In the recent five years, there have many major and minor changes in UPSC Exam Paper Pattern and syllabus. So, in all those changes, only the CSE Mains exam has been affected. Hence, there has been no change in the number of attempts.Also, age limit and exam pattern for preliminary exam.
Putting up this article on UPSC Exam Paper Pattern in the most simplified way possible for avoiding any further doubts.
The UPSC Examination comprises of three parts.

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Main Examination
  •  Interview

The Preliminary Examination (400 Marks)

  • The Preliminary examination consists of two objective type papers of two hours each.

Paper I – is a paper on General Studies – 200 marks
Paper II – is a paper on Aptitude Test- 200 marks

  • So, Know one thing here, Preliminary exam is a qualifying exam. The marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates will not be counted .
  • The question papers will be set in both Hindi and English. However, questions related to English Language Comprehension skills would be provided only in English.
  • There will be negative marking (of one-third marks for that answer)

Mains Exam( 2075 Marks)

  • Here, the total marks of Main exam and Interview sum up to produce final result.
  • The main examination will have the 2 qualifying papers and 7 papers to be counted for merit. So, All the 9 papers will have essay-type questions. Let us look at these papers and their pattern.

Paper A and B is are qualifying papers and the other 7 papers are Ranking papers.

Paper AOne of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate. ( the languages included in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution.)300 Marks
Paper B            English300 Marks
Paper I             Essay250 Marks
Paper IIGeneral Studies I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)250 Marks
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II (Governance, Constitution, Polity. Social Justice and International relations)250 Marks
Paper IVGeneral Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity.  Environment, Security and Disaster Management)250 Marks
Paper VGeneral Studies IV ( Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)250 Marks
Paper VIOptional Subject- Paper 1250 Marks
Paper VIIOptional Subject- Paper 2250 Marks
For the optional paper, UPSC has a list of about twenty-six subjects. So, any one subject has to be selected by the candidate.
Written Exam Total – 1750 Marks
Interview Total – 275 Marks
Subtotal- 2025 Marks
  • Marks obtained in Paper 1 to Paper 7 will be counted for merit ranking.
  • The question paper for each of the seven papers will be of the conventional (essay) type. Also it will  have three hours allotted.

Interview Test- 275 marks

  • Here,the interview or personality round is also included as a part of the “Main Examination” and is worth 275 marks. 
  •  So, Candidates will be allotted keeping in view their ranks in the Exam. Also,the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.
So, This is a generic UPSC Exam Paper Pattern. You can also refer a proper Calendar to chalk out a  plan for studying for yourself.
Also , it is important to select your optional subject wisely. So, Make sure you’ve chosen the correct subject.Till then, Good Luck.

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