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IAS Exam Dates, Eligibility, Exam Pattern And Syllabus - IAS Exam 2019

The IAS exam (officially known as the Civil Services Examination) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. Those who clear all the three stages of the IAS exam enter into the prestigious civil services of the country, and become officers in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and a host of other services. Although regarded as one of the toughest exams in the country, with the right approach and strategy, an aspirant can crack the IAS examination in the very first attempt. It is essential for aspirants to know and understand the requirements of the IAS exam 2019 such as the UPSC syllabus for IAS Exam (Prelims and Mains), pattern, eligibility criteria, application procedure and other such significant details before kick-starting the preparations. Here, we present all the relevant details an aspirant needs to know if he/she wants to crack the UPSC IAS exam.

IAS Exam Date

IAS Exam Conducting Body UPSC
Mode of IAS exam Offline
Number of times conducted Once every year
Prescribed age limit 21 ‐ 32 years (upper age relaxation for reserved candidates)
IAS Exam ‐ Prelims 2019 2nd June 2019
IAS Exam ‐ Mains 2019 Starts 20th September 2019 (exams for five days)
IAS Exam Pattern Prelims (MCQs), Mains (Descriptive papers)

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one of the 20-odd services for which candidates are recruited by the UPSC via the Civil Services Exam. However, the CSE exam is commonly referred to as the UPSC IAS exam as well.

IAS Exam Pattern

The IAS Exam pattern is:

  1. Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)
  2. Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
  3. Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Updated IAS Exam Syllabus PDF: Download Syllabus PDF

Stage I: IAS Exam ‐ UPSC Prelims

Sl. No. Name of the Paper Nature of the Paper Duration of the Exam Questions Marks
1 IAS Exam Paper ‐ I: General Studies Merit Ranking Nature 2 Hours 100 200 Marks
2 IAS Exam Paper ‐ II: General Studies (CSAT) Qualifying Nature 2 Hours 80 200 Marks

Stage II: IAS Exam ‐ UPSC Mains

The second stage of the IAS Exam is called the Mains Exam, which is a written descriptive examination and comprises 9 papers. The 9 papers in IAS Exam (Mains) are as follows: Paper-A (Compulsory Indian Language); Paper ‐ B (English) which are qualifying in nature, while the other papers like Essay, General Studies Papers I, II, III, and IV, and Optional Papers I and II are considered for the final ranking.

Sl. No. IAS Exam Paper Name of the Paper Nature of the Paper Duration of the Exam Marks
1 Paper ‐ A Compulsory Indian Language QUALIFYING NATURE 3 Hours 300 Marks
2 Paper ‐ B English 3 Hours 300 Marks
3 Paper ‐ I ESSAY MERIT RANKING NATURE 3 Hours 250 Marks
4 Paper ‐ II General Studies I 3 Hours 250 Marks
5 Paper ‐ III General Studies II 3 Hours 250 Marks
6 Paper ‐ IV General Studies III 3 Hours 250 Marks
7 Paper ‐ V General Studies IV 3 Hours 250 Marks
8 Paper ‐ VI Optional Paper I 3 Hours 250 Marks
9 Paper ‐ VII Optional Paper II 3 Hours 250 Marks
TOTAL 1750 Marks
Interview or Personality Test 275 Marks
GRAND TOTAL 2025 Marks


Stage III: IAS Exam ‐ UPSC Interview/Personality Test

Candidates who clear the Mains stage of the IAS exam with the required cut-off marks qualify for the final stage of the IAS exam i.e., the Personality Test or Interview round with the UPSC Board Members. The candidates who qualify to the final stage will be sent an e-summon by the Commission for a face-to-face discussion round with the board members. In this round, the board assesses the personality traits of the candidates and questions will be asked on their hobbies, current affairs, general knowledge, situation questions, etc. to evaluate if they are fit for a career in the civil services or not. The UPSC personality test will be held only in the UPSC Bhavan in New Delhi.

IAS Exam Age Limit and Attempts

There are conditions of nationality, age, number of attempts and educational qualification if candidates wish to take the IAS exam. For the general category aspirants, the candidate must be a citizen of India or a PIO, must have a graduate degree, must be between the ages of 21 and 32, and must not have attempted the IAS exam 6 times. But there are certain relaxations and other conditions to the above.

For details on the IAS Eligibility, please check the below link:

IAS Exam Preparation

Read on for IAS exam preparation strategy:

  1. Ideally, start your preparation for the IAS exam at least 10-12 months before the Prelims. So, it's the right time to kickstart preparation for IAS Exam 2020. For IAS Exam 2019, focus on revision as much as possible.
  2. Analysing the trend, more current affairs based questions are being asked in both, Prelims and Mains stage of the IAS exam. Select only credible sources like PIB, The Hindu, Yojana etc. and align the current events as per the IAS exam syllabus. For the IAS exam, current affairs usually comprise events of national and international importance in the last 10-12 months.
  3. Go through the previous years' IAS exam questions to gauge the amount of preparation needed from your end.
  4. Read the NCERT books and make notes. You will have to make at least two sets of notes i.e. short notes for Prelims and descriptive notes for UPSC Mains.
  5. The preparation for Prelims and Mains must be done simultaneously until 1-2 months before the date of the Prelims exam. Identify the syllabus overlap between Prelims and Mains and focus on those areas first.
  6. Select an Optional subject for the IAS exam based on your aptitude, interest and experience. Few optional subjects have a significant overlap with the General Studies syllabus in Mains, however, their syllabi are rather vast so do your due diligence before finalising one.
  7. Go through the standard books for each subject. Find the IAS exam book list, Current Affairs notes, NCERT notes and other information in the links below.
  8. Do not take lightly the CSAT paper in Prelims and Ethics paper in Mains. Similarly, the two qualifying language papers in Mains are also important as failing to score at least 25% in them will automatically eliminate you from the IAS exam process notwithstanding your stellar performance in all the other papers.
  9. Take out time for MCQ solving practice for Prelims and answer writing practice for Mains.
  10. Revise multiple times, update your notes, and revise some more.


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  • 500+ hours of precise instruction, practice, and support carefully designed by a profound team of bureaucrats to ensure a holistic preparation for all three stages of the examination.
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  • IASBYHEART requires every instructor to not only be a specialist in their field, but also rigorously trained on the current pattern of exam‐ensuring that you'll be taught by an UPSC expert.
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  • Every student is alloted to a successful candidate who will be the mentor through out course of preparation and also share with them exact strategy, original notes and compilations which is the mantra behind their success.
  • Realistic practice
  • Only realistic practice makes perfect. Our Intensive test series with Smart evaluation feedback and tracking is crafted to turn your weaknesses into strengths.

APM 2019
APM 2019
  • Foundation Lectures to Sharpen your Basics
  • Time-bound Completion with Extensive Coverage of syllabus
  • Talks and discussions by best in class professors to enhance creative abilities of candidates.
APM 2019
  • Comprehensive study material in all compulsory papers of Pre and Main exam
  • Intensive Writing Skill Development Sessions
  • Special focus on marks fetching areas like Essay and Ethics.
APM 2019
  • Module-based Simulated Tests with accuracy and speed assessment.
  • Tests which simulate recent UPSC trends and difficulty pattern
  • Special focus on marks fetching areas like Essay and Ethics.
Concept Building

It covers 6 months conceptual classes covering complete UPSC syllabus.

  • Prelims Comprehensive classes to cover Prelims syllabus will be provided to clear the core concepts related to each subject.
  • Mains Classes will cover complete GS Mains Paper 1, 2, 3 and 4 syllabus with an approach of developing conceptual clarity with multi-disciplinary thinking process.
  • Assessment: Each module will cover assessment tests.
Strategy for Prelims

Prelims is more about range of information and micro detailing of topics. It is an innovative programme designed to provide complete Prelims preparation module to develop a sound conceptual base alongwith assessment based learning for Prelims, which will cover 15000 questions in entire course. Assessment Module will be based on:

  • L1- Basic Concept Assessment
  • L2- Current Affairs Assessment
  • L3- Advance Level Assessment
Time & Speed Assessment for Prelims

After the completion of Prelims syllabus, assessment for the Time and speed management is must to check the level of preparation. The module will cover:

  • Subject-wise class test after completion of each subject (100 Questions)
  • Workbook containing about 200 Questions related to each subject as Home assignment.
  • Assess your Accuracy level with speed.
Assessment at All India Level

After the completion of the conceptual classes ASSESS yourself at the All India Level through our comprehensive PT Test Series. Tests will be divided as:

  • Sub-sectional Tests based on Topics
  • CSAT Tests
  • Sectional Tests
  • Mock Tests
  • Current Affairs Tests
Answer Writing Improvement
Answer Writing Improvement

The conceptual base for Mains examination will be laid through the exhaustive Classes covering both theoretical as well as contemporary part of the syllabus. However, Answer writing plays an important role in the Mains examination. Content + Good Writing Skill = Good Marks. Thus to develop it:

  • Topic wise Class Tests 10 Questions each.
  • Subject wise Class Test 20 Questions.
  • Home assignments 4-5 Questions on each topic will be provided to develop thinking line related to the topic taught in the classes.
Improving Articulation and Objectivity

Once the content is known through comprehensive classes, for the articulation of that knowledge at RIGHT PLACE and RIGHT FORMAT, the programme will cover Mains Test series. It will consists of:

  • Sectional Tests - 20 Questions each.
  • Mock Tests - UPSC pattern
  • Feedback & Personal Discussion
Development of Problem Solving Approach for GS Paper IV

The conceptual clarity on the Ethical Theories and terms given in the UPSC Syllabus will be covered through Comprehensive Classes alongwith development of Case Study Based Approach.

Critical Thinking for Essay Writing
  • Essay sessions alongwith Tests will be provided.
  • 50 Model Essays to learn the art of Essay writing will also be provided.
Mains Updation Classes with Answer Writing Sessions
Mains Updation Classes with Answer Writing Sessions
  • 150 hrs. Updation Classes will be conducted after Prelims Examination to cover Contemporary Issues for GS Mains Papers.
  • Format of this assessment also includes daily Answer Writing Practice.