UPSC IAS 2021 (CSE): Preliminary Exam Postponed, New Schedule, Pattern, Syllabus,

IAS Exam

UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is enshrined in the constitution of India. This constitutional body derives its powers and functions under Article 315 to 323, Part -14 of the Indian Constitution. It is entrusted with a duty to conduct various important exams, including - Civil Services Examination, Engineering Services, Combined Defence Services exam, Indian Economic Services/Indian Statistical Services, National Defense Academy Examination etc.

We will be covering one of the most prestigious exams in the country, the Civil Services Examination (CSE), in detail. Interested candidates can keep a check on any exam-related update here. Read on for complete information on Civil Services Examination 2021.

UPSC CSE 2021 Update – The Civil Services Preliminary examination 2021 has been postponed by UPSC due to the Coronavirus situation in the country. The exam will now be held on 10th October 2021. It was earlier scheduled for 27th June 2021.

UPSC IAS Exam 2020 Update

UPSC has postponed the Interviews for the Civil Services 2020 recruitment. The interviews were scheduled from 26th April to 18th June 2021. New interview dates will be intimated to the candidates soon.

IAS Exam 2021 Important Dates

Find the below-mentioned table to check the important dates of the UPSC Civil Service Examination 2021:

IAS/ CSE Exam 2021 Events

Important Dates

Commencement of Online Application

4th March 2021

Final Date to Submit Online Application

24th March 2021

Date of IAS Preliminary Examination

27th June 2021 (postponed)

10th October 2021 (New Date)

Preliminary Exam Result

To be announced

Detailed Application Form submission

To be announced

IAS Main exam admit card

Three weeks before the exam

Date of IAS Main Examination

To be announced

Main Exam Result

To be announced


To be announced

IAS Main Exam 2021 Time-Table

The Indian Administrative Service Main exam 2021 was scheduled on 17th September 2021. But now, the Preliminary exam has been rescheduled for 10th October 2021. So, the Main exam will also be rescheduled. The Main exam date is not announced yet. CSE Main exam will be a 5-days exam. The schedule will be updated here once announced.

Exam Dates

Forenoon Session (9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon)

Afternoon Session

To be announced

Paper-I Essay

No paper

To be announced

Paper-II General Studies-I

Paper-III General Studies-II

To be announced

Paper-IV General Studies-III

Paper-V General Studies-IV

To be announced

Paper-A Indian Language

Paper-B English

To be announced

Paper-VI Optional Paper-I

Paper-VII Optional Paper-II

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IAS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers

IAS Exam 2021 Pattern & Syllabus

The Civil Service Examination has 3 different stages. A candidate should clear all stages of the exam to get selected by the commission. The 3 stages of the exam are-

  1. Preliminary stage – This is merely qualifying in nature. A candidate should pass this exam to get selected for the Mains exam.
  2. Mains Exam - This is the most important stage of the exam. A candidate should strive to score as many marks as they could so that they can take a competitive advantage over other candidates. The marks scored by the candidates in the Mains exam is counted while preparing the final merit list.
  3. Interview – This is the last stage of the exam. Those candidates who qualify the Mains exam are called for an Interview by the UPSC board. The marks of Interview are also added while preparing the merit list of candidates.

Stage 1- Prelims Exam Details

The Prelims exam which was based on the recommendations of the Kothari Commission has been changed from 2011 exam onwards.

Under the new pattern, the Prelims exam is called the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test). There are 2 papers in the CSAT, Paper-1 and Paper-2 both are based on General Studies.

These Papers test the candidate’s analytical abilities and the level of their general awareness.

Some important details about the Papers


General studies – The marks of this Paper-1 is counted to get selected for the Mains exams.

2 hours

200 marks


CSAT - Civil Services Aptitude Test. The candidate is required only to qualify in this paper by scoring 33% of the marks.

2 hours


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  • The questions in both the papers are objective type.
  • The questions are in Hindi as well as English.
  • There is a scheme of negative marking in the Preliminary exam. For every incorrect response 1/3 rd. marks will be deducted.

The following topics are required to be covered in Paper-1 for the exam.

  1. Current Affairs
  2. History of India
  3. Indian Polity
  4. Indian and World Geography
  5. Economic and Social Development
  6. General Issues on Environment
  7. General Science

The following topics are required to be covered in Paper-2 for the exam.

  1. Comprehension
  2. English Language
  3. Inter-personal skills
  4. Logical Reasoning & Analytical Abilities
  5. Decision Making and General problem-solving skills
  6. General Mental Ability
  7. Basic numeracy of std. 10th level
  8. Data Interpretation

Stage 2 - The Mains Exam

Candidates who qualify the Prelims exam are further required to appear in the Mains exam. The Mains exam has 9 Papers. Out of the 9 papers, two papers are only qualifying in nature, while the rest of the 7 paper scores are counted while preparing the merit list of the candidates. Paper-A is a language paper that is to be selected by the candidate from the 8th language schedule of India and Paper-B, which is an English language paper should be qualified by a candidate. If a candidate fails in any of these papers is considered as fail.

It is advised that the candidates should score well in the rest of the seven papers of the Mains exam.

Find below the further details about the Mains exam -

Paper Name




Essay type



General Studies-1



General Studies-2



General Studies-3



General Studies-4



Optional Paper-1



Optional Paper -2



Language Paper (to be selected by the candidate from the 8th schedule of India



English language.


Total Marks of 7 papers which marks are counted, excluding Paper-A and Paper-B.



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Stage 3 - Personality Test or Interview

This is the final stage of the exam. The aim of this stage is to test the mental calibre of the candidates in the areas of - Social judgment, rational decision-making, intellectual abilities, leadership traits, capacity to comprehend complex social realities, moral understanding, the orientation of the personality of the candidate etc.

The interview board is considered to be a fair, impartial and supportive team of the jury to help candidates to expose their best intellect and talent.

The interview round of the exam carries 275 marks only, but it plays a crucial role while determining the rank of the candidates. So, the candidates should prepare equally hard for the Interview round of the exam, similar to the effort they have put in the Mains written exams. They must also groom their personality in order to appear for the exam.

IAS Exam 2021 Eligibility

Nationality –

A candidate should be an Indian citizen(for most of the services under the purview of the Civil Services examination). But for some of the Services, the PIO (People of Indian Origin) and the candidates from Bhutan and Nepal are also given an opportunity to get selected for this illustrious exam.

Find below the details of the Nationality criteria.

  1. For the IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), and the IFS (Indian Foreign Service), the candidate should be an Indian citizen. Or else, the candidate should be a PIO (People of Indian Origin) who have migrated to India with an intention to permanently settle down in India, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Myanmar, African nations of Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zaire, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zambia and the South-East Asian nation of Vietnam.
  2. For all other services under the purview of the Civil Service Examination, a candidate should be a citizen of India, Nepal or Bhutan.

Educational Qualifications

A candidate should have a Degree or Equivalent from –

  • Any Central, State or Deemed University recognized under section 3 of the UGC act of 1956.
  • From recognized Distance education or Correspondence.
  • From any Open University.   
  • The candidates who are appearing in their final exam are also eligible to apply for the exam, provided that during the Mains exam, they will be able to furnish the result/ degree.
  • Candidates who have done their Degree from Private University or Foreign University can also apply for the exam, provided that those colleges are recognized by the Association of the Indian Universities.
  • Some specific candidates like MBBS, ICAI, ICSI, ICWAI who have passed their final exams but their internships are awaited can also apply for the exam.

Age Limit

  • A candidate should not be less than 21 years of age and should not have exceeded 32 years.
  • The 1st August is counted for calculating the age limit of the candidate.
  • The reserved category candidates are given an age relaxation in the exam.

Find the details below-

Category of the Candidate

Relaxation in Upper Age Limit




35 years


37 years

PH (Blind, Deaf, Orthopedically handicapped)

42 years

J & K Candidates General

37 years

J & K Candidates OBC

40 years

J & K Candidates SC/ST

40 years

J & K Candidates PH

50 years

Disabled Servicemen General

37 years

Disabled Servicemen OBC

40 years

Disabled Servicemen SC/ST

40 years

A candidate can apply for the exam for a limited number of attempts. However, for the reserved category candidates, there are no limits on the number of attempts.

Category of Candidates

Number of attempts




No bar until 37 years of age.



Note – If a candidate has applied for the exam but did not write his/her paper, then the attempt would not be counted.

IAS Exam 2021 Application Process

The application form for the Civil Services Examination 2021 was available from 4th to 24th March 2021. Candidates are required to complete the application process through the official website. The Union Public Service Commission examination will be held in two phases- Phase 1 (Preliminary Exam) and Phase 2 (Main Exam).

How To Apply for IAS 2021 Exam -

  • A candidate should visit the official website of the Union Public Service Commission.
  • Here, they should click on the Application form link to access it.
  • The Application form will be opened in two parts, Part -1 and Part-2. A candidate should fill both parts of the Application form in a sequence. A candidate should fill the first part of the Application form and only then proceed to the next part of the Application to fill it.
  • The Part-1 of the Application form is for the registration of the candidate. A candidate in this Part of the Application should fill in their basic details, like Name, Address, Mobile Number, and valid Email id.
  • Upon registration, a candidate is given a Registration id and Password.
  • A candidate should note down their Registration id and Password and keep it until the completion of the exam process.
  • By entering the Registration id, a candidate can access Part -2 of the Application form, which is the main Application form. It will be used by the commission during the selection process of the candidate.
  • A candidate should fill all the specified columns with utmost care.
  • A candidate should upload a scanned copy of their photo and signature.
  • The Application fee should be paid along with the Application form.
  • Finally, after the successful submission of the Application form, a candidate should take its print copy for any reference in future.

Indian Administrative Service Application Fee

  • A General candidate should pay ₹ 100
  • The Reserved category(OBC/SC/ST/PH) and Female candidates are exempted from paying any Application fee to the commission.

Mode of Payment

  • It can be paid both Online as well as Offline.
  • A candidate can pay the Application Fee online through the Net Banking, Credit Card and Debit Card.
  • A candidate can also pay the Application fee Offline in Cash made at any SBI Bank branch.


In case of any confusion regarding the applications, contact UPSC’s facilitation counter near gate ‘C’ of its campus in person or over telephone No. 011-23385271/ 011-23381125/011-23098543 on working days between 10 AM to 5 PM.

Other Details

How To Fill IAS Detailed Application Form (DAF)-I?

The candidates, who clear the IAS prelims exam, need to fill the Detailed Application Form (DAF) for the IAS main exam. The DAF is a very important document and plays a very important role in the IAS Interview and during the service allocation process. It is important because the candidates mention their service preference and state preference in this form only. Based on the information given in the DAF and the IAS vacancies, the services and the state cadres are allotted to the candidates after the IAS result.

In order to fill IAS Detailed Application Form (DAF)-I online, one should need to pay the application fee as set by the UPSC. For General and OBC Candidates Fees is ₹ 200 and there is a total fee exemption for female candidates and SC/ST Candidates.

Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the authorized UPSC website i.e. as the Detailed Application Form has to be filled by the Candidates and have to submit Online.
  2. Click on the relevant link mentioning on the website.
  3. Now, enter your login credentials and starting filling the UPSC MAIN DAF form.
  4. It is necessary to ensure via candidates that all columns should be filled correctly. No correspondence will be entertained by the Commission from candidates to change any of the entries made in the online Detailed Application Form.

Documents To Submit Along With DAF Form –

The candidate should also scan their relevant original documents as listed below in 200 dpi greyscale and convert to a single PDF file up to 3 MB, before filling in the online DAF:-

  1. Scanned copy of Certificate of age.
  2. Scanned copy of Certificate(s) of educational qualifications (including a copy of recognition letter/equivalence certificate from AIU / UGC, if applicable).
  3. Scanned copy of Certificate in support of the claim to belong to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes (where applicable) Annexure VI and VII may be filled online by OBC candidate.
  4. Scanned copy of Certificate in support of the claim for age relaxation (where applicable).
  5. Scanned copy of the certificate in support of the claim to being physically challenged (along with the certificate of Disability in Dominant (writing) Extremity, wherever applicable).
  6. Scanned copy of Hailing from Certificate to show that the candidate hails from Arunachal Pradesh/ Manipur/ Meghalaya/ Mizoram/ Nagaland or Sikkim (where applicable).
  7. Scanned copy of undertaking for the candidate who is in Government service that he /she has intimated in writing the Head of the Office / Department about his/her appearance in the examination.
  8. Scanned copies of documentary proof in support of service/status/landholding/income from different sources/property held by parents of OBC (non-creamy layer) candidates.

IAS/ CSE Exam Admit Card 2021

UPSC IAS 2021 admit card will be released three weeks prior to the exam on the official website. Separate admit cards are released for the Preliminary and Main phase examination. All the participants must visit the authorized website of the UPSC to download the admit card. It is advisable for fellow participants to bring their admit cards/hall tickets to the exam center on exam day. Without the admit card, candidates will not be permitted to sit in the examination hall.

Candidates also need to carry the same identity proof to the exam centre as they have mentioned in the application form. As per a recent change, the number of ID proof will be printed on the IAS admit card. So, candidates must carry the ID proof in original for verification purpose. UPSC has done this for more transparency in the IAS exam process. The CSE prelims admit card is the sole authority letter that makes the candidates eligible to appear in the exam.

How to download IAS admit card?

Step 1: Go to the official website of the UPSC-

Step 2: Click on the e-admit card for the Civil Services Main e-admit card.

Step 3: A new page showing the e-admit card link for Civil Services main exam 2021.

Step 4: On clicking above, a new page showing the e-admit link will appear on the screen.

Step 5: On clicking above, an instruction page will open.

Step 6: Read the instructions fully and click on the yes button given at the bottom.

Step 7: Log in with the registration number or roll number.

Step 8: After logging in, the candidates can see and download their UPSC admit card.

Step 9: Take two printouts of the UPSC admit card for future reference.

Civil Service Examination Result 2021

The Commission will release the Civil Services 2021 result separately for the Preliminary and Main phase exam. The result will be released in pdf format. One should note that the marks, cut off marks and answer keys of the qualified candidates will be uploaded on the official website only after the final result of the exam is announced.

Candidates can obtain and check their UPSC IAS 2021 results on the official website of the commission. The sarkari result can be accessed only through the official website.

How to check the IAS Result 2021?

The candidates can check the IAS result in the following way

  1. Go to the official website -
  2. The UPSC Prelims/ Mains Result 2021 link will appear on the home screen, click on it.
  3. On clicking above, the "Result: Civil Services (Preliminary)/ (Mains) Exam 2021" link will appear.
  4. Click on the link as appears above, The UPSC IAS Prelims/ Mains 2021 Result will open.
  5. Search the roll number in the UPSC Result pdf.
  6. Download the UPSC IAS Prelims/ Mains result 2021 pdf for future reference.


UPSC IAS/CSE 2021 Exam Frequently Asked Questions - Click Here.


January 3, 2019