Exam Plan


CSE Exam’s Nature

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a national level competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission annually, spanning over an entire year.

It is conducted to recruit officers for the various Civil Services of the Government of India, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) among others – better known as the ‘Indian Bureaucracy’.

This is one of the toughest examination in India and in the World. The success rate (making it to the final list) is of the order of around 0.1% – 0.3% of the applicant base.

The exam is conducted in 3 stages –

  • Preliminary (CSP),
  • Main (CSM) and
  • Interview (Personality test).

The gross details such as eligibility, education, reservations, etc are notified every year at the time when the preliminary exam’s form is released. Notifications are usually published on the UPSC website as a pdf, apart from being published in government employment magazines.

You can download forthcoming exams list and other notifications for this year from here.


CSE Exam’s Scheme

Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination shall comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions). The General Studies Paper-II (CSAT) of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%. The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.

Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following papers

Qualifying Papers

  • Paper-A (300 Marks) : One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution
  • Paper-B (300 Marks) : English

Papers To Be Counted For Merit

  • Paper – I : Essay(s)
  • Paper – II : General Studies – I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
  • Paper – III : General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
  • Paper – IV : General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
  • Paper – V : General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
  • Paper – VI : Optional Subject – Paper 1
  • Paper – VII : Optional Subject – Paper 2

Papers I though VII are of 250 marks each. Sub Total (Written test) : 1750 Marks

  • Personality Test : 275 Marks

Grand Total : 2025 Marks

  • Candidates may choose any one of the optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given in the notification.
  • The papers on Indian languages and English (Paper A and Paper B) will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
  • Evaluation of the papers, namely, ‘Essay’, General Studies and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on ‘Essay’, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language and 25% marks in English as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers.
  • Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper-I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers


Also known as the “Personality Test”, the objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to evaluate the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only a candidate’s intellectual qualities, but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.

  • The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
  • The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside of their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.



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