How to Become IAS Officer After 12th?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 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.

How to Become an 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.
  • From the list of available optional subjects, you must choose a subject for the Mains exam in which you are very proficient.
  • Start reading the public administration, economics, and other subjects that hold massive importance in the 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 relevant books, and cover all the NCERT Books to strengthen your basic knowledge.
  • Select and 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, then prepare accordingly.

Step-By-Step Process to Start IAS Journey After 12th

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 the UPSC syllabus. However, in the past, many toppers have come from an educational background that wasn’t relevant from the IAS Exam perspective. So choose a subject you are interested in, and prepare for the exam right after the 12th.

Step 1: Apply for UPSC

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

Step-2: Appear for Prelims

The first stage of the UPSC exam is the Prelims, which is based on the objective type of multiple questions. There are two papers in Prelims – General Studies 1 and CSAT. Each paper carries 200 marks. General Studies 1 is based on merit, and CSAT is qualifying in nature.

Step-3: Appear for Mains

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

  • Candidates can choose any one subject from the list of 48 optional subjects for UPSC.
  • Before commencing your preparation for the exam, understand the exam pattern and syllabus thoroughly.

Step-4: Personality Test

Those who clear the Mains round gets shortlisted for the Personality Test round. The interview takes place in the Union Public Service Commission office at Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi; where the Board members test the candidates’ personalities, and this round carries 275 marks.

Step-5: IAS Training

The candidates who clear all three stages of the exam are recruited as IAS Officer Trainees. The training period for the IAS officer is of 2 years. It begins with a foundation course for the first four months at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA full form).

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 graduation course for IAS after 12th can be the one that is included in the list of the UPSC syllabi. 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.

UPSC Articles
How to Crack UPSC? Most IAS from which State
Free UPSC Material How to Prepare for UPSC at Home?
Magazine for UPSC NCERT Books for UPSC
How to Prepare for UPSC Without Coaching? UPSC Preparation From Zero Level
Success Rate of Optional in UPSC Is UPSC Tough?
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium