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Scheme of the Examination

The exam consists of Three Stages as follows:

  • Stage I – Preliminary Examination – 200 mark & Qualifying paper II – 66 mark out of 200 mark
  • Stage II Main Examination – 1750 marks-Descriptive
  • Stage III – Interview – 275 marks

Stage I – Preliminary Examination

The Examination will have two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. General Studies Paper I has 200 mark and general studies paper II is qualifying paper . Aspirants must score 66 mark. Thus total mark for preliminary is 200 mark only but you need to get 66 mark in paper II ( CSAT ). Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions).. Each paper will be of two hours duration. Negative mark of 1/3rd for every wrong answers. Blind candidates will however; be allowed an extra time of twenty minutes at each paper. This stage of the examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

Civil Service Preliminary Exam Mark Distribution

Paper No. of Question Mark Duration
General Studies Paper I 100 200 2 Hr.
General Studies Paper II ( Qualifying Paper with 33 % ) 80 200 2 Hr.
Total 400

Stage II – Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Paper No. Subject Mark Duration
Paper I Essay 250 3 Hr.
Paper II General Studies – I 250 3 Hr.
Paper III General Studies – II 250 3 Hr.
Paper IV General Studies – III 250 3 Hr.
Paper V General Studies – IV 250 3 Hr.
Paper VI Optional Subject – Paper I 250 3 Hr.
Paper VII Optional Subject – Paper II 250 3 Hr.
Total Mark 1750

List of Optional Subjects: ( Aspirant to choose among the following)

1. Agriculture 2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
3. Anthropology 4. Botany
5. Chemistry 6. Civil Engineering
7. Commerce and Accountancy 8. Economics
9. Electrical Engineering 10. Geography
11. Geology 12. History
13. Law 14. Management
15. Mathematics 16. Mechanical Engineering
17. Medical Science 18. Philosophy
19. Physics 20. Political Science and International Relations
21. Psychology 22. Public Administration
23. Sociology 24. Statistics
25. Zoology


In addition to above seven Papers, You need to appear for two paper of qualifying nature.

They are as follows:

  1. English
  2. Indian Language

Any of 22 Indian Language mention in the eighth schedule of Indian Constitution, they are as follow

1. Assamese 2. Bengali
3. Bodo 4. Dogri
5. Gujarati 6. Hindi
7. Kannada 8. Kashmiri
9. Konkani 10. Maithili
11. Malayalam 12. Manipuri
13. Marathi 14. Nepali
15. Oriya 16. Punjabi
17. Sanskrit 18. Santhali
19. Sindhi 20. Tamil
21. Telugu 22. Urdu


  • Mark obtained in these two paper are not counted for your ranking. However they need to be passed with a minimum qualifying mark a may be fixed by the UPSC. Failing in one or both the subjects will lead to failure in main exam as the marks obtained in the other paper become invalid.
  • The Indian Language paper is not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.

Further to be noted on main examination:

  • Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for interview for a Personality Test. Marks obtained in the papers will be counted for ranking. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled.
  • Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking.
  • Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and Posts.

Stage III – Interview test

This is the final stage in the Civil service Exam scheme. Marks allotted for this stage is 275. Candidates who have been declared pass in the Civil Service Main Examination of that year will be called for the Personality Test (Interview) to be held in the Union Public Service Commission Office in New Delhi.

  • The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his/her career (Mains Application form of the candidates). He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
  • The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
  • The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.

Total mark allotted for the Civil Service Exam = 1750 ( Main Exam Mark ) + 275 ( Interview Mark ) = 2025