UPSC CSE Exam (Civil Service Examination) 2023-2024

Everything About UPSC CSE Exam from Basics – exam pattern, syllabus, job profile, career growth, number of vacancies out, starting salary, preparation strategy, best books, courses and test series, admit card, result, previous year cut-off analysis and duration of preparation.

upsc cse exam - cse syllabus

UPSC CSE Exam (Civil Service Examination) Overview

Name of ExaminationUPSC CSE
Full-Form of CSECivil Service Exam
Exam Organised BodyUnion Public Service Commision
Salary₹56,100-₹2,50,000
Vacancy Notificationevery year
Notification release monthFebruary-March
Application modeOnline
Qualificationgraduation (Minimum Qualification)
Age Limit21 years-32 years
Application Fee₹100/- for GEN/OBC/EWS
Exempted for SC/ST/PH/Female
Selection ProcessPrelims, Mains & Interview
Official Websiteupsc.gov.in

cropped-cropped-logo-round.png

Nishant eAcademy
YouTube Channel

About UPSC CSE Exam

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE Exam) is a competitive exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission of India to select candidates for India’s one of the most reputed and powerful government jobs i.e. civil services positions in the Indian government. UPSC CSE Exam full form is Union Public Service Commission Civil Service Exam. Candidates who clear the exam are offered prestigious positions in the Indian civil services, including the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service, and other Group A and Group B services. The exam is considered to be one of the most challenging and prestigious exams in India, with a tough selection process and a vast syllabus.

Vacancy Notification

UPSC CSE exam notification comes out every year in the month of February/March. This Notification announces by the UPSC on its official website – upsc.gov.in. The application window opens for around 1 month in which aspirants can apply for the Civil Service Examination, Correction in their application forms or cancel their candidature.

Number of Vacancies

The number of vacancies announced for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) varies from year to year and depends on the number of posts available in the various services for which the exam is conducted.

In general, the number of vacancies for the UPSC CSE is announced after the final result of the previous year’s exam is declared. The number of vacancies can also change during the course of the recruitment process due to various factors such as resignations, retirements, and other factors.

For example, in 2022, the total number of vacancies for the UPSC CSE was 1105. However, the number of vacancies can vary from year to year and it’s best to check the official notification for the current year’s vacancies.

Job Profile after Selection in UPSC CSE Exam

After being selected in the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), candidates are appointed to various services, depending on their rank, preference, and the number of vacancies available in each service. The job profile and roles and responsibilities vary depending on the service and department to which a candidate is appointed.

The various services in which candidates can be appointed after clearing the UPSC CSE include Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Postal Service, Indian Information Service, and many others.

In general, civil servants are responsible for managing the day-to-day affairs of the government and implementing policies and programs for the welfare of the people. They are involved in policy formulation and implementation, public administration, and other critical functions of the government. They may be involved in various activities such as policy formulation, planning and execution of development programs, law enforcement, revenue administration, and so on.

The specific roles and responsibilities of civil servants depend on the service and department to which they are appointed, as well as the level of seniority. However, civil servants are expected to be impartial, honest, and committed to serving the people of India. They are required to work long hours and be prepared to serve in any part of the country, including remote and challenging areas.

cropped-cropped-logo-round.png

Quality at Affordable Prices

Post after Selection

The posts given to candidates who clear the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) depend on their rank, preference, and the number of vacancies available in each service. The following are the posts in various services that candidates can be appointed to after clearing the UPSC CSE:

Post Name
Group ‘A’ Posts
Indian Administrative Service
Indian Foreign Service
Indian Police Service
Indian Audit and Accounts Service 
Indian Civil Accounts Service
Indian Corporate Law Service
Indian Defence Accounts Service
Indian Defence Estates Service
Indian Information Service, Junior Grade
Indian Postal Service
Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service
Indian Railway Protection Force Service
Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Indirect Taxes)
Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) 
Indian Trade Service, (Grade III)
Group ‘B’ Posts
Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, (Section Officer’s Grade)
Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service (DANICS),
Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service (DANIPS), Group ‘B’
Pondicherry Civil Service (PONDICS), Group ‘B’ 

Starting Salary

The starting salary of different posts under the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) as per the 7th Pay Commission varies depending on the service and level of appointment.

Here is an approximate range of starting salaries for some of the common services in the UPSC CSE as per the 7th Pay Commission:

  1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS): Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 2,50,000 per month (depending on the level of appointment)
  2. Indian Police Service (IPS): Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 2,25,000 per month (depending on the level of appointment)
  3. Indian Foreign Service (IFS): Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 2,50,000 per month (depending on the level of appointment)
  4. Indian Revenue Service (IRS): Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 2,25,000 per month (depending on the level of appointment)
  5. Indian Postal Service: Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 1,77,500 per month (depending on the level of appointment)
PostPay ScaleSalary
Sub-divisional magistrate in District Administration10Rs. 56,100
Undersecretary in State Secretariat10Rs. 56,100
Assistant Secretary in Central Secretariat10Rs. 56,100
Additional district magistrate in District Administration11Rs. 67,700
Deputy Secretary in State Secretariat11Rs. 67,700
Under-Secretary in Central Secretariat11Rs. 67,700
District magistrate in District Administration12Rs. 78,800
Joint Secretary in State Secretariat12Rs. 78,800
Deputy Secretary in Central Secretariat12Rs. 78,800
District Magistrate in District Administration13Rs. 1,18,500
Special secretary-cum-director in State Secretariat13Rs. 1,18,500
Director in Central Secretariat13Rs. 1,18,500
Divisional commissioner in District Administration14Rs. 1,44,200
Secretary-cum-commissioner in State Secretariat14Rs. 1,44,200
Joint Secretary in Central Secretariat14Rs. 1,44,200
Divisional commissioner in District Administration15Rs. 1,82,200
Principal Secretary in State Secretariat15Rs. 1,82,200
Additional Secretary in State Secretariat15Rs. 1,82,200
Chief Secretary in State Secretariat17Rs. 2,25,000
Secretary in Central Secretariat17Rs. 2,25,000
Cabinet Secretary of India18Rs. 2,50,000

It’s important to note that the above-mentioned salaries are just a rough estimate and can vary depending on various factors such as level of appointment, location, allowances, and so on. Also, the salary structure may change over time due to revisions in the pay scale or other factors.

Career Growth

The career growth of selected candidates in the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is generally quite good and depends on their performance, seniority, and the number of vacancies available in higher positions. Here is a general outline of the career growth path for civil servants in India:

  1. Probationary period: After clearing the UPSC CSE, candidates are appointed as probationary officers and undergo training before being posted to their respective services. The duration of the probationary period varies from service to service.
  2. Junior-level appointments: After the probationary period, civil servants are appointed to junior-level positions such as Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Assistant Commissioner, or Assistant Superintendent of Police.
  3. Mid-level appointments: After gaining experience in junior-level positions, civil servants can be promoted to mid-level positions such as District Magistrate, Deputy Commissioner, or Superintendent of Police.
  4. Senior-level appointments: After gaining experience in mid-level positions, civil servants can be promoted to senior-level positions such as Divisional Commissioner, Inspector General of Police, or Secretary to the Government of India.
  5. Higher positions: The most senior positions in the civil services are Secretary to the Government of India, Chief Secretary of a State, Director-General of Police, and so on.

In addition to these general career progression paths, civil servants can also be posted to different departments and ministries, depending on their interests and skills. The career growth of civil servants in India is based on a merit-based system and can be influenced by factors such as performance, experience, and seniority.

Selection Procedure of UPSC CSE Exam

Selection Process For UPSC Civil Services Examination 2023

Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview/ Personality Test) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.

  • Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Civil Services (Main) Examination; and
  • Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview/ Personality Test) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.

Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview/ Personality Test) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.

1. Preliminary Examination

The Exam will consist of two mandatory papers of 200 marks each. Candidates who are qualified in Prelims round will be invited to the Mains round.

2. Mains Examination and Interview

The mains round will consist of a written exam and an interview/personality test. It is expected that the Written Examination will consist of nine standard essay papers Two of them will be of a qualifying sense that they are qualifying in. Marks obtained for all compulsory papers (Paper-I to Paper-VII) as well as marks obtained in the Interview/Personality Test will be used to determine the ranking of the candidate.

3. Interview

Candidates will be questioned by an interview Board who will present to them a history of the candidate’s work. The candidate is asked questions regarding questions that are of general interest. The object of the Interview/Personality Test is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The Interview/Personality Test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In general terms, it is a test that evaluates not just intellectual abilities but also personality traits, social skills and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, the ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.

Note: The marks obtained in the Civil Services(Preliminary) Examination by candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Civil Services(Main) Examination will not be counted in determining their final order of merit in this examination.

Exam pattern

Preliminary

PaperNo of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
General Studies – I1002002 Hours
General Studies – II (CSAT)802002 Hours
  1. Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions) and each will be of two hours duration.
  2. The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination also known as CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  3. The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
  4. One-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to each question for which the candidate provided an incorrect answer will be deducted as a penalty.

Mains

Paper

Subject

Total Marks

Duration

Paper-A 

One of the Indian Language

300 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-B

English

300 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-I

Essay

250 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-II

General Studies-I 

250 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-III

General Studies -II

250 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-IV

General Studies -III

250 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-V

General Studies -IV

250 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-VI

Optional Subject – Paper 1

250 Marks

3 Hours

Paper-VII

Optional Subject – Paper 2

250 Marks

3 Hours

Total

1750 Marks

 

Note: Paper A and Paper B of Mains exam are qualifying in nature.

Interview

The Interview for UPSC IAS Exam will be conducted of 275 marks, Test 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.

Detailed Syllabus of UPSC CSE Exam

Preparation Strategy

Preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. Here are some preparation strategies that beginners can adopt to start their preparation for the UPSC CSE:

  1. Understand the exam pattern and syllabus: The first step is to understand the exam pattern and syllabus of the UPSC CSE. The exam has three stages: Preliminary Exam, Main Exam, and Interview. The syllabus covers a wide range of topics, including Indian Polity, History, Geography, Economics, Current Affairs, and General Science.
  2. Develop a study plan: Develop a comprehensive study plan that covers the entire syllabus and gives enough time for revision. Allocate sufficient time for each subject and topic, and ensure that you have enough time for revision.
  3. Study from reliable sources: Choose the right study material and sources to study from. Some of the recommended sources include NCERT textbooks, standard reference books, newspapers, and online resources.
  4. Practice writing skills: The UPSC CSE has a significant emphasis on writing skills, and hence, it’s essential to practice writing skills regularly. Start with simple essays and gradually move to answer writing practice for different topics.
  5. Take mock tests: Taking mock tests is crucial to evaluate your preparation and identify your strengths and weaknesses. It helps you to manage time and build exam temperament.
  6. Stay updated with current affairs: Current Affairs is an essential part of the UPSC CSE, and staying updated with the latest news and events is crucial. Follow reliable news sources and read newspapers daily.
  7. Focus on conceptual clarity: Focus on developing a clear understanding of concepts rather than rote learning. This approach will help you to think critically and analyze the information effectively.
  8. Join a coaching institute: Joining a coaching institute can provide you with the right guidance and support required to crack the UPSC CSE exam. But it’s not mandatory, and you can also prepare for the exam by self-study.

Remember, consistency, discipline, and hard work are the keys to success in the UPSC CSE exam. Good luck with your preparation!

Best Books

Here is a list of some of the best books that can help you prepare for the UPSC Civil Services Examination:

  1. Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth: This book is a comprehensive guide on Indian Polity and covers all the important topics such as the Constitution, Judiciary, and Parliament.
  2. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra: This book provides an in-depth analysis of the Indian freedom struggle and covers the events leading up to independence.
  3. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh: This book covers the basics of the Indian economy and is an excellent resource for beginners.
  4. Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong: This book is a must-read for Geography and covers both physical and human geography topics.
  5. Modern India by Bipin Chandra: This book provides a detailed account of India’s modern history from 1857 to the present.
  6. General Studies Paper 1 Manual by Manohar Pandey: This book is an excellent resource for preparing for General Studies Paper 1.
  7. India Year Book: This book provides a comprehensive overview of India and covers various topics such as economy, polity, geography, and culture.
  8. Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Niraj Kumar: This book covers the ethical and integrity-related topics for Paper 4 of the UPSC CSE.
  9. Environment and Ecology by Majid Husain: This book covers environmental and ecological topics and is a must-read for Paper 3 of the UPSC CSE.
  10. The Hindu or The Indian Express: These newspapers are highly recommended for keeping up with current affairs and news events.

Note that this list is not exhaustive, and there are many other books and resources available that you can use to prepare for the UPSC CSE. It’s important to choose the right study material based on your strengths and weaknesses and to focus on developing a clear understanding of concepts.

Test Series

Nishant eAcademy offers a comprehensive test series for the UPSC Civil Services Examination that can help you evaluate your preparation and identify your strengths and weaknesses. The test series is designed by experts and covers all the important topics and subjects of the UPSC CSE syllabus. The tests are structured to mimic the actual exam pattern, and taking them can help you build exam temperament and manage time effectively. The test series is available online, and you can take the tests from the comfort of your home. The detailed performance analysis and feedback provided after each test can help you improve your performance and increase your chances of success in the UPSC CSE exam. I highly recommend Nishant eAcademy Test Series for the UPSC CSE exam to all aspirants who are serious about cracking the exam.

Duration of Preparation

The duration of preparation for the UPSC Civil Services Examination varies from person to person and depends on several factors, such as the candidate’s educational background, aptitude, and the amount of time they can dedicate to their studies.

For an average student, it is generally recommended to start preparing at least 1-2 years before the exam date, as this gives them enough time to cover the entire syllabus thoroughly and revise multiple times. However, this may vary depending on individual circumstances.

It’s important to note that UPSC CSE exam preparation requires consistent effort, dedication, and hard work. It’s not just about memorizing facts and figures but also developing a deep understanding of the concepts and their interrelations. Consistent practice through solving mock tests and previous year question papers can help improve performance and build exam temperament.

Therefore, it’s essential to make a realistic study plan, stay focused, and work hard towards achieving your goal. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success, and with determination and perseverance, you can clear the UPSC CSE exam.

UPSC CSE Result

The UPSC CSE is considered one of the most competitive exams in India, with a low success rate. The number of candidates appearing for the exam has been increasing steadily over the years, and the competition is getting tougher.

The result of the UPSC CSE is usually announced in three stages- the preliminary exam, the main exam, and the final result. The preliminary exam is a screening test, and only candidates who clear the cut-off marks are eligible to appear for the main exam. Similarly, only candidates who clear the main exam are called for the final interview, after which the final result is declared.

The success rate of the UPSC CSE is typically low, with only around 0.1% to 0.3% of the candidates who appear for the exam being selected for the various services. However, the success rate may vary from year to year, depending on the difficulty level of the exam and other factors.

It’s important to note that success in the UPSC CSE depends on several factors, such as a clear understanding of concepts, consistent hard work, effective time management, and exam temperament. Therefore, it’s essential to have a strategic and holistic approach to preparation to increase your chances of success in the exam.

Download UPSC CSE Previous Year Solved Question Paper

Click the below Ads to Download

The Download Button will be activated after clicking on the ads, wait for a few seconds and then back to this page.

The download begins after clicking the Ads above


FAQs – UPSC CSE Exam

How to prepare for the upsc cse exam without coaching?

Preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination without coaching can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible with the right approach and dedication. Here are some tips for self-preparation:
1. Know the exam pattern and syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the UPSC CSE exam pattern and syllabus. Understanding the pattern and syllabus can help you develop a focused and structured study plan.
2. Refer to standard books: UPSC CSE requires an in-depth understanding of the concepts, so it’s essential to refer to standard books and resources. Make sure to read and revise them multiple times to develop clarity and retain the information.
3. Practice answer writing: The UPSC CSE requires a lot of writing, so it’s important to practice answer writing regularly. Try to solve previous year question papers and mock tests to build exam temperament and time management skills.
4. Current affairs preparation: Current affairs play a significant role in the UPSC CSE exam, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest events and issues. Read newspapers, magazines, and online portals to stay updated.
5. Join online forums: Join online forums and communities to interact with other aspirants and get their perspectives. It can also help you to clear your doubts and get feedback on your preparation.
6. Self-evaluation: Regularly evaluate your preparation and performance to identify areas of improvement. It’s important to learn from your mistakes and work on them to improve your performance.
Remember, self-preparation requires consistent hard work, dedication, and discipline. Stay focused, be disciplined, and follow a structured approach towards your preparation to increase your chances of success in the UPSC CSE exam.

How to start UPSC CSE preparation?

Starting the preparation for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) can be overwhelming, but with a proper strategy, you can make it manageable. Here are some tips to start your UPSC CSE preparation:
Understand the Exam Pattern and Syllabus: The first step is to understand the exam pattern and syllabus. Familiarize yourself with the UPSC CSE exam pattern, number of papers, and the syllabus for each subject. This can help you create a structured study plan.
Choose Your Optional Subject: The UPSC CSE has one optional subject, which carries a weightage of 500 marks. Choose your optional subject wisely, keeping in mind your interest, background, and availability of study materials.
Collect Study Materials: Collect the required study materials, including books, magazines, newspapers, and online resources. Make sure to refer to standard books and study materials to develop a clear understanding of the concepts.
Create a Study Plan: Create a realistic and achievable study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Allocate sufficient time for each subject, including revision and practice.
Focus on Basics: Start with the basics and gradually move towards advanced concepts. Focus on building a strong foundation, as it can help you understand the advanced topics better.
Practice Answer Writing: The UPSC CSE is an exam that requires a lot of writing. Regularly practice answer writing by solving previous year question papers, mock tests, and writing model answers.
Stay Updated with Current Affairs: Stay updated with the latest current affairs by reading newspapers, magazines, and online portals. Regularly revise and make notes to retain the information.
Remember, starting your UPSC CSE preparation requires a clear understanding of the exam pattern and syllabus, proper study materials, and a structured study plan. Stay motivated, be disciplined, and work hard towards achieving your goal.

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!
Index