UPSC Mains Exam Pattern

UPSC Exam Pattern – Civi Services (Main) IAS Exam

The Civil Services Mains Examination consists of a written examination and an interview.

UPSC Civil Services (Main) Examination – 1750 Marks

The IAS Mains examination consists of nine papers, 2 papers (Paper A and Paper B) are qualifying and 7 papers (one Essay Paper – Paper I; four GS Papers – Paper II, Paper III, Paper IV and Paper V; and two optional papers – Paper VI and VII are ranking in nature. The range of questions may vary from one mark to sixty marks, twenty words to 600 words answers. Candidates who pass qualifying papers are ranked according to marks and a selected number of candidates are called for interview or a personality test at the Commission’s discretion

According to the new marks allocation in Civil Service Examination 2013 there are some changes made in the examination as per the recommendation of Prof. Arun. S. Nigavekar Committee. 

Below given is the UPSC New Exam Pattern for Civil Services (Main) written examination.

New UPSC Exam Pattern for Civil Services (Main) written

Paper Subject Marks
Paper A (One of the Indian languages listed below, to be selected by the candidate (from the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India) (Qualifying) 300
Paper B
Essay (Section 1)
(English Comprehension  and English Précis (Section 2)
English (Qualifying) 300
Paper I Essay 250
GS Paper 1 – Paper II
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World  and Society)
General Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society) 250
GS Paper II – Paper III
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
General Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relations) 250
Paper IV
(Technology, Economic Development,  Bio-diversity, Environment, Security  and Disaster Management)
General Studies III (Technology, economic development, bio-diversity, environment, security and disaster management) 250
Paper V
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
General Studies IV(ethics, integrity and aptitude) 250
Papers VI & VII
(Optional Papers)
Two papers on subjects to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects below (250 marks for each paper) 500
Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test (Interview) 275
Total Marks 2025


UPSC Mains Civil Services Exam Pattern

The UPSC Civil Services (Main) Examination consists of written examination with 9 papers of conventional essay type as set out by the commission and out of 9 papers two are qualifying in nature.

The papers on Indian  languages – Paper A and English – Paper B will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying . The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

The paper A on Indian Language will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.


UPSC Mains Civil Services Exam Evaluation Pattern

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 final ranking.

Candidates should score 25% marks in Indian Language and 25% marks in English papers (which is the minimum qualifying marks of these qualifying papers).

Evaluation of the papers, namely ‘Essay’, ‘General Studies’ and Optional Subject would be done simultaneously along with the evaluation of the qualifying  papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ for only those candidates who attain 25% marks in each qualifying paper.


Candidates who clear IAS Prelims exam qualify for the Civil Services Main Exam and based on the marks secured by the candidates in the Main exam, they will be called for Interview. The total marks from the UPSC Mains written examination and the personality test/Interview are taken in to account for the final ranking/merit.