Why Civil Services Examination (CSE) is toughest test in India? Decoding success rates of CSE

New Delhi: More than 11 Lakh applicants apply for Civil Services Examination (CSE) each year. The test, known as CSE and conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), is not easy to crack it as competition is stiff. The Civil Services Examination, conducted by the UPSC, has three phases to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and others: Preliminary Examination (Written Test), Main Examination (Written Test) and Personality Test (Interview).

Out of more than 11.3 lakh candidates applied for CSE 2016, finally only 1,099 have been recommended by the UPSC for appointment to various Services. Hence, out of each 1033 candidates, only one has been able to crack the Civil Services Examination.


Meanwhile, a total of 9.47 lakh candidates applied for the above examination of 2014 of whom 4,46,623 candidates appeared in the examination. The commission recommended a total number of 1,363 candidates for appointment, which included SC-196, ST-98, OBC-369 and 54 Persons with Disabilities in CSE 2014. Here, Applicants to Post Ratio (APR) stood at 694.59, which means nearly 694 candidates applied for every post filled through Civil Services Examination, 2014, as per Annual Report 2015-16 of UPSC.

In CSE 2013, a total of 7.55 lakh candidates applied for the test.  A total number of 1,122 candidates qualified for the examination after clearing three rounds of the examination. Hence, for each post, more than 614 candidates applied for the examination. Applicants to Post Ratio (APR) stood at 614.9, as per the UPSC Annual Report 2014-15.

In the Civil Services Examination, 2014, out of 9.47 lakh candidates, nearly 4.46 lakh candidates appeared in the examination. A total number of 16,706 candidates appeared CSE Main 2017 examination. Out of the 3,308 candidates qualified for the Personality Test, 3,303 appeared for the Personality Test Tests/Interviews were held from 27 April 2015 to 30 June 2015.

The trend reflects over the last few years the success rate or Applicants to Post Ratio (APR) stands at more than 600. This means one candidate finally qualifies among more than 600 candidates who apply for CSE. Except in 2016 CSE where total number of vacant post 1099, which was the lowest figure over the last four year,  Applicants to Post Ratio was high at 1033.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has already  declared the results of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2017 held on  18 June 2017.  The candidates who have been declared successful have to first get themselves registered on the relevant page of the website before filling up the Online DAF.

Note: SkillOutlook team was unable to find the data and information on CSE 2015 (no of applicants, APR, etc.)

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