How to Become a Collector-Exam & Preparation

How to become a collector is a question to all the passionate patriotic Indians? There is no doubt that our eyebrows are lifted high when we hear this word ‘Collector’.

It is one of the most prestigious government service posts. Even words will be in short of the reputation, white-collar job, and respect that a Collector gets. And, who doesn’t wants all that? To throw more light, everyone has a dream career to become a Collector.

Want to know step-by-step how to become a Collector? Then, you have to read the article till the end. I have explained in simple steps how to become a collector after 12th. So, let’s get started.

Who is a Collector

A Collector is a person who is appointed by the Central Government in each district. And, a Collector is responsible for the administration of that particular district.

The collector post is one of the posts in Indian Administrative Services(IAS). The main aim of the collector is to serve the public. A collector is the highest position of the government official in that particular state.

The Central Government is responsible to appoint a Collector for a particular district. Also, it is a state government that supervises the work of a collector.

How to Become a Collector- Exam, Syllabus & Preparation

To become a Collector you should qualify UPSC-CSE Exam. You must crack all three stages of the exam namely Preliminary, Mains and Interview and then you become an IAS officer. After the promotions as an IAS officer, you will become a Collector of the District.

become a collector

To become a collector you need a particular education qualification, eligibility criteria, age limit and to crack the UPSC- CSE examination. Let us understand the eligibility criteria, syllabus, and preparation more in detail.

Eligibility Criteria


  • The person to become a collector should be a citizen of India
  • The person can also be a citizen of-
  1. Nepal
  2. Bhutan
  3. Tibet

What Education is needed to become a Collector

  • A person to be a collector needs to hold a bachelor’s degree from any recognized University.
  • The degree can be in any of the fields of his choice.
  • Even those candidates who have completed their education from distance education or through a correspondence education are eligible to apply for a post of a Collector.
  • Candidates can apply for the examination even in the final year graduation.
  • Candidates awaiting for the results are also eligible for the Prelims Exam of the UPSC-CSE Exam. But for Mains Exam they have to produce the proof of passing the exam.
  • Candidates with technical degrees are also eligible to apply for this post.
  • Also, a candidate with a professional qualification can apply for the exam.
  • A student who has completed an S degree but is undergoing an internship program is also eligible to apply for the post.
  • Candidates who have passed the ICAI, CWA, or ICSI Exam.

Age Limit

  • The candidate applying for a post of a Collector should complete at least 21 years of age.
  • The maximum limit to apply for the post of a collector is for the general category is 30 years for OBC there are 3 years of relaxation and for SC/ST there are 5 years of relaxation.
  • The details of age relaxation are as follows-

And maximum age limit as on 1st August 2020

Category Age
General 30 Years
OBC33 Years
SC/ST35 Years

Role and Responsibilities of a Collector

  • To look forward to the administration of the district.
  • Maintenance of law and order in the district.
  • He is also responsible for collecting the land revenue of the district.
  • Plays an important role in disaster management and crisis management in case of any crisis.
  • To look forward tax revenue maintenance of the district
  • To throw more light he is also the person who also looks after all the election processes for Parliament, State Legislature, and Local Bodies.
  • He serves the district as Chief Development Officer(CDO)
  • Again, he acts as a Grievance Redressal Officer of a district.
  • A Collector is a District Head of Executive Magistrate.
  • Also, he acts as a Special Officer for the laws related to Arms And Explosives in that particular district.
  • He strives hard for the rural development and development of Human Resources.
  • A Collector is solely responsible for the supply of food, Civic amenities, and overall development of a district.
  • A Collector is also responsible for the distribution of Agricultural Loan.
  • To collect all the pending due of government is also a vital role of a Collector.
  • He collects all the statistics of that particular district.
  • To implement the various land reforms.
  • To look after the welfare of farmers.
  • To maintain and manage all the government property.

How to fill UPSC Exam form

Step 1: Visit the official website of UPSC –

Step 2: Now, click on online application for various examinations

Step 3: Go to service civil services examination-Preliminary Exam

Step 4: Start registering with IAS Part-1

Step 5: Fill all your mandatory Personal Details

Step 6: Choose the examination center

Step 7: Upload your passport size Photograph, Signature and Identity card

Step 8: Accept the Declaration by clicking on the button

Step 9: Once recheck the details

Step 10: Then click on Submit button

Step 11: Keep this print out with you

Exam Pattern and Syllabus

To become a Collector a person needs to crack the Civil Service Examination (CSE) which is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It is one of the toughest competitive exams in India.

UPSC-CSE is conducted in three stages

  • Preliminary exam
  • Mains exam
  • Interview process

Let us, understand all the 3 exams more in details.

1. Preliminary exam

  • The preliminary exam has 2 papers that are conducted. Each paper has 200 marks a total of 400 marks. The question paper is in two languages namely English and Hindi. The duration of the paper is 2 hours each paper. This examination carries a negative marking of the one-third penalty. That is for each wrong answer there is a negative marking of 0.33 marks.This paper has objective type questions which comprise of multiple-choice questions.

Syllabus for the Preliminary Exam

Paper 1Indian History
General Science
Indian Politics
Current Events
General Issues
Indian Geography
World Geography
Social Development
Economic Development
Paper 2Communicational Skills
Intrapersonal Skills
English Skills
English Comprehension
Language skill chosen by the candidate
Decision-making skills
Problem-solving ability
Mental Ability
Basic Numeracy

Paper 1-Current affairs, Indian History and Politics

In this examination, you need to have very good general knowledge and good general studies of current events going on at the National and international levels. You need to read newspapers to gain general knowledge. It includes Indian History, General Science, Indian Politics, Current Events, General Issues, Indian Geography, World Geography, social Development, Economic Development.

Paper 2-Civil Service Aptitude Test(CSAT)

This paper comprises competencies related to comprehension, interpersonal, and communication skills. Hereby, it also comprises of analytical ability, logical reasoning, and mental ability are also tested. Also, there are questions related to decision making and problem-solving. It has questions related to English and English comprehension.

2. Mains exam

  • After qualifying for the preliminary exam the candidates are eligible for the second round that is the mains exam. Generally, Mains Exams are conducted in the month of January. After the mains exam, the candidate will be liable for the process of the interview. Mains Exam has the descriptive type of questions.

Syllabus for Mains Exam

The total marks for this examination are 1750 marks. Though the Mains exam consists of 9 papers. Out of these 9 papers, only 7 papers will be taken for the merit ranking. For the remaining two papers the candidate should obtain the minimum marks as set by UPSC. This exam includes a total of 9 papers as follows.

Paper SyllabusMarksDuration
Essay Essay on any topic2503 hours
General studies 1 Indian Heritage, Culture,
2503 hours
General studies 2 Constitution, Governance,
Social Justice
2503 hours
General studies 3 Technology, Environment,
Disaster Management
2503 hours
General studies 4 Ethics, Integrity,
and Aptitude
2503 hours
Optional subject 1 Any2503 hours
Optional subject 2 Any2503 hours
Paper 1 Indian Language
(Anyone of the language)
3003 hours
Paper 2 English language3003 hours


To write an essay on any one topic. You can choose the option of your choice from the given options.

General Studies 1-Indian Heritage and Culture
  • Indian Culture
  • Modern Indian History
  • History of the world
  • Society
  • Geography
  • Events, Forms, and Effects on Society

General Studies 2-Indian Constitution and Indian Politics

  • The Constitution Of India
  • Amendment Procedure
  • The Political System
  • Central Government And Administration
  • The Electoral Process
  • Administrative Law
  • Central And State Government Privileges
  • Public Services
  • Social Welfare And Social Legislation
  • Control over Public Expenditure

General Studies 2- Science And Technology

  • Energy
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Biotechnology
  • Disaster Management
  • Nuclear Policy Of India
  • Space Technology
  • Environment
  • Security
  • Agriculture
  • Economy

General Studies 3- Ethics And Human Interface

  • Ethics and Human Interface
  • Aptitude
  • Attitude
  • Integrity
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Public Service Values And Ethics in Public Administration
  • Probity in Governance

Optional Subjects

There are 2 Papers of Optional Subjects. The candidate is supposed to choose any 1 optional subject out of 48 total options. The 2 papers are combined and are of a total of 500 marks.

You need to be very careful while choosing your optional subject. You must know which optional subject will work best for you.

English And Language Papers

The pattern of both papers is almost the same in nature. The English language is a compulsory language. Whereas, other languages can be chosen from a list of languages.

The pattern of the paper is as follows

  • Essay– 100 Marks
  • Comprehension– 60 Marks
  • Precis Writing– 60 Marks
  • Translation from English- 20 Marks
  • Translation from Chosen Language– 20 Marks
  • Grammar– 40 Marks

Please Note: The candidate is free to choose his writing language as English, Hindi, or any other language listed in the Indian Constitution.

3. Interview

  • After cracking the Mains Exam you are qualified for the Interview Process. Approximately 400-450 candidates reach this round. When you qualify for the interview round you become IAS Officer. During the review subject knowledge, personal skills, as well as Mental Ability, is tested. In the interview, only academics knowledge is not tested but the personality test is all about how much the candidate is alert and all aware of the events happing around. The candidates are first given training and then posted as a Collector, according to the requirements to a particular district.

Syllabus for Interview

  1. This is basically a question and answers session
  2. This exam is of 275 marks.
  3. The interview is nothing but a Personality Test.
  4. Even current affairs and General knowledge questions can be asked as Questions for Collector’s Interview.

Books & Study Material

To crack the UPSC examination and become a Collector you need to have General Knowledge. For this, you need to keep on reading the newspaper. Hindu newspaper, Jagran Josh, Economic Times, and Indian Express is something I would suggest to enhance your general knowledge and current affairs. Other lists of books that I would suggest are as follows-

  • Indian Polity For Civil Service Examination -Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
  • Indian Year Book
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Oxford Geography Atlas
  • A Brief History of Modern India
  • Indian Art And Culture
  • Fundamentals of Geography(NCERT)
  • Concise History of Modern India by Sujata Menon
  • Facets of Indian Culture
  • The Constitution of India by P.M Bakshi
  • Indian Economy by Mishra and Puri

Skills and competences required to become a Collector

Administrative skills

A person to become a collector should possess good administrative skills. So, he can solve various issues related to administration, law, and order.

Good communication and interpersonal skills

To communicate with the other officials in the district, submit the reports, and have good communication with the state government as well.

Decision making

To become a collector should have good decision-making power. So, he can make good decisions in the time of contingencies and emergencies (natural calamities).

Leadership skills

A person to become a collector should have good leadership skills to lead a district properly and co-ordinate with all the subordinates.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, this away all about step by step process for how to become a Collector. I hope all your related queries regarding eligibility criteria, age limit, syllabus, and preparation are now sorted.

Yet any more questions related to how to become a Collector then get in touch with me. Surely, I will get back to you with a solution.

Have a look over other career options you can opt

  1. How to become an IPS Officer in India
  2. How to become an IAS Officer in India
  3. How to become DM


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