UPSC IAS 2024: Exam Dates, Pattern, Syllabus, & Age Limit

UPSC 2024

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is India’s central recruiting agency. It is responsible for appointments and examinations for All India services and groups A and B of Central services. Department of Personnel and Training is the central personnel agency in India. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Exam Syllabus is divided into three categories, namely Preliminary, Main and Interview.

Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the toughest examinations in India, for example, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA),  These exams are led in three stages; Preliminary Exam (two objective papers), Main Exam (nine papers of essay type) and Interview. The Preliminary Exam is qualifying in nature.

Latest Updates

  • The registration process for UPSC 2023 is closed now.
  • UPSC CSE 2023 vacancies have been increased from 861 to 1011 as per the latest notification from UPSC. 
  • The preliminary examination was conducted on June 5th, 2023.
  • The Main exam is scheduled to be held on September 16th, 2023.

UPSC Civil Services 2023 – Important Dates

Release of Notification  To be notified soon
Start date of UPSC Online Registration To be notified soon
Deadline to Apply For UPSC CSE 2023 To be notified soon
UPSC CSE Prelims Exam 2023 To be notified soon
UPSC CSE Prelims Result Date To be notified soon
UPSC CSE Main Exam 2023 To be notified soon

Civil Services Exam Exam Pattern 2024

  • Preliminary Examination.
  • Main Examination.
  • Personality Test/Interview Round. 

1: Preliminary Examination: The UPSC IAS Prelims consist of two papers (General Studies I and General Studies II or CSAT). The total marks for both the exams are 400. Both the sessions are held on the same day in two sessions via offline mode (pen-paper) for 2 hours each. 

The UPSC Civil Services exam 2023 (Prelims stage) comprises 2 objective type papers:

General Studies Paper-I (Used for merit rank) 200 Marks 2 Hrs
General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
(Qualifying in Nature; needs 33% marks)
200 Marks 2 Hrs
  • The General Studies Paper-II (CSAT) is for qualifying purposes and candidates need to score a minimum of 33 percent in this paper to qualify for the next stage of the exam.
  • There is 1/3rd negative marking for each incorrect answer in the Prelims.
  • The candidates have to mandatorily appear for both the Prelims papers to be evaluated. The Prelims marks are not used for Final Score calculation.

2: Main Exam: The UPSC Civil Services Exam (Main) 2023 consists of nine papers out of which two are qualifying in nature and the rest are counted for ranking.

Paper Subject Marks
Paper A Compulsory Indian Language (Qualifying) 300
Paper B English (Qualifying) 300
Paper I Essay 250
Paper-II General Studies I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society) 250
Paper III General Studies II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 250
Paper-IV General Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250
Paper V General Studies-IV(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude) 250
Paper VI Optional Paper-I 250
Paper VII Optional Paper-II
(Candidate can choose Literature as an Optional and need not be a graduate in that language)
Total  1750
  • All the Main papers have a duration of 3 hours each.
  • The marks obtained in Paper I to VII will be used in determining the final rank along with the interview.
  • Papers I-VII can be taken in either ENGLISH or HINDI.

3: Interview: The competitors who clear the Civil Services Main Exam 2023 with the chosen cut-off imprints might meet all requirements for the following and last phase of the procedure which is the Personality TestThis is an interview round with the UPSC Board Members. The total mark for this round is 275.

UPSC IAS Syllabus

Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the toughest examinations in India, for example, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA),  These exams are led in three stages; Preliminary Exam (two objective papers), Mains Exam (nine papers of essay type) and Interview.

Civil Services Exam Prelims Syllabus 2023

Syllabus for Paper-I

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization
  • General Science.

Syllabus for Paper-II

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal Skills including Communication Skills
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability.
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving.
  • General Mental Ability.
  • Basic Mathematics.
  • Data interpretation.

Key highlights for the CSE Prelims 2024

  1. The first stage of the UPSC Exam is the preliminary exam.
  2. There are two papers and both are objective in nature: GS-I and GS-II or CSAT respectively.
  3. GS-I has a total of 100 questions, while CSAT has 80 questions.
  4. There is a negative marking for each wrong answer in both exams.
  5. CSAT paper is of qualifying nature. Paper 1 is checked of only those candidates who are able to pass the exam with a minimum of 66 or 33% marks in this Paper 2.
  6. Marks of both the prelims papers are not considered for the final merit list.

Civil Services Exam 2024 – Main

The UPSC Civil Services Exam 2023 Main consists of nine papers out of which two are qualifying in nature and the rest are counted for ranking.

Paper I: Indian language – 300 Marks

Candidates should select any one of the Indian languages included in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution. Moreover, this paper is not compulsory for candidates coming for students from the states of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Nagaland. 

Paper Subject & Content Marks
Paper 1 Essay 250
Paper 2 GS 1-Syllabus: Culture and Indian Heritage, History, and Geography of the world 250
Paper 3 GS 2-Syllabus: Constitution, Governance, polity, social justice and international relations 250
Paper 4 GS 3-Syllabus: Economic development, Technology, Environment and biodiversity, Disaster management and security. 250
Paper 5 GS 4-Syllabus: Aptitude, integrity, and Ethics 250
Paper 6 Optional Paper 1 250
Paper 7 Optional Paper 2 250

General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

Subjects Topics
Indian Culture Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Modern Indian History
  • Significant events, issues, personalities during the middle of the eighteenth century (the 1750s) until the present.
  • Different stages and important contributors and contributions from various parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
World History Events, forms, and effects on society since the 18th century such as world wars, the industrial revolution, colonization, redraw of national boundaries, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.
  • Indian society and diversity – Salient aspects.
  • Role of women and women’s organizations, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems, and remedies.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  • South Asia and the Indian sub-continent; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India.
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones, etc are also important.
  • Geographical features and their location, changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and polar ice caps), flora and fauna, and the effects of such changes.
  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography are also crucial for this exam.

General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

Subjects Topics
  • Indian Constitution
  • Features of Indian Constitution
  • Amendments in Indian Constitution
  • Provisions
  • Constitutional and non-constitutional bodies
  • Government policies and interventions
  • Governance
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • E-governance applications
Social Justice
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
International Relations
  • Bilateral Groupings
  • Regional and global groupings
  • Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

General Studies Paper III Syllabus

Subjects Topics
  • Economic Development in India
  • Macroeconomics
Science & Technology
  • Dark Matter
  • Higgs Boson
  • Rare Earth Elements
  • GM Crops
  • Gene Editing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Space Technology
  • Defense Technology
  • Types of Biodiversity
  • Biodiversity and Environment
  • Internal Security Challenges in India
  • Extremism
  • Terrorism
  • Money-Laundering
Disaster Management
  • Disaster Management in India
  • PM Cares Fund
  • National Disaster Management Plan

General Studies Paper IV Syllabus

Ethics and Human Interface

  • Essence, Determinants and Consequences of Ethics in – Human Actions;
  • Dimensions of Ethics;
  • Ethics – in Private and Public Relationships.
  • Human Values – Lessons from the Lives and Teachings of Great Leaders, Reformers, and Administrators
  • Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values.

Public Administration

  • Status and Problems;
  • Ethical Concerns and Dilemmas in Government and Private Institutions;
  • Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance;
  • Accountability and Ethical Governance;
  • Strengthening of Ethical and Moral Values in Governance;
  • Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding;
  • Corporate Governance.


  • Content, Structure, Function; its Influence and Relation with Thought and Behaviour; Moral and Political Attitudes; Social Influence and Persuasion.
  • Aptitude and Foundational Values for Civil Service, Integrity, Impartiality and Non-partisanship, Objectivity, Dedication to Public Service, Empathy, Tolerance, and Compassion towards the weaker-sections.

Emotional Intelligence

  • Concepts, and their Utilities and Application in Administration and Governance.
  • Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers from India and World

List of UPSC Optional Subjects

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology Botany Chemistry
Civil Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Economics

Electrical Engineering

Geology History Law Management Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering Medical Science Philosophy Physics Political Science and International Relations
Psychology Public Administration Sociology Statistics Zoology

List of UPSC Optional Subjects – Languages

Assamese Bengali Bodo Dogri Gujarati
Hindi Kannada Kashmiri Konkani Maithali
Malayalam Manipuri Marathi Nepali Odia
Punjabi Sanskrit Santhali Sindhi Tamil
Telugu Urdu English

Key highlights for the CSE Main 2023

  1. It is a theoretical examination. In the Mains examination, one has to write subjective answers.
  2. Out of 9 papers, two language papers are of qualifying nature.
  3. A candidate must secure at least 30 percent in the Indian language paper and 25 percent in the English Language paper. If the minimum score is not achieved, the remaining papers namely, GS, Essay & Optional papers are not evaluated further.
  4. The language papers are qualifying in nature and are not evaluated in the final ranking.
  5. There are 48 subjects listed by the Commission for optional papers. The candidates have to select two papers as per their choice.
  6.  Seven papers are 250 marks each while language papers are 300 marks.

Interview/ Personality Test – UPSC CSE 2024

The dates of the UPSC 2023 personality test are yet to be released. Only those candidates are called for this round who successfully qualify for the Mains examination. Usually, the number of candidates outdo the number of vacancies allotted for that year.

Apply for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2024

  • The official notification was released on February 2nd, 2023 and the candidates could fill out the application form by February 22nd, 2023. 
  • UPSC has released a notice stating that 2 cities are added to the list of centres namely, Dharmshala and Mandi. Now the candidates can fill in the new revised centre choices in two shifts. 

UPSC CSE Prelims 2024: Revised Exam Centre Window

The information of submitting the revised choice of centres by the aspirants are tabulated below:

Date Time
3rd -7th March 2023 Till 6:00 PM
10th-14th March 2023 Till 6:00 PM

Steps To Fill the Revised Exam Centre:

  1. Visit the official website 
  2. Click on the link to change your preferred exam centre and select accordingly.
  3. Save a copy of the page for future references.

Application Fee for UPSC CSE 2024

The application fee for UPSC Civil services exam 2023 was Rs. 100 for General and OBC category students. However, no application fee was applicable in the case of Female/SC/ST/PH students.

The application fee had to be paid by either of the following mediums:

  • Cash payment at SBI branches.
  • Net Banking of State bank group only.
  • Credit Card/Debit Card.

UPSC CSE Eligibility 2024

The commission has released the eligibility criteria for the recruitment of UPSC CSE in the official notification. The eligibility criteria include Eligibility Criteria for:

  • General Category
  • SC/ST
  • OBC
  • PwBD

The eligibility criteria for UPSC 2024, General category, is mentioned-below:

  • Minimum required Educational Qualification – Graduate Degree/Final Year Student
  • Minimum age limit – 21
  • Maximum age limit – 32
  • Number of attempts – 6

Category-Wise Age Limit – UPSC Civil Services Exam 2024

Categor4 Upper Age Relaxation Age Limit
Age Limit for General 0 21 to 32 years
Age Limit for OBC 3 years 21 to 35 years
Age Limit for SC/ST 5 years 21 to 37 years
Age Limit for PwBD 10 years 21 to 42 years
Defence Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities 3 years 21 to 35 years
Ex-Servicemen 5 years 21 to 37 years

Category Wise Number of Attempts – UPSC CSE 2024

Maximum Number of OBC Attempts in UPSC 2024
Category Number of attempts
OBC (Other Backward Classes) 09
PwBD (Persons with Benchmark Disability) + OBC 09


Maximum Number of SC Attempts in UPSC 2024
Category to which the candidate belongs to  Number of attempts
SC (Scheduled Castes) Unlimited
PwBD (Persons with Benchmark Disability) for SC Unlimited

UPSC Civil Services Exam 2024 – Admit Card

The Admit Card/ Hall ticket for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2023 (Prelims) will be issued online on the UPSC official site, around May 2023.

How to Download UPSC Admit Card 2024?

Candidates must follow the steps mentioned below to download their UPSC Admit Card 2023:

  • Visit the official website of UPSC.
  • Check the notification column on the page.
  • You will see a link to UPSC Admit Card 2023 or click on Admit Card option.
  • Candidates will be redirected to a page and can fill in their respective details to download the admit card.

Details On UPSC Exam Admit Card 2024

  • Candidate’s Name
  • Parents Name
  • Registration number
  • Roll number
  • Exam Date
  • Exam time & centre code
  • Signature
  • Photo
  • Important Instructions

UPSC Civil Services Exam 2024 – Results

The results of the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2023 will be available on the official UPSC website

How To Check UPSC Result?

The UPSC written result will be released after the successful conduction of both the Civil Services Preliminary and Main Examination. Aspirants who have appeared for the examination can check their results by following the below-mentioned steps.

  • Visit the official website of UPSC – 
  • Click on the ”Written Result.”
  • Find the result link.
  • Enter your roll number.
  • Download the result and take a printout for future reference.

What happens after UPSC Main Result?

The approximate number of candidates called for the Civil Services Interview is 2,500 out of lakhs of candidates. The marks sheets of candidates who can not qualify are uploaded on the UPSC’s website within 15 days from the date of publication of the final result. It is available on the website for a period of 30 days.

Certificates For UPSC Interview

The selected candidates for the UPSC Interview must produce the original certificates in the Personality Test. The most essential documents required during the interview round are the

  • Educational certificates
  • Age document (date of birth)
  • Community certificate
  • Physically handicapped, and others.

It is also recommended to also carry the questionnaire, attestation form, TA form, etc.

Aspirants are advised to explore the call letter sent by the commission for an interview to know the complete list of documents required for the UPSC interview.

How To Download UPSC Interview Call Letter?

  • The e-Summon Letter of Personality Test of the selected candidates for the Interview will be available only on the official website.
  • Candidates who have qualified in the Civil Services Mains Examination can download their letters with login credentials under the Interview Schedule and e-Summon Letters tab on UPSC’s page.
  • These letters are accessible for at least five days before the commencement of the Personality Test/Interview.
  • In case of any discrepancy, aspirants must contact the Office of the Commission without any delay.
  • Aspirants must understand that no paper Summon Letters will be issued for UPSC IAS Interview.


UPSC CSE is the toughest examination in the world. Yet lakhs of candidates prepare for this prestigious examination every year. There are only 900-1100 vacancies for the posts.

This exam requires determination, patience, consistency, and hard work. Candidates must follow a disciplined strategy to crack UPSC IAS. Get familiar with the basics first and then move forward. This article helps you to understand the nature of this exam diligently.

We hope that the information helped you to gain clarity regarding the topic.

Good Luck!

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