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ITS Exam Pattern and Eligibility: Section wise, Marking scheme, Other

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The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) conducts exams for the citizens every year to induce them into the civil services of the country.

The full form of ITS is Indian Trade Service.

In this article, I will show you the Indian trade service(ITS) exam pattern and Eligibility criteria to boost your ITS 2021 exam preparation.

Out of which one the Indian Trade Service (ITS) exam is also conducted by UPSC.

The Indian Trade Service (ITS) is a Group A civil service, created in 1965. It was created as a special cadre to handle India’s international trade and commerce.

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Also, Check and download the Detailed Civil service exam pattern pdf

Download UPSC optional Previous year question paper

Check civil Sevices optional subject syllabus with pdf

ITS is regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce.

The department is functionally organized into the following nine divisions:

  1. International Trade Policy Division,
  2. Foreign Trade Regional Division,
  3. Export Products Division,
  4. Export Industry Division,
  5. Export Services Division,
  6. Economic Division
  7. Administration and General Services Division,
  8. Finance Division,
  9. Supply Division


ITS Exam Highlights

Check the below table for a quick overview of the ITS Exam

Conducted By UPSC
Exam mode Offline
Number of papers
  • Preliminary: 2
  • Mains: 9
Nationality Indian
Age-limit 21 to 30(age relaxation below)
  • 2 hours for prelims
  • 3 hours for mains
Question Type  Objective type(MCQ)


Eligibility Criteria For ITS Exam 2021


The nationality of a candidate must be either of the following:

    1. Citizen of India
    2. Must be a Subject of Nepal or Bhutan
    3. A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, for permanent settlement in India.
    4. Any candidate who has a Migrant from any of the following countries for permanently settling in India: Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of (Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam)
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  • Given that an applicant holds a position with classes 2, 3, 4, and 5, a person in whose favor a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.
  • For Gorkhas candidates, isn’t needed migrants certificate.


Educational Qualification:

The candidate must have a degree or equivalent qualification from any recognized/authorized university.

    1. Candidate should have a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, and Zoology or Agriculture or Forestry or Engineering from a recognized University or Bachelor’s degree with at least one of the subjects Should be equivalent.
    2. Candidates appearing in their degree examination (with prescribed subjects) can also compete. If they qualify for the result of the written part of the examination, they will have to submit proof of passing the required examination along with their detailed application form to be filled at that stage.

Age Limit ITS Criteria :

    1. Minimum age 21 years
    2. Maximum age 30 years as on 1st of August in the year of examination.

Check the following table for Age relaxation 


Category Age relaxable
For SC/ST candidates: Upto a maximum of 5 years 
For OBC candidates Upto a maximum of 3 years
For a candidate from the State of Jammu & Kashmir: Up to maximum of 5 years
For Defence Services personnel Up to a maximum of 5 years
For Ex-servicemen including Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years of Military Service and have been released Up to maximum of 5 years
For ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years of Military Service:  Up to maximum of 5 years 
For Blind, deaf-mute, and Orthopaedically handicapped persons: up to a maximum of 10 years


The number of attempts for ITS:

The maximum number of attempts restriction is as follows:

    1. For General category candidates: 6 attempts
    2. For OBC candidates: 9 attempts
    3. For SC/ST candidates: No restriction
    4. Physically handicapped– 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST

Roles and Responsibilities

The following are the responsibilities that are assigned to ITS officers:

  1. Assistant Director-General of Foreign Trade
  2. Deputy Director-General of Foreign Trade
  3. Joint Director General of Foreign Trade / Director (Foreign Trade)
  4. Additional Director General of Foreign Trade / Development Commissioner (SEZ)


ITS Exam Pattern 2021

  • civil service conducted two qualifying nature papers in pre-exam and 9 papers in the mains exam.
  • Negative Marking: For the wrong answer, one-third(1/3) of marks will be deducted as a penalty.
  • Each paper has 300 marks in the prelims exam and 250 marks in the mains exam.

A highlight of ITS Exam pattern

Paper Description Marks in Paper
A One Indian language which included in the Eighth Schedule to the constitution(Qualifying only) 300
B English(Qualifying Only) 300
1 Essay 250
2 General Studies -I                                                                      (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society) 250
3 General Studies –II                                                                  (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 250
4 General Studies –III                                                    (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250
5 General Studies –IV                                                            (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude) 250
6 Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
7 Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
Sub-Total (Written Test) 1750 Marks
IAS Personality Test (Interview) 275
Grand Total Of all exam marks 2025 Marks
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  • Each Mains and pre-exam paper is mandatory to qualify for the IAS Interview Round.

Note: Paper A is not compulsory for candidates with Benchmark Disability (Hearing Impaired Subcategory only) and the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim.

Marking Scheme for ITS Exam:

  • For Pre Exam: Each question carries 2 marks in general Studies and 2.5 marks in Civil Services Aptitude Test.
  • If you are doing not attempt any question, there’ll be no penalty for that question.
  • If more than one answer is given by the candidates, it’ll be considered as a wrong answer, even one given answer is going to be correct.
  • Negative Marking: For every wrong answer that has been given by the candidate, one-third(0.33) marks are going to be deducted as a penalty.
  • Candidates are going to be categorized on the idea of opinion, content flow, understanding of problems/situations, feasible solutions/strategies, presentation, and language offering.


ITS/UPSC Personality Test Pattern

Also, this exam conducted by UPSC. so, this exam same as IAS Exam.

1 Screening test: This is an officer rating test that comprises Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT).

2. Physiological test: After passing the stage first, the candidate attempts this stage.

They find the following topic which is

  • Leadership
  • Decision-making Ability
  • Mental and Physical Knowledge
  • Confidence
  • and so more

Civil Services optional subject list for the Mains exam

Check the Below Table to choose two optional subjects for your main exam.

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


Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and English.


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