How to Become IAS Officer After 12th?

By Balaji

Updated on: March 21st, 2023

How to become IAS officer after 12th? The minimum qualification required to become an IAS officer is graduation. To be a part of the elite civil service at a very young age, candidates must have a degree from a recognized university to appear for the exam. However, starting the UPSC preparation after 12th is the right decision if you have decided to become a civil servant.

If you start preparation early, then there is a big chance that you can crack the exam on your very first attempt. In addition, clearing the IAS exam early will take you a long way in your career, and you may become the Cabinet Secretary. For those who don’t know, Cabinet Secretary is the highest among UPSC posts in India. In this article, we will explain how to become IAS officer after 12th and be a part of the most prestigious service in the country.

Table of content

  • 1. How to Become IAS Officer After 12th? (more)
  • 2. Expert Tips to Become an IAS Officer (more)
  • 3. Step-By-Step Process to Start UPSC Preparation (more)
  • 4. Which Course is Best for UPSC after 12th? (more)

How to Become IAS Officer After 12th?

Before beginning your IAS Exam preparation, candidates should take note of the UPSC Eligibility criteria here to know how to become an IAS officer after 12th.

Nationality: A candidate must be an Indian citizen and or a person of the origin or a subject of Bhutan, Nepal, or Tibet settled in India before January 1962.

IAS Age Limit: The candidate must be at least 21 years old and not more than 32 years of age. Age relaxation is applicable to candidates from OBC, SC/ST categories. The UPSC age limit, relaxation, and maximum attempts are categorized below.

  • The General Category maximum age limit is 32 years, and 6 attempts are allowed.
  • OBC Category maximum age limit is 35 years, and 9 attempts can be given.
  • SC/ST Category maximum age limit is 37 years, and unlimited attempts till the upper age limit are reached.

Educational IAS Qualification for Exam:

The candidate must have a graduation degree from a government-recognized university. Additionally, candidates in their final year awaiting results are also eligible to appear for the UPSC Prelims exam.


Expert Tips to Become an IAS Officer

Becoming an IAS officer after 12th can be filled with challenges and struggles, but an effective strategy and the right approach can simplify everything. Here we will cover some tips and tricks to make the process easier for you.

  • Get to know more about civil services. Get involved in how the life of a civil servant or diplomat. Take full advantage if you have the upper hand to talk to an IAS officer. Ask yourself if this is what you truly crave; if the answer is yes, read further.
  • Go through the UPSC Syllabus, and choose a graduation course that involves polity or history. These subjects will be a great help while covering the General Studies paper. However, it is crucial that you find interest in these subjects as well.
  • You must check out all Optional Subjects for UPSC and decide on your optional subject in the UPSC Mains Exam.
  • Start reading the public administration, economics, and other subjects that hold massive importance in UPSC Exam.
  • Be in touch with the basics of Math you learned in school.
  • Math will be required for CSAT preparation in the Prelims stage.
  • Take advantage of the college library. Make a list of all the UPSC Books, and cover all the NCERT Books to strengthen your basic knowledge.
  • Read the Best Newspaper for UPSC, and keep along with the latest happenings in the country and the world.
  • You will require strong communication skills for the IAS interview, which is the 3rd stage of the exam. Try to develop a good personality that would help you during this round.
  • Ace the art of making notes, and go through the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to test where you stand regarding level, and then prepare accordingly.

Step-By-Step Process to Start UPSC Preparation

After completing the 12th, candidates can choose a course to get their graduation degree. It would be better if the course were relevant to the subjects covered in UPSC Syllabus. However, in the past, many toppers have come from an educational background that wasn’t relevant from the UPSC Exam perspective.

So choose a subject you are interested in, and prepare for the IAS Exam right after the 12th.

Step 1: Apply for UPSC

First, the candidates must apply for the UPSC Civil Services Exam after graduation. UPSC organizes this exam every year, and candidates must apply for UPSC Prelims when the application form is out.

Step-2: Appear for UPSC Prelims

UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the exam, and it is based on objective types of multiple questions. There are two papers in Prelims – General Studies 1 and CSAT. Each paper carries 200 marks. General Studies 1 will be merit ranking in nature, and CSAT is qualifying in nature. Candidates are advised to go through UPSC Prelims Syllabus and prepare accordingly.

Step-3: Appear for UPSC Mains

UPSC Mains is the second stage of the IAS Exam. Those who clear the Prelims exam will be eligible to appear for the UPSC Mains exam. UPSC Mains has 9 papers, of which two are optional papers carrying total marks of 1750.

Step-4: Personality Test

Those who clear the UPSC Mains will be shortlisted for the Personality Test round. The Interview will be taken place in UPSC Office at Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi. Here the Board members will test the candidates’ personalities, and this round carries 275 marks.

Step-5: IAS Training

The candidates who clear all three stages of the exam will be recruited as IAS Officer Trainees. The training period for the IAS officer is of 2 years. The first four months will be a foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA full form). After completion of the IAS training period, they will be recruited as IAS officers.

Which Course is Best for UPSC after 12th?

Different IAS toppers choose different graduate courses; hence, no particular course is generally best for all UPSC aspirants. Generally, IAS toppers complete their graduation with subjects related to their educational background. But many a time, it is observed that candidates choose a different subject after 12th considering their interest in that specific subject.

The best course for UPSC after 12th can be the one that is included in the list of the UPSC syllabi if one desires to become an IAS officer. A course containing a subject that is asked in Prelims and Mains or can be selected as an optional subject is regarded as the best choice. Depending on the available optional subjects, a student can opt for a course to set a base for UPSC preparation during graduation.

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