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Check UPSC EXAM PATTERN for Civil Services Exam

UPSC Civil Services Examination Pattern

In the last five years, there have been many changes in the Union Public Service Commission s (UPSC) Civil Services Examination pattern and syllabus.

It is important for IAS aspirants like you to keep track of changes in the UPSC exam pattern. More importantly, the UPSC exam pattern should be at the back of your mind.

UPSC Preliminary Exam

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

  • This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only.
  • Both question papers will be of the objective type of 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 incorrect answers for all questions.
  • There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
  • If a question is left blank i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.

PaperSubjectsTotal MarksDuration
IGeneral Studies2002 Hours
IIAptitude Test2002 Hours

UPSC Mains Examination

The Mains Examination will consist of a written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9 papers 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 Eight Schedule to the Constitution, and Paper B - English.
  • The subtotal of written test (Mains) is 1750 marks.
  • Marks obtained for all compulsory subjects (Paper I to Paper VII) and marks obtained in the interview for personality test will be counted for ranking.
  • 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.

IIGeneral Studies-I (Indian History & Culture, History & Geography of the World and Society)250
IIIGeneral Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)250
IVGeneral Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250
VGeneral Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)250
VIOptional Subject- Paper 1250
VIIOptional Subject- Paper 2250
Total (Written Test)1750

UPSC Interview

The candidate 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.

Interview/Personality Test275 Marks

UPSC Civil Services Exam Syllabus


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