Here are some important facts that you should know before you begin your journey in preparing for the Civil Services Exam: 

1. The Exam is divided into 3 stages

The UPSC Prelims exam is the first stage. The UPSC Mains exam comes next. This is followed by the Interview or Personality Test, which is the last stage of this process. Elimination is based on the cut-off marks for each stage. The UPSC Preliminary exam consists of two papers of MCQ-type questions. The UPSC Mains exam has nine papers in total which are writing-based. The last round of the  UPSC Civil Services exam is an interview with the UPSC panel.

2. Educational qualification and age criteria 

To appear for the Civil Services Exam, you need to be a graduate from a recognized university. Additionally, candidates who are awaiting the results of their graduation can also appear in the prelims exam. Secondly, you need to be at least 21 years of age to appear for the Exam. Moreover, the candidate must have attained the age of 21 years as of 1st August of the year in which the exam would be held. 

3. Wide-range syllabus

The UPSC Exam is known to be one of the toughest in the world – making the syllabus very vast and diverse. Questions are asked from an extensive list of areas, varying from subjects like history, politics, geography, public administration, economics, science and technology, current affairs, and so on. 

4. Recruitment procedure

The rank you get after having gone through these stages determines which service you will be allocated. There is a minimum rank required for every service. Generally, the IAS and the IFS (foreign services) are acquired by the top-ranked candidates. However, even if you are unable to clear this exam on the first attempt, please know that there are a lot of advantages you will have while preparing for these exams.  It is, therefore, advised not to get discouraged.

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