Here aspirants will understand the methods UPSC has adopted for prelims and mains paper evaluation, the ratio of the number candidates who qualify for mains and called for interview to the number of vacancies to be filled in the civil services.

Here aspirants will get a complete information on the UPSC Exam Pattern for IAS and IAS aspirants who are preparing for the Civil Services Exam should know the importance of the UPSC Exam as it will help them in keeping on the right track in their preparation process.

Without knowing the exam pattern that consists of the plan of examination as well as the scheme and subjects for both the prelims and mains examination.


The civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year to recruit candidates for various posts in civil services like IAS, IPS, IFS among the others.

Below given is the plan of examination in detail as mentioned in the UPSC Online Notification.

The Civil Services Examination consists of two succeeding stages and they are:

Stage I: Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective type) for qualifying candidates for the Main Examination; and

Stage II: Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the recruitment of candidates for the various Services and posts.

UPSC Plan of Examination for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination

The Civil Services Preliminary Examination is meant only for screening purpose. The prelims consist of two papers of objective type questions and each carrying a maximum mark of 200.

The marks obtained in the preliminary examination is counted only to declare the candidates whether qualified to the IAS Mains Exam or not and the marks obtained in the prelims will not be counted in determining the final rank or merit of a candidate.

The number of candidates qualified for the Prelims exam would be 12 to 13 times to the number of vacancies to be filled for that particular year. Candidates who clear the prelims exam of that particular year will be eligible for admission to the IAS Main Examination of the same year.


  1. The UPSC will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for the civil services main exam on the basis of the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies CSAT Paper II of the prelims exam and the total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper I of Civil Services Prelims Exam will be set at the discretion of the commission.
  2. There will be a negative marking for all the questions except for some questions where the negative marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answers.
    • There will be a negative mark for a particular question for which a candidate has given an incorrect answer and 1/3rd or 0.33 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
    • If a candidate gives more than one answer to a question, then it will be treated as an incorrect answer and a negative marking will be given to that particular question.
    • If a question is not attempted and the candidate has not given any answer, then there will be no negative marking for such questions.

UPSC Plan of Examination for Civil Services Main Exam

The main examination consists of written papers and an interview test. The written examination consists of 9 papers of conventional descriptive or essay type in the subjects as mentioned in the scheme and subjects for the Civil Services Main Exam and out of 9 papers two papers are qualifying in nature and rest of 7 papers are compulsory. The marks obtained in all the compulsory papers and interview for Personality Test will be counted for the final ranking.

The minimum qualifying marks for the written papers of the main examination will be fixed by the Commission at their discretion and candidates who obtain such minimum marks will be called for Interview for a Personality Test.

The number of candidates to be called for the interview will be the twice the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks.

Click here to know the complete UPSC Exam Pattern / Scheme and Subjects for Prelims and Mains.