Exam Pattern

UPSC CSE (Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Examination), commonly known as the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) exam, is one of the most prestigious and competitive exams in India. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to recruit candidates for various civil services in the government of India, such as Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and several other Group A and B services.

The UPSC CSE is known for its high level of competition and difficulty, and candidates need to have a thorough understanding of the syllabus, exam pattern, and current affairs to clear this exam.

Here’s the UPSC CSE exam pattern and marks distribution for all stages in a table format:

Prelims (Stage-1)

Paper Type No. of questions UPSC Total Marks Duration Negative marks
General Studies I Objective 100 200 2 hours Yes
General Studies II (CSAT) Objective 80 200 2 hours Yes
Total UPSC marks for Prelims 400 (where GS Paper II is qualifying in nature with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%)


Mains (Stage-2)

Paper Subject Duration IAS Total marks
Paper A Indian Language 3 hours 300
Paper B English Language 3 hours 300
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250
Paper II General Studies I 3 hours 250
Paper III General Studies II 3 hours 250
Paper IV General Studies III 3 hours 250
Paper V General Studies IV 3 hours 250
Paper VI Optional I 3 hours 250
Paper VII Optional II 3 hours 250


Interview (Stage-3)

Personality Test Total Marks: 275

Note: The Preliminary Exam is a qualifying exam for the Main Exam, and the marks obtained in the Preliminary Exam are not counted towards the final merit list. The total marks for the Main Exam are 1750 (including language papers), and the total marks for the Personality Test are 275. The final merit list is prepared based on the marks obtained in the Main Exam and the Personality Test