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UPSC 2018 Exam Pattern for IAS Prelims, Mains Exam


Updated: Sep 11,2018 09:12 IST
UPSC 2018 Exam Pattern  for IAS Prelims, Mains Exam
UPSC 2018 Exam Pattern for IAS Prelims, Mains Exam
UPSC Exam Pattern 2018 latest updates with clear and detailed information are provided here, candidates can check all essential details of UPSC Exam Pattern 2018 instantly here candidates can make the strategy for the Preparation of exam.Direct Official Link for each recent Updates regarding UPSC Exam Pattern provided in this Page and find recent news UPSC Exam Pattern verified on March 27, 2018.
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UPSC 2018 Exam Pattern

Every Year, to appoint huge number of skilled candidates to various Central Government Services like Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Information Service (IIS), Indian Postal Service (IPoS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and more, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE) in All India Level in three main phases viz,
1. Preliminary Exam
2. Main - Written Exam
3. Interview (Personality Test)

The UPSC IAS Preliminary exam is compulsory and is a qualifying nature for scrutinizing the number of candidates for Main Examination. Candidates those who qualify the UPSC Preliminary Examination is called for attending UPSC Mains written Examination. Candidates those who qualify for the UPSC Mains examination will be called to attend Personality Test rounds of UPSC IAS exam. The final UPSC result of Civil Services Examination is announced on the basis of marks obtained by the candidates in UPSC CSE Mains written exam and Interview- Personality Test.

UPSC Exam Pattern of Preliminary Phase
  • UPSC Civil Services Prelims Examination is conducted in Offline mode i.e., pen and paper mode.
  • UPSC Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Examination consists of two compulsory papers namely:
    • General Studies Paper-I (GS Paper I),
    • General Studies Paper-II (GS Paper II) often referred as Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)
  • All the questions in GS Paper I and Paper II are the Objective types (multiple choice questions), in both Hindi and English Language.
  • Total mark for each of the papers is 200 marks.
  • Total Duration for each of the papers is 2 hours.
  • General Studies Paper I is of qualifying nature for Mains written Examination only. The mark obtained in this paper is considered for shortlisting to Mains Exam.
  • But in General Studies paper II, candidates compulsorily score minimum qualifying marks i.e. 66 marks which is 33% of 200 marks.
  • For each wrong attempts, one third marks will be deducted, i,e 0.66 marks for GS paper I and 0.85 marks for GS Paper II.
UPSC Prelims Papers Total Number of questions Total Marks Mark for each correct answer Negative Mark for each incorrect answer Total Duration
General Studies Paper-I 100 200 +2 -0.66 2 hours
CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Paper – II 80 200 +2.5 -0.83 2 hours

Know the exact updated and detailed UPSC Syllabus now. 

UPSC 2018 Exam Pattern of Main - Written Exam

  • UPSC Civil Services Main - Written Examination is conducted in Offline mode i.e., pen and paper mode.
  • UPSC Mains Examination consists of nine papers, out of which
  • two are qualifying papers and seven are compulsory papers to be counted for Final ranking.
  • Two qualifying papers are
    • Paper A - Indian Language (300 marks)
    • Paper B - English (300 marks)
  • Seven Compulsory Papers to be counted for Final Ranking are:
    • Paper I - Essay (250 marks)
    • Paper II  - General Studies Paper I (250 marks)
    • Paper III  - General Studies Paper II (250 marks)
    • Paper IV - General Studies Paper III (250 marks)
    • Paper V  - General Studies Paper IV (250 marks)
    • Paper VI  - Optional Subject-Paper I (250 marks)
    • Paper VII - Optional Subject-Paper II (250 marks)
  • These nine papers are of conventional essay type.
  • Questions in the papers (except literature of Language Papers) are in both Hindi and English Language.
  • Each Paper will be of 3 hours duration.
  • Each Candidate needs to score at least 25% marks in qualifying papers (Paper A and Paper B) to appear next 7 papers of UPSC Civil Services Mains written examination.
  • Scores obtained in 7 compulsory papers (Paper I to Paper VII) out of 1,750 marks, is considered for UPSC Civil Services - Final All India Ranking (AIR).
  • ​​​​​​Nature of Paper
  Paper Subject Marks
Paper A One of the Indian languages to be selected by the candidate (Qualifying) 300
Paper B English (Qualifying) 300
Papers to be counted for merit Paper I Essay 250
Paper II General Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society) 250
Paper III General Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relations) 250
Paper IV General Studies III (Technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security and disaster management) 250
Paper V General Studies IV(ethics, integrity and aptitude) 250
Optional Subject – Paper 1 One paper on the subject to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects 250
Optional Subject – Paper 2 One paper on the subject to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects 250
  Total (Mains Written Test) Marks for Final Ranking 1,750

UPSC 2018 Exam Pattern -Mains Paper A - Indian Languages

The marks obtained in this paper will not be counted for final ranking. But at least 25% marks (i.e., 75 marks) should be scored by the candidates in this paper. This paper is conducted in in the following languages, from which a candidate has to choose any one of the Languages:
  • Assamese (Assamese)
  • Bengali (Bengali)
  • Bodo (Devanagari)
  • Dogri (Devanagari)
  • Gujarati (Gujarati)
  • Hindi (Devanagari)
  • Kannada (Kannada)
  • Konkani (Devanagari)
  • Maithili (Devanagari)
  • Malayalam (Malayalam)
  • Marathi (Devanagari)
  • Nepali (Devanagari)
  • Oriya (Oriya)
  • Punjabi (Gurumukhi)
  • Sanskrit (Devanagari)
  • Santhali (Devanagri or Ol Chiki)
  • Sindhi (Devanagari or Arabic)
  • Tamil (Tamil)
  • Telugu (Telugu)
  • Urdu (Persian)

UPSC 2018 Exam Pattern -Mains Paper VI, VII - Optional Subjects

UPSC IAS Mains Written Examination comprises of two papers in Optional Subjects. There are 26 optional subjects in UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination. The standards of questions in Optional papers is of Post Graduate level. Paper I is theoretical but Paper II is often dominated by Current Affairs and Application based questions. From this list given below, Candidate have to choose any one optional subject. The entire list of optional subjects in UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination are:
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Law
  • Literature of any one of the non-English languages listed above
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
Practice with around 350+ latest UPSC Question papers for all papers in both prelims and mains examination now. Verify your responses for each question with the exact official UPSC Answer Key.

UPSC Exam Pattern - Personality test

Interview or personality tests for UPSC Civil Services is conducted for a total of 275 marks, with no minimum qualifying marks. Questions on matters of General Interest will be asked in Interview.

Number of attempts permitted for UPSC Civil Services Exam

  • For General category candidates - 6 Attempts
  • For OBC category candidates - 9 Attempts
  • For SC/ ST Candidates - No restriction on the number of attempts (till 37 years of age).

UPSC Final Ranking for Civil Services Posts

Final Ranking for various services under UPSC Civil Services Examination is prepared on the basis of UPSC CSE Mains - Written Exam (7 Compulsory Papers) marks and Interview marks. UPSC releases All India Rank (AIR) of candidates, which aggregates the marks obtained in all 7 Compulsory Papers of Mains written exam and Interview.
Candidates qualified for Final Merit List will be allotted to the various civil services like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, etc. keeping in view their All India Rank in the UPSC exam and preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.


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