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UPSC Civil Service Examination/IAS Exam

Civil Services Exam is popularly known as IAS exam. Civil Services Examination is conducted every year by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). UPSC is the government agency responsible for selecting the right candidates for Civil services. Every year around 1000 candidates is selected for all the 24 services combined.

 Civil Services Exam is held in three stages 

  • Stage I: IAS Prelims Exam (Objective Section)
  • Stage II: IAS Mains Exam (Subjective Section)
  • Stage III: IAS Interview / UPSC Personality Test / CSE Interview (Vocal Section)

Stage I: IAS Prelims Exam Pattern

Aspirants who are going to appear for Civil Services Exam are in the correct place, as they must check the concerned Civil Services Exam Pattern from here. Aspirants are required to undergo three progressive stages to qualify this exam (Stage I, Stage II & Stage III). Candidates may also download Civil Services Notification for the new paper pattern in PDF form from UPSC Official Website. Candidates can collect more details about Civil Services Exam New Pattern through this UPSC CSE Exam Article.

The Ist Stage of the Civil Services Exam is called as the Civil Services Preliminary Exam. Civil Services Preliminary Exam is common for Civil Services Examination (CSE) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) Examination.

Civil Services Prelims Exam consists of two papers of Objective type and carries the maximum of 400 marks. This exam is only a Screening Test, Marks obtained in IAS Prelims Exam are Only for Qualifying for IAS Mains Exam and they are not counted for determining the final order of merit.

CSE Prelims Paper – I: General Studies (GS)
Duration of the exam: 2 hours
Total questions: 100
Total marks: 200 marks

CSE Prelims Paper II: General Ability or Aptitude (CSAT)
Duration of the exam: 2 hours
Total questions: 80
Total marks: 200 marks

Note :

  • The questions are objective type or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • There is a ‘Negative Marking’ for each incorrect answer. The negative marking for incorrect answers will be
    1/3rd (0.66) of the allotted marks for that question.
  • Paper II: General Ability or Aptitude (CSAT) is qualifying in nature and candidates should score a minimum of 33 percent in this paper to qualify to the next stage i.e. Civil Services Mains Exam.
  • For Blind candidates in each paper of prelims exam given an extra 20 minutes times.
  • The marks scored by the candidates in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final score.

Stage II: IAS  Mains Exam Pattern

The IInd Stage of Civil Services Exam is called as the IAS Main Exam. Those applicants who will be qualified in IAS Prelims Exam only they will be able to participate in UPSC IAS Mains Exam. Civil Services Mains Exam will consist of the 9 papers, but only 7 papers will be counted for final merit ranking. For the rest two papers, the applicant should secure minimum marks prescribed by UPSC every year.

The candidates can choose the medium of writing the Civil Services Mains Exam in Hindi or English. The Indian Languages included in the Civil Services Exam are as per languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The final rank of the candidates is on the basis of the marks obtained by them in the UPSC Mains Exam and UPSC Personality Test (PT) / IAS Interview.

There are 2 + 7 = 9 papers in the Mains Exam, all of them are descriptive type.Total Marks in Mains Exam is 1500 because Paper – A & Paper – B are only Qualifying paper.

Paper A Indian Language (Qualifying) * 300
Paper B English Language (Qualifying) 300
Paper I Essay 250
Paper II General Studies – I 250
Paper III General Studies – II 250
Paper IV General Studies – III 250
Paper V General Studies – IV 250
Paper VI Optional Subject Paper: I 250
Paper VII Optional Subject Paper: II 250

One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the aspirants (candidates) from the Languages included in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution. This paper will not be compulsory for aspirants (candidates) hailing from the States of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram.

Stage III: IAS Interview Pattern / UPSC Interview

IIIrd Stage and final phase of the Civil Services Exam is called as the UPSC Personality Test (PT) / IAS Interview. That Aspirant who will be qualified in IAS Mains Exam only they will be able to participate in Civil Services Interview.

UPSC Personality Test (PT) / Civil Services Interview carries 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).The maximum marks for interview are 275. A score over 200 is considered a high score. Marks obtained by the Aspirant in the Civil Services Mains Examination (written exam) as-well-as IAS Personality Test (PT) /  Civil Services Interview would determine their final ranking. Aspirant will be allotted to the various services on their ranks in the Examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.

Civil Services Personality Test will be held in the Union Public Service Commission office at Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110069.The schedule usually consists of 2 slots per day. The morning slot begins by 9 AM and the afternoon slot beings by 2 AM.

UPSC Interview Board usually consist of 5 people. The chairperson sits in the center while the other members of the panel (senior officers/educationists, eminent personalities, psychologists,  etc.) are seated two sides of the chairperson. The chairperson begins with the questions and will guide the other members to continue the interview of an aspirant.

 The duration of the UPSC Interview is approx 30 minutes -/+ 5 minutes. The range of questions will include questions on hobby and their practical application, why he/she wishes to join the civil services, aspirant’s opinion on international relations, current affairs, knowledge about candidate’s education,  optional subject, current/historic issues, issues of the state aspirant belongs to, etc. They may also provide the situation based question and seek the candidates’ opinion/response on the same.

 Civil Services Mains Syllabus in short

Indian Language:

  • Short Essay.
  • Vocabulary & Usage.
  • Precise Writing (in other words, making a summary).
  • Comprehensive Type of Questions related to the Given Passage.
  • Translation from English to the Selected Indian Language and Vice Versa.

English Language:

  • Short Essay.
  • Vocabulary & Usage.
  • Precise Writing (in other words, making a summary).
  • Comprehensive Type of Questions related to the Given Passage.

Essay :

  • From 2014, there are eight topics in Essay paper divided into 2 sections.Write two essays choosing one from each of the sections A and B in about 1,000-2,000 words each.
  • Each essay will be 125 marked. Candidates will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their thoughts in a presentable way and to write succinctly. Credits will be given for effective and to the point (short form) expression.

General Studies – I:

  • Indian Culture: Art form since the ancient times, Architecture, Literature.
  • Modern Indian history from the 18th Century till present significant events & issues.
  • Freedom struggle of Country: Different stages and contributions of various Parts of the country.
  • Post-Independence: Consolidation as-well-as reorganization within the country.
  • World History: Events taking place since 18th Century; Industrial revolution, decolonization, Colonization, etc., Political changes such as Capitalism, Socialism, etc., Effects of these changes on society.
  • Salient Features of Indian Society and Diversity in India.
  • World Geography & its Salient Features.
  • Concepts of Social Empowerment, Regionalism, Communalism, Secularism, etc.
  • Distribution of Natural Resources all over the World, etc.

General Studies – II:

  • Polity.
  • Constitution.
  • Governance.
  • Social Justice.
  • Internal Relations.

General Studies – III:

  • Economic Development.
  • Science & Technology.
  • Disaster Management.
  • Environmental.
  • Bio-Diversity.
  • Security.

General Studies – IV:

  • Ethics.
  • Aptitude.
  • Integrity.

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