UPSC Examination Pattern for Prelims, Mains & Interview
UPSC Examination Pattern for Prelims, Mains & Interview

UPSC Examination Pattern for Prelims, Mains & Interview

UPSC Civil Services Examination also known as the IAS exam may be a three-stage examination consisting of Prelims, Mains, and Interview. It’s conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to recruit appropriate candidates for IAS, IPS, IFS, and alternative allied services.

This article details the UPSC exam Pattern for prelims, mains, and the interview. It’s crucial to own a comprehensive understanding of the UPSC exam Pattern. It’ll permit you to effectively manage your time thereby making your UPSC preparation additional efficient. It’s conjointly necessary to own a deep understanding of the IAS exam pattern to align your preparation with all the exam needs.

Broadly, UPSC conducts the Civil Service Examination in 3 phases namely:

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Main Examination
  • Personality Test (Interview)

Candidates who qualify for all the rounds are counselled for joining the civil services in India. Every round is an elimination round, therefore you need to qualify each one to appear for the next one. Now, allow us to discuss the UPSC exam Pattern 2021 along with the marking scheme for each of the papers in numerous rounds.

Stage 1: IAS Exam Pattern for UPSC Prelims

UPSC Prelims consists of 2 papers namely General Studies I and CSAT (General Studies Paper-II). Whereas CSAT is qualifying in nature, the marks obtained within the General Studies paper confirm your choice for UPSC Mains. It means that your score within the General Studies Paper is considered for the Prelims cutoff.

Additionally, there’s negative marking for the incorrect answers. 1/3rd of the marks assigned for the question would be subtracted as a penalty for marking the incorrect answer. However, if you are doing not attempt the question, there’ll be no deductions. Hence, you ought to take only calculated risk when it involves marking doubtful questions.

Now, allow us to look at the UPSC exam pattern for Prelims 2021:

PaperTypeNo. of QuestionsMarksDurationNegative Marks
General Studies IObjective1002002 hoursYes
General Studies II (CSAT)Objective802002 hoursYes

Stage 2: IAS Exam Pattern for UPSC Mains

The UPSC exam pattern for the Mains stage consists of nine papers conducted over 5-7 days. Solely those candidates who secure a minimum of the declared cutoff in generally Studies I and 33% is generally Studies II in Prelims are allowed to look for the Mains Examination. As per the exam pattern of UPSC Mains, all of the papers consist of descriptive answer type questions. The details of the UPSC Mains exam are given below:

PaperSubjectDurationTotal Marks
Paper ACompulsory Indian Language3 Hours300
Paper BEnglish3 Hours300
Paper IEssay3 Hours250
Paper IIGeneral Studies I3 Hours250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 Hours250
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 Hours250
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 Hours250
Paper VIOptional I3 Hours250
Paper VIIOptional II3 Hours250

All of the mains papers apart from the language papers A and B are of a merit ranking nature. Paper A and B are of qualifying nature and candidates should score a minimum of 25% in every for the marks from their Paper I – Paper VII to given weightage. Paper A isn’t required for candidates from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim moreover as candidates with hearing impairment, provided they’ll prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their involved board or university. The Indian Language paper covers any of the languages included in the 8 Schedule of the Constitution.

The subjects that are covered by the General Studies Papers in Mains exam are:

General Studies IGeneral Studies IIGeneral Studies IIIGeneral Studies IV
Indian Heritage and CultureGovernanceTechnologyEthics
History and Geography of the WorldConstitutionEconomic DevelopmentIntegrity
 Social JusticeEnvironment 
 International relationsSecurity and Disaster Management 

The optional subjects for Paper VI and Paper VII of the mains exam:

AgricultureAnimal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceAnthropologyBotanyChemistry
Civil EngineeringCommerce and AccountancyEconomicsElectrical EngineeringGeography
Mechanical EngineeringMedical SciencePhilosophyPhysicsPolitical Science and International Relations
PsychologyPublic AdministrationSociologyStatisticsZoology

The 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.

Stage 3: UPSC Interview

This is the final stage of the IAS exam before the final results are declared. Officially it’s called the Interview/Personality test and counted as a part of the Mains Examination for merit ranking purposes. From a preparation standpoint, it’s considered the third stage as preparation methods for the written and interview stages are different. As per the IAS exam pattern, this consists of an interview by the UPSC board to assess the candidates’ suitability for a civil services career and associated responsibilities. The board consists of competent and unbiased observers who have a record of the candidates’ careers. The board would judge the candidate’s mental and social traits by asking questions of general interest. Some of the qualities that the board looks for are mental alertness, vital powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, a balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

The maximum marks assigned for the interview stage is 275, therefore bringing the overall marks for the merit list consideration to 2025.

The whole exam pattern of the UPSC IAS examination is comprehensive, and therefore the competition is intense. One ought to begin preparation in-depth as the examination method lasts for almost a year and not cutting means that starting from scratch the subsequent year.

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About Priya Bhardwaj

My name is Priya Bhardwaj and I am a blogger and SEO Executive.

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