UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three phases:

Phase 1: Preliminary Examination (Objective Section)

Phase 2: Main Examination (Subjective Section)

Phase 3: Interview (Vocal Section)

Phase 1: Preliminary Examination (Objective Section)

The Prelims Examination is an Objective type of Examination with Multiple Choice Questions (the candidate has to choose an option from the given options for that question). This examination consists of two papers namely Paper I and Paper II. The Paper I contains 200 marks and Paper II also contains 200 marks. The Duration for Paper I is 2 hours as well as Paper II is also 2 hours. The exam Pattern of the UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims Examination is as follows:

Name of the Paper. No. of Questions. Duration Given. Marks.
Paper I: General Studies. 100. 2 Hours. 200.
Paper II: CSAT

 

 

Total Marks.

80.  2 Hours. 200.

 

 

400.

Note: The marks which are secured in the prelims are only for qualifying the Mains Examination. It is not counted to determine the order of merit. The Qualifying marks for Paper II: Aptitude is 33%. But the candidates will be promoted to the Mains only based on the Qualifying marks in Paper I: General Studies.

Phase 2: Main Examination (Subjective Section)

The Mains Examination is a written Examination. It consists of 9 Papers out of which 2 are Qualifying in nature namely Paper A and Paper B; remaining 7 papers which are namely Paper I to Paper VII which are based on Ranking. The Questions will be available in Hindi as well as English in the Question Papers.

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.

Note: Here, Modern Indian Language means any language which is included in the 8thSchedule to the Constitution of India.

The Final Ranking of the candidates: This is done based on the marks obtained in the Mains and the Interview.

IAS Syllabus

 I. UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims – Topics in Paper I – General Studies:

  1. Current Affairs: Events occurring in the National as well as in the World.
  2. Indian History & National Movement of India.
  3. Geography: India & the World; Physical, Economic & Social Geography of India as well the World.
  4. Polity of India & Indian Governance: Constitution, Panchayat Raj, Public Policy, Political System, Rights Issue, etc…..,
  5. Economic Development & Social Development: Sustainable Development, Social Sector Initiatives, Demography of the Nation, Poverty, Inclusion.
  6. General Issues on Bio-Diversity, Environmental Ecology and Change in the Climate (these do not require any specialization).
  7. General Science.

II. UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims – Topics in Paper II – CSAT:

  1. Interpersonal Skills which include Communication Skills.
  2. Analytical Ability & Logical Reasoning.
  3. Decision-Making & Problem-Solving.
  4. General Mental Ability.
  5. Basic Numeracy (numbers as well as their relations, orders of magnitude, etc…..,) & Data Interpretation ( Tables, Graphs, Charts, Data Sufficiency, etc…..,). Note: Basic Numeracy & Data Interpretation based on Level of Class X.
  6. English Language – Comprehension Skills ( Based on Level of Class X)

Note:  Negative marking in UPSC Prelims

Each paper is of two hours duration. Both contain multiple-choice questions (MCQs). ... For each incorrect answer, you will be penalised 1/3rd of the marks in UPSC Prelims. This means, if you mark one right answer and three wrong answers, you get zero marks.   

The Syllabus of the UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains Examination 2017:

The UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains examination consists of papers. They are as follows:

  1. Paper-A: Modern Indian Language. (Qualifying Paper).
  2. Paper-B: English (Qualifying Paper).
  3. Paper-I: Essay.
  4. Paper-II: General studies-I.
  5. Paper-III: General studies-II.
  6. Paper-IV: General studies-III.
  7. Paper-V: General studies-IV.
  8. Paper-VI: Optional Subject (Paper-1).
  9. Paper-VII: Optional Subject (Paper-2).

I. UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains – Topics in Paper A – Modern Indian Language (Qualifying Paper):

  1. Comprehensive questions on given Passages.
  2. Precise Writing. (Making a Summary).
  3. Usage as well as vocabulary.
  4. Short Essay.
  5. Translation from English to the Indian Language & conversely.

Note: Modern Indian Language will be as the languages in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

II. UPSC Civil Services Mains – Topics in Paper B – English (Qualifying Paper):

  1. Comprehensive questions on given Passages.
  2. Precise Writing. (Making a Summary).
  3. Usage as well as vocabulary.
  4. Short Essay.

 III. UPSC Civil Service IAS Mains – Topics in Paper I – Essay:

The candidates have to write an essay on any of the topics given. They are required to write the essay in the language of the choice of the candidate. The candidates have to be close to the subject of the essay and arrange the ideas in orderly fashion and write in brief.

IV. UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains – Topics in Paper II – General studies I:

The major areas of this paper are as follows:

  1. Heritage & Culture of India,
  2. History & Culture of the World as well as the Society.
  3. Salient features of Indian Society,Diversity of India
  4. Globalization and its impact on Indian Society
  5. Salient features of world's physical geography
  6. world's natural resources and industries
  7. Important geophysical phenomena,their locations and impact on flora and fauna.

V. UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains – Topics in Paper III – General studies II:

The major areas of this paper are as follows:

  1. Governance
  2. Polity
  3. Constitution
  4. Social Justice.
  5. Internal Relations.

VI. UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains – Topics in Paper IV – General studies III:

The major areas of this paper are as follows:

  1. Technology
  2. Economic Development.
  3. Environmental
  4. Security
  5. Disaster Management.
  6. Bio-Diversity.

 VII. UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains – Topics in Paper V – General studies IV:

The major areas of this paper are as follows:

  1. Ethics
  2. Integrity
  3. Aptitude

 VIII. UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains – Topics in Paper VI – Optional Subject Paper 1:

The topics in this paper depend on the subject the candidate selects from the list of Optional Subjects.

XI. UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains – Topics in Paper VII – Optional Subject Paper 2:

The topics in this paper depend on the subject the candidate selects from the list of Optional Subjects.

The List of Optional Subjects is as follows:    

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering.
  • Commerce & Accountancy.
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering.
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Law
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Medical Science.
  • philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science & International Relations.
  • Sociology
  • Public Administration.
  • Psychology
  • statics
  • Zoology
  • Literature of any one of the language such as Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, gujarathi, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.

Note: The candidate can select the literature of any of the above languages only if he or she has graduated in the Literature of that specific Language as the Main Subject.


The UPSC Civil Services IAS Interview: 

The interview is conducted after the Candidate is passed in the Mains Examination. The Interview plays an important role in the Selection of the Candidate.

  • The Selected candidate will be interviewed by a Board which consists of the Competent as well as fair-minded members. The Board will have the record of career of the Candidate. The candidate will be asked questions on the General interest of the Board. The purpose of the interview is mainly to review the Candidate’s Personality Suitability for a Career in Public Service i.e. IAS. The Board also observes and judges the Mental Ability as well as Mental Caliber of the Candidate. The Interview is conducted to assess the intellectual qualities as well as the Social behavior of the Candidate and the interest of the candidate in the Current affairs. The Board essentially observes the qualities such as Mental Alertness, Clear & Logical Exposition, Critical Powers of Assimilation, Social Traits, Interest & Knowledge on Current Affairs, Balance of Judgment, Variety & Depth of Interest, Ability of Social Cohesion, Leadership Skills, and Intellectual & Moral Integrity.
  • The Objective of the Interview is not to cross-examine the candidate, but to analyze his or her Intellectual & Mental Qualities.
  • The Board is interested to ask the questions relating to the events occurring in India as well as the World. As the candidates are already examined on the topics of Current Affairs and the Subjects in the written Examinations, the Board is interested to ask these questions. The Score of the Candidate will be based on the Personality test conducted as well as the intellectual Qualities.