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UPSC Exams

UPSC Exam Pattern

UPSC conducts the IAS exam in three different stages IAS prelims, IAS mains, and IAS interview. Of course, a candidate has to clear all the stages to achieve their dream of civil service. Also, UPSC has designed IAS exam pattern in such a way that all stages are unique and assess different qualities of an IAS aspirant. But, the right approach in IAS preparation can guarantee your success in IAS.

UPSC Prelims/IAS Prelims Exam Pattern

  • Union public service commission (UPSC) conducts all the stages of IAS exam process offline.
  • In UPSC prelims the questions are of objective type or MCQs in nature, which you have to answer in OMR sheet.
  • However, candidates have to be careful while attempting the IAS prelims question due to negative marking.
  • UPSC prelims negative marking scheme: For every wrong answer, the commission will deduct 1/3rd of the allotted marks.
  • The commission conducts both papers of IAS prelims in a single day (Usually Sunday).

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

Papers 

Subjects 

No. of Questions 

Marks 

Duration

Paper 1 

General Studies

100 (2 marks each)

200

2Hrs

Paper 2 

Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)

80 (2.5 marks each)

200

2Hrs

Total (Prelims stage)                                                                400 Marks

UPSC mains/IAS Mains Exam Pattern

  • In UPSC mains exam pattern the questions are descriptive/ narrative in nature. So, writing skills are equally important as covering the IAS syllabus.
  • IAS mains divided into compulsory and qualification papers. Qualifying papers consists of language paper and compulsory paper include essay, general studies and optional. Only when the candidates qualify in the language papers, their compulsory paper marks are valid. Choice of the IAS optional subject plays a crucial role in civil service preparation.
  • UPSC conducts all the IAS mains paper in five days. Further, two papers of mains are held in forenoon and afternoon sessions and Essay in a single day. The complete UPSC mains timetable will be available on the UPSC website (www.upsc.gov).

A.Qualifying Paper

Lang. Paper

Subject

Marks

Duration

Paper A

Anyone Indian Language

300 Marks

3Hrs

Paper B

English

300 Marks

3Hrs

B.Compulsory Paper

Paper

Subject

Marks

Duration

Paper 1 

Essay (2Nos. 125 each) 

250 

3Hrs 

Paper 2 

General studies 1 

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)

250 

3Hrs 

Paper 3 

General studies 2

(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

250 

3Hrs 

Paper 4 

General studies 3 

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

250 

3Hrs 

Paper 5 

General studies 4 

(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)

250 

3Hrs 

Paper 6 

Optional subject paper1 

250 

3Hrs 

Paper 7 

Optional subject paper2 

250 

3Hrs 

                        Total                                       1750 marks (Excluding language paper)                        

UPSC mains exam timetable pdf download

UPSC Interview

Personality Test 

The interview is of 275 marks 

Grand Total (Mains + Interview)                                                                             2025 Marks

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