The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) IAS Exam Pattern plays an important role in the IAS preparation. It helps the aspirants understand the chapters, topics, marking scheme and syllabus of the exam. To crack the UPSC IAS Exam, it is important to have a clear knowledge of the exam pattern.
Here, we will discuss the UPSC IAS Exam Pattern, which will help the candidates in framing a clear view of the pattern in which the questions will appear at each stage of the UPSC.
The UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2023 entails three stages, namely the Prelims, Mains and Interview/Personality Test. The Preliminary Exam consists of two objective type papers – General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II (CSAT). The maximum marks allotted to the Prelims are 400, and the duration of each exam is two hours.
The Mains Exam consists of nine papers, out of which seven papers are conventional type, and two papers are qualifying in nature. The maximum marks allotted to Mains are 1750, and the duration of each paper is three hours. The last stage of the IAS Exam is the Interview/Personality Test.
The exam pattern of UPSC IAS also includes the marking scheme. The Prelims Exam is a qualifying exam, and only those who are able to get the minimum required marks will qualify for the Mains Exam.
The Mains Exam is evaluated out of 1750 marks, and the Interview/Personality Test is out of 275 marks. The final score of the candidate is obtained by adding the marks of the Mains Exam and the Interview. A qualified candidate for the UPSC IAS Exam must obtain a minimum of qualifying marks out of 2025.
The UPSC IAS Prelims Exam is a gateway to the highest civil services in India. The Preliminary Examination has two papers of 200 marks each. The first paper consists of multiple-choice questions on General Studies, General Science and Current Affairs.
The second paper is also an objective type test on aptitude, reasoning and relevant current events. All questions carry equal marks, and the time allotted is two hours for each paper.
The candidates need to score a minimum of 33% marks in the GS Paper II of the Preliminary Examination in order to qualify for the Mains Examination. It is important to note that the marks secured in the Preliminary Examination aren’t taken into account for the final selection.
|Paper||Total Questions||Total Marks||Duration||Nature of Exam|
|Paper I: General Studies||100||200||2 hours||The Cut-off will be based on this score.|
|Paper-II: General Studies-II (CSAT)||80||200||2 hours||Qualifying Nature- Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify CSAT.|
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) IAS Mains Exam is conducted to assess the knowledge and aptitude of candidates wishing to pursue a civil services career in India. The exam consists of two parts – the written test and the personality test.
The written test involves a total of nine papers with their corresponding marks. These are divided into seven compulsory and two optional papers. It consists of Indian Language, English, Essay, General Studies I-IV, and two optional papers to be chosen from a total of 25 available subjects.
|Paper A||Compulsory Indian language||3 hours||300|
|Paper B||English||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|
The optional papers include any two from the following:
|Agriculture||Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science||Anthropology||Botany||Chemistry|
|Civil Engineering||Commerce and Accountancy||Economics||Electrical Engineering||Geography|
|Mechanical Engineering||Medical Science||Philosophy||Physics||Political Science and International Relations|
The interview is the final step of the IAS selection process. It is conducted by the UPSC to assess the mental alertness, intelligence, presence of mind, communication skills, and other qualities of an aspirant.
To be eligible for the IAS interview, candidates must clear the written examination with a satisfactory rank.
In the interview, the UPSC assesses various qualities of the candidates, such as leadership, initiative, analytical ability, moral courage, decision-making ability, attitude towards social issues and public administration, etc. Candidates are required to present their views clearly and responsibly. The total marks of the interview are 275, and the marks obtained in the interview are added to the score in the written exam, and the final score determines the ranking and selection of the candidate.
The total marks of the Mains stage are 1750, to which 275 marks of the interview are added to make a final score of 2025.
You can also download this entire exam pattern for UPSC in pdf form. Click here to download the pdf.
The UPSC IAS syllabus is considered one of the most exhaustive and challenging syllabi in the country. The syllabus is divided into two components: the Prelims Exam and the Mains Exam.
The UPSC IAS Prelims Exam is the first level of the UPSC IAS exam and is made up of two papers–the General Studies Paper 1 and the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). The General Studies paper 1 covers a wide range of topics, including History, Geography, Indian Polity, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, General Knowledge and Current Affairs. The CSAT tests the candidate’s aptitude and problem-solving skills.
The UPSC IAS Mains Exam is the second stage of the exam process and consists of 9 papers– Essay, Indian Language, English, General Studies Paper I–IV, and two optional papers. It tests the candidate’s comprehensive understanding of the various topics under the General Studies papers, such as History, Geography, Indian Polity and Government, Social Justice, Indian Economy, and International Relations.
Candidates are required to choose two optional papers from a range of 25 subjects. The Mains Exam tests the in-depth knowledge of the candidate and allows him/her to showcase his/her knowledge in the chosen subjects.
A detailed UPSC Syllabus can be accessed by clicking the link given.
Preparing for the UPSC IAS Exam can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to approach it:
|The following articles given in the table below can be referred to for UPSC IAS exam preparation:|
|UPSC Calendar 2023||UPSC Notifications|
|UPSC Admit Card||UPSC Cut Off|
|UPSC Results||INTERVIEW MYTHS|
Q1. What are the 3 stages of the IAS Exam?
Ans: The three stages of the IAS exam are: Preliminary stage, Mains Stage and Personality/Interview Stage.
Q2. What is the first position after IAS?
Ans: Once an IAS officer has been confirmed in their service, they start a probationary period as a sub-divisional magistrate.
Q3. What are the 9 papers of UPSC?
Ans: The 9 papers of UPSC are: Essay, Compulsory Indian Language, English, General Studies Paper I-IV, and two optional papers to be chosen from a total of 25 subjects prescribed by the UPSC.
Q4. How many services are there in UPSC?
Ans: There are a total of 24 services in the UPSC.
Q5. Which is the lowest post in IAS?
Ans: The initial post IAS officers hold is that of an IAS trainee or probationer, awarded to them whilst undergoing training. This is considered the lowest post in the IAS.