UPSC IAS Selection Procedure 2020

UPSC Selection Process 2020: UPSC IAS exam is conducted to recruit candidates for various Indian Civil Services. UPSC IAS exam is considered to be the toughest and highly admired exam. Every year, lakhs of candidates appear in the examination but only a few of them are capable enough to make it to the examination. 

Due to its lengthy selection procedure and unpredictable nature, the IAS exam is a hard nut to crack. So, if you are appearing in the exam for the first time or planning to take the exam in the upcoming year, you must have complete knowledge of the UPSC IAS 2020 Selection Procedure. In this article, we have covered in-depth details of the UPSC selection process. 

Latest Update - Union Public Service Commission has released the final result of UPSC 2019 examination on August 4, 2020. Candidates can check their result here

UPSC IAS Selection Process 2020

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three stages i.e.

  • UPSC IAS Prelims
  • UPSC IAS Mains
  • UPSC IAS Personality Test

Each stage of the IAS exam is a sort of elimination round. The selection of the candidates is done based on the IAS Cutoff which is released by the commission after the declaration of UPSC prelims and mains results. Candidates who qualify the UPSC prelims will be eligible for the IAS Mains exam. 

UPSC IAS Prelims

The UPSC IAS Prelims exam is the first stage of the IAS Selection Process. The prelims exam comprise of two paper: 

  • Paper 1 - General Studies
  • Paper 2 - CSAT

The exam duration of each paper is two hours and the marks for the same will be given out of 200. The question paper is set in both English and Hindi languages. Candidates qualifying in preliminary examination will be eligible for the next round of selection process i.e. IAS Mains exam. Tabulated below is the detailed information of the IAS Prelims exam

Mode of Exam


Type of Paper


Language of Paper

English and Hindi

Number of Papers


Name of Papers

General Studies - 1


Total Questions

Paper 1 - 80

Paper 2 - 100

Total marks 

400 (200 each)

Negative Marking 


It is to be noted that the candidates must score a minimum of 33% marks in Prelims Paper 2 to be eligible for the UPSC Mains exam while Prelims Paper 1 is qualifying in nature. 


UPSC IAS Mains exam is the second stage of the UPSC selection process. Candidates who will qualify the UPSC prelims examination will have to register for the IAS Mains examination. The IAS mains examination is conducted at different dates as the total number of papers is 9 and are descriptive in nature. 

Candidates who will qualify the UPSC Mains cut-off released by the commission will be called for the IAS personality test. Below given is the necessary information for the UPSC IAS Mains Exam. 

Mode of Exam


Type of Paper


Language of Paper

English and Hindi

Number of Papers


Name of Papers

Language Paper 1

Language Paper 2


General Studies 1

General Studies 2

General Studies 3

General Studies 4

Optional Paper 1

Optional Paper 2

Total marks 


UPSC IAS Personality Test

The last stage of the UPSC Selection Process is the IAS Personality Test. Candidates who qualify the mains exam will be called for the personality test. Candidates in the personality test will have to attend a face to face interview with the board of judges from the UPSC in which the candidates are judges for the suitability of the profile. The interview round will be of 275 marks.
Check How to Prepare for IAS Interview

UPSC IAS Final Merit List

The final merit list of the candidates is prepared on the basis of candidates marks scored in IAS mains exam and Personality Test while the candidate’s performance in the IAS prelims exam is just a screening test of Mains exam. Therefore, the IAS prelims scores are not considered for the preparation of the final merit list. Candidates will be allotted various services based on their merit and preferences. 

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