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Every year the UPSC conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE) to various key Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), etc. A candidate planning to prepare for CSE must get himself acquainted with the examination plan/pattern and its syllabus which would help him in getting an edge over others and in planning his preparation in a manner best suitable for him. Following are the complete details:
The Civil Services Examination comprises three successive stages:
|Name of the exam||Civil Services Exam- IAS|
|Conducting authority||Union Public Service Commission|
|Mode of exam||Offline|
|Number of Stages||Prelims
|Number of papers||Prelims: 2
|Prelims marking scheme||Paper 1: +2 marks per question
Paper 2: +2.5 marks per question
Negative marking: One-third of marks allotted to each question
|Duration||Prelims: 2 hours (Each paper)
Mains: 3hours (Each paper)
|Type of Questions||Prelims: Objective type
Mains: Subjective type
|Post||1000 approximate (Tentative)|
|Number of Papers||2- General Studies and Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)|
|Number of Questions||Paper 1- 100; Paper 2- 80|
|Question Paper Type||Multiple Choice Questions|
|IAS Prelims Total Marks||400|
|Nature of Exam||Qualifying|
|Exam Duration||2 hours each, +20 minutes for blind students|
|Exam Language||English and Hindi|
The IAS Exam pattern is very important to understand to pass the prelims exam. Here is the marking scheme of prelims:
The IAS Exam pattern is very different from other exams. Also, the candidates can easily get negative marking in the UPSC Exam. In other words, 3 incorrect answers will lead to around 1 mark deduction. In short, the candidate will get a 1/3 mark deducted for incorrect answers. Also, there is no negative marking for blank answers. Read everything about UPSC on its official website.
|Paper||Type||No. of questions||Marks||Duration||Negative Marks|
|General Studies I||Objective||100||2*100 = 200||2 hours||Yes, 0.66|
|General Studies II(CSAT)||Objective||80||2.5*80 = 200||2 hours||Yes, 0.83|
|Paper||Title of the Paper||Marks Allotted|
|Paper 1||Essay writing||250 Marks|
|Paper 2||General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)||250 Marks|
|Paper 3||General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)||250 Marks|
|Paper 4||General Studies –III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||250 Marks|
|Paper 5||General Studies –IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)||250 Marks|
|Paper 6||Optional Subject – Paper 1||250 Marks|
|Paper 7||Optional Subject – Paper 2||250 Marks|
|-||Sub Total in the written Test||1750 Marks|
|-||Personal Interview||275 Marks|
|-||Grand Total ( for merit calculation)||2025 Marks|
Paper 1(General Studies) - This will test the student's knowledge and passion for learning about the country. Also, the questions are from various aspects like history, geography, economy and much more.
Paper A(Any Indian Language) - This paper is to test the candidate's knowledge of the language.
Paper B (English) - This paper tests your ability to understand the English language.
Paper 3(Essay Writing) - Students write essays on the topic of their choice.
Paper 4(General Studies 1) - It will have questions related to ancient India like history, geography, heritage and much more.
We have provided you with a list of the best books to refer for IAS preparation. You can start preparing for your exam starting with these basic books from the comfort of your home:
|History||Ancient India||RS Sharma|
|History||Modern India||Satish Chandra Mittal|
|History||History of Modern India||Bipan Chandra|
|Polity||The Constitution of India||PM Bakshi|
|Ethics||Ethics, Aptitude and Integrity for Civil Services Mail Examination||Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary|
|Economy||Indian Economy||Mishra and Puri|
|Environment||Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure||Rajgopalan|
|Science and Technology||Science and Technology in India||TMH|
|English||High School English Grammar and Composition||Wren and Martin|
|General Studies||IAS Mains Exam General Studies (IAS Mains Exam General Studies)||Ashish Bharti (IPS)|
|Geography||1. NCERT VI to XII
2. Certificate Physical Geography: G C Leong
3. World Atlas
We have covered everything that you need to know about IAS Exam Pattern. Use this to make your own unique strategy to prepare for the exam. You need to understand that clearing the IAS exam is not a simple task as lakhs of aspirants sit for this exam but only a few are selected. However, with the right guidance, proper planning, consistency and hard work you can clear this exam. Therefore, you need to understand the IAS exam pattern deeply. The IAS exam pattern will clear your doubts and you will have a clear picture. To sum up, prepare yourself wisely.
1. Why it is important to understand the IAS exam pattern?
The candidate should understand the IAS exam pattern properly because it will help to understand what to study and what to omit. The syllabus should be divided on the basis of strengths and weaknesses.
2. What is the IAS exam pattern of Prelims?
It has 2 papers General awareness and CSAT. Moreover, the candidate should score 33% in the second paper to crack the exam.
3. Is maths a good option to choose as an optional subject?
Yes, it is a very scoring subject in UPSC exams. However, if you are weak in maths but you have the interest to learn it, enroll in good coaching.
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