IST
IAS Exam (Main)
IAS Exam (Main)

The second and most crucial stage of selection for IAS (Indian Administrative Services) is the Main Examination. The number of candidates admitted to the IAS Main Examination is roughly around 11 to 12 times of the approximate number of vacancies existing in a year. The IAS Main Examination is usually held from the last week of October every year.  The examination consists of the following nine papers:


Paper – 1 one of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidates from the languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the constitution. This paper of matriculate or equivalent standard and is of qualifying nature; this paper consists of 300 marks.
Paper II - English language paper too is compulsory and is of matriculation standard and qualifying nature. The marks (out of 300) obtained in this paper are also not counted for ranking purpose.
Paper III- This is a compulsory Essay paper, consisting of 200 marks.
Paper IV&VII- These are two compulsory papers on various segments of General Studies, each consisting of 300 marks.
Paper VI& VII- Two papers of chosen of second optional subject each carrying 300 marks.
Paper VIII& IX – Likewise, two papers of second optional subject, and each carrying 300 marks.
Thus the total marks of the written papers of the IAS Main Examination for the ranking purpose will be 2000 without counting the marks of two language papers which are non ranking. The papers of essay. General Studies and optional Subjects of only such candidates will be evaluated who have obtained minimum qualifying marks as fixed by the commission in their discretion for qualifying the paper on Indian Language and English.

The optional subjects for the IAS Main Examination include Agriculture Animal husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany Chemistry , Civil Engineering, Commerce & Accountancy, Economics,  Electrical Engineering Geography, Geology, History, law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, philosophy, physics, political Science psychology public administration, Sociology, Statistics and zoology literature of none of the follwing languages: Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu & Urdu.

Candidates cannot choose the following combination of optional subjects for IAS main examination: Political Science and Public Administration: Mathematics and Statistics; Anthropology and Sociology Commerce and Management; Management and public administration; Medical Science and Veterinary Science. A candidate cannot opt for then one of the engineering Subject.

The question papers for the Main Examination are conventional essay- type and are of slightly higher than B.A (HONS) in case of optional subject. The candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the Main Examinational as may be fixed by the UPSC at their discretion, shall be summoned for an Interview or Personality Test. Marks obtained by the candidates in the written examination along with interview marks would determine their final ranking.

IAS Interview Test
The UPSC Interview test for IAS/Civil Services Exam is the third and final lap of a three part process to evaluate the administrative potential of the candidates in order to find their suitability for joining one of the Civil Services.
Areas normally covered by the UPSC Interview Board are
(a)    Every detail in the application form including the meaning of you surname
(b)    Current issues of interest primarily national
(c)    Good Knowledge of one’s own state and district
(d)     Whenever required, you may have to bring into focus the knowledge of your own specialised  field of study while taking on current problems
(e)    Also be prepared for probing question on your own special field of study including the papers that you have offered for main Examination only the fundamentals of the subjects studied: momentous developments of today and a lively panoramic grasp of the optional subject.

Last but not the last, a since and time tested advice to the IAS aspirants is that there is no substitute to hard work. A strong determination and patience shall sail you through. One should never fell diminished by failures but instead should intensify the preparations more vigorously. Rage like a river which flows faster& more furious after dealing with very obstacle that comes in its way. The sum of IAS success formula is Grit, Grace& Poise even under stress. So roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath & start the work.

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