Getting into one of India’s elite government services is what every student may think about at some point in life. And why not? The reputation and stature that begets are both inspiring and encouraging.

But the question arises, how to become an IPS officer after 12? Well, this article will answer all your questions about how to become an IPS officer in India.

We will attempt to answer what to study to become an IPS officer, IPS salary, whether you need extra coaching, which books to study, what routine to follow, etc.

What is an IPS Officer?

The Indian Police Service was integrated into the Indian system in 1948 after Independence. The IPS division that we see today replaces the Indian Imperial Police set up by colonial rule.

The Constitution of India mentions three prestigious services, and IPS are one of them. This further inspires the young generation to know how to become an IPS officer after 12th. With great honour and pleasure, we are writing this guide for you and encourage you to follow your dream of becoming an IPS officer.

An Indian Police Service officer has several responsibilities in the law enforcement and public safety domain. He/she is the person who will lead several police stations and, at one point, also head the entire district or even rise to the position of the Inspector General.

Also Read : How to Become a CBI Officer in India? Check-out the Basics of Joining the CBI

How and Where to Begin after the 12th?

To become an IPS officer, you need to enter the annual UPSC exam. Within the purview of this paper, there are three stages, Preliminary, Mains, and the Interview. But you need first to become eligible to fill out the form. The eligibility is 21 years, Indian Citizenship, and graduate.

Only after passing all three stages of the UPSC exam can you become an IPS officer and become a part of the elitist service. Right after the 12th standard, you can take any stream that interests you. It can be arts, commerce, sciences, and anything else.

However, if you are firm on your decision to become a part of the Indian Police Service, it is best to choose the subjects that are a part of the UPSC syllabus. These subjects are:

  • History (up to 12th standard)
  • Sciences (up to 10th)
  • Political Science (up to 12th)
  • Geography (up to 12th)
  • Economics (up to 12th)

Optional Subjects

These are the main subjects, and under these, there are various other subjects you must be aware of. For instance, Environment Studies, Security, Cyber Security, Disaster Management, World History, Ancient History, International Relations, and so on.

That is why you might find that many students opt for humanities and also major in one of these subjects. This will help you in the mains exams wherein you have to give written tests for 3 to 4 days straight in the morning and evening.

Let’s discuss these papers in some detail, and you will get a clear picture of what to study to become an IPS officer.

Paper Pattern

In the preliminary exam, there are two types of MCQ-based question papers,

  1. General Science
  2. CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test

The General Science paper contains 100 MCQs of 2 marks each. These questions are set from a wide range of subject matter, including current affairs and other academic subjects you see above.

Under the current affairs, a question from any regional, national, or international event can come. That is why you might have heard some students advising you to start reading the newspaper early on.

This is because a newspaper is the best method to stay updated with national and global news events. However, the UPSC exam does not stick to the news events per se. It goes beyond the news and asks you to analyze the situation and understand the entire story behind it.

This is an essential aspect of how to become an IPS officer in India, so read carefully.

Also Read : Political Science Optional Subject for UPSC 2021: The Essential Guide to Crack UPSC 2021

Current Affairs Question Example

To give you an example, assume that there was an international event about the ethnic identities of every country. And from India, one of the tribal community’s native skill or talent was showcased there.

The way UPSC might approach this question in the prelims is manifold.

  • They can ask you about the tribal community, their history, composition, region, culture, etc.
  • They can ask you about the talent or skill showcased at the event.
  • They can ask you about the event itself. Its inception, motive, participants, previous year destinations, and so on.

In the mains exam, the same question might come in a form where you have to explain or elucidate on India’s participation and what it means for that community and the Indian representation in the future.

Get the Point?

That is how you must approach every aspect, and that is how you do IPS after 12th. The journey from the 12th standard to sitting in the exam to become an IPS officer might belong, but it is a learning experience, and it changes your mindset entirely.

In the mains exam, you will have to give four GS papers carrying 250 marks each. Then you have one essay paper of 250 marks, one English and one vernacular language paper (you can choose any language), both carrying 300 marks each and these are only qualifying exams.

Lastly, there are two papers from your chosen optional subject carrying 250 marks each.

Is There a Particular Subject to Focus on?

Not necessarily. Yes, for the main exams, you need to focus on one of the subjects, but that does not mean that you can do less work with others. You must understand that it is not only about how to become an IPS officer after 12th because “becoming” comes later.

Right now, you have to focus on the process and learn as you grow and grow as you learn. The IPS full form is Indian Police Service, so concentrate on India all the aspects that will help you know more about your country.

This exam is about knowing how ready you are to become a part of the Indian governance system and how much do you know about it in its entirety. There is a famous saying in the UPSC exam preparation community, that “you don’t have to know everything about one thing, but you have to know something about everything.”

The Perks of Becoming an IPS Officer

Do you know what the IPS officer salary is? You will start on INR 56,100 as the Deputy Superintendent of Police, and by the time you will reach the rank of Director General of Police, your salary will be INR 2,25,000 per month as stated by the 7th Pay Commission.

Furthermore, there are many benefits attached to your post, including government-provided accommodation, daily allowances, and other utilities.

How to Become a Police Officer in India?

Well, be it an IPS or a constable, serving your country in a police officer’s capacity is honourable. To become a police officer, you do not only have to focus on the academics part, but also ensure physical fitness.

You have to pass physical exams, but before that, let’s have a look at the eligibility criteria:

  • Height: Men (165 cm) and Women (150 cm)
  • Chest: Male (84cm) and Female (79cm)
  • Eyesight: For your Good eye (6/6 or 6/9) and the worst eye (6/12 or 6/9)
  • Age: 21 to 32 years for the general category students.
  • OBC and ST students age: 35 Years for OBC and 37 years for SC/ST.

There is also a limit of 6 attempts to sit in the UPSC exam. In a nutshell, the answer to how to become an IPS officer after 12th is simple.

  1. Start preparing early on and be consistent in your studies. Expand your learning and digest more information.
  2. When you reach 21 years of age, fill the online form, which will cost only INR 100 (also, there is no fee for the reserved category students)
  3. Clear the Preliminary, Mains, and Interview exams.
  4. Undergo a formal training course.
  5. Start working as a Deputy Superintendent of Police or DSP.


Becoming an IAS officer is one of the most prominent achievements of all. The journey may seem overwhelming, but getting through the tough phases is what UPSC Pathshala helps aspirants to do. Our courses and mentors constantly endeavour to see you become an IAS officer of India. Visit our website to know more about the current offers, courses, and other relevant content.

Also Read : IAS Topper Study Time-table: What was the Time Table of Successful UPSC Toppers?

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How to Become IPS Officer after 12th? What to Study to Become an IPS Officer?
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How to Become IPS Officer after 12th? What to Study to Become an IPS Officer?
Want to know how to become an IPS officer after 12th? Follow this quick guide to know about the Indian Police Service and how to become a part of it.
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