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CSE is a 3-level examination held every year.

  • Level 1 » Preliminary Examination
  • Level 2 » Main Examination
  • Level 3 » Interview/ Personality Test

Level 1 » Preliminary Test » The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers of Objective type (MCQs) and carry a maximum of 400 marks. Both the papers also carry penalty or negative markings for wrong answers (one-third or 0.33 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty). The preliminary examination is usually held in the last week of May every year.

Both the question papers (General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II) will be of two hours duration and carry a maximum of 400 marks. The General Studies Paper-II is qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks of 33%.

The Civil Services (Main) Examination is a written examination and consists of 9 papers of conventional essay type, two of them are Qualifying Papers and the rest Papers are counted for merit. The Civil Services (Main) is generally held in September or early October every year.

Qualifying Papers: Both carries 300 Marks (marks not included in Main Exam)

  1. Paper-A (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution) and
  2. Paper-B- English
  3. Papers to be counted for merit:

  4. Essay- 250 Marks
  5. General Studies I -250 Marks
  6. General Studies -II- 250 Marks
  7. General Studies -III- 250 Marks
  8. General Studies -IV- 250 Marks
  9. Optional Subject - Paper 1 -250 Marks
  10. Optional Subject - Paper 2 -250 Marks

Total- 1750marks

(Note: For Detailed Syllabus, please refer the Syllabus Section)

Candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the Civil Services (Main) Examination are called for an interview for a Personality Test in February or March. The number of candidates selected or interview will be about twice of the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).

The total marks obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (1750) and in the interview (275) 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.

1. Age Limits:

  • General Category: 21-32 years
  • Other Backward Classes: 21-35 years
  • Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe: 21-37 years

2. Minimum Educational Qualifications:

  • The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India. Candidates who are in their final year of graduation are also allowed to appear in the examination.

3. Number of attempts:

  • General Category: 6 attempts
  • Other Backward Classes: 9 attempts
  • Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe: unlimited

Preparation for civil services is all about smart work, it completely depends on the type of study a candidate has chosen. The focus should be on quality rather than quantity study. Six to Seven hours a day for a year is enough provided the candidate is consistent in his studies.

Yes, provided the degree is from a recognized university.

His/Her attempt will not be counted by filling the form merely. One has to appear in any of the paper of Preliminary Exam, for the attempt to be counted.

He/She is not eligible for age relation under UPSC but he will be eligible for relaxation in his/her State's Commissions examinations.

Optional is the most important subject in Civil Services Mains examination as it carries weightage of 500 marks in total out of 1750 marks in Mains, therefore a candidate should choose his/her optional subject wisely. It is not necessary that your optional subject should be from your educational background or domain. If you have a solid command on any of the subjects among UPSC optional subjects list , then it is advisable to choose that as your optional. If not then a candidate can choose a subject of his own choice amongst the subjects available.

(Note: For detail answer read How to prepare section of our website or visit CHAHAL ACADEMY)

Simple answers with relevant content and objectivity supported by facts and arguments are good enough to score well.

Yes, to complete the paper in time.

No. the marks are allocated based on its quality irrespective of its language.

Yes, it is valid, but the candidate must get an equivalent certificate from ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN UNIVERSITIES, before applying.

No, Candidates have to write their answers either in English or in any one of the languages listed Eighth schedule.

CHAHAL ACADEMY focuses entirely on complete foundation course so as to provide students a one point solution at every step of this exam. Along with the foundation course we also integrate the preparation of Essay and conduct of TEST SERIES in this to evaluate students. We offer following courses

  1. GS Prelim-cum-Mains (with CSAT): Covers Prelims Papers I and II as well as the Four Papers of Mains and ESSAY. It takes a time span of 8-9 months.
  2. GS Prelim-cum-Mains(without CSAT): Covers Prelims Papers I as well as the Four Papers of Mains and ESSAY. It takes a time span of around 7-8 months.
  3. CSAT only: It covers the 2nd paper of preliminary exam. It takes a time span of 2-3 months.
  4. PRELIMS ONLY ( GS + CSAT) It covers both papers GS + CSAT. It takes a span of 5 months.
  5. Optional Test Series We provide Optional Test Series in following optional subjects : SOCIOLOGY-PUBLIC ADMINSTRATION-ECONOMICS-GEOGRAPHY-HISTORY.
  6. GS Mains Test Series: Comprehensive Test series for all four papers of General Studies Mains Examination .
  7. GS Prelims Test Series: Usually Starts in between November to January and continues till the date of preliminary examination.
  8. Interview: Classes are held for all the candidates with special focus on analysis on DAF form and comprehensive coverage on social, political and economic issues apart from personality development. Course starts after the declaration of Mains result.

After classes a number of mock interviews are being conducted to prepare students for the final step of the three tier process.