Civil Services Examination is one of the most prestigious and the toughest examination in India. But do you know, why it is regarded as the toughest? Well, UPSC is very smart as it tests you for your knowledge, retention power, your emotional intelligence, your ethical and moral values, your rational mind and above all your patience. And it is due to these reasons, that this examination is regarded as a marathon race. But are you clearly aware of its pattern? If not,just have a look at this.


Civil Services Examination is conducted by UPSC, New Delhi. It consists of 3 stages. The first stage is the Civil Services Preliminary Examination (UPSC Prelims). It consists of two papers, of objective type (MCQs). The first Prelims paper is GS (General Studies) and the second paper is CSAT. If we talk about syllabus, then for GS, the syllabus includes History, Polity, Economics, Geography, Environment, Science & Technology and Current Affairs. While for CSAT, the syllabus includes Maths, Reasoning, Comprehension, inter personal skills and decision making. CSAT is of qualifying nature. Both comprise of 100 questions each and  total 400 marks. There is a strict provision of negative marking of 0.33 marks. Please note, that it is compulsory to clear UPSC Prelims in order to appear for the next stage i.e UPSC Mains. This stage acts  as a screening test only. The marks obtained in  the UPSC Prelims are not counted for determining the final order of merit after UPSC Mains. Also, the number of candidates to be admitted in UPSC Mains are about 12 to 13 times the total number of approximate vacancies to be filled in that particular year. For example, in the year 2017, 980 vacancies were there in UPSC, so approximately you can estimate the number of candidates termed as qualified for UPSC Mains that year. There are in total of 6 attempts for General Category students. Even if you appear for UPSC Prelims after your graduation, and are unable to clear it, still your attempt would be counted. You can check other eligibility criteria on official UPSC website( If we come to second stage, then we can say, it is a tiring marathon! UPSC Mains is a descriptive type examination, which consists of 8 Papers and total 1750 marks. Paper 1 is termed as GS 1 of 250 marks and comprises of Indian Heritage & Culture, History, Geography of India & World, Indian Society. Paper 2 is termed as GS 2 of 250 marks and comprises of  Polity, Social Justice, Governance, Constitution, International Relations. Paper 3 is termed as GS 3 of 250 marks and comprises of Science & Technology, Biodiversity, Disaster Management, Environment, Economic Development, Internal Security. Paper 4 is termed as GS 4 of 250 marks and comprises of Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude. Paper 5 is termed as GS 5 of 250 marks and comprises of Essay writing. Paper 6 comprises of Optional paper A & B and constitutes of total 500 marks. You can choose your optional subject  by determining your strength & grip over that particular subject. A list of Optional subjects include: Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Anthropology, Botany, Zoology, Statistics, Psychology, Statistics, Sociology, Public Administration,Physics, Philosophy, Medical Science, Mathematics, Management, Mechanical Engineering, Political Science & International Relations, Law, Geography, History, Geology, Electrical Engineering, Economics, Commerce & Accountancy, Chemistry and Civil Engineering. Choose wisely amongst these subjects. Paper 7 is any one Indian language mentioned in the Indian Constitution. This paper is of 300 marks. For example, you can choose Hindi as this paper. The last set of paper is Paper 8, comprising of English and 300 marks. Paper 8 is of qualifying nature only. All the papers from 1-7 are used to determine merit. The last stage is the Personality Test in the form of a tough Interview. Many candidates loose out in this stage only. This stage comprises of 275 marks and requires good communication skills, sound knowledge and real attitude. No fake attitude can help you through this stage. Therefore, compiling the marks of Stage -2 and Stage-3, the final merit order is determined. The total marks add up to (1750+275= 2025).  The question papers, other than Paper-7 & 8, are set in both Hindi & English.


Therefore, this was all about the UPSC pattern and syllabus. You can check the detailed examination syllabus in the downloads section of UPSCCONNECT.UPSC preparation requires a lot of smart hard work. Best online coaching for IAS like us or even offline coaching can guide you through this examination. All the best!

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