UPSC 2019 - Civil Services (IAS) Examination Dates, Syllabus, Eligibility and Examination Pattern

The Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services Examination every year for recruitment of officers to the prestigious Civil Services of India. Candidates clearing this exam can become civil servants in various branches of the government such as the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service and so on. Some candidates opt to become diplomats by joining the Indian Foreign Service. Lakhs of candidates take the examination every year hoping to enter the elite services and serve the country. However, only about a thousand make the cut and are inducted into various services. No wonder this is called India’s toughest exam.

The UPSC Civil Services Examination consists of three stages:

  1. UPSC Prelims
  2. UPSC Mains
  3. UPSC Interview

On 19th February 2019, the UPSC released the notification inviting applications for the Civil Services Examination 2019 as well as the Indian Forest Service Examination 2019 prelims and mains.

UPSC Notification 2019 :-Download PDF Here

The IAS Notification provides all the details for CSE 2019 and IFoS 2019 such as UPSC Syllabus, UPSC CSE Pattern and examination centres, etc. It also guides the aspiring civil servants on the application process and the number of vacancies available in 2019. The total number of vacancies includes the reserved vacancies for different categories like SC, ST, OBC, Physically Handicapped and Defence Services Personnel and so on.

The IAS Notification 2019 should be checked properly for dates, exam pattern and syllabus.

For the latest information on the UPSC 2020, candidates should refer to the linked article.

Important dates and Information for UPSC 2019 Notification and UPSC Prelims 2019:

Examination Body Union Public Service Commission
Type of Job Government Service
Job Location All over India and abroad (Indian Foreign Service, deputation, etc.) depending on service
Post/Services All India Services Group A (IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, ITS, IAAS, IDAS, etc.) and Group B (DANICS, DANIPS, etc.)
How to Apply Online on the UPSC official website (
Date of release of UPSC CS (Prelims) Examination Notification 19 February 2019
Indian Forest Services (Prelims) Examination 2019 through CS(P) Examination 2019
Last date of application for UPSC CSE (Prelims)* 18 March 2019
Last date of application for Indian Forest Services (Prelims) Examination 2019 through CS (P) Examination 2019
Date of Civil Services Prelims Examination 02 June 2019
Date of Indian Forest Service Prelims Examination
Date of Civil Services Mains(Written) Examination 20 September 2019
Date of Indian Forest Service Mains(Written) Examination 01 December 2019
Examination Fees for CSE (P) Rs 100 (except for Female/SC/ST/PH who are exempted from payment)

*Also called CS (P) in the official notification.

As per the IAS Notification, aspirants should note that the application process is completely online and the e-admit cards generated will have to be downloaded from the UPSC website when they are made available.

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Civil Service 2019 Exam

Please note that the following eligibility criteria are tentative and candidates should refer to the official IAS Notification on 19th February 2019 for any changes.

Nationality (Citizenship and Domicile Conditions): Candidates applying for IAS and IPS have to be citizens of India.

For other services, candidates have to be:

(1)citizen of India, or

(2)subject of Nepal, or

(3)subject of Bhutan, or

(4)Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January, 1962 to settle permanently in India, or

(5)person of Indian origin who has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zaire and Vietnam to settle permanently in India.

There are certain conditions which are specially applied to the candidates from category 2 to 5 above. These are:

· The candidates belonging to categories (2), (3), (4) and (5) should get a certificate of eligibility issued in their favour from the Government of India. Candidates from these categories may appear in the examination before the certificate of eligibility has been issued but will be appointed to their respective services only after the certificate has been issued.

· The candidates belonging to these categories are not eligible for employment in the Indian Foreign Service.

Educational Conditions: · Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.

· Students in the final year or semester of their bachelors’ degree can appear for the Prelims but have to produce the provisional or original degree before the Mains exam.

Age Limits · Minimum 21 years to maximum 32 years

· Relaxation in upper age limit are available for the following categories:

(a) Scheduled Caste(SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) – 37 years

(b) Other Backward Classes (OBC) – 35 years

(c) Defence Personnel disabled in hostilities and released from service as a consequence – 35 years

(d) Ex-servicemen with at least 5 years of service – 37 years

(e) Serving ECOs and SSCOs with at least 5 years of service – 37 years

(f) Disabled candidates – Up to 42 years based on the type of disability.

The rules regarding age limits are complex and should be studied carefully before applying.

Number of Attempts General – 6

SC/ST – No restrictions

OBC – 9

PH – Based on category

How to Apply for UPSC 2019

Once the notification for UPSC 2019 is out, the following steps need to be performed:

1) Visit the official UPSC application website (

2) Navigate to the UPSC Civil Services Examination Link

3) Click on Fill Part-I Registration

4) Once the registration number is generated, use it to fill out Part-II Registration

5) Click on submit once done

The e-admit card is generated three weeks before the examination date which has to be downloaded and a printout carried to the examination centre. For more information on applying for the IAS exam, see this.

UPSC 2019 Pattern of Examination

The Civil Service Examination 2019 will consist of three rounds, Prelims, Mains and Personality test. The Prelims and Mains have cut off marks declared with the result of each round. The candidates scoring at least the cut off marks or more would be eligible to appear for the next round. This means if you score above the Prelims cut off, you will be eligible to appear for the mains examination and if you score above the Mains (Written) cut off, you will be summoned for the Personality Test Interview.

Scheme of Preliminary and Main Examination and Subjects

The Preliminary Examination would consist of two papers as described below:

Paper Total marks No. of questions Duration Type Negative marks Nature
General Studies Paper 1 200 100 2 hours Objective Yes Qualifying
General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT) 200 80 2 hours Objective Yes Qualifying

The written part of the UPSC Civil Service Mains Examination consists of nine papers which are descriptive in nature:

Paper Subject Nature of the paper Duration Total marks
Paper A Compulsory Indian language Qualifying 3 hours 300
Paper B English Qualifying 3 hours 300
Paper I Essay Merit ranking 3 hours 250
Paper II General Studies I Merit ranking 3 hours 250
Paper III General Studies II Merit ranking 3 hours 250
Paper IV General Studies III Merit ranking 3 hours 250
Paper V General Studies IV Merit ranking 3 hours 250
Paper VI Optional I Merit ranking 3 hours 250
Paper VII Optional II Merit ranking 3 hours 250

Optional subjects for Paper VI and VII are to be selected from a list of subjects declared in the notification. UPSC sets and evaluates optional papers at a level slightly higher than an undergraduate learning level but below the learning level required for a masters degree.

UPSC Board Interview/Personality Test

The Civil Services Mains Examination also includes an Interview for the candidates who clear the cut-off for the written part. It is called a Personality Test and is of 275 marks. At this stage, candidates face the UPSC board that will assess the overall personality and suitability for a career in the civil services. The candidates’ strength of character, mental toughness, general interests and social traits will be reviewed.

UPSC Syllabus

The UPSC Syllabus is vast and covers the subjects mentioned in the notification in a broad manner. For prelims, the syllabus covers topics of general interest as well as basic numeracy up to class X level. Prelims exam tests the candidates on the following topics:

Current events of national and international importance. History of India and Indian National Movement. Indian and World Geography Indian Polity and Governance Economic and Social Development
General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change General Science. Comprehension; Interpersonal skills including communication skills Logical reasoning and analytical ability
Decision making and problem solving General mental ability Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level)

The Mains exam syllabus is even more comprehensive and covers a wide range of subjects in great detail. The level of learning required for the mains is typically above an undergraduate learning level. The following are the list of optional subjects for mains:

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology Botany Chemistry
Civil Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Economics Electrical Engineering Geography
Geology History Law Management Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering Medical Science Philosophy Physics Political Science and International Relations
Psychology Public Administration Sociology Statistics Zoology
Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

The subjects which are covered by the General Studies Papers in Mains Exam are:

General Studies I General Studies II General Studies III General Studies IV
Indian Heritage and Culture Governance Technology Ethics
History and Geography of the World Constitution Economic Development Integrity
Society Polity Bio-diversity Aptitude
Social Justice Environment
International relations Security and Disaster Management


The UPSC mains written examinations carry the most weightage with 1750 marks. The total along with the interview test scores comes to 2025 marks which are counted towards the merit ranking.

When the results of the Prelims are declared, candidates qualifying for the Mains examination have to apply again using the Detailed Application Form made available only to them. A notification to this effect will come out along with the prelims result. The Detailed Application Form includes the service preferences of the candidate as well as the cadre they would like to be posted in. Once the Mains result is declared, successful candidates are called for a personality test. The candidates who clear all these stages and secure a rank within the stipulated number of vacancies are asked to join their preferred service, training for which typically starts a year after the prelims exam results were declared.

More UPSC 2019 related queries

  • When should I apply for IAS exam 2019?
  • As per the official UPSC notification, IAS aspirants have to fill the online application for Civil Services (Preliminary) exam on upsconline before 6:00 PM on 18th March 2019.  
  • What is the salary of an IAS officer?
  • The monthly salary of an IAS officer in India starts at Rs.56,100(TA, DA and HRA are extra) and can go on to reach Rs.2,500,00 for a Cabinet Secretary.

          Here is the salary structure of an IAS officer as per the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in detail.

  • How can I become an IAS officer after 12th?
  • To become an IAS/IPS officer, the minimum educational qualification as mandated by the Union Public Service Commission is graduation from a recognised university.
  • Can final year students apply for IAS exam 2019?
  • Yes, if your graduation course is from a recognised university as per UPSC then you can apply for the Civil Services (Preliminary) exam in your final year of college. However, for appearing in IAS mains, you will have to submit proof of passing.
  • Which subject is best for IAS?
  • Candidates usually choose an optional subject for IAS Mains which has some overlap with the General Studies part of the UPSC syllabus. Subjects like History, Geography, Public Administration and Sociology are few of the popular choices among IAS aspirants. Here is the analysis of the success rates of optional subjects in the UPSC exam for your reference.

You can check out more information here:


UPSC 2019 Preparation



  2. I am graduate from an open university.
    Am I eligible for upsc exam ?

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