The Preliminary Examination comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each and of two hours duration each. Preliminary Exam is meant to serve as the screening stage/qualifying round only. The exam is held in the month of May every year and it consists of two objective type papers which carry a maximum of 400 marks in the following manner:
- General Studies – 200 Marks/2 hours in duration
- Aptitude – 200 Marks / 2 hours in duration
The marks obtained in the preliminary examination by candidates, who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination, will not be counted for determining their place in the final order of merit.
General Studies Paper
- Current events of national and international importance
- History of India and Indian National Movement
- Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
- General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization
- General Science
The paper of Aptitude Test for Civil Services comprises of 6 topics broadly
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision making and problem-solving
- General mental ability
- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. -Class X level).