How to Become an IAS Officer?

IAS Preparation

If you want to become an IAS officer, you need to clear the UPSC CSE examination. UPSC exam is divided into three stages: Prelims, Mains and Interview. After clearing the exam, the students will have to get the training for two years for the service they got selected for. The training consists of: the Foundational Course, District Training, Professional Training I, Professional Training II. The training gives the aspirants some experience via fieldwork and visits to sites. Also, it offers them theoretical knowledge of various subjects such as Society, politics, the Culture of India, Public administration, Indian Economy.

IAS is a challenging exam, and students need to do hard work to clear the exam, and they need correct guidance and support from the mentor. Students can join a good IAS coaching institute for proper guidance and mentorship. These coaching institutes have expert faculty, and they can guide the students in the right direction.

In this article, we will be discussing: how to become an IAS officer, what is the eligibility criteria, nationality, physical standards, educational qualification, and selection procedure.

Eligibility criteria for becoming an IAS officer

Age Limit

21 years is the minimum age limit for students to appear in the UPSC CSE exam. General category students can give 6 attempts till 32 years of age while the age limit for ST-SC is 21 years – 37 years; students in this category have no limit for attempts. The age limit of OBCs is 21- 35 years, and students belonging to this category can give 9 attempts. For students belonging to the physically disabled, the age limit is 21 – 42 years.


For the post of IAS, IPS, or IFS, the aspirant should be a citizen of India. For all other services, the aspirant must be any one of the following:

  • A citizen of Nepal
  • A citizen of Bhutan
  • A citizen of India
  • A refugee from Tibet arrived in India to settle permanently before January 01, 1962.
  • A person of Indian origin who has relocated from Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and Vietnam to forever live in India. The aspirants from Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan refuge, and other Indian origin candidates from countries as stated above will be given a certificate of eligibility that the Government of India issues.

Physical Standards

Aspirants who want to get selected for the posts of All India Services will have to clear the physical test which the commission conducts, and these are the rules laid down by the Government of India:

  • They must be physically fit for performing the duties and services.
  • And along with that, an aspirant must be mentally fit.

Educational Qualification

  • To become an IAS officer and clear the UPSC CSE exam, the aspirant should have a graduation degree from any recognized University. A student in their final year of graduation can also appear for this exam.
  • Working professionals can also apply and appear for this exam.
  • Aspirants who have taken distance learning courses are also eligible for this exam.
  • Aspirants with a medical background are also eligible to apply for this exam. However, they should have completed the degree and done an internship.
  • Aspirants who have a technical background are also eligible for this exam.

Number of Attempts

Category No. of Attempts Allowed
General 06 Attempts
Economically Weaker Section (EWS) 09 Attempts
Other Backward Class (OBC) 06 Attempts
Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Until the Age limit

IAS Exam Consists of 3 Phases


UPSC prelims exam is divided into two papers that have two hours for each paper. The second paper is CSAT, and for that, a minimum of 33 per cent is required to clear the exam. On the flip side, as per the result of the first paper, the cutoff is specified, and then the aspirants are qualified for the Mains exam.


The Mains exam comprises two language papers that have a duration of three hours for each paper, and for that, a minimum of 33 per cent is required to clear the exam. This paper has essays, and two essays should be written on diverse topics chosen by you in three hours. Furthermore, general studies have four papers that have three hours for each paper. And at last, there is an optional paper, which comprises of two exams and the aspirant picks the subject.

Interview Round

After completing the mains exam, the candidate needs to fill in a Detailed Application Form (DAF), and then the interview round is conducted. The questions which will be asked in the interview will be asked according to the data filled in the form.

Employment Opportunities for IAS officer:

  • Public Sector Organisations
  • Private Organisations
  • State Government
  • Union Government
  • District and divisions of the state
  • United Nations Organisations
  • Autonomous Institutions
  • International Organisations

Salary of IAS Officer

An IAS officer gets various advantages and facilities with the salary. A junior IAS officer salary gets INR 56,100 each month, and a senior IAS officer, like a cabinet secretary, gets 2.5 lakh each month. Aside from the salary, an IAS officer gets a Transportation allowance, House rent allowance (HRA), Medical Allowance, Dearness Allowance (DA).

The Bottom Line

So, to wrap up this discussion, I hope that this article was helpful to you. I have listed all the factors which are required for becoming an IAS officer. The data of the IAS eligibility criteria and the exam structure will certainly help you clear the 3 rounds and become an IAS officer. If you want to begin with the preparation, join an IAS Coaching Institute as it will be helpful in preparation for an exam that is as challenging as UPSC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *