Civil Services Exam 2021: Application form(Out), Eligibility Criteria, Exam Date

UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021 is conducted in three phases- preliminary exam, main exam and interview. Candidates who clear all the three stages of the examination are considered for final selection to different posts. The application form has been released on 4th March 2021 through online mode. The preliminary exam is supposed to be held on 27th June 2021 and the main exam on 17th September 2021. Get complete details of the selection process like eligibility, exam pattern, application form, etc from this post.

The application form for Civil Services Exam 2021 has been released now.

Civil Services Exam 2021 Important Dates

The table below presents the official dates related to Civil Services Exam 2021:

Events Dates
Availability of online application form 4th March 2021
Last date for application form submission 24-03-2021
till 1800 hrs

Admit card release date (preliminary exam) April 2021, last week
Date of preliminary exam 27th June 2021
Submission of online Detailed Application Form July 2021/ August 2021
Last date for DAF submission July 2021/ August 2021
Admit card release date (main exam) 17th September 2021
Date of main exam September 2021
Declaration of result To be notified later
Admit card release date (interview) To be notified later
Date of interview To be notified later

Civil Services Exam Eligibility Criteria 2021

The following eligibility criteria have been prescribed for the UPSC Civil Services 2021 exam:


A candidate must be either:

  • A citizen of India or
  • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling or
  • A person of Indian origin who migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling

Age limit:

The lower and upper age limit of the candidates as on 1st August 2021 is 21 and 32 years respectively. Relaxation in upper age will be given as pr the following rules:

Category Relaxation
OBC candidates 3 years
SC/ ST candidates 5 years
Defence Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof 3 years
Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2021 5 years
ECOs/ SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August 2021 5 years
Candidate ordinarily domiciled in the State of Jammu and Kashmir during the period from the 1 January, 1980 to 31 December, 1989 5 years
PWD candidates 10 years

Educational criteria:

  • The candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in order to be eligible.
  • Final year candidates whose results will be declared before the commencement of the selection process can also apply.

Physical standards:

  • Candidates must be physically fit in accordance to the physical standards for admission to Civil Services Examination.

Number of attempts:

  • A maximum of 6 attempts will be given to the general category candidates to clear the exam.
  • For OBC/ PWD candidates, the number of attempts is limited to 9 and is unlimited for SC/ ST candidates

Civil Services Exam Application Form 2021

The candidates will be able to fill the application form for the Civil Services Exam 2021 through online mode. The application form is going to release by 10th Feb 2021 February 2021 on the official website of UPSC

  • Candidates will have to provide their basic personal details, qualifying exam details, contact details, etc into the application form.
  • Scanned copies of photograph and signature of the candidate should also be uploaded in the application form.
  • Choice for exam city and for optional paper should be provided into the application form.
  • Application form, complete and correct in all manners, can then be submitted online along with the prescribed application fee.
  • The applicants are suggested to keep a hard copy of the submitted application form with them in case of future reference.

Application fee:

  • The application fee for the civil services exam will be Rs. 100/-. Female/ SC/ ST/ PWD candidates are exempted from the payment of application fee.
  • Candidates can pay the application fee through debit card/ credit card/ SBI net banking or by depositing cash in any branch of SBI.

Detailed Application Form

  • Candidates who clear the preliminary exam need to fill a Detailed Application Form (DAF) providing the important details as asked.
  • Choice for the services for which they want to be considered for should be given into the DAF only.
  • After providing the required information, the candidates can submit their forms online.
  • An application fee of Rs. 200/- should also be submitted along with the form.

Exam Pattern for Civil Services Exam 2021

The exam pattern overview for UPSC Civil Services is provided below:

For preliminary exam:

  • Mode of exam: Offline mode
  • Number of papers: 2- Paper I and Paper II
  • Duration of exam: 4 hours
  • Question paper language: English & Hindi
  • Type of question: Objective type
  • Total marks: 200 (each paper)
  • Negative marking: One-third of the marks assigned will be deducted for every wrong answer
Paper Maximum marks Duration
Paper I 200 2 hours
Paper II 200 2 hours
Total 400 4 hours


For main exam:

  • Mode of exam: Offline mode
  • Duration of exam: 3 hours (each paper)
  • Question paper language: English & Hindi (other than the language papers)
  • Type of question: Descriptive type
Paper Topics Maximum marks
Qualifying Papers
Paper A Any Indian language as opted by the candidate 300
Paper B English 300
Papers for counting merit
Paper I Essay 250
Paper II General Studies I 250
Paper III General Studies II 250
Paper IV General Studies III 250
Paper V General Studies IV 250
Paper VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
Paper VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
Sub total       ——— 1750
Personality Test       ——— 275
Grand total       ——— 2025

Civil Services Exam 2021 Syllabus

Check out the detailed syllabus for the UPSC Civil Services 2021 exam below:

Part A (Preliminary Examination):

  • Paper I: Indian and World Geography, Sustainable Development, Climate Change, General Science, Indian National Movement, Current Events, Indian Polity, etc
  • P:aper II: Comprehension, Mental Ability, Decision Making & Problem Solving, Basic Numeracy, Interpersonal Skills, Logical Reasoning & Analytical Ability, etc

Part B (Main Examination):

  • Paper I: Essays on multiple topics will be given. Candidates should keep close proximity to the subject of the essay, arrange their ideas in orderly fashion and write concisely.
  • Paper II: Indian Culture, Modern Indian History, World’s Physical Geography, Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism, Post-Independence Consolidation, etc
  • Paper III: Indian Constitution, Statutory, Regulatory & Various Quasi-Judicial Body, Poverty & Hunger, Human Resources, Important International Institutions, etc
  • Paper IV: Government Budgeting, Land Reforms in India, Effects of Liberalization on Economy, Science & Technology, Security Challenges, Conservation, Environmental Pollution, etc
  • Paper V: Ethics & Human Interface, Aptitude & Foundational Values for Civil Service, Emotional Intelligence, Probity in Governance, Attitude, etc
  • Paper VI & VII: The syllabi will be from the optional subject selected by the candidates. Details of the syllabi can be found on the website

List of optional subjects

Physics Chemistry Botany Zoology
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science Mechanical Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Political Science and International Relations
Electrical Engineering Geography Geology History
Law Management Mathematics Civil Engineering
Medical Science Philosophy Anthropology Economics
Statistics Public Administration Sociology Psychology
Agriculture Literature


Civil Services Exam Admit Card 2021

  • The admit card for appearing in the civil services exam can be downloaded from the official website of UPSC.
  • Admit card will be released separately for the preliminary exam and the main exam.
  • A printout of the admit card along with a photo identity proof should be carried to the exam centre on the day of exam.
  • No candidates will be allowed to appear for the exam in the absence of these documents.
  • Applicants should keep the admit card safe till the whole selection process is over. No duplicate admit card will be issued in case of loss or damage.

Civil Services Exam Result 2021

  • Result of both preliminary and main exam will be declared through online mode on the website
  • Candidates who clear preliminary exam will be shortlisted for main exam and after clearing main exam, they will ne shortlisted for interview round.
  • After clearing the interview successfully, the candidates will be considered for final selection.
  • Now, based on the choice provided by the candidates in the DAF, services will be allotted to them.

Civil Services Exam 2021 FAQs

Can I apply for the exam through offline mode?

No, the application form for civil services exam will only be released through online mode.

What if I am not able to download my admit card?

In case of any problem in downloading the admit card, the candidates should immediately contact the Commission’s office.

How do I get exam center of my choice?

The exam center will be allotted on first-come first-serve basis. So, to get an exam center of your choice, it is recommended that you submit your application as soon as possible.

If I appeared for preliminary exam but wasn’t shortlisted for the main exam, will it be counted as attempt?

Yes. An attempt at the preliminary exam will also be counted as an attempt at the civil services exam.

Whom should I contact in case of any query?

In case of any guidance, the candidates can contact UPSC’s Facilitation Counter near gate ‘C’ of its campus in person or over Telephone No. 011-23385271/ 011-23381125/ 011-23098543 on working days between 10.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs.

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