UPSC Civil Services is one of India’s most coveted jobs that Indian citizens look out for. It has been one of the oldest and toughest exams to crack, especially for future aspirants who wish to serve the Nation. Every year UPSC conducts the IAS Civil Services Exam , which occurs in three phases. To crack this prestigious examination, an aspirant requires dedication and a proper understanding of the exam pattern. Every year around 11 lakh candidates apply for UPSC Civil Services, and only a few cracks it. Years of preparation and knowledge accumulation are required to ace this test. After that, each phase of the Civil Services Examination becomes an elimination round, so a candidate must have a thorough understanding of the examination. Having a clear understanding of the UPSC exam pattern can assist an aspirant in efficiently planning, managing time, and regulating their learning. It takes a considerable amount of time and dedication to get through an examination of this level.
Unlike the previous years of examinations conducted by UPSC, there have been no noteworthy changes in the exam pattern. Although any notification regarding changes in examination dates will be displayed on the official site: www.upsc.gov.in
The generalized Civil Services exam pattern and stages have been given below:
UPSC Prelims Examination
|Stage 1||UPSC Prelims Examination|
|Stage 2||UPSC Mains Examination|
|Stage 3||Personality Test (Personal Interview)|
Link for UPSC calendar: www.upsc.gov.in/examinations/exam-calendar
UPSC facts and eligibility: https://upsc.gov.in/sites/default/files/Notice-CSP-2021-Engl-04032021.pdf
The preliminary stage has two phases, and it is comprised of 2 papers:
|Paper 1||General Studies - I||MCQ||100||200||2 hours|
|Paper 2||General Studies–II (CSAT)||MCQ||80||200||2 hours|
Civil Services Preliminary Examination will consist of 2 papers that are GS-I and GS-II. Each exam will be for 2 hours, which will be conducted on the same day. A candidate is required to attempt both the papers to qualify for the mains examination.
For candidate feasibility, both the papers will be available in English and Hindi languages. General Studies-I tests a candidate based on their general awareness from a wide range of subjects. In contrast, General Studies-II, CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test), will test their aptitude, comprehension, and logical Abilities.
GS-I and GS-II will consist of multiple-choice questions, which will attract a negative marking of 1/3rd of the weightage of a question.
GS-I will assign Merit Ranks for the appeared candidates, and GS-II will be the qualifying paper or a screening test for the aspirants.
For a candidate to appear for Civil Services Mains Examination, they will require a minimum of 33% of total marks in the GS-II paper.
The marks scored in the preliminary stages are not included in the evaluation of the final score sheet.
The Mains Examination comprises a certain number of stages. It has a total of 9 papers, and it can extend up to nine days of testing candidates; this is done based on their perseverance and learning that occur throughout their preparation period. This varies according to the caliber of an aspirant, and the details have been outlined below:
|1||Indian Language (Compulsory)||300||3 hours||Qualifying|
|3||Paper-I | Essay Writing||250||3 hours||Allocation of Merit Rank|
|4||Paper-II | General Studies-I||250||3 hours||Allocation of Merit Rank|
|5||Paper-II | General Studies-II||250||3 hours||Allocation of Merit Rank|
|6||Paper-III | General Studies-III||250||3 hours||Allocation of Merit Rank|
|7||Paper-IV | General Studies-IV||250||3 hours||Allocation of Merit Rank|
|8||Optional-I||250||3 hours||Allocation of Merit Rank|
|9||Optional-II||250||3 hours||Allocation of Merit Rank|
|Total||1750||Allocation of Merit Rank|
Civil Services Mains Examination is a written examination i.e. Subjective Type format, where candidates have to reproduce ideas and have a subjective approach to the questions provided.
The first two phases of the Mains Examinations are qualifying in nature, requiring candidates to achieve a certain number of points for their remaining seven papers to be evaluated.
Candidates are required to select the language of the first paper from the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
The list of subjects for the respective papers, including optional subjects for all phases, can be referred from the list below:
|General Studies- I||General Studies- II||General Studies- III||General Studies- IV|
|Indian Heritage and Culture||Governance||Technology||Ethics|
|History and Geography of the World||Constitution||Economic Development||Integrity|
|International Relations||Security and Disaster Management|
Note: For the optional papers I & II, the candidate must select any one of the subjects from the following list:
|Agriculture||Civil Engineering||Geology||Mechanical Engineering||Psychology|
|Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science||Commerce and Accountancy||History||Medical Science||Public Administration|
|Chemistry||Geography||Mathematics||Political Science and International Relations||Zoology|
After going through rigorous examination phases, if the candidate cracks the UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, they will appear for the final interview, which will be a personality test. Usually, the personal interview gets examined based on General Awareness, Personality Traits, Logical Answers, etc. The interview is taken up by a set of experienced UPSC board members. Joining UPSC Civil Services and becoming Prime Officers of this Nation has a glory of its own, but the veterans and expert panelists will look for specific skills and traits that gauge a candidate's capability to be worthy enough for the coveted ranks, some of which have been mentioned below:
Decision making capability
Depth of knowledge
Here is a link to the best UPSC Personality Test guidance from our toppers and faculties:
Strategy to Ace UPSC Personality Test By Shabbir Sir : Video link
UPSC Topper Gunjan Singh’s (AIR-16) Interview: Video link
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