A complete ecosystem for UPSC Civils and State PSC Preparation

UPSC exam details and latest updates

Pattern Of UPSC Civil Services Examination

UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination every year for recruitment to All India services(IAS, IPS, IFS) and various Group A and Group B of Central services in the Government of India. This article aims to provide the reader with detailed information about the pattern of this examination.

The UPSC Civil Services Examination is divided into three stages :

  1. Preliminary Examination 
  2. Main Examination 
  3. Interview/Personality Test

As per the exam pattern, candidates who clear the Prelims are eligible for Mains and candidates who clear the Main reach the interview stage. Lets know about all the three stages of exam in more details:

Preliminary Examination :

The UPSC Preliminary Examination consists of two papers which are conducted on the same day. Both the papers are objective type with multiple choices of answers.

Prelims is a qualifying examination to filter candidates for the mains exam. The marks secured at Prelims examination are not counted towards the final merit list. However, some candidates find this exam the most difficult stage as this exam requires not only the diverse knowledge of general studies but also tests the aptitude and reasoning abilities of candidates.

Strictly speaking, all the non-serious candidates are filtered here itself(All those candidates who appear in prelims just to take a feel of it…). Hence this exam should be taken with utmost seriousness. With the right strategy,  consistent hard work/smart work(sadly smart work doesn’t work for all…) and a bit of luck, this exam can be easily cleared.

More details of UPSC Prelims Exam are given below :

Prelims exam pattern




Please note two very important point here:

1. There is a negative marking of 0.33 % of the total marks of the question(So blind guesswork will not work, only smart guess please…).

For example :

In General studies paper 1, each question is of 2 marks. For every wrong answer, 0.66 marks is deducted.

Similarly, In General studies paper 2, each question is of 2.5 marks. For every wrong answer, 0.83 marks is deducted.

 2. General studies paper 2 is only qualifying in nature. You need to score only 33% marks ( 66 marks out of 200 to be precise ) and you are good to go.

Merit is decided only based on paper 1. So, the marks that you score in paper 1 will decide if you will sail through prelims or not.

Candidates can take the  exam in either English or Hindi language.

Main Examination :

Those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination are eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

The Main Examination is a conventional written examination which consists of 9 papers out of which two papers( Paper A – India Language paper and Paper B – English ) are qualifying in nature. 

Also Read about UPSC Civil Services :