UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern For IAS Exam 2020 | Prelims, Mains & Interview | Career Launcher

UPSC conducts Civil Services Examination every year to recruit IAS, IFS and other allied services. Civil Services Examination is a three stage examination consisting of Prelims, Mains and Interview. A thorough understanding of UPSC exam pattern 2020 will allow you to prepare for this exam efficiently.

In this article, we have discussed the UPSC Exam pattern along with the marking scheme of UPSC CSE 2020 prelims, mains, and interview. It will allow you to allocate the time for the preparation of the specific subject effectively.

UPSC conducts the Civil Service Examination in three phases namely:

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Main Examination
  • Personality Test (Interview)

Candidates who qualify all the rounds are recommended for joining the civil services in India. Each round is an elimination round, so you need to qualify each one in order to appear for the next one. Now, let us discuss the UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 along with the marking scheme for each of the papers in different rounds.

Marking Scheme and UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 For UPSC CS Prelims

As you may already know, UPSC CSE Prelims consists of two papers namely General Studies I and CSAT (General Studies Paper-II). While CSAT is qualifying in nature, the marks obtained in General Studies paper determine whether or not you qualify for the next round. It means your score in General Studies Paper will be considered for the cutoff.

Additionally, there is negative marking for the wrong answers. 1/3rd of the marks allotted for the question would be deducted as a penalty for marking the wrong answer. However, if you do not attempt the question, there will be no deductions. Hence, you should take only calculated risk when it comes to marking doubtful questions.

Now, let us look at the UPSC exam pattern for UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2020:

Name of the Pape No of Questions Marks Allotted Time Allotted Nature of Exam
Paper I: General Studies (Objective-type) 100 200 2 hours The score will be considered for Cut-off
Paper-II: General Studies-II (CSAT) (Objective-Type) 80 200 2 hours Qualifying Nature- Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify CSAT.

Following points should be kept in mind while appearing for IAS Exam 2020:

  • It is mandatory for all the candidates to appear for both the exams viz General Studies and CSAT to qualify for the Mains.
  • The score obtained in the Prelims will not be added to the final score. UPSC CSE Prelims 2020 will be just for screening purposes.
  • The question paper of Prelims will be bilingual. It will have questions written both in Hindi and English Language.

Check out the weightage of each subject of prelims here.

Marking Scheme And UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 For UPSC CS Mains

The UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 for Mains is discussed below. The IAS Mains Exam consists of two types of papers viz qualifying and merit-ranking. Paper A and Paper B namely Language paper and English paper will be qualifying in nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be added to marks that may determine your rank. All the other papers will be evaluated for merit purposes.

Paper Subject Duration Total marks Time Allotted Nature of paper Type of Paper
Paper A Compulsory Indian language 3 hours 300 3 hours Qualifying Descriptive
Paper B English 3 hours 300 3 hours Qualifying Descriptive
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit Descriptive
Paper-II General Studies I 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit Descriptive
Paper III General Studies II 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit Descriptive
Paper IV General Studies III 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit Descriptive
Paper V General Studies IV 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit Descriptive
Paper VI Optional I 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit Descriptive
Paper VII Optional II 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit Descriptive

Following points should be kept in mind while preparing for UPSC CSE Mains 2020:

  • Except for language papers, Paper A and Paper B, score in all the other papers will determine your rank.
  • Hence, your score will be out of a total of 1750 marks.
  • It is mandatory to score at least 25% in each paper to be evaluated while the final selection.
  • Candidates will be required to write the answers in the answer sheets provided by the UPSC. No extra sheets will be provided.

General Studies Paper

The subjects which are covered in different General Studies Paper in the Mains Exam are mentioned as under:

General Studies I Indian Heritage and Culture, History n Geography, Society
General Studies II Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, International Relations
General Studies III Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security n Disaster Management
General Studies IV Ethics, Aptitude, Integrity

Following points should be kept in mind while appearing for IAS Exam 2020:

  • It is mandatory for all the candidates to appear for both the exams viz General Studies and CSAT to qualify for the Mains.
  • The score obtained in the Prelims will not be added to the final score. UPSC CSE Prelims 2020 will be just for screening purposes.
  • The question paper of Prelims will be bilingual. It will have questions written both in Hindi and English Language.

Check out the weightage of each subject of prelims here.

List of Optional Subjects for UPSC Mains

Here's the list of optional subjects that can be opted for UPSC Mains:

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology Botany Chemistry

Civil Engineering 

Commerce and Accountancy

Economics

Electrical Engineering

Geography

Geology

History

Law

Management

Mathematics

Mechanical Engineering

Medical Science 

Philosophy

Physics

Political Science and International Relations

Psychology

Public Administration 

Sociology

Statistics

Zoology

The options for literature subjects are:

Assamese Bengali Bodo Dogri Gujarati

Hindi

Kannada

Kashmiri

Konkani

Maithali

Malayalam

Manipuri

Marathi

Nepali

Odia

Punjabi

Sanskrit

Santhali

Sindhi

Tamil

Telugu

Urdu

English



IAS 2020 Interview Process

The interview process is the last and the final stage of the selection process. The interview is of 275 marks which makes the grand total of maximum marks 2025. Some of the qualities that the board assess 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

This was a brief overview of the UPSC Exam Pattern 2020. Keep following our articles to apprise yourself with the latest information about the exam.

Read more | Preparation strategy for interview

Check out the full syllabus of UPSC CSE here. And if you are looking for a panacea to boost your prelims score, here’s a course designed just for that! Get in touch with our course counselors to get additional information on course deliverables.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is UPSC What does it do?

UPSC stands for Union public service commission. UPSC is a govt. body which conducts recruitment examination for various govt. services including Civil Service Examination every year to recruit IAS, IPS, IFS and other allied services

What is the educational qualification for Civil Service exam?

Candidate must have been completed bachelor's degree from any recognized Indian university. However final year students are also eligible to apply.

What is the age limit?

Candidate age must be between 21 to 32 years old for General category.

Any age relaxations for Reserved category Candidates?

Yes, for OBC category 3 years of relaxation, for SC/ST 5 years for relaxation is there, Defense Service Personnel disabled during service have 3 years of relaxation, ex-service men including service officers have 5 years of relaxation, visually challenged, physically challenged and hearing-impaired people have up to 10 years of relaxation.

Is there any limit to attempt the exam?

General category people can attempt max 6 times, OBC category people can attempt max 9 times, SC/ST category no limit to attempt, physically handicapped (both General and OBC category) can attempt 9 times, SC/ST physically handicapped can attempt any no of times.

What is the selection criteria?

It is 3 stage examination

  • Preliminary examination – objective oriented (comprise of 2 papers GS and CSAT).
  • Mains examination (descriptive mode)
  • Personality development test (interview)

To write mains exam, candidate must have to qualify in preliminary examination. If you are selected in mains exam you will get call for the interview. For final ranking both Main & Interview Marks are considered.

What is the pattern of preliminary exam?

It comprises of 2 MCQ based papers conduct on single day. General studies paper –1, consists of 100 questions, carry 2 marks each. General Studies paper-2 (CSAT) consists of 80 questions which carry 2.5 Marks each. However, in CSAT is a qualifying paper & Candidate have to score minimum 33.33 % of Maximum marks to qualify. Only GS paper- 1 marks are considered for the cutoff. There is 1/3rd negative for every wrong answer in both the papers.

What is the syllabus for the preliminary exam?

You can go through detailed analysis of syllabus from this site
https://www.careerlauncher.com/upsc/upsc-prelims-syllabus/

What is pattern for the Mains exam?

It comprises of total 9 Descriptive papers conducted in 5 days. Paper A- (language paper, you can select any language prescribed by UPSC, however this paper is not compulsory for Candidates from North Eastern states of India) and Paper B (Compulsory English language), are qualifying in nature. Remaining papers, Paper I – to Paper VII are considered for Main Score where each paper carry maximum 250 marks.

What is the syllabus for the mains exam?

You can go through this website for detailed analysis
https://www.careerlauncher.com/upsc/upsc-mains-syllabus/

Total how many optional subjects candidate have to select?

Candidate have to select only one optional subject from the choices provided in UPSC notification.

Does career launcher provide any guidance for the preparation?

Yes, To know more about the courses, visit
https://www.careerlauncher.com/upsc/online-ias-coaching/

Current Affairs analysis