Plan of Civil Services Examination
The Civil Services Examination will consist of two successive stages :
(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and
(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.
The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks.
This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission, to the Main Examination.
Note I: The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Services (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper-II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper-I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission.
(i) There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
(ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question.
(iii) If a question is left blank i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.
The Main Examination will consist of written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type out of which two papers will be of qualifying in nature. Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (Paper-I to Paper-VII) and Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking.
Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test, vide subsection ‘C’ of Section II. The number of candidates to be summouned for interview will be about twice of the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).
Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and posts.
Scheme and subjects for the Preliminary and Main Examination.
A. PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION :The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.
(i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions) and each will be of two hours duration.
(ii) The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
(iii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
(iv) Details of the syllabi are indicated in Part A of Section III.
B. MAIN EXAMINATION :
The written examination will consist of the following papers :—
Qualifying Papers :
|Paper-A (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution).||300 Marks|
|Paper-B English||300 Marks|
Papers to be counted for merit
|Paper-I Essay||250 Marks|
|Paper-II General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)||250 Marks|
|Paper-III General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)||250 Marks|
|Paper-IV General Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||250 Marks|
|Paper-V General Studies -IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)||250 Marks|
|Paper-VI Optional Subject - Paper 1||250 Marks|
|Paper-VII Optional Subject - Paper 2||250 Marks|
|Sub Total (Written test)||1750 Marks|
|Personality Test||275 Marks|
|Grand Total||2025 Marks|
Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from amongst the list of subjects given.
i) The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
ii) Evaluation of the papers, namely, ‘Essay’, ‘General Studies’ and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language’ and 25% in English as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers.
iii) The paper-A on Indian Languages will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachanl Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
iv) The paper A on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for Candidates belonging to Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (only Hearing Impairment sub-category) provided that they have been granted such exemption from 2nd or 3rd language courses by the concerned education Board/University. The candidate needs to provide an undertaking/self declaration in this regard in order to claim such an exemption to the Commission.
v) Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.
vi) For the Language medium/literature of language, the script to be used by the candidates will be as under:
|Sindhi||Devanagari or Arabic|
|Santhali||Devanagari & Olchiki|
Note: For Santhali language, question Paper will be printed in Devanagari script; but candidates will be free to answer either in Devanagari script or in Olchiki.
2. List of optional subjects for Main Examination
(ii) Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
(vi) Civil Engineering
(vii) Commerce and Accountancy
(ix) Electrical Engineering
(xvi) Mechanical Engineering
(xvii) Medical Science
(xx) Political Science and International Relations
(xxii) Public Administration
(xxvi) Literature of one of the following languages :
Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English. NOTE:
i) The question papers for the examination will be of conventional (essay) type.
ii) Each paper will be of three hours duration.
iii) Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English. Notwithstanding this, the Candidate will have the choice to write the Optional Papers in English also if candidates opt to write Paper I-V except the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the language included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
iv) Candidates exercising the option to answer Papers in any one of the languages included in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution of India mentioned above may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them. Candidates should, however, note that if they misuse the above rule, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to them and in extreme cases; their script(s) will not be valued for being in an unauthorized medium.
v) Candidates should note that if any irrelevant matter/signages/marks etc. are found written in the answer script(s), which would not be related to any question/answer and/or would be having the potential to disclose the candidate’s identity, the Commission will impose a penalty of deduction of marks from the total marks otherwise accruing to the candidate or will not evaluate the said script(s) on this account.
vi) The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.
General Instructions (Preliminary as well as Main Examination):
i) Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them. The Persons with Benchmark Disabilities in the categories of blindness, locomotor disability (both arm affected – BA) and cerebral palsy will be provided the facility of scribe, if desired by the person. In case of other category of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities as defined under section 2(r) of the RPWD Act, 2016, the facility of scribe will be allowed to such candidates on production of a certificate to the effect that the person concerned has physical limitation to write, and scribe is essential to write examination on behalf, from the Chief Medical Officer/ Civil Surgeon/ Medical Superintendent of a Government Health Care institution.
ii) The candidates have discretion of opting for his/her own scribe or request the Commission for the same. The details of scribe i.e. whether own or the Commission’s and the details of scribe in case candidates are bringing their own scribe, will be sought at the time of filling up the application form online
iii) The qualification of the Commission’s scribe as well as own scribe will not be more than the minimum qualification criteria of the examination. However, the qualification of the scribe should always be matriculate or above.
iv) The Persons with Benchmark Disabilities in the category of blindness, locomotor disability (both arm affected – BA) and cerebral palsy will be allowed Compensatory Time of twenty minutes per hour of the examination. In case of other categories of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities, this facility will be provided on production of a certificate to the effect that the person concerned has physical limitation to write from the Chief Medical Officer/ Civil Surgeon/ Medical Superintendent of a Government Health Care institution.
Note (1) : The eligibility conditions of a scribe, his/her conduct inside the examination hall and the manner in which and extent to which he/she can help the PwBD candidate in writing the Civil Services Examination shall be governed by the instructions issued by the UPSC in this regard.
Violation of all or any of the said instructions shall entail the cancellation of the candidature of the PwBD candidate in addition to any other action that the UPSC may take against the scribe.
Note (2) : The criteria for determining the percentage of visual impairment shall be as follows :—
|Better eye |
|Per Cent Impairment||Disability category|
|6/6 to 6/18||6/6 to 6/18
6/24 to 6/60
Less than 6/60 to 3/60
Less than 3/60 to No Light Perception
II (One eyed person)
|6/24 to 6/60 Or Visual field less than 40 up to 20 degree around centre of fixation or heminaopia involving macula||6/24 to 6/60
Less than 6/60 to 3/60
Less than 3/60 to No Light Perception
|III a (low vision)
III b (low vision)
III c (low vision)
|Less than 6/60 to 3/60 Or
Visual field less than 20 up to 10 degree around centre of fixation
|Less than 6/60 to 3/60
Less than 3/60 to No Light Perception
|III d (low vision)
III e (low vision)
|Less than 3/60 to 1/60 Or Visual field less than 10 degree around centre of fixation||Less than 3/60 to No Light Perception||90%||IV a (Blindness)|
Only Light Perception
Only Light Perception
|100%||IV b (Blindness)|
|No Light Perception||No Light Perception|
Note (3) : The concession admissible to blind/low vision candidates shall not be admissible to those suffering from Myopia.
v) The Commission has discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the examination.
vi) If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.
vii) Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.
viii)Credit will be given for orderly, effective and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.
ix) In the question papers, wherever required, SI units will be used.
x) Candidates should use only International form of Indian numerals (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 etc.) while answering question papers.
xi) Candidates will be allowed the use of Scientific (Non-Programmable type) Calculators at the conventional (Essay) type examination of UPSC. Programmable type calculators will however not be allowed and the use of such calculators shall tantamount to resorting to unfair means by the candidates. Loaning or interchanging of calculators in the Examination Hall is not permitted.
It is also important to note that candidates are not permitted to use calculators for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not therefore bring the same inside the Examination Hall.
C. Interview test
The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.