IAS (Indian Administrative Service) known as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS). It is one of the Toughest competitive Exams in the world. Being conducted by Union Public Service Commission. Recruitment is done by Officers for All India Administrative Civil Service. It was founded in the year 1858. That time it was Imperial Civil Service. But on 26 January 1950, it was named as Indian Administrative Service. It is the highest service post among the other 24 posts including IPS, IFS, etc. IIT vs IAS which is tough? You know the answer IAS exam is the Toughest Examination in India.

More than 8 lakh candidates apply for the IAS exam. From these only around 5 lakhs sit in the exam. The selection of the candidate based on their preliminary exam.
IAS Examination In India

IAS Exam Highlights

Candidates are shortlisted from the Civil Service exam every year for 20 different services. More than 8 lakh candidates apply for the IAS exam. From these only around 5 lakhs sit in the exam. The selection of the candidate based on their preliminary exam. Which follows up with the main exam and an interview. It is the Toughest Exam in India.

IAS Exam Eligibility Criteria

For appearing in the IAS exam eligibility criteria is there. The candidate who has to appear for this exam must have a degree in any subject. No problem is there for final year students as they can appear in this exam. It depends on your age. Which age you can give this exam which is important for its eligibility. Due to age factors, it is the Toughest Exam in India.

Number of attempts

Attempts are given to the candidates given upon the categories. The general category can have 6 attempts. OBC can give exams 9 times. Whereas, SC/ST category has unlimited attempts for giving this exam. But SC/ST can give exams only up to when their upper age is limit reached. Due to limited attempts, it is the Toughest Exam in India.

Appearing in IAS Exam age limit for general maximum age is 32, SC/ST maximum age is 37, OBC maximum age is 35 and for disabled maximum age is 42.
Eligibility Criteria for IAS exam

Age Limit

The minimum age limit to appear in the IAS exam is 21 years. The age limit is also divided based on categories. For the general category, the upper age limit is 32 years. For OBC category upper age limit is 35 years whereas for SC/ST category’s upper age limit is 37 years. You can visit the UPSC website for more information.

IAS Exam syllabus

For freshers, it is important to look at the syllabus of the exam briefly. Nothing should be missed from the syllabus part. It comprises two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

  • General Studies Paper 1
  • General Studies Paper 2

In both of these papers, exams will be of multiple and objective types. For final ranking marks of prelims will not count. It will be for the main exam qualification only. The main exam consists of nine papers. From these nine papers, only seven papers are for final merit ranking. In the rest of the two papers candidate has to take minimum marks as specified by UPSC. Marks in the main exam are 1750 whereas in the interview is 275 marks only.

It is an important factor in making the exam tough. Its syllabus contains a wide range of subjects. So, candidates are not able to complete the syllabus as it is time-consuming. In other exams, there are only 2-3 subjects to cover up the syllabus.

Subject in Paper 1:

  • Student’s knowledge of current affairs
  • National movements
  • The history of our country 
  • World geography
  • Social and economic development
  • Environmental ecology
  • Panchayati Raj system
  • Governance
  • Changes in climate 
  • General science
  • Art and culture

Subject in Paper 2:

  • Comprehension skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Logical reasoning
  • Analytical ability
  • Decision making
  • Problem-solving 
  • Basic numeracy
  • Data interpretation
  • English language 
  • Comprehension skills
  • Mental ability

There are more optional subjects in this. But you must select that subject by thinking. Because it depends on your subject selection. Subject selection can also make it hard to crack the exam if you select wrong subjects. This also make IAS exam tough also.

Exam Pattern

The factors which make the IAS exam tough is the pattern of the exam. The pattern consists of

  • UPSC Prelims
  • Mains Exams
  • UPSC Board Interview

To crack the exam, you have to complete all these exams first. This is not so easy. The difficulty will increase concerning the stage you clear. The most difficult in all three is the interview. The interviewer not only checks your knowledge only. They will test you in different situations. This is not so easy as you think might it be. A special kind of preparation required to crack this interview. It is the Toughest Examination in India.

YearAppliedQualified PrelimsQualified MainsAppeared in InterviewSelected Candidates
2018 1755945 801476 10246 1992 1056
2017 10 Lakh* 5 Lakh* 13366 2568 990
2016 11.36 Lakh* 5 Lakh* 15445 2961
2015 945908 465882 15008 2797 1078
2014 947428 16706 16706 3308 1236
*Such Figures and Numbers are approximate numbers

Pass Percentage

Every year many candidates give the IAS prelims exam. Only a few can clear it. We can say only 25% clear the first exam of it. The test is not so easy. Matters are the pass percentage of the exam. It is the base factor why this is the Toughest competitive Exam around the world. The main fact is that only 15 % of candidates reach the interview round. From there only 1% of candidates are there who crack the interview and selected. This figure is low. With proper guidance, you can come in this 1% of the candidate. This is a reason it is the Toughest Examination in India.

Time for Preparation 

Preparation for the IAS exam is not so easy. It takes time to understand it. To complete the syllabus for preparation. On average, it takes one year for the preparation of the IAS exam. It all depends upon the candidate’s interest. Some candidates prepare it in 11 months some take around 2 years for its preparation. The coaching class is there for this exam but it takes around one year to prepare for it. Due to the time limit for preparation, it is the Toughest Examination in India.

Preparation for the IAS exam is not so easy. It takes time to understand it. To complete the syllabus for preparation. On average, it takes one year for the preparation of the IAS exam.
IAS exam Toughest Exam

IAS Exam Coaching

As we know that around 6 lakh candidates appear for the IAS exam every year. But the posts are less than 1000. It is one of the Toughest Examinations in India, only a few can qualify for the exam. For qualifying, this exam candidates must prepare for clearing all the rounds. Due to high competition candidates are taking coaching, so they can be all prepared.

Coaching centers are there around for preparation of exam. So, Candidates take online classes and also go to classrooms for their preparation. They get the right guidance and prepare well but then also only a few are there who crack the exam. 

These above-mentioned factors tell us why IAS is the Toughest competitive Exam in the world and why only a few candidates are able to crack it. 

Talking about the two of the main exams in India IIT vs IAS. The reason given above justifies why IAS is tougher. The factors including age limit, time for preparation, and much more. Seat available for IAS is less than that of IIT seats. So, in IIT vs IAS, IAS exam is tougher than IIT. It is the Toughest Examination in India. On other hand in IIT seats are more than compared to IAS. In IIT syllabus is not that much longer as compared to IAS.

Tips to crack IAS exam

Here are a few tips which can help in cracking the IAS exam in the first attempt.

Elaborate the UPSC syllabus

Although the syllabus is huge for preparing the IAS exam. But you must ensure that you have studied all the things in your past. You must divide the syllabus into different parts according to your strength and weakness. Then must make a study plan according to it.

You must indulge in quality discussions

You must have a habit of making discussions. As it will help you to remind the current affairs knowledge. It also helps in clearing your doubts also.

You must solve mock papers regularly

Solving mock papers regularly can help in growing and knowing your weaknesses. You must solve as many mock papers before giving the IAS exam.

Do not skip the newspaper

Read the newspaper every day. Don’t skip the newspaper as it will help in getting worldwide information and will increase your current affairs knowledge also. Many questions that are asked in the IAS exam comes from the newspaper directly.

You must maintain a healthy diet and proper sleep

There must be a healthy diet and proper sleep which will help to learn things faster. Doing Late night studies can hamper your circadian rhythm. It is a must for proper preparation of the exam.

Conclusion

IAS exam is not so easy. In other words, we can say strong preparation required for cracking it. Many factors make it difficult to crack. Every year lakhs of students give this exam. Only a few hundreds of students are there. This is the reason that the exam is tough and is not for everyone around. So, if you are serious enough for the exam then give time for studies. The competition is high nowadays and it will not be easy going. As compared to IIT vs IAS also it is tough to crack IAS. As you clear the rounds it will become more difficult to crack the exam. This is why it is the Toughest Exam in India.

FAQ for Candidates preparing for Toughest Exam in India

Will there be negative marking for wrong answers?

Yes, there will be negative marking for incorrect answers. But for some questions only. The negative marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks are awarded to the most appropriate.

What is the structure of the UPSC Civil Service main exam?

It will consist of a written exam and an interview. The main exam consists of nine papers. From these nine papers, only seven papers selected for final merit ranking. In the rest of the two papers candidate has to take minimum marks. Marks in the main exam are 1750 whereas in the interview is 275 marks only. It is the Toughest competitive Exam in the world.

What is the individual cut-off for two papers of prelims?

The minimum cut-off marks for Paper 2 is 33%. For Paper 1 commission fix the cut-off.

Which stream should be selected in graduation for clearing UPSC mains compulsory paper?

Questions in the general studies paper in Prelims and Mains are related to Humanities background. But it is neither necessary nor advisable to take Humanities. Graduation should be based on your taste. It can be related to any stream. For graduation, select any stream you like to study for 3-4 years. You are free to choose any optional subject for UPSC Mains. It may not be the one you studied for graduation.

IIT VS IAS which is tough exam?

In IIT vs IAS, IAS is a tougher exam than IIT because of the broad syllabus, lengthy topics, and fewer vacancies.

COVID-19 Update | IAS Exam is the Toughest Exam

This year Covid-19 Pandemic is affecting all the things around the globe. Due to this, the previous year’s result of candidates is not published. It gave chance to the student who filled the exam this year to get extra time for preparation. As this test is the Toughest competitive Exam in the world so candidates need more time for its preparation.

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