FAQs

FAQ’s ON UPSC

Q 1.- What is the current pattern of the Civil Services Examination?

Ans.- Civil Services Examination is a 3-stage examination held every year.

Stage 1 – Preliminary Test

Stage 2 – Main Exam

Stage 3 – Personality Test / Interview

Q 2.- What is the Preliminary Test?

Ans.- Stage 1 – Preliminary Test – consists of objective questions with penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers. (This year the Prelim exam would be held on 3rd June 2018)

Paper 1 – General Studies (200 marks) 2 hours

Paper 2 – CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) (200 marks) 2 hours (This will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%)

There is a cut-off in the Preliminary Test which varies every year and is decided by the UPSC.

Q 3.- What is the Main Examination?

Ans.- The Main Exam consists of 9 papers which are usually held in October for around 5-7 days. The current pattern of Main examination is as follows:-

General Studies

Paper 1 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 2 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 3 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 4 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Optional Subject 1

Paper 1 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 2 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Essay – 250 marks (3 hours)

English Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks not included in Main Exam)

Indian Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks not included in Main Exam)

Usually Paper 1 is held from 9 am to 12 pm and Paper 2 is held from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Both the papers of either General Studies or Optional subject are held on the same day.

Q 4.- What is the Interview or Personality Test stage?

Ans.- Students who qualify for Interview are called by the UPSC in March or April. The Interviews usually start 2 weeks after the Main Exam results are announced. The duration of Interviews is around 60 days.

Q 5.- When is the Final result declared?

Ans.- This is computed on the basis of the total marks scored by candidates in Main Examination (1750) and Personality Test or Interview (275). The final result is declared in May.
Final Ranking and Service allocation is based on the combined marks scored in Main Examination (1750) and Interview (275) and on the preferences given by the candidates at the time of filling up of the Main Examination application form.

Q 6.- When does the UPSC advertize about the Examination?

Ans.- UPSC publishes the advertisement for holding the Civil Services Examination every year in the month of June for the Preliminary Test to be held in June of the next year. 
Applications are invited by UPSC until the stipulated date of that year more specifically mentioned in the year’s advertisement.

Q 7.- What is the eligibility to appear for this Examination?

Ans.- Students must be degree holders or graduates (degree recognized by University Grants Commission) to appear for this Examination. Indian students holding a foreign degree need to ensure that their degree is accredited or recognized by UGC.

Q 8.- What is the minimum and maximum age required to appear in the exam?

Ans.- Candidates belonging to General category and OBC (creamy layer) must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 32 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.

Candidates belonging to OBC (non creamy layer) category must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 35 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.

Candidates belonging to SC category must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 37 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.

Candidates belonging to ST category must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 37 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.

Q 9.- What is the number of maximum attempts for different categories?

Ans.- General category and OBC (creamy layer) category have a maximum of 6 attempts.

OBC (non creamy layer) have a maximum of 9 attempts.

For Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe category candidates there is no limit on the number of attempts till they attain the age of 37 years.

Students belonging to OBC/SC/ST can give the first 4 attempts as General category candidates (if they so desire) and thereafter they can avail the relaxation in the number of attempts by availing the category benefits.

Q 10.- What is the number of vacancies in Civil Services for which the examination is conducted every year by UPSC?

Ans.- The number of vacancies reported by Union Public Service Commission varies every year. The number of vacancies per year in the last 5 years had varied between 800 and 1300.

Q 11.- What is the competition level in UPSC Civil Services Examination?

Ans.- Every year, for the 1st stage (Preliminary Test), the number of students aspiring for the UPSC Civil Services has gone up to more than 600,000 who fill the form and the number of people appearing in the preliminary exam is about 400,000. Out of the 4 lakh candidates appearing in the Preliminary Examination, the number of candidates qualifying is dependent on the number of vacancies in the Civil Services advertised that year. To give an example, if the advertisement is for 1000 vacancies, then about 12,000 candidates would be called (qualified) by the UPSC to appear in the Main exam & the number of candidates who will qualify the Main examination to appear in the Interview would be about 2500.

Q 12.- What is the schedule of the Civil Services exam?

Ans:- UPSC CIVIL SERVICES TIMELINE: 

For students appearing for Civil Services Exam 2018.

Notification and Form filling for Prelim Exam with UPSC – 7th February 2018

Date of Prelim Exam – 3rd June 2018

Result of Prelim Exam –  Expected by July end or early August 2018

Commencement of Main Exam –  1st October 2018

Declaration of Main Exam results- January 2019

Personality Test- February & March 2019

Declaration of Final merit list - April 2019

For Students appearing for Civil Services Exam 2019

Notification and Form filling for Prelim Exam with UPSC – 19th February 2019

Date of Prelim Exam - 2nd June 2019

Result of Prelim Exam –  Expected by Mid July 2019

Commencement of Main Exam- 20th September 2019

Declaration of Main Exam results –  Early January 2020 (next year) 

Personality Test – January & February and March  2020

Declaration of Final merit list – April 2020.

Q 13.- What are the optional subjects which students can choose?

Ans.- Students have to choose any one optional subject from a list of the following optional subjects. Students can also opt for literature subject as an optional, if they so desire.

Optional subjects (26) offered by UPSC

Agriculture

Animal H & Vet Sc

Anthropology

Botany

Chemistry

Civil Engg

Commerce & Acc

Economics

Electrical Engg

Geography

Geology

History

Law

Management

Mathematics

Mechanical Engg

Medical Science

Philosophy

Physics

Pol Sc & IR

Psychology

Public Admin

Sociology

Statistics

Zoology

Literature of any one of the following languages (30) is also offered as an optional subject:-

Arabic

Assamese

Bodo

Bengali

Chinese

Dogri

English

French

German

Gujarati

Hindi

Kannada

Kashmiri

Konkani

Maithili

Malayalam

Manipuri

Marathi

Nepali

Oriya

Pali

Persian

Punjabi

Russian

Sanskrit

Santali

Sindhi

Tamil

Telugu

Urdu

Q 14.- What is the Syllabus of the Examination?

Ans.- Paper I – (200 marks) 2 hrs (General Studies)

• Current events of national and international importance

• History of India and Indian National Movement

• Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.

• Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

• Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

• General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization

• General Science.

Paper II – (200 marks) 2 hrs (CSAT – Civil Services Aptitude Test)

• Comprehension

• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

• Logical reasoning and analytical ability

• Decision making and problem solving

• General mental ability

• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. -Class X level)

• English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level)

• Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper)

• The questions will be objective in nature; Multiple choice questions

The Syllabus of GS (Main) and Main Optional subjects is available in the Syllabus section

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