The Civil Services Preliminary examination is believed to be the toughest stage in the whole process of an IAS selection.

This year, the exam is scheduled to take place on August 7 at various centres across the country.

Around a million applicants fight to find a place in the top 15000 positions which makes prelims stage certainly not a cake-walk.

This exam is held in three stages: Preliminary exam, Main exam and Personality test or Interview.

First stage:

  • The first stage is a preliminary examination, which is marked by the presence of around 5 lakh candidates across the country.  It is primarily a screening exam
  • Before appearing for the examination, candidates should be well verse with the structure and the exam pattern
  • Ideally a candidate should start with basic books in order to develop a clear concept on a given subject
  • Following this, they can move on to more advanced books and other study materials for better understanding
  • It is advisable to practice mock questions for at least a month before the scheduled exam date

Second phase:

  • The next phase is the mains which is certainly a lot tougher than the prelims
  • However, you have given over-the-top performance in the prelims, but it will hardly play any role in your performance in the mains
  • In mains, the questions are descriptive in nature and an examiner need to check 400-500 answer sheets a day
  • Therefore it’s vitally important to ensure that your answers can successfully grab the examiner’s attention

More on attempting the paper:

  • Candidates should write effective headings and subheadings as well as giving better visibility with two or more different colors
  • Also, candidates should also be able to present answers adequately.  Concise writing is essential; likewise the fundamental priority should be to write what is asked of you without unnecessarily stretching your answers
  • Answers written with the help of diagrams are easily comprehensible and candidates can incisively put across your points without leaving any room for ambiguity
  • There is no doubt in saying that UPSC preparation is a lengthy process.  But, the moment one starts enjoying preparation, all the unwarranted stress and anxiety associated with the preparation will vanish
  • Not to forget to pursue hobbies in order to make preparation more fun.

The candidates successfully qualifying all the three stages will be short listed at the following posts:

  • Indian Administrative Service
  • Indian Foreign Service
  • Indian Police Service
  • Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
  • Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’
  • Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’
  • Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’
  • Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ (Gr. III)
  • Indian Corporate Law Service, Group “A”
  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade)
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group ‘B’
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group ‘B’
  • Pondicherry Civil Service, Group ‘B’
  • Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’


Source: India Today