Civil Services Examination

About the Exam

  • Objective Exam (1/3rd Negative)
  • Paper I – 100Marks (Deciding paper)
  • Paper II – get 66 marks and above.
  • Descriptive Papers
  • 7-2 Papers = 1750 Marks
  • One Optional Subject
  • 2 Papers are qualifying in nature

The Interview or the Personality test of the Civil Services exam is conducted in Delhi at the UPSC Dholpur House

275 Marks

Mains and Personality test Scores will be added to rank you in the Final list.

This is the first step to attain your ultimate goal. The Civil Services Preliminary Examinations is a screening test for selecting candidates for the next stage of the process. As this is a screening test, the marks are not carry-forwarded to the next round. All candidates qualified are eligible for taking part in the next round. The number of candidates will approximately be equal to twelve to thirteen times the number of vacancies to be filled.

Date of Examination: 18th, June 2017


The exam will consist of two papers of 200 marks each and questions will be multiple choice questions with total marks of 400.
There will be negative marking for wrong answers. The second paper is a qualifying paper( 33%).



  1. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.


  1. Indian and World Geography – Physical Social Economic Geography of India and the World
  2. ONLY NCERT (9-12)
  3. Any Atlas


  1. History of India and Indian National Movement.
  2. NCERT ( Ancient/ Medieval/ Modern)
  3. Modern Indian Hstory ( B.L. Grover, Alka Mehta)


  1. Economic and Social Development Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  2. NCERT Class11-12
  3. Shankar Ganesh Indian Economy
  4. Budget & Economic Survey
  5. India Yearbook Ch.7,13,14,19,21: English | Hindi | Kindle


  1. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  2. ShankarIAS Environment Book
  3. India Yearbook 2017: Ch. 12- English | Hindi| Kindle


  • General Science.
  • NCERT Class7-10 (All)| 11-12 (Selective).
  • Newspaper: TheHindu / Indianexpress.


  1. Current events of national and international importance.
  2. Any “ONE” Newspaper.


  Aptitude and Data Interpretation

  • 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)
  • Any good practice book.


  1. Pratice any good CAT book. TIME/IMS will do.


  1. Decision-making and problem-solving
  2. Will make decent problems here.



  • The Civil Services Main examination is designed to test the academic talent of the aspirant, also his/her ability to present his/ her knowledge in a clear and coherent manner.
  • The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
  • The UPSC has revised the pattern of Civil Services Main examination from 2013. Now there are 7 + 2 = 9 papers to be answered in the main examination and all of them are of descriptive type.
  • There are two qualifying papers of 300 marks each 1) any modern Indian language 2) English, whose marks will not be counted in the main
  • The total marks of the written examination will be 1750 Marks.
  • The candidate is allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination.
  • There is only “ONE” optional subject to choose from the list of subjects. It comprises of two papers each of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks.
  • A candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject “without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language’s literature.
  • The scope of the syllabus of optional paper is higher than the bachelor’s degree but lower than the master’s level.
  • The scope of the syllabus of General Studies is of degree level.

Civil Services Mains Exam Syllabus



Age / Attempt limit

What is the age limit for taking CSE

32* for OC
35* For OBC
37* For SC/ST

How many times one can take this exam?

9  for OBC

Academic Qualification

What is the minimum percentage to take UPSC CSE

There is NO MINIMUM %, you should have a (any)degree certificate.

I applied for the Prelims Exam but not appeared in the exam, will it be counted as an attempt?

NO, applying is not considered to be an ATTEMPT. Attending at least one paper will be counted and appearing one paper will be a wasted attempted, better not to attempt.

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