Every UPSC exam aspirant dreams to become an IAS officer. But do you know there are different types of posts in the Indian Administrative Service? At the initial stage of an IAS career, one gets hired for the sub-divisional magistrate position. The candidates are new and young in the field. This post allows them to gain as much experience as they can. After gaining eight to ten years of experience, they are promoted to the district level post, i.e., District magistrate. At the last level come the posts like the deputy secretary, joint secretary, additional secretary or cabinet secretary.

Cabinet secretary is the senior-most and highly honoured post in the book of Indian civil services. The seats are limited and the candidate should be highly qualified and experienced. Not to mention, they should be in the know of the political climate of the country.

Read the article to get information on how to become cabinet secretary.

The Very Beginning of the Journey to Become a Cabinet Secretary

We guess you know what the beginning of the journey is like, UPSC preparation. Every year UPSC exams are conducted in which thousands of students appear. Roughly, hundreds of candidates get selected for the Indian Administrative Services. This indicates how steep the competition is. But don’t worry, we have something which will prepare you for taking the best shot to success. Keep reading to know-how!

UPSC Exams are Taken in Three Stages

Stage One 

Prelims – Objective type questions are asked in the preliminary examination. This stage is divided into two papers:

#1. Paper – I: General knowledge of the candidate is tested through questions from various topics, such as Indian national movement and Indian history, national and international current affairs, physical geography, Indian politics and government, environmental science and ecology.

#2. Paper-II: This paper tests the basic and general ability of the candidate, such as comprehension skills, numerical ability, mental ability, analytical ability and logical reasoning, communication skills, and problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Also Read: Difference between UPSC and State PSC Syllabus: Some Tips to Prepare well for UPSC and State PSC

Stage Two

Mains – This is the most important stage of the UPSC exam. The Mains are descriptive, with a total of nine papers. Paper one is an essay-based test. Paper two consists of questions from geography, Indian history and heritage. In Paper three, questions related to Indian constitutional bodies and polity and International relations. Questions from the subjects of disaster and security management are asked in paper four. Paper five includes aptitude and ethics related to the question. Paper six and seven are optional. Paper eight and paper nine are language papers.

Stage Three 

Stage three is a nerve-racking interview conducted by the board members of the UPSC. The interviewers ask a series of questions to test the candidates’ personality traits to decide if they are the right fit for the job. The interview is unbiased and is conducted under strict discipline and surveillance.

It’s not easy to crack the three stages together. Many aspirants clear one stage and fail to clear another even after preparing hard, the reason being the lack of good sources and strategy. Having an appropriate plan of study and guidance makes it easier to sail through the UPSC exams.

9 Tips and Strategies to Prepare Effectively for UPSC

#1. Collect your resources, such as books, practise test papers and online materials. This helps in defining a study portion for a particular subject. Try to find a personal mentor to guide you with your preparation.

#2. Prepare a weekly or monthly goal. Analyse what you need to study first and set your goals according to the priority.

#3. Plan your day according to the weekly or monthly goal. Try to complete the study target within the stipulated timeline.

#4. Proper time management is a must. You should stick to the routine and be consistent, and that doesn’t mean studying all day!

#5. Start your day by reading the newspaper. Sound knowledge of current affairs is crucial to qualifying for the UPSC exams.

Some more Tips

#6. Reward yourself after completing each goal. You’ll feel refreshed and happy. Staying happy will leverage your UPSC preparation.

#7. Practice previous question papers daily and give mock tests regularly. There is a time limit, and it’s essential to become quick in answering!

#8. Eat healthy, do physical activities. Remember, if your mental and physical health is not sound, even studying 24/7 will not make it happen.

#9. Last, be disciplined. Sticking to the routine is the key to success.

But Why Focusing on Exam Preparation can Help me to Become a Cabinet Secretary?

If you follow the above tips honestly, you’ll clear the first step of becoming a cabinet secretary. Mind that building a foundation first will only lead you to the top-most post of the service. And this foundation is built by handling the pressure of exams because they want you to adopt that in your lifestyle. The reason, Cabinet Secretary jobs are not easy-going. They have a lot on their plate to serve the nation. Regular meetings with ministers, managing events all around their area comes with a lot of pressures.

When will I become the Cabinet secretary?

After going through all the phases and clearing it with flying colours, you’ll get posted as SDM, and there, your IAS journey will begin. Speaking of cabinet secretary, it will take a long period and consistent hard work to reach there as it is the senior-most post of IAS. Around 30 to 35 years of service can bring this job on your plate. Even the youngest Cabinet secretary, Rajiv Gauba, was 60 years old when he joined the post! Along with that, the seats are limited in number, so if you are not deemed to be highly capable of managing the administration of the Indian Government, chances are less.

Also Read: IAS vs PCS: Which is Best IAS or PCS? What should you choose?

How are Cabinet Secretaries Celected?

The process is not fixed. Often based on the relation of the officer with the prime minister, one can get selected. Recommendation from other cabinet secretaries could help too. Though in recent years, a more formal way of selecting has been used. The prime minister himself takes the interview of several candidates.

This process is supervised by the first civil service commissioner. They make sure the recruitment of candidates is not biased and is according to the 2010 Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.

Work of Cabinet secretary

They work directly under the prime minister. They inform the activities of all ministers and departments to high profile people of India such as the Vice president, president and prime minister. They are a bridge between politics and Indian administrations. The salary of a cabinet secretary is Rs 2,50,000.


The first and the most important step for heading towards the post of cabinet secretary is the UPSC exams. If you dream of serving the country, roll up your sleeves for UPSC preparation because there is no other way around!

Roll Up Your Sleeves With UPSC Pathshala

As you read the article about how to become a cabinet secretary, it is very clear that if you are dreaming of it to earn, you must start the UPSC preparation. With UPSC Pathshala personalised courses and expert mentors, you will be able to get closer to your dream. Remember, no one can make you ace the exam but you; with our guidance, you’ll be able to learn things more quickly. The mentors will help you clear your doubts, keep track of your preparation curve and correct your mistakes.

Just have a look at the free demo class to get a taste of our teaching methods. Thousands of students made it through, and who knows, you can be the next!

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How to Become a Cabinet Secretary? Here is the Road Map to Reach There
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How to Become a Cabinet Secretary? Here is the Road Map to Reach There
Every UPSC exam aspirant dreams to become an IAS officer. But do you know there are different types of posts in the Indian Administrative Service?
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About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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