UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three phases:
Phase 1: Preliminary Examination or CSAT (Objective Section)
Phase 2: Main Examination (Subjective Section)
Phase 3: Interview (Vocal Section)
Phase 1: Preliminary Examination – CSAT Syllabus:
CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test is the first phase of preliminary examination of UPSC. This test is intended to assess the aptitude of examinees in solving the ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions.
IAS prelims exam consists of two papers of objective type, each of 200 marks (total of 400 marks) and two hours of duration and candidates must take both the papers.
The preliminary examination is meant for screening the candidate and the marks obtained by a candidate in the prelims who qualifies to the mains exam will not be be taken in account to determine their final merit.
- 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
- a) IAS Preliminary Exam:
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision-making and problem solving
- 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)
The phase 2 tests candidate’s academic talent in depth and his/her ability to present understanding in a reasonable way. The IAS mains examination is designed to analyse the comprehensive intellectual quality and the understanding of candidates rather than just determining their information and memory.
The UPSC mains exam consists of 9 papers, in which two are qualifying papers of 300 marks each:
- Any Indian Language
These two papers just need to qualify which is compulsory and marks obtained will not be considered or counted.
And the rest of seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned as in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or in English. Below given the remaining seven papers:
|Paper – I
Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice
|General Studies- I
(Indian Heritage and Culture,
History and Geography of the World and Society)
|General Studies- II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
|General Studies- III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
|General Studies- IV
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
(Marks carried by General Studies was 4X250=1000)
|Optional Subject – Paper 1
|Optional Subject – Paper II
(Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject ” and candidate need not to be a graduate in that language’s literature.)
Candidates may choose any one of the ‘Optional Subjects’ from the list of subjects given below:
|Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
|Commerce and Accountancy
|Political Science and International Relations
- b) Main Exam:
|One Of The Indian Languages Chosen From The Prescribed List
|General Studies (250 Marks For Each Paper)
|VIII & IX
|Optional Subject 1
|Total Marks For Written Examination
Candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the UPSC Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion enters the next and final phase that is the ‘personality test’ or ‘Interview’ round.
- Candidates who qualify the UPSC Mains Exam will move to the next and final phase called ‘Personality Test/Interview’ who will be interviewed by a Board who will have candidates resume. The interview round is held by a Board of competent and unbiased intended to assess social traits and his interest in current affairs and analyze the personal aptness of the candidate for a career in public service. Some of the qualities evaluated during the personality test are mental alertness, clear and logical exposition, critical powers of assimilation, variety and depth of interest, balance of judgement, intellectual and moral integrity ability for social cohesion and leadership,.
- The interview is more of purposive conversation intended to divulge the mental qualities of the candidate.
- Candidate can give interview in their preferred language as UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.
- c) Interview Test:
The Interview test will be of 275 marks.
The total mark of the written examination is 1750 Marks.
The Interview/Personality Test will be of 275 marks.
The Grand Total 2025 Marks