UPSC CSE/IAS 2020 Exam: Application Form, Notification, Syllabus and Solved Papers

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.

Every year the Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services Examination for various vacancies at National level. In order to select candidates for various Gazette posts under the Government of India, the commission is all set to invite and recruit meritorious candidates through UPSC Civil Services (Prelims) 2020 registration process, which is scheduled to be held from 12th February 2020. On the other hand, the last date to fill the online application form for UPSC IAS Prelims is 03rd March 2020. Check out complete details in the article here.

UPSC IAS/CSE 2020 Notification – UPSC has allowed its candidates to change their exam centre for the IAS 2020 session. The window to submit revised choice of centres will be operational in two phases i.e. from 07th to 13th July and 20th to 24th July 2020.

Earlier, the commission has released a Revised Annual Calendar 2020 on 5th June 2020 for new exam dates. As per the new schedule. The UPSC IAS/CSE (Preliminary) exam is scheduled to be held on 4th October 2020 and the Main exam will be held on 8th January 2021.

In the last notification, the commission has urged candidates to submit their application forms for the Civil Service Preliminary exam on time. The notice states; “Aspirants are advised to submit their CS(P) 2020 applications at the earliest, in order to avoid the last-minute rush. Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2020: Last date for online submission of application is 03.03.2020, 6:00 PM.”

The commission has advised aspirants not to wait for the closing date of the application process as there will be a heavy rush on the website in the last few days.

The Union Public Service Commission, UPSC on Wednesday (12th February 2020) has started the online registration process of Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2020. However, candidates get an opportunity to fill the online UPSC IAS 2020 application form before meeting up a deadline i.e. 03rd March 2020.

As per the official schedule (initial), the commission has scheduled the UPSC Civil Services (Prelims) Exam 2020 on 31st May 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, the exam has been postponed.

IAS Exam 2020 Important Dates

Find the below-mentioned table to check the important dates of UPSC IAS 2020 exam:

About the Exam

Important Exam Dates

Commencement of Online Application

12th February 2020

Final Date to Submit Online Application

03rd March 2020

Date of IAS Preliminary Examination

4th October 2020 (Revised)

Preliminary Exam Result

November 2020

Detailed Application Form submission

December 2020

IAS Main exam admit card

December 2020

Date of IAS Main Examination

8th January 2021 (Revised)

Main Exam Result

February 2021


March 2021

IAS Preliminary 2020 Examination Time-Table

IAS Main Exam 2020 Time-Table

The Main exam date has been revised. Now the exam is scheduled to be held from 8th January 2020 onwards. It is a 5-days exam. The detailed schedule has not released yet. Till then, check out the paper covered in the Main exam as per the previous schedule.

Tentative Date

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

Afternoon Session

8th January 2021

Paper-I Essay

No paper

9th January 2021

Paper-II General Studies-I

Paper-III General Studies-II

10th January 2021

Paper-IV General Studies-III

Paper-V General Studies-IV

January 2021

Paper-A Indian Language

Paper-B English

January 2021

Paper-VI Optional Paper-I

Paper-VII Optional Paper-II

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 The exact dates will be updated once the schedule is released.

IAS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers

IAS Exam 2020 Pattern & Syllabus

The Civil Services 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 they could so that they can take 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 as the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test). There are 2 papers in the CSAT, Paper-1 and Paper-2 both are based on the 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 the 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 the 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 rest of the 7 paper scores are counted while preparing the merit list of the candidates. The Paper-A is a language paper which is to be selected by the candidate from the 8th language schedule of India and the 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 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 2020 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 the 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 Services), IPS (Indian Police Services) and the IFS (Indian Foreign Services) 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 Services 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 the 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 2020 Application Process

The application forms for the Civil Services Examination 2020 is available from 12th February 2020 onwards, while the last date to apply for the same is 03rd March 2020. The Union Public Service Commission examination will be held in two phases- Phase 1 (Preliminary Exam) and Phase 2 (Main Exam).

How To Apply -

  • 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 the two parts, Part -1 and the 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 their basic details, like Name, Address, Mobile number, and the 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 the 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 an utmost care.
  • A candidate should upload the 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.

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 in 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

IAS/CSE 2020 Exam Admit Card

The admit card for the prelims exam will be released 10 days before the commencement of the examination, which is scheduled to be held on 4th October 2020. All the participants must have to visit the authorized website of the UPSC to download the admit card. It is advisable to the fellow participants to bring their admit cards/hall tickets in the premises of the exam center during the time of examination. Without admit card, a student is not permitted to sit in the examination hall.

IAS/CSE 2019 Exam Result

Candidates can obtain and check their UPSC IAS 2020 results on the official website of the commission. In order to check their results, apprentices need to enter their Registration Number and DOB that they have filled while participating in the UPSC IAS 2020 application process to check and download the final results. The results can be accessed by digital mode only.


UPSC IAS/CSE Exam Frequently Asked Qeuestions - Click Here.


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