UPSC Exam Pattern

upsc exam pattern

Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services Exam once a year and also sets a UPSC Exam pattern. The format of the UPSC Exam has been the same since 2013. The selection process is complex in nature, the cycle of the UPSC Exam lasts for almost a year till the final merit lists are out.

UPSC Exam Pattern For UPSC CSE 2022

UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and Personality Tests are the three stages in which the UPSC Civil Services exam is divided. According to the UPSC Exam Pattern, one can reach the next stage of UPSC after clearing the previous stage of the UPSC. In short, you are eligible to sit for UPSC Mains after clearing UPSC Prelims and are eligible for Personality Tests after successfully clearing UPSC Mains.

Learn about the IAS paper pattern by understanding the UPSC prelims exam pattern, UPSC Mains exam pattern, and IAS exam pattern of the UPSC Interview given below.

UPSC Prelims 2022 Exam Pattern & Negative Marking Scheme

UPSC Prelims 2022 Exam date is scheduled for 5th June 2022. Visit the link to get a complete roadmap for UPSC Preliminary Exam Preparation. (In short, you will get your personalized preparation strategy for the UPSC Prelims exam 2022). The details related to the IAS Exam Pattern for Prelims are tabulated below:

UPSC Prelims Examination Pattern For IAS Exam

Paper Type No. Of Questions Max. Marks Duration Negative Marking Nature
GS Paper I Objective 100 200 2 hours Yes Marks are considered for cut-off
GS Paper II (CSAT) Objective 80 200 2 hours Yes Qualifying
UPSC Prelim Exam Pattern

All About UPSC Preliminary Examination

Besides the IAS exam pattern, some more instructive pieces of information regarding the UPSC prelims exam are discussed below:

  1. UPSC Civil Services Prelims comprise two question papers namely – GS-1 and GS-2 (i.e. CSAT)and are conducted on the same day.
  2. Both the papers are objective in nature. This means objective-type questions come in the first phase of the UPSC Civil Services Examination.
  3. CSAT(Civil Services Aptitude Test) is a qualifying paper for UPSC. This means you have to score the minimum qualifying marks i.e. 33% marks or 66 marks in the second paper of UPSC Prelims to be eligible for the first paper GS-1 to be checked.
  4. Marks scored in the GS-1 paper are not considered in the final merit list. This mark is only for the cut-off in the first stage that gives you an entry to the second stage of UPSC.
  5. Negative marking for incorrect answers plays a key role in both the UPSC Prelims Paper. For every wrong answer, a candidate is awarded 1/3rd ( of the marks assigned to that question) negative marks as a penalty.

UPSC Mains 2022 Exam Pattern

Instead of scaling the level of information and memory of candidates, their intellectual traits and the depth of understanding of a variety of subjects are tested by UPSC in the second phase.

UPSC Mains is the second stage of the CSE and all the candidates who qualify for Prelims can give Mains. UPSC Mains examination comprises 9 papers that are subjective in nature. So here time management and writing speed matter a lot. The details related to the UPSC exam pattern for Mains are tabulated below:

Paper Subject Max. Marks Duration Nature Of The Paper
Paper A Compulsory Indian Language 300 3 hours Qualifying
Paper B English Language 300 3 hours Qualifying
Paper I Essay 250 3 hours Merit
Paper II General Studies I 250 3 hours Merit
Paper III Genera Studies II 250 3 hours Merit
Paper IV General Studies III 250 3 hours Merit
Paper V General Studies IV 250 3 hours Merit
Paper VI Optional I 250 3 hours Merit
Paper VII Optional II 250 3 hours Merit
UPSC Mains 2022 Exam Pattern
make your upsc preparation faster with examarly

UPSC Mains Optional Subjects

For UPSC Mains Paper VI & Paper VII, optional subjects have to be any one of the subjects that are listed below:

Agriculture Civil Engineering Geology Mechanical Engineering Psychology
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Commerce and Accountancy History Medical Science Public Administration
Anthropology Economics Law Philosophy Sociology
Botany Electrical Engineering Management Physics Statistics
Chemistry Geography Mathematics Political Science and International Relations Zoology
UPSC Mains Optional Subjects

Optional For literature subjects are tabulated below:

Assamese Bengali Bodo Dogri Gujarati Hindi
Kannada Kashmiri Konkani Maithili Malayalam Manipuri
Marathi Nepali Odia Punjabi Sanskrit Santhali
Sindhi Tamil Telugu Urdu English  
Optional For literature subjects

All About UPSC Mains Examination

  1. UPSC Mains Exam is divided into 9 papers and is conducted over 5 to 7 days.
  2. All 9 papers contain descriptive answer-type questions where you have to write the answers in detail which makes this phase an exhaustive one.
  3. Nature of questions in General Studies paper (Paper II – Paper IV): Candidates will be asked to answer a series of subjective type of questions, which are likely to have relevance to a career in Civil Services. The questions will be designed to test the candidates’ knowledge of all relevant issues and their ability to analyze complex socio-economic situations. They must give relevant, meaningful, and succinct answers. Alternatively, questions are framed in such a manner to test the candidates’ general awareness with respect to a variety of subjects.
  4. For Paper A (Indian Language)– Students have to select an Indian language mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Paper A, which consists of the Indian language, is not compulsory for candidates from the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Mizoram.

  5. For Paper B (English Language)– Both Paper A and Paper B are qualifying in nature and their marks are not included in the merit lists. The qualifying marks for each of the papers are 25%.
  6. Paper I – This essay paper is divided into two sections and each of the sections has 4 topics. A candidate must choose one of the topics and write an essay on the chosen topic.  So, in total, one must write two essays in 3 hours.
  7. Marks scored in UPSC Mains are valuable as this plays a key role in the final merit declaration.

Note: Both Paper A and Paper B are of Matriculation/10th level or equivalent standard. The pattern of the question of both the papers are mentioned below:

Pattern Of Question: Indian Language: The format of the questions of Paper A is given below:

  1. Comprehension of given passages
  2. Precis Writing
  3. Usage and Vocabulary
  4. Short Essays
  5. Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa

Pattern Of Question: English Language: The format of the questions of Paper B is given below:

  1. Comprehension of given passages
  2. Precis Writing
  3. Usage and Vocabulary
  4. Short Essays

UPSC CSE 2022 Personality/Interview Test Pattern

The third stage of UPSC is Personality Tests. All the candidates are awarded out of 275 marks by the board taking interviews of the candidate. In the interview stage of UPSC, the UPSC board takes an interview of all the qualified candidates to test whether he/she is capable enough to carry out the responsibility of civil services or associated posts. Some of the qualities that the board would look for are critical thinking, analytical ability, mental acuity, leadership ability, risk assessment skills, the balance of judgment, intellectual and moral integrity, etc. In short, this test is not about checking the knowledge of the candidate because the candidate has already proved it in the prelims and mains.

Points To Remember

  1. All the papers of the UPSC Mains Exam can be answered in English or any other language listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, except Paper A and Paper B. If a candidate has answered none of the papers in English, optional papers can be answered in English.
  2. Candidates will be required to answer the English and Indian Language paper in English and the respective Indian languages (except where the translation is needed).
  3. The UPSC Mains Exam consists of 1750 marks and 275 is the UPSC total marks for the Interview. The UPSC total marks of both UPSC Mains and interview sum up together which makes the total of 2025 marks for the final merit.
  4. It is required to score at least 25% marks in each paper of UPSC Mains for the final selection.

This article gives you a brief on the IAS exam pattern 2022. Keep following us to stay updated on the latest information regarding UPSC.

With Examarly, you can easily understand the UPSC exam pattern, and your preparation process for UPSC 2022 will be more efficient. Examarly will relieve you of a load of UPSC 2022 preparation. Instead, you’ll be at ease because you’ll not only be studying for the UPSC, but also you’ll be able to take an assessment test and track your progress, which will help you to be crystal clear about your performance.

Try Examarly to set a benchmark and do your preparation of UPSC with ease.

make your upsc preparation faster with examarly

Previous Article
how to prepare for upsc in 3 months

How To Prepare For UPSC In 3 Months Effectively

Next Article
how to prepare for upsc prelims and mains together

How To Prepare For UPSC Prelims And Mains Together Like An Absolute Pro!