Preliminary Examination (Prelims): This is an objective type exam consisting of two papers, one on General Studies and another on Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). It serves as a screening test.
Main Examination (Mains): This is a written examination consisting of nine papers, including two qualifying language papers and seven papers that are counted for ranking.
Interview/Personality Test: Candidates who qualify the mains exam are called for an interview where their personality and suitability for a career in civil services are assessed.
Selection Process: Candidates are selected based on their performance in the mains examination and interview. The final ranking determines the service and cadre allocation for the candidates.
Application Process: The UPSC CSE notification is typically released in February/March, and the examination is held in stages over several months. Candidates need to apply online through the UPSC website during the application window mentioned in the notification.
It’s important to note that the eligibility criteria, exam pattern, and other details may be subject to change, so it’s advisable to refer to the latest UPSC notifications and guidelines when considering appearing for the UPSC examination. Preparing for the UPSC exam requires dedication, thorough study, and a deep understanding of various subjects, as it is one of the most challenging competitive exams in India.
The Main Examination consists of nine papers, of which seven are counted for merit ranking, and two are qualifying papers.
The seven papers counted for merit ranking are as follows:
Candidates who qualify the Mains examination are called for a Personality Test, which is also known as the Interview.
The Personality Test is conducted by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
It assesses the candidate’s intellectual qualities, social traits, interest in current affairs, and suitability for a career in civil services.
The final selection is based on the cumulative marks obtained in the Main Examination (Mains) and the Personality Test (Interview). The Preliminary Examination (Prelims) is conducted to screen candidates for the Mains, and the marks obtained in the Prelims are not counted for the final ranking.
Candidates should be well-prepared in various subjects, including General Studies, to excel in the UPSC CSE. Additionally, the Ethics and Aptitude paper in the Mains examination evaluates the ethical and moral dimensions of candidates, making it important for aspirants to develop a strong understanding of ethics and integrity. It’s crucial to stay updated with current affairs, national and international issues, and have a thorough knowledge of the Indian polity and governance system.