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How to Prepare your DAF for UPSC?

UPSC Civil Services Examination is one of the most challenging exams in India. The selection procedure is even more rigid. Firstly, candidates who have cleared the preliminary exam stage can only appear for the UPSC mains exam. Roughly around 15000 students qualify to appear for the next stage of the UPSC exam, “The Mains exam.” It is not that easy to get through these papers as there are some really important sets of protocols to complete before being completely eligible to appear for the main exam. Filling the DAF form is one of the most important steps of all. 

DAF or Detailed application form is a form that is to be filled by the eligible candidates to appear for the mains exams. At first, it might look very simple, but even a single mistake can alter your selection possibilities. You can only fill the DAF after cracking the Prelims examination. The form is to be filled before the Mains and the interview. Interview panel can ask a lot of question from the candidate’s DAF. So be very precise and confident with what you write in the DAF. If you have joined an IAS coaching institute then please discuss it with your teachers. 

Many officers have asserted the importance of filling DAF. Suyash Chavan, an IFS officer from Delhi, has shared his experience of the UPSC interview through Quora, saying that making mistakes in the DAF due to lack of knowledge and guidance. However, resulted in his incapability to answer a few questions asked to him during the interview. So it is really important to know how to fill your DAF before submitting it to the commission. There are certain things you must keep in mind before submitting the DAF. 

Tips on How to Prepare your DAF for UPSC

  • Knowing the DAF 

It is essential to know about the form well in advance before filling it out to avoid any mistakes at the time of submission. There are nine pages in the DAF form with six mandatory modules to fill. Read each module carefully to avoid unnecessary mistakes in the form. Remember that once you have submitted the form to the commission, it cannot be changed or corrected, So leave no room for any mistakes. The six mandatory modules are: 

  1. Personal Information 
  2. Educational Information 
  3. Parental Information
  4. Employment Information 
  5. Upload documents 
  6. Final Submission 
  • Being honest 

Honesty is always advised as the best policy same goes here with the hobbies and achievement section of the DAF. Write what you have accomplished and what hobbies you are genuinely passionate about. Adding irrelevant and dishonest thoughts in this section can surely give you some trouble during interviews, as the panel will expect answers concerning whatever you have filled in that particular section of the DAF. Don’t try to confuse your aspirations with your hobbies. Write what you like to do in your leisure time, and being honest will get you questions that you can comfortably answer in the interview rounds. For example, if you play football in your leisure hours, then you can expect questions related to the sport and some general facts so be sure of what you fill in DAF, particularly in this section. In case you don’t know the answer related to your hobbies, you simply need to be upfront, as it is just a hobby, and you don’t need to be an expert at it. 

  • Justifying Cadre and Service Preferences 

Another crucial step is to fill the Service and Cadre preferences section. The interview panel will look for candidates having an Indian or regional mindset. Be sure of what to select from the list of cadre preferences made by the commission. While answering the cadre-related questions, make sure to be politically neutral and patriotic. Provide good answers to justify the preferences in proximity to your home state and address critical social issues in a state you want to work in. 

While filling the service and cadre preferences section, carefully read the eligibility for every service. During the interview, candidates can be asked for reasons for selecting a particular option. For example, if you choose IAS, Then you might be asked about the reasons behind selecting IAS, particularly over other options? Candidates need to justify their answers and give detailed explanations behind their selection. Medical examinations are held the next day after the interview. If a candidate’s medical condition is not compatible with services like IRTS, IPS, etc., then UPSC can reject that candidate for that particular service. Therefore it is advised to read service eligibility conditions thoroughly before selecting their selection before the commission. 

Read More: 8 benefits of the game in the little ones


Getting through the mains and interviews is the real challenge in the entire process of cracking the UPSC exam. As I have mentioned earlier, around 15000 candidates clear the preliminary exam, which tends to create a much more intense competitive atmosphere around the candidates. The main exam is about understanding concepts and interpreting them on the answer sheet. Once you fill the DAF, you have to be ready for the mains exam. So joining The Thought Tree is the best solution for effective preparation for Mains and interviews held by the UPSC.  Writing answers quickly and precisely is the sole aspect of the main exam. The Thought Tree is always there for your help by providing adequate answer writing practice enough to improve your speed while writing the main exam.

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