UPSC Exam Pattern Details You Might Want to Know About

UPSC Exam Pattern:

The Union Public Service Commission conducts the UPSC/ Civil Services Examination. It is conducted annually on an all India basis. Some of the most prestigious jobs are available for eligible candidates who go through a rigorous selection procedure. The UPSC exam pattern is for all the Civil Services aspirants who want to hold responsible positions in the Governemnt of India.

Here are the details of the UPSC exam pattern:

The UPSC exam or the IAS (Indian Administrative Services) exam comprises of 3 stages. These include the following:

  • Preliminary exam
  • Main exam
  • Personal interview/ Personality test

UPSC Exam pattern:

Preliminary exam

  • The preliminary exam is a pen and paper based examination.
  • The exam consists of multiple choice objective questions.
  • Candidates are provided with an OMR sheet and a rough sheet to answer the questions.
  • The prelims consist of 2 papers which include general studies 1 and general studies 2.
  • The duration of the exam is 2 hours/ 120 minutes each for both the papers.
  • The preliminary exam is qualifying in nature. Candidates who qualify in the prelims appear for the Mains exam.
UPSC Exam Pattern
UPSC Exam Pattern
Paper Type No. of questions Marks Duration Negative marks
General Studies I Objective 100 200 2 hours Yes
General Studies II (CSAT) Objective 80 200 2 hours Yes

Main exam

  • The merit secured in the main exam counted in the final merit list prepared of the selected candidates.
  • Candidates must secure at least the qualifying cut off in General studies 1 and at least 33% in general studies 2 paper to attempt the Mains exam.
  • The mains exam consists of 9 papers in all.
  • The exam is a pen and paper based exam.
  • The exam comprises of subjective and descriptive in questions.
  • The duration of the exam is 3 hours/ 180 minutes each.
Paper Title of the Paper Marks Allotted 
Paper 1 Essay writing 250 Marks
Paper 2 General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) 250 Marks
Paper 3 General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 250 Marks
Paper 4 General Studies –III  (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250 Marks
Paper 5 General Studies –IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude) 250 Marks
Paper 6 Optional Subject – Paper 1 250 Marks
Paper 7 Optional Subject – Paper 2 250 Marks
  Sub Total in the written Test   1750 Marks
  Personal Interview   275 Marks
Grand Total ( for merit calculation) 2025 Marks
  • Candidates must secure at least 25% in paper A and B.

The optional subjects include the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science       
  • Anthropology     
  • Botany       
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering  
  • Geography
  • Geology     
  • History      
  • Law  
  • Management      
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering        
  • Medical Science  
  • Philosophy
  • Physics      
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration 
  • Sociology   
  • Statistics   
  • Zoology
  • Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

For any other details regarding the UPSC Exam pattern check the website at .

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