The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) issues an annual notification with the exam format. The UPSC exam is held once a year, and the IAS Exam has followed the same format since 2013.
The UPSC Civil Services Examination is often regarded as India’s most difficult exam. This reputation is partially a result of the fierce competition (nearly 11 lakh aspirants every year) and partly as a result of the extensive UPSC Syllabus (almost everything under the sun). Aside from that, the UPSC CSE exam design is fairly intricate, analytical, and demanding. A normal examination cycle lasts approximately a year from the preliminary exam to the announcement of the final results.
UPSC is a three-phased exam:
- Preliminary or Prelims or Pre,
- Mains, and
- Interview or Personality test.
Candidates will be able to plan their preparations more effectively if they have a thorough understanding of the exam pattern.
Candidates who pass the Prelims are eligible for the Mains, and those who pass the Mains go to the interview stage, according to the IAS exam pattern.
UPSC IAS Exam Pattern
|Name of the exam||Civil Services Exam or UPSC or IAS exam|
|Conducting authority||Union Public Service Commission|
|Mode of Exam||Offline|
|Number of Stages||3- Prelims, Mains, Interview|
|Number of papers||Prelims: 2 Mains: 9|
|Prelims marking scheme||Paper 1: 100 questions, 2 marks each|
Paper 2: 80 questions, 2.5 marks each
Negative marking: One-third of marks allotted to each question
|Duration||Prelims: 2 hours (Each paper)|
Mains: 3 hours (Each paper)
|Type of questions||Prelims: Objective type|
Mains: Subjective type
|Post||Varies every year|
One needs to qualify all rounds to be recommended to the services by the UPSC. Because each round is an elimination round, you must qualify for each one before proceeding to the next. Let us now go over the UPSC Exam Pattern 2022, as well as the marking structure for each of the papers in the various rounds.
IAS Prelims Exam Pattern
The UPSC IAS prelims exam consists of two papers both are objective type multiple choice questions exam. It consists of Paper – I (General Studies) and Paper-II (Aptitude Test). Candidates who qualify for this stage are considered for the next stage, which is the Main examination.
|Subject||Exam Type||No. of Questions||Marks||Exam Duration||Negative marking||Nature|
|Paper I- General Studies||Objective||100||200||2 Hours||1/3rd||Merit|
|Paper II- Aptitude Test (CSAT)||Objective||80||200||2 Hours||1/3rd||Qualifying|
IAS Mains Exam Pattern 2022
The UPSC IAS Mains exam consists of a compulsory Indian language, English paper, Essay, four General Studies papers and two Optional subject papers. Take a look at the UPSC Mains exam pattern in the table below.
|Paper||Subject||Duration||Total marks||Time Allotted||Nature of paper|
|Paper A||Compulsory Indian language||3 hours||300||3 hours||Qualifying|
|Paper B||English||3 hours||300||3 hours||Qualifying|
|Paper I||Essay||3 hours||250||3 hours||Merit-based|
|Paper-II||General Studies I||3 hours||250||3 hours||Merit-based|
|Paper III||General Studies II||3 hours||250||3 hours||Merit-based|
|Paper IV||General Studies III||3 hours||250||3 hours||Merit-based|
|Paper V||General Studies IV||3 hours||250||3 hours||Merit-based|
|Paper VI||Optional I||3 hours||250||3 hours||Merit-based|
|Paper VII||Optional II||3 hours||250||3 hours||Merit-based|
UPSC Interview Process
The UPSC IAS exam will conclude with a personal interview. The candidates who pass the Mains examination will be summoned for an interview. The interview consists of 275 marks which makes the grand total of maximum marks 2025. Some of the qualities that the board assesses in a candidate are:
- Mental acuity
- Critical thinking
- Analytical thinking
- Risk assessment skills
- Crisis management skills
- Ability to become a leader
- Intellectual and moral integrity
The final selection is based on the candidate’s performance in UPSC Mains and UPSC interviews