Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is one of the many constitutional body in India. It is authorized to conduct competitive examinations and interviews for recruitment of civil services, defence services and posts under the Union Government or Central Government.

In India, the Union Public Service commission (UPSC) is authorised to conduct the Civil Services Examination (CSE) to recruit officers for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and other All India services.

Civil Services

Indian Civil Service serves as the backbone of Indian administrative machinery. Career in civil services offers prestigious opportunities and responsibilities. India’s best minds strive for entry into the All India Civil Services as IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IFS (Indian Forest Service) and IPS (Indian Police Service) officers.

  • Civil Services Preliminary and Main Examination
  • Indian Forest Service Examination
  • Engineering Services Examination
  • National Defence Acadamy & Naval Academy Examination
  • Combined Defence Services Examination
  • Combined Medical Services Examination
  • Special Class Railway Apprentices Examination
  • Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination
  • Indian Economic/Statistical Service Examination
  • Central Armed Police Forces Examination
  • Indian Police Services Examination
  • Section Officers and Stenographer Exam

In order to be eligible for the Civil Services examination, candidates must be graduates or above.

Candidates who are about to appear for their final graduation exams are also eligible to appear for this examination.

The maximum number of attempts permitted is six for open category candidates, and nine for OBC candidates. There is no limit on the number of attempts for SC, ST candidates.

The minimum age limit for candidates is 21 years and the maximum age limit is 32 years. The upper age limit is further relaxed by 5 years and 3 years for candidates belonging to SC/ST and OBC categories respectively. (The above mentioned criteria is as given in 2014, these are subject to change in 2015).

The two stages of the examination consist of the preliminary round, followed by the mains (written and interview).

5.1.Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination is an objective type Examination. It consists of two papers, both of which are worth two hundred marks each. Each paper is of two hour duration. These two papers are:

A. General studies Paper I

General studies questions cover a host of topics ranging from current events of national and international importance, history, polity, Indian and world Geography, economic and social development, general science and ecology.

B. General Studies Paper II (Civil Services Aptitude test – CSAT)

The CSAT paper deals mainly with questions testing a candidate’s logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision making and problem solving, basic numeracy, data interpretation, etc.

As per the latest notice issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Government of India, the General Studies Paper II (CSAT) will be a qualifying paper in 2015. The qualifying marks being fixed at 33% of the total marks of the paper.

In addition, the English Language Comprehension skill section of the General Studies paper II (CSAT) will be excluded.

(NOTE: There is penalty for wrong answers; for every answer one third (0.33) of the marks allotted to the question get deducted.)

Those candidates who clear the cut-offs are deemed eligible to attempt the Main Examination.

5.2. Main Examination

The Main Examination is a written exam and candidates can write it in either English or any other Indian language included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. In all, the main examination has eight papers.

The two language papers (qualifying only – marks obtained in these papers are not counted for the purpose of drawing up the rank list).

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in two stages Prelims and Mains which are then followed by an interview.

Scheme and subjects for the Preliminary and Main Examinations is as follows:

Latest Pattern of Civil Services (Mains) Examination

Preliminary Examination

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the Civil Services Prelims Exam.


(i) Both the question papers are of the objective type (multiple choice questions) of two hours each.

(ii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills would be provided only in English.

(iii) Blind candidates would be allowed an extra 20 minutes of time at each paper.

Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Paper Section Subject Marks
Paper – I Section 1 Essay 200 Marks
Section 2 English Comprehension & English (The level of paper would be Matriculation / Xth standard level) 100 Marks
Paper – II General Studies–I Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society 250 Marks
Paper – III General Studies–II Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations 250 Marks
Paper – IV General Studies–III Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management 250 Marks
Paper – V General Studies–IV Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude 250 Marks
Paper – VI Paper – I Optional Subject 250 Marks
Paper – VII Paper – II Optional Subject 250 Marks
Total marks from written test 1800 Marks
Personality Test (Interview) 275 Marks
Grand Total 2075 Marks

IAS Preliminary Examination CSAT Paper – 1 (GS)

Every Aspirant needs Syllabus for the reputed IAS exam. you should download and read the syllabus very carefully and start your preparations accordingly. IAS Exam has two compulsory papers with MCQ Questions of 200 marks each. There is no Official Cut-off, and you must quality in both the papers.

Paper I – (200 marks) Duration : Two hours
Current events of national and international importance.
History of India and Indian National Movement.
Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
Economic and Social Development -Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.

General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation
General Science.

IAS Preliminary Examination CSAT Paper – 2 (APTITUDE)

Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
Logical reasoning and analytical ability
Decision-making and problemsolving
General mental ability
Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

Note 1 : Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%
Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

Civil Services Mains Exam Syllabus

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Paper A – Modern Indian language 300 Marks – Qualifying nature – Marks not counted – Passing mandatory
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essay
(v) Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.

Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
Note 2 : The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).

Paper B – English -300 marks – Qualifying nature – Marks not counted- Passing mandatory The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.
The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:-
(i) Comprehension of given passages
(ii) Precis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary
(iv) Short Essay.

Click Here to View Complete UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus