Thursday, July 21, 2011

Civil Services Examination Preparation, Eligibility ,Process and Format of Exam

Civil Services Examination is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to the administrative services of the Indian government, including Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Postal Service among others.The exam is conducted in two phases, the Civil Service Aptitude Test, involving two objective type papers
(general studies and aptitude test), and the mains, involving a written exam with nine papers and an interview.The entire process from the CSAT to the declaration of result of the main, takes about an year.The success rate for the exam lies below 0.5%.

Civil Services Examination Process :
The Civil Services Examination is considered one of the most competitive and difficult in the world. At an average, 4 to 5 lakh candidates appear for the exam.usually, it has been noticed that many candidates after applying do not appear at the initial stage.

The Civil Services Examination is based on the British Raj-era Indian Civil Service.

Candidates must complete a three-phase process, with a success rate of about 0.1 percent of the total applicants:

Phase I: Civil Services Aptitude Test - This is qualifying test held in May/June every year. Notification for this is published in December/January. Results are published in the first half of August.
Phase II: Civil Services Exam (Main) - This is the main test, held in October/November every year. Results are usually published in the second week of March.
Phase III: Personality Test (Interview) - It is the final test and is held in April/May every year. Results are usually announced a few days before the next preliminary exam is to be held.
The training programme to the selected candidates usually commences in August every year.

Civil Services Examination Eligibility

The eligibility norms for the examination are as follows:


For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
For the Indian Foreign Service, a candidate must be one of the following:
A citizen of India
a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India
For other services, a candidate must be one of the following:
A citizen of India
A subject of Nepal or Bhutan
a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.


All candidates must have a minimum of any of the following educational qualifications:

A degree from a Central, State or Deemed university
A degree received through Correspondence Education or Distance Education
A degree from an Open University
A qualification recognised by the Government of India as being equivalent to either of the above
The following candidates are also eligible, but have to submit proof of their eligibility from a competent authority at their institute/university at the time of the main examination, failing which they will not be allowed to attend the exam.

Candidates who have appeared in an examination, the passing of which would render them educationally qualified enough to satisfy any of the above points
Candidates who have passed the final exam of the MBBS degree but have not yet completed their internship

Minimum Age for Civil Services Examination
Prescribed age limits are minimum 21 years and maximum of 30 years as on 1 August of the year of Examination. A candidate who turns 21 on 1 August is not eligible whereas a candidate who turns 30 is.

Upper age limit relaxation is provided to candidates as follows:

A maximum of three years for OBC candidates
A maximum of three years in case of Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof
A maximum of five years for candidates belonging to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe
A maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989
A maximum of five years in case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1 August and have been released on either of the following basis:
on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1 August) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency
on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service
on invalidment
A maximum of five years in case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years Military Service as on 1 August and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.
A maximum of ten years in case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped persons
The age relaxation will not be admissible to Ex-Servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs who are released on own request.

Numbers of attempts of Civil Services Examination
The maximum number of attempts a candidate can give the exam is limited as follows:

Four attempts for General category candidates and OBC category candidates under the Creamy layer
Seven attempts for OBC category candidates
To SCs/STs, there is no limit on the number of attempts.
However these candidates are requested to bear in mind:

An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the Examination.
If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he/she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the Examination.
Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.
Candidates just applied but not appeared at the exam is not an attempt.

Vacancies and Selection Civil Services Examination

Generally the number of vacancies varies every year. In the preliminary examination, the number of candidate selected for the mains is 11 or 12 times the number of vacancies and in case of the main examination, the number of candidates selected for the interview is twice the number of vacancies. For example, if the number of vacancies in a given year is 1000, and 1,00,000 candidates appear for the preliminary examination; the top 11,000 or 12,000 scorers will be selected for the mains and similarly, out of those 12,000 only the top 2,000 scorers will be called for the interview.

Preliminary (Civil Services Examination)

The preliminary examination was named Civil Services Exam (Preliminary) till 2010. The pattern of the exam was conceived in 1979 on the recommendations of the Kothari Commission. It included two examinations, one on general studies worth 150 marks, and the second on one of 23 optional subjects worth 300 marks.Until 2011, when it was revamped,the preliminary pattern was sustained with only minor changes once every ten to fifteen years. It is possible that in the coming years there can be some more changes in the format.

From 2011 onwards, the preliminary examination system is called the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). It is intended to focus on analytical abilities and understanding rather than their ability to memorise. The first CSAT took place on 12 June 2011. The current pattern of CSAT includes two papers of two hours duration and 200 marks each.Both papers have multiple choice objective type questions only. They are as under:

Paper 1 tests the candidate's knowledge on current events, history of India and Indian national movement, Indian and World Geography, Indian Polity and governance, Economic and social development, environmental ecology, biodiversity, climate change and general science.
Paper II tests the candidates' skills in comprehension, interpersonal skills, communication, logical reasoning, analytical ability, decision making, problem solving, basic numeracy, data interpretation, English language comprehension skills and mental ability.

Mains (Civil Services Examination)

The Civil Services Mains Examination consists of a written examination and an interview

Examination format of Civil Services
The written examination consists of nine papers, two qualifying and seven ranking in nature.The range of questions may vary from just two marks to thirty marks, twenty words to 600 words answers. Candidates who pass qualifying papers are ranked according to marks and a selected number of candidates are called for interview or a personality test at the Commission's discretion.

Civil Services Mains Format

QualifyingEnglish languageSingle paper300
Indian language±single paper300
RankingEssaysingle paper200
General studiesPaper I300
Paper II300
Optional Subject IPaper I300
Paper II300
Optional Subject IIPaper I300
Paper II300
Total Marks2300

∗ Note: These papers are qualifying in nature and are not used for ranking. Hence their marks are not added to the total. Candidates who fail these papers as per the Commission's standards are not eligible for the interview.

± Note: The Indian language must be one specified under the eighth schedule of the constitution

Civil Services Examination Interview

The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.


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