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Check Detail UPSC Exam Pattern for IAS With PDF File format

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UPSC exam pattern is divided into two distinct stages. The IAS exam pattern is designed by the Union Service Public Commission (USPC) to filter a large number of candidates in the IAS exam.

The IAS test is the hardest test in India.

Check Below this content to Download UPSC Exam Pattern PDF File

Which exam divide into three parts. Preliminary, Mains and Interview.

UPSC Exam Pattern Related Points

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IAS Exam Pattern

In this article, I will give you complete knowledge about the UPSC IAS Exam pattern.
If you are looking

  • IAS Prelims Exam pattern
  • IAS Mains Exam pattern
  • Marking scheme/Negative Marking
  • IAS Interview Exam Pattern

So, Let’s get started


The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is conducted in India under the leadership of the UPSC for enrollment in various civil services of the Government of India.

If you think about trying for the IAS exam, then it is very important that you should have first knowledge about the IAS exam pattern after applying.

Before going into debt about the UPSC IAS exam pattern, I want to clarify a quick overview of the exam pattern.


Name of the exam Civil Services Exam- IAS
Conducting authority Union Public Service Commission
Mode of Exam Offline
Number of Stages Prelims exam Mains exam Interview
Number of papers Prelims: 2

Mains: 9

Negative Marking scheme Negative marking: One-third of marks allotted to each question
Duration Prelims: 2 hours per paper
Mains: 3 hours per paper
Type of questions Prelims: Objective type
Mains: Subjective type
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Preliminary- IAS Exam Pattern

IAS pre exam pattern started
IAS pre exam pattern started

For the candidate’s analytical skills test, the IAS Pre Exam consists of 2 compulsory papers which are General Aptitude Test (GAT) and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).

For qualify Paper 1(General Studies): Candidate should have knowledge about current events, history of India and Indian national movement, Indian and world geography, Indian polity Panchayati Raj system and governance, environmental ecology, biodiversity, climate change, and general science, Art and culture.

For qualify paper 2(CSAT): The candidate should have knowledge about comprehension, interpersonal skills, communication, logical reasoning, analytical ability, problem-solving,  data interpretation, English language comprehension skills, and mental ability.


Exam Mode Offline
No. of Papers attempt General Studies & Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)
NO. of Questions Asked Paper 1- 100;

Paper 2- 80

Types of question Asked Multiple Choice Questions
IAS Prelims Marks General Studies – 200Marks

Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)- 200Marks

Nature of Exam Qualifying
Exam time-limit 2 hours each (only blind aspirants will get additional 20 minutes) paper
Total Marks  400 Marks


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The types of questions are multiple-choice types. The candidate can choose any one of the 4 answers given for each question.

Note: It is mandatory to qualify for the main examination, you must score at least 33% in the preliminary examination.


UPSC Marking scheme for IAS Exam

  1. For Pre Exam: Each question carries 2 marks in General Studies and 2.5 marks in Civil Services Aptitude Test.
  2. If you do not attempt any question, there will be no penalty for that question.
  3. If more than one answer is given to the candidates, it will be considered as a wrong answer, even one given answer will be correct.
  4. Negative Marking: For each wrong answer that has been given by the candidate, one-third(0.33) marks will be deducted as a penalty.
  5. Candidates will be categorized on the basis of opinion, content flow, understanding of problems/situation, feasible solutions/strategies, presentation, and language offering.


Mains- IAS Exam Pattern

IAS Main exam preparation
IAS Main exam preparation

  • In the examination, questions are formulated to test the mental, conceptual and interpersonal skills of the candidate.
  • And seven papers are based on merit, that marks will affect your final rank.
  • 3 hours duration for each paper. 30 minutes are given extra for blind aspirants.

Qualifying Paper: Here, two qualifying paper which mentioned below the table. That two paper’s marks will not be counted on the final rank list.


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


  • Also, each paper carrying 250 marks(exclude qualifying paper).
  • Exam conducted in offline mode.
  • 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.


UPSC Exam Pattern PDF file 

The PDF file is also you to boost your IAS Exam Preparation.

In this IAS Exam pattern PDF file, you find Preliminary, mains, and interview exam Patterns.

Click to→ Download UPSC Exam Pattern PDF File


IAS Personality Test Exam Pattern

Let’s ready to check the interview exam pattern

Once you pass IAS written exam, you will be able to appear in the Interview exam.

The IAS meeting is directed at the UPSC official premises in New Delhi.

Any particular Patterns are not set for the IAS interview. It depends on the candidate and board.

In the interview examination, the examiner checks some skills in the candidate which are given below:

  • Intellectual awareness
  • Critical Powers of Assimilation
  • Logical Explanation
  • Balance of Judgement
  • Interest
  • The ability for Social Unity and Leadership
  • Moral Integrity

275 marks will be classified for the IAS interview.

The final rank of the candidate depends on the sum total, which is formed by the addition of the IAS main and interview.


IAS optional subject list for the Main 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.


Frequently Asked Question

Question. Does the UPSC exam pattern change every year?

Answer: No, the IAS exam pattern is very much static and before changing the exam pattern, the UPSC needs to take approval from the Ministry of Personnel and Training.

Question: How many papers in IAS Exam?

Answer: Nine, Total nine papers in the Mains exam(including two Qualifying papers).

Question: What are the stages in IAS Exam?

Answer: Three stages in IAS Exam. Which mentioned above in detail.



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