Indian Civil Service examination is the gateway to the prestigious 24 different civil service posts. This examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Indian Civil Service posts can be bifurcated into 3 different types of services

1. All India Civil Services
2. Group ‘A’ Civil Services
3. Group ‘B’ Civil Services

The two most sought after Indian Civil Services are Indian Administrative Service (IAS), and Indian Police Service (IPS). These two services come under the ‘All India Service’ category. The other two most sought after Indian Civil Services are Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS).

While preparing for Indian Civil Service examination, it is imperative that aspiring candidates pay keen attention to the type of questions asked in the previous years UPSC Question Papers. UPSC Papers are very tough in nature, as the competition for examination is too stiff. The syllabus covered in the Indian Civil Service examination is too vast ranging from Indian and World History, Polity, Indian and World Geography, Science & Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations, Current Affairs. If the aspiring candidates do not have a strong idea about the kind of questions that are asked in the examinations then they would feel lost due the sheer size of the topics that one needs to cover while preparing for the examination.

Selection to the Indian Civil Services is done through three different stages. The first stage is the preliminary stage. The UPSC Papers covered in the Preliminary stages are Paper 1 and Paper 2. Preliminary UPSC Exam Paper 1 covers the General Studies and UPSC Exam Paper 2 is the Civil Service Aptitude (CSAT) paper. The duration of both the papers are 2 hours and UPSC Paper 1 is for 200 marks and Paper 2 is for 80 marks.

The Second stage of selection in the Indian Civil Services is through the Mains Examination. UPSC Mains examination is conducted over different days, and will be assessing all the candidates knowledge levels in nine different UPSC papers. The nine different UPSC papers are Paper A - it is a compulsory Indian Language paper, Paper B is on English language. Both these papers are just qualifying in nature. Paper I is the essay paper, Paper II, III, IV and V are General Studies Paper I, II, III, and IV respectively. The last two UPSC mains exam Papers are Paper VI and Paper VII. These two papers are Optional Papers I and II. The duration of all the nine papers are 3 hours. Paper A and B are of 300 marks each and Papers I to VII are of 250 marks each. Overall in the Mains stage of the UPSC Examination, the candidates will be assessed for a maximum score of 1750 marks. Candidates who clears the mains examination will move onto the next and final stage i.e. interview stage. In the Interview stage candidates will be assessed for a maximum score of 275 marks.

In the mains stage of examination, two papers are dedicated for optional subjects. This gives opportunity for candidates from varied backgrounds to appear for the Indian Civil Service Exam. Candidates can choose any one optional subject from a range of 25 different optional subjects. It covers subjects ranging from law, medicine, engineering, humanities subjects etc. The reason behind these many optional subjects is that Indian Civil Services wants to give opportunity to different candidates from diverse backgrounds and thereby tap into the skills and varied expertise.

Author's Bio: 

Niti Sharma is a professional writer, blogger who writes for a variety of online publications. She is also an acclaimed blogger outreach expert and content marketer. She loves writing blogs and promoting websites related to education, fashion, travel, health and technology sectors.