Every year lakhs of candidates appear for UPSC CSE exam. But only some hundreds of them got qualify. The Civil Services Examination also known as IAS exam is the hardest and most prestigious examination in India. This Exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). To crack this exam one should have to work hard from the first day of preparation. The candidates who are preparing for this exam must be aware about the exam pattern and syllabus in detail.

UPSC CSE exam comprises of three stages namely known as Prelims, Mains and Interview. In this article we will discuss the examination scheme in details. So read carefully the article to get better understand about the exam pattern.

UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Pattern

UPSC CSE Prelims exam comprises of two papers commonly known as General Studies 1 and CSAT .The marks obtained in General Studies I determine the selection of the candidate for Mains Examination while CSAT paper is only Qualifying in Nature. Your score in General Studies I is considered for the Prelims cutoff. So be very attentive while attempting Paper I of your examination.

In addition to this there is negative marking of 1/3 with each wrong answer. So first understand the questions and then answer them carefully.

Paper NameNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration of PaperNature of Paper
General Studies I (Objective type)1002002 hoursConsidered for Cutoff for Mains Examination
General Studies II (CSAT) (Objective type)802002 hoursOnly Qualifying in Nature

UPSC IAS Mains Examination Pattern

The UPSC CSE Mains Exam pattern is as below. In this exam two papers namely English Language and Compulsory Indian Language are only qualifying in nature. Their marks are not considered for your result.

PaperSubjectDuration of PaperMaximum marksNature of paperType of Paper
Paper ACompulsory Indian language3 hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper BEnglish3 hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper IEssay3 hours250Merit (Considered for Cutoff)Descriptive
Paper-IIGeneral Studies I3 hours250Merit (Considered for Cutoff)Descriptive
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 hours250Merit (Considered for Cutoff)Descriptive
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 hours250Merit (Considered for Cutoff)Descriptive
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 hours250Merit (Considered for Cutoff)Descriptive
Paper VIOptional I3 hours250Merit (Considered for Cutoff)Descriptive
Paper VIIOptional II3 hours250Merit (Considered for Cutoff)Descriptive

Paper A is not compulsory for candidates belonging from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim as well as the candidates with hearing impairment, provided they can prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their concerned board or university. The Indian Language paper covers any of the languages included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

Subjects covered by General Studies Papers in IAS Mains Examination.

General Studies IIndian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of World, Society
General Studies IIGovernance, Constitution, Social Justice, Polity, International Relations
General Studies IIITechnology, Economic Development, Environment, Bio- Diversity, Security and Disaster Management
General Studies IVEthics, Integrity, Aptitude

List of Optional Subjects for IAS Mains Exam

The candidates can opt any subject from the list provided for optional II and Optional II Papers.

AgricultureAnimal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceAnthropologyBotanyChemistry
Civil EngineeringCommerce and AccountancyEconomicsElectrical EngineeringGeography
Mechanical EngineeringMedical SciencePhilosophyPhysicsPolitical Science and International Relations
PsychologyPublic AdministrationSociologyStatisticsZoology
The literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

All the papers except the Language papers A and B can be answered in English or any of the languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India. The optional papers can be answered in English even if none of the other papers has been answered by the candidate in English.