The Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination every year, which is common for the all candidates applying for Civil Services Examination.
IAS Exam pattern :
The UPSC divides the Civil Services Exam into three successive stages:-
1: Preliminary Examination (Objective)
2: Mains Examination (Subjective)
3: Personality Test (Verbal)
UPSC Exam pattern for IAS Prelims Exam :
The UPSC Prelims Exam tests an IAS aspirant's reasoning and analytical ability. It consists of two objective type papers (multiple choice questions), each carrying 200 marks 2 hours allocated for each paper. The purpose of this exam is to screen the candidates who will proceed to write the Main Examination. The marks obtained in Prelims is not counted in the final merit.
UPSC Exam pattern for IAS Prelims Paper 1 - General Studies
Duration: Two hours
Counted for Mains Selection
- 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 specialisation.
- General Science.
UPSC Exam pattern for IAS Prelims Paper 2 - CSAT(Civil Service Aptitude Test) :
Duration: Two hours
NOT Counted for Mains Selection but 33% Marks Needed for Qualifying
- 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)
Note 1 : The questions in both Paper-I (current affairs) and Paper-II (aptitude test) will be of multiple choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours.
Note 2: The CSAT aptitude test or Paper-II will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to qualify for the Mains exam.
Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) examination. The candidate will be disqualified in case he or she appears in only one paper of the (Prelims) exam. So appearing in both the papers is mandatory for the evaluation of the (Prelims) exam.
UPSC Exam pattern for IAS Mains :
The UPSC Mains Exam is a crucial part of the Civil Services Exam as every mark scored in this stage counts in the selection process. The UPSC Mains Syllabus is designed in a way that helps in assessing the academic talent of the individual in the form of his/her ability to apply and present his/her knowledge. Rather than memorising and rote learning, the exam is designed to analyse the overall understanding of the subject and depth of intellect.
Paper – A
Language -300 Marks
(Candidate can take any Modern Indian language but this paper is of qualifying nature)
Paper – B
English -300 Marks
(This paper is of qualifying nature)
Paper – I
Essay – 250 Marks
(Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice)
General Studies-I 250 Marks
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)
General Studies -II: 250 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
General Studies -III 250 Marks
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
General Studies -IV 250 Marks
(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)
Marks carried by General Studies papers are 4X 250=1000
Optional Subject – Paper 1 -250 Marks
Optional Subject – Paper II -250 Marks
(Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject “without the condition of having it at the graduation level.”)
Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks
Marks of English and Language will not be counted in the total tally of marks for the written exam. So the total of the Mains exam will be 1750 Marks Only.
The exam consists of 9 subjective papers out of which two papers are qualifying, carrying 300 marks each. The remaining 7 papers include: Essay Paper, GS Paper I-IV and Optional Paper I-II. Each paper carries 250 marks (total of 1750 marks). Only the marks obtained by the candidates in these 7 papers are counted in the final merit.
PAPER 1: ESSAY (250 MARKS)
However, Essay writing is an important part of UPSC Syllabus 2018 for mains exam. Candidates are given a topic to write an essay on that specified topic. The essay will be checked on the person’s ideas related to that topic, clarity of thoughts, creativeness, and grammatical mistakes and also on the effectiveness of ideas.
PAPER 2: GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 1 (250 MARKS)
- When we talk about UPSC Syllabus 2018 mains, General Studies is very important. Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society form the key aspects of it.
- Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
- Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
- History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
- Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
- Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
- Effects of globalization on Indian society
- Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
- Salient features of world’s physical geography.
- Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
- Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such chang
PAPER 3: GENERAL STUDIES PAPER-II (250 MARKS)
- Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
- Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues, and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Separation of powers between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
- Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
- Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
- Role of civil services in a democracy.
- India and its neighborhood- relations.
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
- Important International institutions, agencies, and for- their structure, mandate.
PAPER 4: GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 3 (250 MARKS)
- Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development, and employment.
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
- Government Budgeting.
- Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
- Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
- Land reforms in India.
- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
- Investment models.
- Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
- Disaster and disaster management.
- Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
- Role of external state and nonstate actors in creating challenges to internal security.
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
- Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
- Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
PAPER 5: GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 4 (250 MARKS)
- Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants, and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
- Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
- Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
- Aptitude and foundational values of Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
- Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
- Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
- Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
- Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
PAPER 6 AND 7 (250 MARKS)
Optional 1 (Of your choice)/ Optional 2 (Of your choice)
Candidates can choose any optional from the subjects, which are given below:
- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
- Civil Engineering
- Commerce and Accountancy
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Science
- Political Science and International Relations
- Public Administration
UPSC Pattern for IAS Interview (Personality Test) :-
The candidates who successfully qualify the UPSC Mains Exam are called for the final phase of the process, i.e. Personality Test (Interview) carrying 275 marks. The test is conducted by a board of competent evaluators who check how suitable the candidate is for the job.
The candidate will be interviewed by a board who will have before them a record of his/her career and interests filled by him/her in the Detailed Application Form (DAF).
The test is intended to determine the suitability of the candidate by judging his/her mental calibre, reasoning ability and moral integrity.
In the personality test, apart from their academic study, candidates must be aware of the affairs happening both within and outside their state or country.
The final merit list is issued on the basis of the cumulative marks scored by the candidates in Mains and Personality Test. The merit list is published on the UPSC website.