About CSE

Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the most competitive and prestigious exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India. It is also considered as the mother of all written examinations owing to its vast syllabus and selection procedure. On average around 10 lakh candidates apply every year and the number of candidates appearing to sit the preliminary examination is approximately around 5lakh and the overall success rate has always been less than five people per 1,000 applicants.

The examination consists of the following three stages:

  • Stage I: Preliminary examination – A qualifying test advertisied in Feb-March and held in June-July each year. Results are published in mid-August.
  • Stage II: Main examination – Held in October every year. Results are usually published in the second week of March.
  • Stage III: Personality Test (interview) – held in December each year. Final results are usually announced in May .

The training program for the selected candidates usually commences the following September.

CSE Eligibility-

Eligibility for the examination is as follows:


For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate
must be a citizen of India.
• 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


All candidates must have as a minimum one of the following educational
• A degree from a Central, State or Deemed university[1]
• A degree received through correspondence or distance education
• A degree from an open university[3]
• A qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equivalent to
one of the above


A candidate must have attained the age of 20 years and must not have attained the
age of 32 years on August 1 of the year of examination. Prescribed age limits vary
with respect to caste reservations. For other backwards castes (OBC) the upper age
limit is 35, and for scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) the limit is 37
years. The upper age limit is relaxed for certain candidates who are backward with
respect to other factors and physically handicapped people

Numbers of attempts-

The number of times a candidate may attempt the exam is limited as follows:

• General category candidates = 3 Times
• OBC category candidates = 6 Times
• SC/ST candidates = unlimited attempts till 37 years of age

List of Services-

All India Services
• Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
• Indian Police Service (IPS)
Central Services
• Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)
• Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
• Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
• Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
• Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
• Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
• Indian Information Service (IIS)
• Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
• Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
• Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
• Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
• Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
• Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
• Indian Revenue Service (IRS-IT)
• Indian Revenue Service (IRS-C&CE)
• Indian Trade Service (ITrS)
• Railway Protection Force (RPF)
Group B Services
• Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (AFHCS)
• Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS)
• Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS)
• Pondicherry Civil Service
• Pondicherry Police Service