CIVIL SERVICES EXAM (CSE)

The Civil Services Examination offers the widest range of jobs in our country and is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). There are about twenty-three (23) services offered through this single examination.

 Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Services and Posts mentioned below will be held by the Union Public Service Commission (May - June every year) in accordance with the Rules published by the Department of Personnel & Training in the Gazette of India Extraordinary . 

(i) Indian Administrative Service.
(ii) Indian Foreign Service.
(iii) Indian Police Service.
(iv) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’.
(v) Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(vi) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’.
(vii) Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(viii) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’.
(ix) Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration).
(x) Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.
(xi) Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(xii) Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.
(xiii) Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'.
(xiv) Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
(xv) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
(xvi) Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
(xvii) Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
(xviii) Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III).
(xix) Indian Corporate Law Service, Group "A".
(xx) Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade).
(xxi) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar
Haveli Civil Service, Group 'B'.
(xxii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar
Haveli Police Service, Group 'B'.
(xxiii) Pondicherry Civil Service, Group 'B'.
(xxiv) Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’.

Some of the top services offered are the two All India Services, viz., the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) along with the other central services, viz., Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) etc. Due to the importance and nature of such civil/public service jobs, UPSC takes utmost care in selecting the right people.

The candidates are put through three kinds of testing to measure their administrative potential; and ensure that the persons selected have the following;

  • A wide range of general awareness
  • Analytical ability and content retention capacity, and
  • Strength of character and a cheerful mental disposition even under stressful conditions

The Civil Services Examination comprises three successive stages:

  1. Civil Services Preliminary Examinations (Objective Type) – for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and
  2. Civil Services Main Examination (Written Test) – for the selection of candidates for the Interview
  3. Interview- for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts

The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions – there are four alternatives for the answer to every question) and carry a maximum of 400 marks.

  • Name of Paper No of Objective type Questions Duration Given Marks
    Paper I: General Studies 100 2 Hours 200
    Paper II: CSAT 80 2 Hours 200
    Total Marks     400

The Qualifying marks for Paper II: CSAT is 33%. But the candidates will be promoted to the Mains only based on the marks in Paper I: General Studies.The Preliminary Examination is meant to serve as a screening test only and the marks obtained by the successful candidates (who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination) will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies (across all services and posts) to be filled in the year through this examination.

Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in a year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

The Mains Examination is a written Examination.The exam is wrritten in language selected by candidate in form. It consists of 9 Papers out of which 2 are Qualifying in nature namely Paper A and Paper B; remaining 7 papers which are  Paper I to Paper VII marks added to interview marks for final Ranking. The Question paper will be available in Hindi as well as in English.Candidate writes answer in language selected by him/her at the time of filling the form

S.No. Name of the Paper. Name of the Subject. Marks.
1. Paper-A. Modern Indian Language. (Qualifying Paper). 300.
2. Paper-B. English (Qualifying Paper). 300.
3. Paper-I. Essay. 250.
4. Paper-II. General studies-I. 250.
5. Paper-III. General studies-II. 250.
6. Paper-IV. General studies-III. 250.
7. Paper-V. General studies-IV. 250.
8. Paper-VI. Optional Subject (Paper-1). 250.
9. Paper-VII. Optional Subject (Paper-2). 250.
    Sub-Total. 1750.    
    Interview. 275.
  Total.   2025.


For the optional papers in the Main Examination, UPSC has a list of about twenty-six subjects out of which any one subject has to be selected by the candidate.

Candidates, who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an Interview or a Personality Test. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled.

The Interview (the final Step of the examination) will carry 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks. Marks, thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examinationand interview would determine final rank.

Candidates will be allotted to the various services and posts keeping in view their Ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the services and posts.