UPSC CSE IAS Exam Pattern Full Details

UPSC CSE IAS Exam Pattern Full Details-In this article we published details about the Exam Pattern for the UPSC CSE IAS (UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION) (CIVIL SERVICES EXAM). Check every details very carefully given below to understand about the exam pattern for CSE IAS.


The Civil Services Examination comprises two successive stages:

  • Civil Services Preliminary Examination Objective Type for the selection of candidates for Civil Services (Main) Examination and
  • Civil Services Mains Examination Written and Interview/Personality Test for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.
Preliminary Exam Pattern
  • The Civil Services Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type multiple choice questions and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in sub-section (A) of Section II.
  • This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Civil Services Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Civil Services Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit.
  • The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Services (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper-II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper-I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission.

There will be negative marking for incorrect answers as detailed below :

  • There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.

  • Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions) and each will be of two hours duration.
  • The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
Mains Exam Pattern

The Written Examination will consist of the following papers :

Qualifying Papers :


  • One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the
    Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. (300 Marks.)


  • English (300 Marks)

Papers to be counted for merit :


  • Essay (250 Marks)


  • General Studies‐I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) (250 Marks)


  • General Studies ‐II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) (250 Marks)


  • General Studies ‐III

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster
Management) (250 Marks)


  • General Studies ‐IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) (250 Marks)


  • Optional Subject ‐ Paper 1 (250 Marks)


  • Optional Subject ‐ Paper 2 (250 Marks)

Sub Total (Written test) = 1750 Marks

Personality Test = (275 Marks)

Grand Total = (2025 Marks)

  • Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from amongst the list of subjects given
  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Medical Science
  18. Philosophy
  19. Physics
  20. Political Science and International Relations
  21. Psychology
  22. Public Administration
  23. Sociology
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology
  26. 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.


  • The question papers for the examination will be of conventional (essay) type.
  • Each paper will be of three hours duration.
  • Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English. Notwithstanding this, the Candidate will have the choice to write the Optional Papers in English also if candidates opt to write Paper I-V except the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the language included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
  • The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only

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