IAS Exam 2024 Dates, Eligibility, Exam Pattern And Syllabus

, IAS exam pattern, IAS eligibility, syllabus. IAS Exam 2024

The IAS exam (officially known as the Civil Services Examination) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. The official UPSC Notification for IAS Exam 2024 was released on 14th February 2024. Currently, IAS Exam 2023 is underway. The IAS Exam for 2024 prelims phase was scheduled to take place on 26 May 2024. However, due to the impending general elections, the IAS prelims has been postponed to 16 June 2024. IAS Mains 2024 will commence on 20 September 2024. Check the links below for more details. IAS Exam 2024 Dates. IAS Exam Eligibility

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), is one of the most prestigious and challenging examinations in India. Aspiring candidates aiming to serve in the civil services need to be well-prepared and thoroughly informed about the exam schedule, eligibility criteria, exam pattern, and detailed syllabus for the IAS Exam 2024. This comprehensive guide provides all the essential information to help you navigate through the IAS exam journey successfully.

IAS Exam 2024: Important Dates

Understanding the timeline of the IAS exam is crucial for effective preparation. Here are the key dates for IAS Exam 2024:

  • Release of Notification: February 2024
  • Online Application Start Date: February 2024
  • Last Date to Apply: March 2024
  • IAS Preliminary Exam Date: June 2024
  • IAS Main Exam Date: September 2024
  • Interview Schedule: February to April 2025
  • Final Result Announcement: May 2025

Candidates are advised to keep a regular check on the official UPSC website for any updates or changes in the schedule.

Eligibility Criteria for IAS Exam 2024

Meeting the eligibility criteria is the first step toward applying for the IAS exam. The eligibility requirements are categorized into nationality, age limit, educational qualification, and the number of attempts.


  • For IAS and IPS: The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For other services: The candidate must be either:
    • A citizen of India, or
    • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan, or
    • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
    • 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.

Age Limit

  • Minimum Age: 21 years as of August 1, 2024.
  • Maximum Age: 32 years as of August 1, 2024.

Age Relaxation

  • OBC candidates: 3 years
  • SC/ST candidates: 5 years
  • Defense Services Personnel: 3 years
  • Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs: 5 years

Educational Qualification

  • The candidate must hold a graduate degree from a recognized university.
  • Candidates in their final year of graduation are also eligible to apply, provided they submit proof of passing the degree examination along with the Detailed Application Form for the IAS Main exam.

Number of Attempts

  • General Category: 6 attempts
  • OBC: 9 attempts
  • SC/ST: Unlimited attempts until the age limit

IAS Exam Pattern 2024

The IAS exam is conducted in three stages: Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Personality Test (Interview).

Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers, both objective in nature.

  1. General Studies Paper I
  2. General Studies Paper II (CSAT)
  • Total Marks: 400 (200 each paper)
  • Duration: 2 hours each
  • Negative Marking: 1/3rd of the marks allotted for each question

Main Examination

The Main Examination is descriptive and consists of nine papers.

  1. Paper A (Compulsory Indian Language)
  2. Paper B (English)
  3. Essay
  4. General Studies I
  5. General Studies II
  6. General Studies III
  7. General Studies IV
  8. Optional Subject Paper I
  9. Optional Subject Paper II
  • Total Marks: 1750
  • Duration: 3 hours each paper

Personality Test (Interview)

  • Marks: 275

Total Marks (Main Exam + Interview)

  • Total Marks: 2025

IAS Syllabus 2024

A thorough understanding of the syllabus is critical for targeted preparation. Here is a detailed breakdown of the IAS syllabus:

Preliminary Examination Syllabus

General Studies Paper I

  • Current Events: National and International importance
  • History of India: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern
  • Geography: Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Polity and Governance: Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues
  • Economic and Social Development: Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics
  • Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change
  • General Science

General Studies Paper II (CSAT)

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal Skills: Communication skills
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • General Mental Ability
  • Basic Numeracy: Numbers, Arithmetic
  • Data Interpretation

IAS Exam Date

IAS Exam Conducting BodyUPSC
Mode of IAS examOffline
Number of times conductedOnce every year
Prescribed age limit21 – 32 years (upper age relaxation for reserved candidates)
IAS Exam – Prelims 2024Sunday – 26th May 2024 Postponed to 16 June 2024
IAS Exam – Mains 202420th September 2024 onwards (exams for five days)
IAS Tablet CoursePrepare for IAS, anytime, anywhere at your own pace!
IAS Exam PatternPrelims (MCQs), Mains (Descriptive papers)

IAS Exam Syllabus 2024 PDF

IAS Exam Pattern

The IAS Exam pattern is:

  1. Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)
  2. Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
  3. Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Stage I: IAS Exam – UPSC Prelims

Sl. No.Name of the PaperNature of the PaperDuration of the ExamQuestionsMarks
1IAS Exam Paper – I: General StudiesMerit Ranking Nature2 Hours100200 Marks
2IAS Exam Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT)Qualifying Nature2 Hours80200 Marks
  • The questions in the IAS Exam (Prelims) are of the objective type or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • There is ‘Negative Marking’ in the IAS Exam for each incorrect answer but only in the Prelims stage. The negative marking for incorrect answers will be 1/3rd (0.66) of the allotted marks of that question.
  • The GS Paper II (CSAT) in IAS exam is of qualifying nature and candidates should score a minimum of 33 per cent in this paper to qualify to the next stage of the IAS exam i.e. the Mains.
  • Blind candidates are given an extra time of 20 minutes for each paper in the IAS Exam (Prelims).
  • It is mandatory for the candidates to appear in both the papers of civil services prelims exam for the evaluation.
  • The marks scored by the candidates in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final score. It is only a screening test where candidates not securing the cut-off marks are eliminated.

Stage II: IAS Exam – UPSC Mains

The second stage of the IAS Exam is called the Mains Exam, which is a written descriptive examination and comprises 9 papers. The 9 papers in IAS Exam (Mains) are as follows: Paper-A (Compulsory Indian Language); Paper –B (English) which are qualifying in nature, while the other papers like Essay, General Studies Papers I, II, III, and IV, and Optional Papers I and II are considered for the final ranking.

Sl. No.IAS Exam PaperName of the PaperNature of the PaperDuration of the ExamMarks
1Paper – ACompulsory Indian LanguageQUALIFYING NATURE3 Hours300 Marks
2Paper – BEnglish3 Hours300 Marks
4Paper – IIGeneral Studies I3 Hours250 Marks
5Paper – IIIGeneral Studies II3 Hours250 Marks
6Paper – IVGeneral Studies III3 Hours250 Marks
7Paper – VGeneral Studies IV3 Hours250 Marks
8Paper – VIOptional Paper I3 Hours250 Marks
9Paper – VIIOptional Paper II3 Hours250 Marks
TOTAL1750 Marks
Interview or Personality Test275 Marks


  • The candidates can select their medium of writing the UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains Exam as Hindi or English or any other language listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Indian Languages included in the IAS exam are as per languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The candidates who score above the prescribed cut-off marks in the IAS exam (Mains) will get the summons for the Personality Test (last stage of the IAS exam).
  • The final ranking of the candidates is on the basis of the marks obtained by them in the Main Examination and Personality Test/Interview Round of the IAS exam. IAS Exam 2024 Dates

Main Examination Syllabus

Paper A and Paper B (Language Papers)

  • Comprehension
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essays
  • Translation (English to Indian Language and vice-versa)

Essay Paper

Candidates need to write essays on multiple topics, emphasizing their ability to articulate and organize thoughts clearly and effectively. IAS Exam Eligibility

General Studies Papers

  1. General Studies I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society
  2. General Studies II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International relations
  3. General Studies III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management
  4. General Studies IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

Optional Subject Papers

Candidates can choose from a list of subjects provided by UPSC. Each subject has two papers.

Personality Test (Interview)

The interview assesses the candidate’s personality traits, such as mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion, and leadership skills. IAS Exam Eligibility

Preparation Tips for IAS Exam 2024

Start Early

Beginning your preparation early gives you ample time to cover the vast syllabus and revise multiple times.

Choose the Right Study Material

Select standard books and resources for each subject. NCERT books are highly recommended for basic concepts.

Create a Study Schedule

A well-structured study plan helps manage time effectively and ensures comprehensive coverage of the syllabus. IAS Exam Eligibility. IAS Exam 2024 Dates

Practice Regularly

Regular practice of previous years’ question papers and mock tests enhances time management skills and boosts confidence.

Stay Updated

Keep abreast of current affairs by reading newspapers, magazines, and following credible news sources.

Focus on Writing Skills

Developing good writing skills is crucial for the Main examination. Practice writing essays and answers regularly. IAS Exam Eligibility. IAS Exam 2024 Dates

Stay Healthy

Maintaining physical and mental health is essential for consistent and effective study. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep are important.

By following these guidelines and staying dedicated, aspirants can significantly enhance their chances of success in the IAS Exam 2024. IAS Exam Eligibility. IAS Exam 2024 Dates

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