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To decide the UPSC service preferences the candidate has to specify his or her choice of services before qualifying for the Mains exam. The list of services is categorized into separate groups and the candidate has to choose the order of preferences wisely. Instead of specifying the most preferred service the candidate should list out the options according to the penchant for the UPSC service preferences in the descending order.

Specify order of preferences

Always opt for the UPSC service preferences in the order of your interest. Specify the most favorite service first, followed by the other less preferred services. The order of UPSC service preferences given plays a very vital role when the candidate gets qualified for the services. Candidate will be offered the services only according to the order of preferences given before. If necessary, the candidate can change the option by selecting any other lower option from the preference list but he or she will not be allowed to select any higher option from the UPSC service preferences.

List of UPSC service preferences

In case if the candidate has specified his UPSC service preferences such as IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS(IT) but if the candidate could not get the allocation in the specified services due to the rank in exam or preferences or medical status then he may not be considered for any of the services by government. Specify the preferences according to your inclination towards the respective services.

The list of UPSC service preferences offered:

Indian Foreign Services (IFS): It allows the candidates to travel around the world. The candidate will get a chance to visit and stay in different countries but not necessarily of his or her choice.

Indian Administrative Services (IAS): The candidates get ample opportunities to work and to stay in India. It is a very challenging work and it is not considered to be an easy job.

Indian Police Services (IPS): It is more powerful job. The work is associated with protecting the people at different levels of security. The job is highly demanding and one has to be alert all the time.

Indian Revenue Services (IRS): The posting is mainly in major cities and it requires overseeing issues relating to direct and indirect tax collection from various quarters of the society.


Most of the other services are in the sub-category of the major services which are discussed above in the preference listings. The salary and the perks offered for every service are excellent in all different categories. It is only the choice of the candidate which decides which type of services he or she wishes to join.

How can a candidate make up his mind regarding preference list of the UPSC service?

Following criteria can help the candidates in choosing the civil service exam preferences wisely:

1. Find more about your personality and decide which UPSC service preferences suit you the best.
2. Discuss with the family and ask the future plans of the family members.
3. All the UPSC service preferences have equal responsibility.
4. Depending on the personal interest the candidate should make the choice.