Have you started preparing for UPSC 2019? In the last article we have discussed regarding the eligibility criteria. In this article we will be covering the UPSC examination pattern in detail. So, go through this article once so as to know exactly the pattern followed in the civil services examination covering each and every detail. So let’s get started..
UPSC Exam Pattern
There are mainly three stages of the UPSC or Civil services examination which are
- Preliminary Examination (Objective Type)
- Main Examination (Written Test)
- Personal Interview
There are two papers conducted in preliminary exam. This exam would be conducted in first week of June 2019.
- Paper-I General Studies (200 marks and 2 hours)
- Paper-II Aptitude Test (200 marks and 2 hours)
The prelims exam is basically conducted for the screening purpose only. The marks obtained in prelims exams will not be taken into account while preparing the final merit. All those who qualify the prelims, move on for the second stage of the UPSC exam i.e. the Mains Exam. Every year around lakhs of aspirants appear for this exam but only a few crack the exam.
UPSC has the lowest success rate which is 0.1%. Any person who has given the prelims exam will have his attempt as counted. We all know about the number of attempts which was discussed earlier in the eligibility criteria.
If you have qualified the prelims for 2019, only then you can sit for Mains 2019 after submitting the Detailed Application Form. The candidate can only give mains exam for that year in which he has cleared the prelims. The score of 2019 will not be carried forward to the subsequent years.
UPSC Exam Pattern for Prelims
Now, here is a quick glance over the nature of the pattern followed in prelims.
- The prelims test is held in first week of June every year.
- It consists of two compulsory papers: paper I General Ability test and paper II Civil Service Aptitude test. The CSAT will test the analytical and logical abilities of the applicant.
- The test will be objective in nature i.e. each question will carry four options and you have to select the correct one.
- The student can give the paper in either Hindi or English language. The language selection will be made while filling the application form. While testing the English paragraph no translation will be provided.
- The prelims exam is a qualifying exam. The applicants need to clear a cut off decided by the commission or a minimum of 33% for getting eligible for the Mains Exam.
IAS Marking Scheme for Prelims
- Each question in the GS paper will be objective and will carry 2 marks.
- Each and every question in CSAT will carry 2.5 marks each.
- There is a negative marking. For every wrong answer 0.33 marks or one-third mark will be deducted.
- Giving more than one answer, will be considered as a wrong answer as each question has a one unique answer. Even if one of the answers marked from the multiple answers is correct, the negative marking is applicable in such a scenario.
- No mark will be deducted for an un-attempted question.
- The aspirant need to score more than 33% to qualify for the Mains exam.
Main Examination (Written)
Mains or the subjective exam basically has 9 papers in it. The main exam is conducted to assess the overall depth of understanding of the candidate as well as his intellectual traits. For paper II to V, even a normal graduate person can answer them without any specific study.
All the questions asked in the Mains exam have a definite relevance with the civil Services and help in analysing the general awareness of a candidate over the subjects.
Besides testing memory and knowledge, the main exam is conducted to test the analysing ability, logic building and basic understanding of the relevant issues pertaining in the society today. A candidate is expected to deliver meaningful, relevant and most succinct answers.
IAS Exam Pattern for Mains
Now have a quick glance over the pattern followed in mains exam.
- The Mains exam is also an offline exam but subjective in nature. Each paper carries 250 marks.
- The duration of the exam is 3 hours with extra 30 minutes to blind candidates.
- There are in total 9 papers which will test his understanding and knowledge of the subject. Two are the language papers which just require qualifying and the rest 7 are subject based.
- The questions asked may be both objective as well subjective with translation provided for each question.
The UPSC mains exam is further divided into two categories: Qualifying exam and the merit building exam. You need to appear in both the exams.
Paper A: language- 300 Marks (One of the Indian Language to be selected from the ones included in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution)
Paper B: English – 300 Marks
Merit Building Exams
The aspirants have to score a minimum marks to qualify the qualifying exam. Only if you clear the qualifying exam, your other papers will be checked.
These exams are designed to check you grasp over the subjects and essays. It will help to bring out the intellectual level as well as interpersonal skills of the candidate. The seven papers are
- Essay Writing
- GS 1
- GS II
- GS III
- GS IV
- Optional Paper I
- Optional Paper II
The marks obtained by the candidate in these seven exams will be used to prepare the merit list of the candidates.
IAS Marking Scheme for Mains
- The total marks for the mains exam are 250*7=1750.
- Candidates will be graded based on their opinion, Content flow, presentation, and language, understanding the problems/ situation, offering feasible solutions/strategies
Personality Test (Interview)
This is the last stage of the UPSC examination. The interview is conducted in the month of January and will be of 275 marks. There are no minimum qualifying marks for this exam. the final ranking will be decided based on the total marks obtained in the mains examination and the interview.
The total ranking is calculated from 2025 marks. The candidates will be allotted to the services as per their ranks and the preferences given by them for various posts in the detailed application form.
The number of candidates who become eligible for the Personal Interview are approximately twice the number of vacancies which are to be filled.
During the interview, a panel of interviewers will be selected by the commission. The panel will be having a record of your career beforehand.
The interview carried out is mainly in the natural flow of conversation. The questions are asked based on the interest of the candidate.
The main objective of the interview is to check the compatibility of the candidate’s candidature as per the civil services. This test helps to bring out the social traits and intellectual qualities of the candidate.
Some qualities which are judged by the panel are clear and logical exposition, mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, ability for social cohesion and leadership, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, intellectual and moral integrity.
The interview is not a strict interview or something like cross examination but it is aimed to keep natural and purposive conversation so as to bring out the real qualities of the candidate.
IAS Exam Pattern for Personality Test
Some key points for the Personal Interview of UPSC Exam.
- The personality test will be conducted in January. All the candidates who qualify the written exam will move ahead to the Interviews.
- This would include the Psychometric Test, Assessment Test and the Personal Interview.
- The main objective of the interview is to access the suitability of the candidate for civil services.
- A board of judges is formed whose unbiased opinions will give the finest of officers in Indian Civil services.
- The test is conducted to bring out the critical powers of assimilation, ability for social cohesion and leadership, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, intellectual and moral integrity of the candidate.
- You can give the test in the language of your choice.
- Interview is of 275 marks making a total of 2025 (1750+ 275) for the final ranking.
So, now you know the road to crack UPSC is not easy but not impossible. A fair dedication and hard work will make your dream come true. So, plan you time table well in advance. Make sure that you give one full year to your preparation.
During the examination hall, read the instructions given properly. Take an extra pen in your paper. Make sure you carry your admit card till the last stage of the examination.
Time is running. Each and every single second counts when you prepare for India’s most prestigious exam i.e. UPSC 2019.
I have tried to cover each and every detail but I may have missed out on something. Please feel free to comment below and stay tuned with upscbuddy.com for more upcoming notifications and updates.