Decoding the code of UPSC

Avijit Das
Avijit Das

Everyone wants to dream big. But when the question comes about our choices, we are confused. From the fresh college passouts to the ones who are pursuing a job, if you are willing to serve your country for the rest of your life along with commanding a respect in the society, there is always an option open for you. The Union Public Service Commission Civil Service Examination. Well, the examinations are held every year to select the best brains of the country who are eager to serve the cause of the people.

The examination selects candidates for the top ranking services of the country which includes the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service(IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and a number of Group A central services. The educational qualification required to appear for the examination is graduation.

UPSC1The examination is held in two phases. The Preliminary examinations and the Mains. Candidates who qualify the preliminary examinations appear for the mains examination.

So first of all we will discuss about the Preliminary examination. The preliminary examination is conducted in a single day (mostly a Sunday) by the UPSC at different centres across the country. The examination consists of two papers and is also known as the Civil Service Aptitude Test. The questions are of Multiple Choice (i.e. MCQ). Each paper is of 200 marks. Paper I consists of questions on General Studies including G.K, Current Affairs, Indian Polity, History, General Science, Economics, Geography and International Relations.

Paper II consists of questions testing the aptitude of the candidate. This paper is of qualifying nature and one needs to score at least 33 percent marks in it. The marks of only the Paper I are counted for the mains exam. The marks of the Paper II are not taken into the calculation.

Mains Examinations

If you qualify the Preliminary examinations, you are admitted to the mains examinations.

The mains exam consists of nine papers out of which two are of qualifying nature and seven other papers whose marks will the calculated. The examinations consists of descriptive questions. The candidates who qualify the written portion of the mains examinations are called in for the personality test.

Paper – I
Language -300 Marks
Candidate can take any Modern Indian language but this paper is of qualifying nature
Paper – II
English -300 Marks

This paper is of qualifying nature


Paper – III

Essay – 250 Marks

Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice


General Studies-I 250 Marks
(Indian Heritage and Culture,
History and Geography of the World and Society)
General Studies -II: 250 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
General Studies -III 250 Marks
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
General Studies -IV 250 Marks
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Marks carried by General Studies was 4X 250=1000
Optional Subject – Paper 1 -250 Marks
Optional Subject – Paper II -250 Marks
Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject “without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language’s literature.
Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks
Marks of English and Language will not be counted so total marks for Written exam will be 1750 Marks Only
Interview/Personality Test – 275 marks
Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.