1  What is Civil Services examination?

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Revenue Service (IRS) among others. Of all the Civil Services only two, namely Indian Administrative Service and Indian Foreign Service are premier civil services of Government of India as appointment to anyone of these, renders a person ineligible to reappear further in Civil Services Examination.

2 What is the level of competition in UPSC Civil Services Examination?

The number of students appearing for Civil Services Examination has drastically improved in the past couple of years. The numbers have almost doubled than the previous year. In 2013, around 4 lakh students had applied for Civil Services examination, where as in 2014, the number of applications shooted to almost 9 Lakh students.

Generally, the number of candidates who qualify the Preliminary exam and become eligible to appear for the Main Exam is 12 to 13 times the number of vacancies in the Civil Services Exam of that year. Out of them, the number of candidates who qualify the main exam and become eligible to appear in the Interview is approximately 2 times the number of vacancies in the Civil Services advertised that year.

For instance, if the number of vacancies in a given year is 1000, then about 13,000 candidates would be called (qualified) by the UPSC to appear in the Main exam & the number of candidates who will qualify the Main examination to appear in the Interview would be about 2,000.

3 How much time should an aspirant devote for the preparation of Civil Services?

Consistency is the most important factor in Civil Services Examination. If qualitative studies are done for one year, devoting 6 hours daily.

4 When should one start preparing for mains?

It is always better to start the preparation for mains examination along with preliminary examination as we know that the syllabus for mains is much wider than preliminary exam and the time between Prelims and mains examination is just 3-4 months which is quite short for preparation.

5 What should I keep in mind while choosing an optional subject?

Firstly, it is not mandatory that your optional subject should be from your stream. It may or may not be the subject of your background. If you are too good at your own subject and can easily solve the paper on the same subject asked by UPSC then you should definitely have it as optional subject. But if you are doubtful, then you should switch on to some other scoring subject.

6 What is the number of vacancies in Civil Services for which the examination is conducted every year by UPSC?

The number of vacancies is reported by Union Public Service Commission in its advertisement/ notification for the exam. The number of vacancies varies every year; the number of vacancies per year in the last 4 years varied between 1000 and 1200.

7 Can a candidate write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English and take the interview in Hindi or in any other Indian language?

•  The candidates, who opt for an Indian Language medium to write Civil Services (Main) Exam, may choose either the same Indian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview.

•  The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English, may choose as the medium for interview either English or Hindi or any other Indian Language opted by them for the compulsory Indian Language Paper.

•  However, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview or Personality Test.