How to Prepare for Civil Service Exams

An Overview of Civil Service Exams

Civil Services Examination (CSE) is notable competitive exam in India. It is a nationwide exam held by the Union Public Service Commission. Many students from all parts of India participate in the examination. They thoroughly cover each section of the exam. However, it’s very difficult to clear the test with good grades. Students want high position jobs in government sector for their secure future. This is the reason why they mostly opt for Civil Services Examination.

The exam is conducted to recruit for a number of civil services such as Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The success rate of this exam is very low around 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent. It is held in 2 phases – the Preliminary Exam comprising 2 objective type papers (Aptitude Test and General Studies), and then the Main Exam comprising 9 papers of conventional tests. At last personal interview is conducted. The complete process from the notification of Preliminary exam to final results takes around 1 year.

Eligibility for Civil Service Exams:

The minimum age limit is 21 years and the maximum age limit is 32 years as on 1st August of the examination year. Age limit relaxation is also given to candidates of different sections of society such as OBC, SC, ST, defense personnel, disabled candidates, etc.

Nationality should be Indian. Any individual of Indian origin migrated from Vietnam, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Zaire, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania or Malawi.


Candidates should have at least any of the mentioned below educational qualifications:

  • A degree from an Open University
  • A degree from a Deemed, State or Central University
  • A degree from Distance Learning or Correspondence
  • A degree from any recognized foreign university
  • A degree from any recognized private university

Numbers of Attempts:

  • Candidates from General Category can give up to 6 attempts
  • Candidates from OBC Category can give 9 attempts
  • Candidates from SC/ST can give unlimited attempts

Process of Civil Service Examination:

Stage I: The first and foremost stage is Preliminary Exam
Stage II: The second stage is Main Exam
Stage III: The last stage is Personality Test (Interview)

Tips for Civil Service Exams:

Read NCRT Books:

If you want to improve your chances to qualify in the Preliminary Exam, make sure to read NCRT books. They comprise all useful details to clear the first stage of the exam. It is important to have strong command over subjects like mathematics, social science, history, civics and science.

Preparation for Math Questions:

Mathematics is a subject in which you can score 100 out of 100 marks. But it requires a lot of practice. Simply solve typical numeric questions. Also have good command over all formulas.

Time Management:

In order to clear the Civil Service Exam it is important to consider time management aspect very carefully. Manage your time for all the subjects and stages of the exam. Keep a watch with you while preparing and follow the time whole heatedly. Remember that once the time passes then it never comes back. So, prepare for the exam while considering your every second is crucial.

Awareness of Current Affairs:

Beware of the things happening around. Read newspaper, watch news on TV and also use social media platforms that spread information about current activities. With a good command over the current affairs you will not only have more confidence about the examination but also be able to compete among many candidates and give your best performance.

Solve Questions Papers of Previous Years:

Solving question papers of previous years can give you a good idea about the examination pattern. Even it can judge how well you have prepared for the exam. Then you can put your efforts accordingly.

Coaching Classes:

If you do not feel confident about your preparation, you can opt for any coaching institute providing classes for civil service exams. Make sure to choose only a genuine institute with highly qualified faculties.