UPSC Exam Pattern for Mains and UPSC Syllabus for Mains Exam

Here’s all the details that every aspirant should be know about the UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains Examination which includes the UPSC Mains Plan of Examination, exam pattern and UPSC Syllabus for IAS Mains Exam.

Officially or according the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the civil services mains examination consists of written examination and an interview for personality test.

The main examination consists of 9 papers of conventional essay type of which two papers are qualifying in nature and remaining 7 papers are compulsory papers. The marks obtained in the compulsory papers and the interview for personality test is will be counted for  final ranking.

Click below to know in detail about the UPSC Exam Pattern for Mains and UPSC Syllabus for Mains Exam

UPSC Mains Exam Pattern and Syllabi



Interview for Personality Test

Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks (as fixed by the commission at their discretion) in the written part of the main examination will be summoned for an interview for the personality test by the commission.

Generally, the number of candidates summoned for interview will be about twice of the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview carries 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks.

UPSC Board Interview Process

The candidates will be interviewed by the Board of members of the commission who will have before them the record of candidates’ career.

The candidates will be questioned on matters of general interest by the Board of competent and unbiased observers. The object of the interview is to assess the personal traits of the candidates for a career in public service.

The personality test is intended to judge the mental caliber o the candidates. Broadly speaking, the interview is an assessment of not only candidates’ intellectual qualities but also their 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 judgment
  • variety and depth of interest
  • ability for social cohesion and leadership
  • intellectual and moral integrity

The interview process is of a natural, directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidates.

The interview for personality test is not intended to test the general knowledge of the candidates as it is already tested through the written papers. Rather it tests the candidates intelligent interest in their special subjects of academic study and also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside the State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new is discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of the candidates.