A General Overview: Civil Services Examination in India

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To join the high ranking officials in the civil services of India is the dream of many hard working brilliant minds of India. In general, the Indian Civil Services or ICS is considered one of the toughest Entrance exams in India since it consists of a series of screening tests which are well designed by the top minds of the country. Any candidate who wishes to join this prestigious force must start preparing well in advance and know all the necessary points to cover before they apply for this exam. This article can prove to be helpful for the ones who wish to crack this tough examination with full confidence.


The first point that any candidate should know of before thinking to appear for the examination is the eligibility criteria. To take the civil services examination, the candidate must be a graduate of any discipline from any nationally recognized colleges in India. In case the young candidate is in the final year of their studies and do not have their results published yet, the candidate can also apply, provided that the candidate agrees to submit his or her final examination certificate afterwards. No cut off mark is taken into account for applying in these tests.


Being a citizen of India is a must for all candidates if he or she wants to target the Indian Administrative Services or Indian Police Services. In case of other forces, the rules related to nationality are pretty relaxed. The candidate can be a citizen of India, Nepal or Bhutan, or also could have been a migrant from Tibet with the intention of permanent settlement in the country. The candidate can also be a citizen of Indian origin migrated from Kenya, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Zaire.

Attempts and Age Limit

The number of attempts for any general candidate is limited to four. However, for any candidate belonging to general candidate with any physical disability the number of attempts is relaxed to seven. This is also the case for candidates belonging to the other backward classes. Candidates belonging to SC or ST categories can attempt the examinations for unlimited number of times. The age limit for the candidates is 30, and the minimum age must be 21.

Subjects Overview

The primary focus of any candidate who wants to appear for the Indian Civil Services is that they should have a good knowledge of the general studies, which include science subjects as well as history and geography. They must also have a good command over English, which is the official language in use. The candidates must be well prepared in every paper and subject that is included in the examination since there is extremely tough competition among the aspirants. Out of 4 lakh students sitting for the preliminary examination, 10,000 candidates are selected only for the main examinations. A third of the students called for interview are selected for the final run.

All candidates are advised to take necessary preparation in every subject and move forward with confidence and belief.