IPS exam preparation involves preparing for one of the esteemed career paths that an aspirant can choose when applying for the UPSC examination. IPS stands for Indian Police Services.

Any aspirant who wishes to become an IPS officer would also be required to give the Civil Service Examination (CSE), which is also the gateway to other two services, i.e. IAS (Indian Administrative Service) and IFS (Indian Foreign Service).

The IPS exam preparation isn’t much different from the IAS. The civil service examinations are also widely known as IAS exams held by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) every year.

Things You Should Know About IPS Exam

The examination for the IPS, i.e. the UPSC civil service examination, is one of the toughest exams held in India. The exam has three phases; first, the Preliminary exams, second, the Main exams, and the third, the personality test or the Interview. Any aspirant who applies for IPS, IAS or IFS, has to clear all three stages.

The IPS was established in 1948, and the Ministry of Affairs is the cadre controlling authority for the IPS. But to get selected for IPS, some criteria are required to meet. So read on further to know the criteria and when is the right time for IPS preparation.

Eligibility Criteria for IPS

#1. Physical Criteria

#. Minimum Height for Men – 165 cms & 160 cms with relaxation

#. Minimum Height for Women – 150 cms & 145 cms with relaxation

#. Minimum Girth of Chest for Men/Women – 84 cms/79 cms

Relaxation of minimum height is given to the candidates belonging to ST and other castes like Assamese, Garhwalias, Gorkhas, Kumaonis, Nagaland Tribals, and others.

#2. Physical Criteria (Eyesight)

#. The distant vision for an eye with corrected vision must be 6/6 or 6/9

#. The distant vision for an eye with uncorrected vision must be 6/12 or 6/9

#. The near vision must be at J1 or J2 each

#. High grade-colour vision and binocular vision is required

#. Myopia – Shouldn’t exceed minus 4.00D(including cylinder)

#. Hyperopia – Shouldn’t exceed plus 4.00D(including cylinder)

#. The presence of Squint is a disqualification

#. Permit for Spectacles

#2. Nationality Criteria

Amongst the following should be the nationality of a candidate:

#. Citizen of India

#. Subject of Nepal

#. Subject of Bhutan

#. Tibetan refugee who came to India prior 1 January 1962 for permanent settlement in India

#. Migrants from the following countries came to India for permanent settlement: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Vietnam, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire, and Ethiopia.

 #3. Educational Qualifications

An aspirant applying for the CSE must have a Bachelor’s graduate degree from any of the universities recognised by UGC or possess an equivalent qualification.

#4. Age Limit for Applying

#. The Minimum Age for both males and females is 21 years

#. The Maximum Age for both males and females is 32 years (as of 1 August in the year of examination)

#5. Relaxable Age Limits

Below is mentioned the maximum age limit with relaxation for the candidates from different sections of the society:

#. Up to five years for SC/ST candidates

#. Up to three years for OBC candidates

#. Up to five years for a candidate belonging to the state of Jammu & Kashmir

#. Up to five years for personnel of Defend Services

#. Up to five years for Ex-servicemen, including the Commissioned officer and ECOs/SSCOs, who have rendered a minimum of 5 years of military service and have been released from the duty.

#. Up to five years for ECOs/SSCOs who have finished at least the initial period of 5 years in Military Service.

#. Up to ten years for blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped candidates.

#5. Number of Attempts Permitted

Since 1984 the restriction on the maximum number of attempts have been imposed:

#. 6 attempts until the age of 32 years for General Candidates

#. 9 attempts until the age of 35 years for Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates

#. No limits on attempts until the age of 37 years for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) candidates

#. For Physically handicapped – 9 attempts for General and OBC candidates, and no limits of attempts for SC/ST candidates

When to Start IPS Preparation?

The earlier you start, the better, but it is never too late. Above, you would have read that the minimum age is 21 years, and the maximum age is 32 years for the general category. For OBC and SC/ST, it has some relaxation.

You can start as early as right after your graduation, or you can wait for some years and start when you think it is the right time.

If you are confused about when to begin studying before the examination, the perfect time is 12 to 15 months before the examination. It gives you ample time to study well with precise time management. You can also start the preparations 5-6 months prior.

IPS Exam Preparation Tips

Refer NCERT Books

When preparing for the IPS preliminary or mains examination, referring to all the books by NCERT from class 6 to 12 is vital. Most of the questions in the Preliminary exams come from these NCERT books. If someone is applying for the exams in the Hindi language, they can buy this book in Hindi too.

Follow Your Schedule

The life of an IPS officer is a lot disciplined, and it is better if you follow a disciplined routine from your preparation days. Therefore, make a schedule for every day where you have planned how much time you have to give to every subject, and in between how many breaks you need to refresh yourself.

Boost Your Knowledge with Other Sources

An aspirant’s preparations aren’t just dependent on the textbooks, but they have to look for additional sources to keep up with the current affairs. Reading a newspaper is a must for every aspirant. You can also watch TV news channels like Loksabha TV, Rajyasabha TV and listen to the debates. The internet is also an outstanding tool for study.

With these tools, you can keep track of current affairs, government schemes, national and international issues, the Supreme Court or High Court verdict, budget, economy, elections, agriculture, and many other topics.

Practice Question Papers

You would find this one suggestion for CSE preparations everywhere because it is crucial. That’s why it is emphasised so much. You can look up the question papers from previous years and more previous years. And solve them in the exam pattern, practice them with the stipulated time frame as if you are writing the mains examination. This will help you to memorise your subject and write answers fast.

Give Attention to Your Fitness

It is known that IPS also includes some physical tests in addition to theoretical examinations. Focus on your fitness, too, as you will be tested on various physical criteria as mentioned above. Include physical activity in your daily routine, exercise, play a sport and get enough rest. It will help you to stay in good health along with studying for examinations.


The right time to start IPS preparation is when you are ready to put yourself wholly into it. The UPSC preparation requires sacrifices, but the journey that lies beyond the examinations is beautiful, as one gets to serve the nation and have direct involvement with its nitty-gritty. You can do self-study, or you can join a coaching class for UPSC preparation. It depends on what you prefer, and to get the best coaching for UPSC, join the UPSC Pathshala. You can attend the free demo session of UPSC Pathshala and decide what is better.

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 When is the Right Time for IPS Preparation? Decoding this FAQ Here!
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When is the Right Time for IPS Preparation? Decoding this FAQ Here!
To get selected as an IPS officer, an aspirant must clear the same exam required for IAS and IFS. So, here is how to decide when is the right time for IPS preparation.
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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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