Civil Services Mains Exam pattern

Yashwant Kale General, UPSC Leave a Comment

Civil Services Mains exam pattern

A number of changes have been introduced to the structure of the Civil Services Exam.

A General category candidate can now take the exam until he attains the age of 32 years (earlier 30). He now has 6 attempts (earlier 4). Similarly, for other categories:
OBC – Age limit is 35 (earlier 33) and attempts are 9 (earlier 7).
SC/ST– Age limit is 37 (earlier 35) and attempts are unlimited.

As per the new change in syllabus of CS exam, there are a total of 9 papers in the main examination that are of descriptive type, and need to be answered in detail. All papers are of descriptive type.

• There are two qualifying papers, one Indian language and second of English.
• Their marks are not counted for merit purposes but all candidates must qualify these papers otherwise their remaining papers will not be evaluated. So be careful as many deserving aspirants fail qualifying papers. Never be over confident.
• The candidate may use any language which is a part of the Eighth Schedule of constitution as the medium of writing the examination.
• FOUR General Studies paper each comprising of 250 Marks with a total of 1000 Marks and so the scope of general studies paper has increased greatly.
• There is now only a single optional subject that is to be selected from the list of subjects. The scope of the syllabus of optional paper is higher than the bachelor’s degree but lower than the master’s level. Optional Subject 1 and 2 are  for 250 marks each.

Optional subjects can be any of the ones mentioned as per UPSC syllabus such as Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology or Literature.

• And finally, there is the Interview/Personality Test is of 275 Marks. Candidates can select the language in which they wish to be interviewed. The interview test is not intended to be a test of factual knowledge which has already been tested in the written stage but more like a personality test and is aimed at finding out how inquisitive a candidate is or how much interest he has taken in his surroundings and happenings.
The total mark of the written examination is 1750 Marks.
The Interview/Personality Test will be of 275 marks.

Summary of pattern of Main exam is given below:

Written Papers:

Paper 1-Language Paper -300 Marks.
Candidate can choose any Modern Indian language but this paper is of qualifying nature (marks not evaluated for merit)

Paper 2-English -300 Marks
This paper is also of qualifying nature.

Paper 3-Essay – 250 Marks

Paper 4-GS (General Studies) Paper I- 250 Marks.
Indian Heritage and Culture,
History and Geography of the World and Society.

Paper 5-General Studies –II- 250 Marks.
Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Paper 6-General Studies –III. 250 Marks.
Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

Paper 7-General Studies –IV. 250 Marks
Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.

Paper 8-Optional Paper.250 marks

Paper 9-Optional Paper.250 marks


Interview for 275 marks.

Total marks for UPSC Civil services exam(mains)  new pattern:

Total marks for written exam= 250(essay)+1000(General studies total 4 papers)+ 500 (optional total two papers) = 1750 Marks

Total marks for exam= 1750 marks (written exam) + 275 marks(Interview/Personality Test) =  2025 marks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *