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UPSC Pattern & Syllabus

UPSC Pattern & Syllabus

The UPSC Exam pattern is officially divided into three stages i.e Prelims, Mains and Interview. Prelims is objective type stage in which there will be 2 objective type papers. Candidate who clears the Prelims are eligible for Mains Examination, which is subjective in nature and candidates who clear the Mains Examination reach the Interview stage.

Stage 1: Prelims

The Prelims Examination is usually conducted in the months of May or June.
Paper Type No. of Questions Total marks Time Alotted Negtive Marks
General Studies I Objective 100 200 2 Hours Yes
General Studies II Objective 80 200 2 Hours Yes
Total UPSC marks for Prelims 400 ( Where GS paper II is qualifying in nature with Minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%)

Stage 2: Mains

The UPSC exam pattern for the Mains stage consists of 9 papers conducted over 5-7 days. The Mains Examinations are usually conducted in the month of October. Only those candidates who secure at least the declared cut off in General Studies I and 33% in General Studies II in Prelims will be allowed to appear for the Mains Examination.

UPSC CSE Exam Pattern – Mains

Papers Subject Duration of the Test Maximum Marks
Paper A Indian Language (Atleast 25% marks required) 3 Hrs 300
Paper B English (Atleast 25% marks required) 3 Hrs 300
Paper I Essay 3 Hrs 250
Paper II General Studies I 3 Hrs 250
Paper III General Studies II 3 Hrs 250
Paper IV General Studies III 3 Hrs 250
Paper V General Studies IV 3 Hrs 250
Paper VI Optional I 3 Hrs 250
Paper VII Optional II 3 Hrs 250

Stage 3: Interview

This is the final stage of the IAS Exam before the final results are declared. Officially it is called the Interview/Personality Test and counted as a part of the Mains Examination for merit ranking purposes. The Interview stage carries 275 marks.

UPSC Syllabus for CSE Prelims:

UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper (Prelims Paper I)

UPSC Syllabus for CSE Prelims:

UPSC Syllabus for Mains


Mains GS-I

Mains GS-II

Mains GS-III

IAS Syllabus for Mains GS-IV

IAS Syllabus for Essay and Language Papers

Essay Paper

Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

Language Papers

The types of questions asked are –

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