The Union Public Service Commission Examination is generally held in 3 phases, the Preliminary Examination, the Main Examination and finally the Personality Test or Interview. Each exam is a qualifying exam for the next step progressively.

The date for the Prelims or the qualifying exams for 2020 has been set to 31st May 2020. The notification for this will be issued on the 12th of February 2020 with the last date for receipt of applications being 3rd March 2020.

UPSC Exam Timing

Prelims exam time

UPSC Prelims examination comprises of two papers. In general, the Morning session is General studies and Afternoon session is CSAT. The timing for the morning session is 9.30a.m – 11.30a.m., whereas for the afternoon session it is from 2.30p.m. – 4.30p.m.

Mains exam time

For the Mains exam papers the Morning session is 9a.m. to 12p.m. and Afternoon session is 2p.m. – 5p.m.

Eligibility for IAS

Minimum eligibility criterion is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized university. Check out our detailed blog on various eligibility criteria and age limits for UPSC Exams.

Application Procedure

The only process to apply for the UPSC Examination currently is by applying online at The earlier options, like applying through post, have been discontinued.

The online applications can be submitted from the time of the announcement till 11:59 p.m. of the last date of receipt of applications.

The e-Admission Certificate will be issued 3 weeks before the date of the exam and will be available for download on No admission certificate will be sent by post.


  1. Candidates need to apply online at Detailed instructions for filling up the application will be available at the same website.
  2. It is advisable to submit only single application; however, if due to any unavoidable situation, the candidate submits multiple applications then only the applications with higher RID (Registration ID) shall be entertained by the Commission and fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID. Thus the candidate must ensure that application with the higher RID is complete in all respects like applicants’ details, examination centre, photograph, signature, fee etc.
  3. Persons already in Government Service, whether in a permanent or temporary capacity or as work charged employees other than casual or daily rated employees or those serving under the Public Sector Enterprises, are required to submit an undertaking that they have informed their Head of Office/Department, in writing, that they have applied for the Examination. Candidates should note that in case a communication is received from their employer, by the Commission, withholding permission to the candidates applying for/appearing at the Examination, their applications will be liable to be rejected/candidature will be liable to be cancelled.

Candidates will NOT be required to submit any certificate in support of their claims regarding Age, Educational Qualifications, Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes and Physically disabled etc. at this stage. The candidates are responsible to check that they fulfill all eligibility criteria. The admission at all stages of the examination is provisional that is subject to cancellation if eligibility criteria are seen not to be satisfied by the candidate.

If any of the candidate’s claims is found to be incorrect, they may render themselves liable to disciplinary action by the Commission in terms of Rule 14 of the Rules for the subject


Requests for withdrawal of candidature received from a candidate after he/she has submitted his/her application will not be entertained under any circumstances.

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Payal Ghosh

Payal is an FRM and an XLRI Jamshedpur alumnus interested in things as diverse as Waste Management and photography. She has over 16 years of work experience and is passionate about writing, teaching and sustainable living. Helping students and seeing them succeed makes gives her motivation to push herself further.

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