UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 - For Prelims, Mains and Interview

UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 - UPSC conducts civil services exam (CSE) to recruit IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS and other Group A and B officers. The IAS prelims 2020 is scheduled to be held on October 4, 2020. Candidates preparing for UPSC IAS exam should be well aware of the exam pattern and marking scheme of Prelims, Mains and Interview stages.

In this article, we have provided brief information of the UPSC exam pattern of IAS prelims and mains exam.

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UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 - Prelims

The UPSC CSE Prelims exam is divided into two papers: Paper 1 for General Studies and Paper 2 for Civil Services Aptitude Test.

IAS Prelims Exam Pattern

Number of Papers 2
Type of Questions MCQs (Objective)
Number of Questions in GS Paper 1 100
Number of Questions in GS Paper 2 80
Total Marks 400
Exam Duration 2 Hours
Negative Marks 1/3rd marks will be deducted for wrong answers
Medium of Exam English and Hindi
Mode of Exam Offline - Mark answers on OMR Sheet
Cut off Marks based on GS Paper 1 alone (GS Paper 2 Qualifying in nature)

The IAS Prelims Exam will consist of two Objective type papers with multiple choice questions and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in subsection (A) of Section II.

  • UPSC prelims examination is meant to serve as a screening test only.
  • Each paper carries 200 marks each.
  • The General Studies Paper-II (CSAT) of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • The Question paper will be set in both Hindi and English.
  • Each paper will be of 2 hours duration.
  • There will be negative marking for every incorrect answer.
  • Each question comes with 4 multiple choice answers. For each wrong answer, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
  • There is no penalty if the candidate decides to skip the question.
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UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 - Mains

The UPSC IAS mains examination consists of 9 papers which are of conventional essay type in the subjects set out in subsection (B) of Section II out of which two papers will be of qualifying in nature.

  • The two qualifying papers (300 marks each) are Paper A- Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution, and Paper B - English.
  • The written test (Mains) is worth 1750 marks.
  • Marks obtained for all compulsory subjects (Paper I to Paper VII) and marks obtained in the interview/personality test will be included while announcing the result.
  • The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).
  • Marks obtained by the candidate in the main examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking.
ias mains exam pattern

Paper Subject Marks
I Essay 250
II General Studies-I (Indian History & Culture, History & Geography of the World and Society) 250
III General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations) 250
IV General Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250
V General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 250
VI Optional Subject- Paper 1 250
VII Optional Subject- Paper 2 250
  Total (Written Test) 1750

UPSC IAS Interview

Candidates will be interviewed by a board and be asked questions on matters of general interest. The objective of the interview is to access the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in Public Services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.

  • Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgement, etc.
  • Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest in not only their special areas of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them.

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