UPSC Exam Pattern

UPSC Exam Pattern

To prepare for UPSC (CSE) - Required 50% of knowledge plus 50% of skills. Best success mantra to Ace UPSC.

UPSC (CSE) syllabus comprises of 3 parts:

1. Prelims:- It comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

Paper - 1 General Studies - 100 questions &

Paper - 2 General Studies - CSAT (Qualifying nature) - 80 questions.

Both the papers are objective types, set in both English and Hindi language and the exam details are provided by the exam notice and notification is published by the Government. Duration of each paper is 2 hours. Candidate should note that incorrect response get negative marking (1/3 of the assigned marks to that question is deducted from the aggregate). There will be no marks deducted for the questions left blank. The cut off marks at present in 33%. Only Marks acquired in paper 1 will be considered for the merit rank. General Studies paper - 2 is of qualifying nature only in which a candidate has to score at least 33% marks to pass.

2. Mains:- The question paper for the civil services (Main) for the exam are of essay type. Duration of the exam is 3 hours for each paper. It consist of 9 papers but Marks acquired in 7 papers will be considered for the merit rank and the other 2 are language papers (Paper A and Paper B) For paper A - Candidates will have to choose the Indian language option in the paper.

Note:- The Paper A on Indian Language is not mandatory for the candidates of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. For paper B - Candidates will have question from English language. Mode of paper is subjective type.

3. Personal Interview:- After clearing Prelims and Mains. One must acquire marks in the interview for personality test will be counted in merit ranking.

Stages Marks Cut offs







Interview (Preliminary test)




What is UPSC CSE Exam ?

UPSC CSE is one of the most difficult exams conducted every year for the recruitment of IAS, IPS, IFS and other officers in Indian Civil Services.

How many exams are there to clear UPSC?

The exam takes place in 3 phases:- 1. Prelims (MCQs), 2. Mains (Subjective) & 3. Personal Interview (Personality test).

Is admit card issued?

The UPSC IAS mains admit card will be issued in its official website:-

How to fill online application form?

Candidates can apply online for UPSC exam by visiting website:- or Application will not be accepted in any other mode.

How eligibility of age calculated?

It is calculated based on the cut-off date as per the notification.

What is the age criteria to appear for UPSC CSE Exam ?

Candidates must have completed 21 years of age by 1st August of that given year when the exam is held. The upper age limit is 32 years for General candidates, 35years for Candidates of OBC, 37 years for SC/ST candidates, 42 years for Gen-PH and 45 years for OBC-PH, 47 years for PH SC/ST.

Is there any negative marking in UPSC CSE exam?

UPSC Prelims has a negative marking too. For every wrong answer, there will be a deduction of 0.33. GS Paper 2 is qualifying in nature, which needs only 33% to score for the candidates.

What is the cut off marks of UPSC IAS exam?

UPSC Prelims this year took place on May month. The expected UPSC Cut Off For Prelims this year is 82-85 marks. The UPSC Prelims cut off will be out for all candidates once the exam results are published.

How to download admit card of UPSC exam?

1. Visit or Go to
2. Candidates will require Registration Number or Roll Number followed by Date of Birth, Enter captcha in the given field then submit.
3. If the candidate has not received any information regarding his/her admit card, candidate should immediately contact the commission on concerned email id- or or Commission's Office either in person or over phone Numbers are: 011-23381125 / 011-23385271 / 011-23098543.

How seat is allocated in the UPSC CSE exam?

Seat allocation is done on the basis of "First Application First Allocation" through computer without any manual intervention.

Is UPSC exam conducted online or offline?

UPSC IAS Prelims & Mains Exam are held offline in pen and paper mode.

What is the time to reach the examination centre?

The examination venue will be closed 90 minutes before the commencement of examination. For example:- If the exam starts at 10:00 A.M. the examination venue will close at 08:30 A.M.

Who all can appear in UPSC IAS ?

The below candidates are eligible to appear in UPSC CSE exam:- (a) A citizen of India, (b) A subject of Nepal, (c) A subject of Bhutan, (d) A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January 1962, (e) Persons of Indian Origin & (f) Overseas Citizens of India.

Can candidate give exams in their own language?

Candidate can give exam either in Hindi or English.

Is jeans allowed in UPSC CSE exam?

Wearing jeans is strictly avoided.

What is to dress code to appear for an interview?

Men should wear light coloured formal shirts and dark trousers. A neck-tie is ok if you are comfortable. Women should wear decent light coloured clothes with no overdo makeup and hairstyle.

Is UPSC interview tough?

We can say the exam is challenging but not tough. The syllabus is really vast and requires lot of sitting. Which may lead this exam as toughest exam.

Is one year enough for UPSC preparation?

Yes, One year enough to appear for UPSC exam.

How result is calculated?

The result of Civil Services Examination is subject to changes that may be necessitated by the orders passed by the Honourable Courts in cases pending before them.