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FAQs on IAS – Beginners Questions about IAS Exam Answered


Success in the toughest and arduous exam in the country for the coveted positions in the administration services is in the wishlist of the many. So the preparation for the IAS entrance exam conducted by the UPSC required an all-around knowledge of myriad topics of varied nature. The topics can range from subject concentrated to general such as current affairs and General awareness. Considering the elaborate syllabus and the difficulty level of the IAS entrance exam most students are on a constant lookout for trustworthy resources to guide them on the strategies to ace the exam.
Before starting your preparation for the IAS Exam, it is advisable to have all your queries answered.Some of the common queries that an IAS aspirant has before the exams are :

1.When is IAS conducted and who conducts it?

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.The exam is held in three phases. Officially, these are considered as two stages: Preliminary and Main. The third phase – Interview – is considered a part of the Main exam only.

  • The Preliminary exam is held in the month of May or June every year. It’s a one-day exam with two papers, held in two slots: morning and evening.
  • The Main written exam generally takes place in the months of October and November every year. There are 9 papers and the examination schedule can vary from 4 days to more than a month for different candidates,depending on the subjects by them. The Interview is scheduled in the months of March and April. Sometimes, the interviews may extend to the month of May.

2. Which is better career between IIT/IIM professor vs IAS/IPS?

Both of them offer lucrative career options and the following top points can make you decide on your career:
For a structured analysis, one has to compare the two types of jobs- IIT/ IIM Professors and IAS/IPS on certain common parameters. Depending on one’s preferences, one would be able to take a call.

i) Getting in – The selection for IAS/ IPS is extremely competitive with more than 10 lakh candidates vying for less than 400 posts of IAS/ IPS officers. On the other hand, the IITs/ IIMs have many vacant teaching positions and recruitment remains open all year round (at least in IITs). If one has academic bent and right credentials, getting into an IITs/ IIMs, in my opinion, would not be as tough as getting into IAS/ IPS.
ii) Job Security – Both the jobs are extremely secure and would score equally on that parameter.
iii) Pay – The pay scale in both the jobs is almost similar.
iv) Perquisites – The very nature of the job of IAS/ IPS officers expects them to be amply equipped with supporting paraphernalia which could be considered essential perquisites of the job. IAS/ IPS would score quite higher on this parameter.
v) Legal income beyond pay – Unlike IAS/ IPS officers who are prohibited to have any legal side income from other than prudent investments of their earnings. On the other hand, IIT/ IIM Profs are motivated to work with private enterprise to provide the consultancy and get paid for it.

3. Which optional subject should I choose in UPSC ?

The choice of the subject should take into consideration the following points:

The subject should-

  • Excite you
  • Make you know more about it
  • Should not be boring or monotonous
  • Make you think out of the box
  • Have books available easily

4. What are the most common questions asked during Interviews in the UPSC?

Appearing for the interview round after clearing the preliminary and mains of UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) IAS exam is a nightmare for many. It is the round after which the final decision regarding your recruitment is taken by the commission. Better known as the ‘personality assessment round’, most of the questions are framed in a manner, which would make a candidate’s answers reflect his personality and speak volumes about it.

The panel will be judging you on the basis of your promptness in answering the questions and the way you deal or react to a particular given situation or crisis. Just keep in mind that this is no ordinary interview and every sentence, every word you say will be a reflection of your outlook and your mindset. Be careful with what you say because questions may be created even from the answers you give.
So as to help the budding elite services officers in polishing their knowledge regarding the interview round, we bring before you a list of most frequently asked types of questions:

Q 1. What if one morning you woke up and found that you were pregnant?

A. Girl: I will be very excited and take an off, to celebrate the good news with my husband.

Q 2. Twins(Adarsh and Anupam) were born in May but their birthday is in June. How’s this possible?

A. May is the name of the town.

Q 3. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in the other hand, what would you have?

A. Very large hands.

5.What is the eligibility criteria for IAS EXAM PREPARATION?


Any degree (graduation).
From any of the Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India.
or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament.
or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.or possess an equivalent qualification.

Note: Final year students can also apply.


The minimum age to appear for IAS Exam is 21 years. This means that the candidate must have at least 21 years of age on 1st August of that given year when the exam is held. For example, if the candidate is appearing for 2019 prelims, he/she should be above 21 years of age by Aug 1, 2019.

Upper age limit for General category: 32 years.
Upper age limit for OBC: 35 years.
Upper age limit for SC/ST: 37 Years.

Upper age limit for Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof: 35 years.
Upper age limit for Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service: 37 years.
Upper age limit for blind, deaf-mute and Orthopaedically handicapped persons (general category): 42 years.


The number of attempts for IAS exam: General Category: 6 attempts till 32 years of age.
The number of attempts for IAS exam: OBC: 9 attempts till 35 years of age.
The number of attempts for IAS exam: SC/ST: unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.

6.What is the perfect age to start preparing for the IAS exam?

There is no perfect age to start preparing for the IAS or to became IAS. But yes, from the available statistics, it is clear that most of the IAS aspirants start preparing right after their graduation at the age of 21 or 22 years. But even then, there are many of you who feel inspired later on in life to join the public service and wish to start preparing after 26 or 28 years. No harm in this as well as there are many success stories of older aspirants who have cleared the civil services after crossing 30 years of age.
Your academic focus changes at different stages of your education. So if you’re in school right now, you need and should focus on your school studies and not get into full-time IAS preparation mode. If you’re in graduation, again, you will need to concentrate on your graduation rather than worry unnecessarily about choosing the Mains optional at this stage. Only thing is, IAS preparation should be a secondary task for you and your school or college studies should be your foremost focus.

7.What is best way to crack the Civil Services Exam?

Dedicated three months preparation which would cover my static portion of mains syllabus as well as current affairs till prelims exam for GS.
Last five year question papers as guide to understand which type of questions UPSC is asking. For example reports by world organisations , space programs, missiles, national parks, biosphere reserves etc are frequently asked now.
Reading selected standard books and their frequent revision.
Followed InsightonIndia daily quizzes, Daily current affairs, Vision monthly, PT 365 and Insight revision tests.
Revising the above as many times as possible.

8. Which newspaper I shall follow for the IAS Exam Preparation?

The Hindu: If you’re daily follower of NATIONAL DAILYS for longer period then this the one you’re hunting for.

If you’re into this then you should go for THE INDIAN EXPRESS holistically and then switch to the GODFATHER – THE HINDU.

But one personal to noobies that dont read it from word-to-word just be selective regarding the content otherwise it’ll eat huge chunk of your time and for surely make notes out of that.

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