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UPSC Exam Pattern

UPSC/IAS Exam Pattern

UPSC Exam Pattern 2021 for IAS, IPS, Civil Services Exam

IAS Exam Pattern| UPSC Exam Pattern | UPSC/IAS Prelims cum Mains Exam Pattern | IFS/IPS Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The Civil Services Examination offers the widest range of jobs in our country and is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). In spite of being regarded as one of the toughest exams in the country. Right approach & correct planning can make an aspirant get through the IAS exam with flying colours in the very first attempt.

The candidates are put through three kinds of testing to measure their administrative potential; and ensure that the persons selected have the following.

  • A wide range of general awareness
  • Analytical ability and content retention capacity, and
  • Strength of character and a cheerful mental disposition even under stressful conditions
UPSC Exam Pattern, IAS Exam Pattern, IPS Exam Pattern, Civil Services Exam Pattern

The Civil Services Examination comprises two successive stages:

  • Preliminary Examinations (Objective Type) – for the selection of candidates for Main Examination and
  • Main Examination (Written Test and Interview) – for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts.

Preliminary Examinations for Civil Service:

The UPSC exam pattern for the Preliminary stage consists of two papers, conducted on one day. Both the papers comprise objective type questions with multiple choice of answers. The prelims examination is a qualifying stage to filter candidates for the mains exam. The marks secured at this stage are not counted towards the final merit list, though candidates have to prepare well for this exam as cut-offs are unpredictable and depend on the average score every year. The details of UPSC Prelims Exam are given below:

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

Mains Examination for Civil Services:

Civil Services Main Examination consists of written examination and interview test.

The written examination consists of 9 papers out of which 2 papers are only qualifying in nature. The marks obtained in the remaining 7 papers and the interview test together are considered for making the final merit.

Paper Name Time Duration Total Marks Nature of paper
Paper A – Compulsory Indian Language Paper 3 hours 300 Qualifying in nature
Paper B – English Language Paper 3 hours 300
Paper I – Essay 3 hours 250 Considered for Merit
Paper II – General Studies I 3 hours 250
Paper III – General Studies II 3 hours 250
Paper IV – General Studies III 3 hours 250
Paper V – General Studies IV 3 hours 250
Paper VI – Optional Paper I 3 hours 250
Paper VII – Optional Paper II 3 hours 250
Total 1750
Interview / Personality Test 275
Grand Total 2025


UPSC Exam Pattern 2021 for IAS, IPS, Civil Services Exam

Clearing the UPSC CSE Exam is a mix of ‘dedication, focus, right approach, motivation, knowing what to do, well-thought strategy and proper implementation’. It is important to keep yourself updated about the latest UPSC Exam pattern & Syllabus so as to be on the right track throughout your preparation.

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 an Interview or a Personality Test. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled

The Interview (the final leg of the examination) will carry 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks. 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 and posts keeping in view their Ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the services and posts.