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UPSC Exam Eligibility Criteria

UPSC will release the official eligibility criteria for UPSC Exam 2022 in the UPSC notification. Broadly, you need to qualify the below-mentioned parameters in order to apply for the IAS Exam or the UPSC Civil Services Examination.


IAS Age Limit21 to 32 Years
Age RelaxationAs per Category

Educational qualification for UPSC Civil


Graduation from any recognized university


UPSC 2022 Exam Pattern

The IAS exam pattern for UPSC Civil Services Exam for Prelims and Mains is tabulated below: UPSC Exam Pattern for UPSC Prelims Exam

Name of the Paper

No of






Nature of Exam
Paper I: General Studies (Objective Type)






2 Hours

The score will be

considered for Cut- off

Paper II: General Studies -II (Objective Type)






2 Hours

Qualifying Nature- Candidates will have to score33% to

qualify CSAT.


UPSC Exam Pattern for UPSC Mains Exam


PaperSubjectDurationTotal MarksNature of PaperType of Paper
Paper ACompulsory Indian Language3 Hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper BEnglish3 Hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper IEssay3 Hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper IIGeneral Studies I3 Hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 Hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 Hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 Hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper VIOptional I3 Hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper VIIOptional II3 Hours250MeritDescriptive


UPSC Exam Syllabus for Prelims General Studies Paper-I

The IAS Syllabus for UPSC Prelims Exam includes the following topics:

  • Current Events of National and International Importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General Issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization General Science

General Studies Paper-II

The GS-II in UPSC Prelims is also known as CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test. The following topics are included in the IAS syllabus for this paper:

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical l reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc., - Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc., - Class X level)

UPSC Exam Syllabus for Main Examination PAPER-I Essay:

For UPSC 2022, candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics like previous year exams. They will be expected to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and write concisely. Credit will be givenfor effective and exact expression

PAPER-II General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature & Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the World will include events from the 18th century, such as the Industrial Revolution, World Wars, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc., - their forms and effects on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Role of women and women' s organizations, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Effects of globalization on Indian society- Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of the world's physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India); Important Geophysical phenomena, such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic activity, cyclones, etc., geographical features and their location - changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


PAPER-III General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations.

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries, Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary, Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People's Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry - the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Center and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues related to development and management of Social Sector/Services in the field of Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues related to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance - applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens’ charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of Civil Services in a democracy.
  • India and its neighbourhood - relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and for a- their structure, mandate.


PAPER-IV General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting. Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints;
  • E-technology in the aid of farmers Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices;
  • Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics,  nano -technology, bio- technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money- laundering and its prevention.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism Various Security forces and agencies and their
  • mandate

PAPER-V General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates' attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in privateand public relationships.

  • Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non- partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towardsthe weaker sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporategovernance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity;
  • Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen's Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on the above issues.


List of Optional Subject for UPSC Exam (Mains)

Optional Subjects are extremely important for UPSC Exam because they account for 500 marks out of a total of 1750 marks in UPSC Main Examination. There are 45 options for optional subjects including various Literature subject options in the IAS Exam. Here’s the list of all optional subjects available for the UPSC Exam.



Animal Husbandry and

Veterinary Science

Civil Engineering

Commerce and





Mechanical Engineering


Medical Science





Political Science and International


PsychologyPublic AdministrationSociologyStatisticsZoology


Literature of the following languages are also a part of the UPSC optional subjects for UPSC Mains exam from which you can choose your best suited optional subject for UPSC Exam:




Interview/Personality Test (275 Marks)

  • Candidates who are selected after the UPSC Mains Exam move to the next and final
  • phase of the IAS Exam called Personality Test/Interview. Here, the candidates are interviewed by a competent and unbiased board. This board will have the candidate's DAF (Detail Application Form) with them.
  • The interview round is held to assess the candidate's social traits and his interest in current affairs. The motive of the board is to analyse the personal aptness of the candidate for a career in public service
  • Candidates can give interviews in their preferred language as UPSC will make arrangements for the translators.


Que.: 1. What are the number of attempts available(category-wise) to the candidates of the Civil Services Examination?



Number of attempts






Unlimited0909 for General/EWS/OBC Unlimited for SC/ST


Que.: 2. How an ‘attempt’ is counted in the Civil Services Examination?

Ans.:  An attempt at the Preliminary Examination is considered an attempt at the Civil Services Examination:

  1. If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination.
  2. Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination is counted as an attempt.

Que.: 3. How would an aspirant know the  number of  attempts already a vailed by him/her in the Civil Services Examination?

Ans.:  It is the primary responsibility of the candidate to keep a record/track of number of attempts availed by him/her.

Que.: 4. What is the procedure followed by the Commission in verifying that the candidate has not exceeded the attempts allowed in respective category in the Civil Services Examination?

Ans.:  The number of attempts availed by a candidate in Civil Services Examination is checked/verified from the available data/records with the Commission at appropriate stage of this Examination.

Que.: 5.  What action the Commission takes against a candidate who has exceeded the permissible number of attempts by concealing or furnishing incorrect information in the application form?

Ans.:  In the relevant provisions under Disqualification, Debarment, Disciplinary Action, Criminal Prosecution of the extant Civil Services Examination Rules, it has been provided that “A candidate who is or has been declared by the Commission to be guilty of - (f) making statements which are incorrect or false or suppressing material information; in addition to being liable to criminal prosecution, shall be disqualified by the Commission from the Examination held under these Rules; and/or shall be liable to be debarred either permanently or for a specified period by the Commission, from any examination or selection..” Therefore, in accordance with this Rule, in all such cases of misleading information on number of attempts availed by the candidates, the Commission cancels the candidature of the said erring candidates for that particular Civil Services Examination and also debars them for 10 years in respect of all future Examinations/Selections of the Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions ?

UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the Rules of Examinations notified by the Government. Examination Notices of all the 13 Structured Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website around 3 months before the date of Examination. Examination Notices (indicative) are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar

The UPSC publishes an Annual Programme (Calendar) of all the Structured Examinations/RTs conducted by it at least 6 months in advance (i.e. in June) for the Examinations/RTs to be conducted during the next calendar year. The Programme is uploaded on the UPSC’s website as also published in the leading news papers of the country. The date of issue of Examination Notice for each Examination is also mentioned in this Annual Programme.

Candidates can apply online for the UPSC Examinations by accessing the online portal hosted on the UPSC’s website (

Time for applying online is clearly mentioned in the Examination Notice. A candidate gets about 3 weeks time to apply online and can fill up the online application by following the instructions provided on the website for filling up online application

While a candidate should avoid submitting more than one online application, in case of doing so, the data provided in the last application (highest RID Number), that is successfully submitted online, is accepted by the Commission. All previous applications are ignored as these are amalgamated with the last completed & finally submitted application. If an applicant (who has already submitted an application successfully) wants to make amendments in the application, then he has to submit a fresh application on or before the last date of submission of application of the Examination. Therefore, it must be ensured that fee is submitted against the last online application only, which should also be complete in all respects including its final submission. Fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID number

The closing date of submission of online application is clearly mentioned in the Examination Notice. Candidates, who make payments through Bank Challan, are required to submit online application at least a day before the notified closing date so that they can generate the Bank Challan to be submitted in any Branch of SBI within Bank working hours throughout India. Facility of Challan generation is deactivated on the last day of online application automatically by the system. However, Candidates can submit Bank Challan on the last day in any Branch of the SBI. Bank Challan generation is in Part-II of Online Application.

For all the Examinations conducted by the Commission, Female candidates, Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) and candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories are exempted from payment of Examination Fee.

Those payments mentioned by the candidates in their online application, which are not authenticated by the State Bank of India, i.e. the designated bank managing the entire payment module (including managing the payment gateway), are called Fictitious Payments or No Fee

The applicants, whose payments are marked fictitious, are intimated through e-mail to submit physical proof of payment to the Commission. These applicants are required to submit the proof within the timeframe given in the email either by hand or by speed post to the Commission. In case, no response is received from the applicants, their applications are summarily rejected and no further correspondence is entertained in this regard.

Candidates seeking reservation/ relaxation benefits available for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes/ Other Backward Classes/Economically Weaker Sections/Persons with Benchmark Disabilities/Ex-servicemen must ensure that they are entitled to such reservation/ relaxation in accordance with the eligibility prescribed in the Examination Rules/Notice. They should also be in possession of all the requisite certificates in the prescribed format in support of their claims for availing reservation before applying for the examination, and in any case, not later than the closing date for receipt of applications for the examination.

A candidate is eligible to get the benefit of community reservation if his/her caste/tribe is included in the reserved community as may be determined by the Central Government and he/she has claimed for the same. The Commission does not entertain a request for change of community from unreserved to reserved category once the examination process is initiated. However, in some exceptional cases where a particular caste/tribe is included in the list of reserved community within 3 months from the date of submission of application, the Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case. In case of a candidate unfortunately becoming physically disabled during the course of the examination process, the candidate should produce valid document showing him/her acquiring a disability to the extent of 40% or more as mentioned in the relevant rules to enable him/her to get the benefits of PwBD reservation.

The Commission does not allow change of Date of Birth that has been furnished by a candidate and recorded by the Commission on any ground whatsoever.

A candidate found to be furnishing false information to the Commission or suppressing information, adopting various unfair means in the Examination like impersonation, cheating, etc., is liable to be disqualified and/or debarred from writing UPSC Examinations as decided by the Commission. A detailed stipulation in this regard is incorporated in the Rules of Examination/ Examination Notices.

The eligible candidates are issued e-Admit Cards around three weeks before the commencement of the Examination. The e-Admit Cards are made available on the UPSC website [] for downloading by the candidates. The Admit Card is not sent by post. If a candidate is not issued his/her e-Admit Card or does not receive any other communication regarding his/her candidature for the Examination around three weeks before the commencement of the examination, he/she should immediately contact the Commission at the concerned email ID. Information in this regard can also be obtained from the Facilitation Counter located in the Commission’s Office either in person or over phone Nos. 011- 23381125/011- 23385271/011-23098543.

Allotment of Roll Numbers and Venues to the eligible candidates is carried out though computer in a random manner without manual intervention. The Commission makes all efforts to allot the candidate the Centre of his/her choice, which is done on the “first-apply-first allot” basis. Once the capacity of a particular Centre is exhausted, the same shall not be available to the applicants as an option. The applicants shall, therefore, be required to choose one of the available Centres. It is, thus, advised to apply early for getting the choice Centre. However, it may be noted that the Commission may change the Centres of the candidates as per its discretion to address the special situations arising at that point of time.

- The candidates should note that no request for change of Centre / Venue is accepted.

No candidate is allowed to appear at a Centre/Venue other than the Centre/Venue mentioned by the Commission in his/her e-Admit Card. If a candidate appears at such a Centre/Venue (except by a court order), the papers of that candidate shall not be evaluated and his/her candidature will be liable for cancellation.

Before filling up the Online Application, a candidate must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the “JPG” format in such a manner that each file should not exceed 300 KB and must not be less than 20 KB. The photograph and signature must be clearly discernible. Samples of acceptable photograph and signature are displayed in the application module. Candidates should take due care while uploading their photograph since no changes are allowed once the photograph is uploaded and online application is submitted. Uploading of photograph/signature is the sole responsibility of the candidate and in case a wrong photograph/signature is uploaded, his/her candidature is liable to be cancelled for false identity. Candidates should check the e-Admit Card carefully and discrepancies/ errors, if any, should be brought to the notice of the UPSC immediately.

- (a) Mobile phones (even in switched off mode), any electronic equipment or programmable device or storage media like pen drive, smart watches etc. or camera or bluetooth devices or any other equipment or related accessories either in working or switched off mode capable of being used as a communication device or any other communication devices and IT gadgets, are banned items and are, therefore, not allowed inside the premises of the Venue where the Examination is being conducted as also in the UPSC premises during conduct of the Personality Tests (Interview). Any infringement of these instructions shall entail disciplinary action including cancellation of candidature for that Examination and debarment from all future Examinations/Selections of the Commission. (b) Candidates are advised in their own interest not to bring any of the banned items including mobile phones/Bluetooth devices etc. (as detailed above) to the Venue of the Examination and the UPSC premises when the examination process is underway. (c) Candidates are also advised not to bring any valuable/expensive items to the Examination Halls/UPSC premises, as safety of such items cannot be assured. The Commission will not be responsible for any loss in this regard. Q 20. Is it essential to carry Photo ID Card for appearing at an Examination/Interview? Answer – The applicant is required to fill in the number of the Photo ID Card (viz. Aadhaar Card/Voter Card/PAN Card/Passport/Driving Licence/Any other Photo ID Card issued by the Central/State/UT Government) and to upload the same while filling up the online application form of an Examination of the Commission. The above number of the Photo ID Card is printed on the e-Admit Card of the Examination issued to the candidate. The candidate is then required to carry the same Photo ID Card along with the e- Admit Card/e-Summon Letter for appearing at the Examination/Interview. This Photo ID Card will be used for all future referencing. In case he/she is unable to produce the same during Examination/Interview, he/she will have to submit an Undertaking alongwith any other Photo ID Card issued by the Central/State/UT Government.

The candidates are advised to reach the Venue well in time so that their entry inside the Examination Venue could be ensured smoothly after observing necessary protocol. As regard time for closure of entry, the candidate may note that the entry into the Examination Venue is closed 10 minutes before commencement of the Examination Session e.g. if Session starts at 10:00 a.m., the entry inside the Examination Venue shall be closed sharp at 09:50 a.m.

Reasons For Rejection Of Online Applications:

Please read the instructions carefully before filling up the Online Application Form.

RID is Registration ID, which is generated by the system when the applicant completes PART-I registration of his/her application

TID is Transaction ID, which is given by the State Bank India when the applicant deposits his/her fee in cash. It is automatically generated when Internet Banking or credit/debit card mode is used for making the fee payment.

Online Application Form consists of two parts i.e. Part I and Part II. • Part I of the Application has personal details like name, father’s/mother’s name, date of birth, address, educational qualification, age relaxation, scribe details (only for PwBD candidates opting for scribe) and preferences of particular Examination etc. The applicants are also required to mention the number of Photo ID Card. • Part II of the Application consists of payment option for Examination Fee (only for those who are not exempted from payment of fee), Centre of Examination along with uploading of photo, signature and photo ID card of the candidate. Candidate has to complete both Part I and Part II and submit finally to be a candidate of the said Examination.

Non-filling up of Part II/Non-submission of fee.

Part II registration comprises of following steps:- 1. Fee payment (only for candidates not exempted from payment of fee). 2. Choosing of the Examination Centre from the available drop down menu. 3. Uploading of photograph, signature and photo ID card. 4. Agreeing to the Declaration.

– The online system will not allow the candidate to submit the form if he/she has left the choice of Centre blank in Part II and status of the application will remain “not submitted”. Thus, he/she will not be the candidate of that particular Examination. Therefore, candidates are advised to click on the “submit” button after selecting the Examination Centre.

Non-payment of Fee (if not exempted from Fee payment) will lead to cancellation of the candidature.

It is seen that some candidates who submit their fee through Bank Challan either enter the wrong TID or submit an old TID. It has also been observed that submission of multiple applications is followed by either non- payment of fee OR fee particulars (TID) of one application (RID) being mentioned against another application with a different RID. This leads to rejection of the online application.

Civil Services Examination

Q 32. What is the structure of the Civil Services Examination?

Answer - The Civil Services Examination (CSE) comprises of two successive stages :the Civil Services(Preliminary) Examination (CSP) and the Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview).



Q 33. What is the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer - UPSC conducts Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Indian Administrative  Service  (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service(IPS) and other Central Services and posts in accordance with  the  Rules  published  by  the Government (Department of Personnel & Training) in the Gazette of India Extraordinary.

This Examination is meant to serve as a screening test only;  the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates, who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination, are not counted for determining their final order of merit. Only those candidates,  who  are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year, will be eligible to appear at the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

Q 34. Is an attempt at the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination counted as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination?

Answer - (i) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be taken as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination. (ii) If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, it shall be taken as an attempt at the Examination. (iii) Notwithstanding the disqualification/ cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the Examination will count as an attempt.

Q 35. If a candidate has applied for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination but has not appear date any paper in the Civil Services(Preliminary) Examination will it be counted as an attempt?

Answer - No, an attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.

Q 36. What is the scheme of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer - The Examination is comprised of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. (i) Both the question papers are of objective type (multiple choice questions). (ii) The question papers are set in Hindi and English.(iii) Details of the syllabi are provided in the Examination Notice and Gazette Notification published by the Government. (iv) Each paper is of two hours duration.

Q 37.     Is the General Studies Paper-II of qualifying nature? What are the Cut-off Marks for this Paper?

Answer – Yes, the General Studies Paper-II is of qualifying nature. The minimum qualifying standards in this Paper is indicated in the Examination Rules and at present, it is 33%.

Q 38. Is there any negative marking at the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer - Candidates should note that there is penalty(negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Civil Services (Preliminary)

Examination. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question.

(i) For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (1/3rd) of the marks assigned to  that  question  is deducted as penalty.(ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it  is treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question. (iii) If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

Q 39.  What are the minimum educational qualifications prescribed?

Answer - The candidate must hold a degree of any  of  Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature  in India  or  any other educational institution established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

Q 40. What are the eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/ functional classification required for a Service/ Post?

Answer - The Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates shall also be required to meet eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/functional classifications (abilities/disabilities) consistent with the requirements of the identified Service/Post as may be prescribed by its Cadre Controlling Authorities. The details of physical requirements and functional classifications are given in the Rules/Notice of the Examination.

Q 41. What information should be given by personsal ready in Government Service to their Head of Office?

Answer - Persons already in Government Service, whether in a permanent or temporary capacity or as work charged employees other than casual or daily rated employees or those serving under the Public Sector Enterprises, are required to submit an undertaking that they have informed their Head of Office/Department, in writing, that they have applied for the Examination. Candidates should note that in case a communication is received from their employer, by the Commission, withholding permission to the candidates applying for/appearing at the Examination, their applications will be liable to be rejected/candidature will be liable to be cancelled.

Q 42. What are the provisions regarding community reservation and change of community?

Answer - A candidate will be eligible to get the benefit of community reservation only in case the particular community/ caste / tribe to which the candidate belongs is included in the list of reserved communities issued by the Central Government. If a candidate indicates in his/her application form for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination that he/she belongs to General category but subsequently writes to the Commission to change his/her category to a reserved one, such request shall not be entertained by the Commission. Similar principle will also be followed for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates. However, in some exceptional cases where a particular caste/tribe is included in the list of reserved community within3 months from the date of submission of application, the Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case.

In case of a candidate unfortunately becoming physically disabled during the course of the examination process, the candidate should produce valid document showing him/her acquiring a disability to the extent of 40% or more as mentioned in the relevant rules to enable him/her to get the benefits of Pw BD reservation.

Q 43. What are the provisions for reservation for SC, ST, OBC, EWS and Pw BD candidates?

Answer - Reservation will be made for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Economically Weaker Sections and Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government.




Q 44. Can a candidate choose an optional subject, which he has  not studied at graduate/post graduate level?

Answer - Yes.

Q 45.  Which is the language / medium of question papers?

Answer - The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) are set in Hindi and English.

Q 46. Can a candidate write different papers of Civil Service (Main) Examination in different languages?

Answer - No, the Candidates have the option to write their answers either in English or in any one of the Eighth Schedule languages except the Qualifying Language papers Paper-A and Paper-B, which they have indicated at the time of filling up of their online application form for the Civil Service(Preliminary) Examination.

Q 47. How are the Question Papers for the Civil Services(Main) Examination structured? What is the duration of each paper?

Answer - The question papers for the examination are of conventional (essay) type. Each paper is of three hours duration.

Q 48. Can a candidate write the Civil Service (Main) Examination in English and take the interview in Hindi or any other Indian language?

Answer - The candidates, opting for Indian Language medium for the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination may choose either the same Indian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview. The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English, may choose either English or Hindi or any other Indian Language opted by them for the compulsory Indian Language Paper in the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, as the medium for interview. The candidate has to indicatethe language medium of interview at the time of filling up of the Detailed Application Form (DAF) However, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview or Personality Test.

Q 49.What are the Cut-off Marks for the compulsory language Papers?

Answer – The minimum qualifying standards in each of the two Qualifying Papers i.e. English and Indian Languages is indicated in the Examination Rules, is at present 25%.

Q 50. Is the Indian language Paper compulsory for candidates  hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim?

Answer– The Paper A on Indian Language is not compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. In the Online Application, if a candidate hails from these North-Eastern States, the option for Indian Language will automatically be disabled in the Online Application.

Q 51. Is the Indian language Paper compulsory for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities categories?

Answer – Yes, Paper A on Indian Language is compulsory for candidates belonging to Persons with Benchmark Disabilities category. However, it will not be compulsory for the candidates suffering from Hearing Impairment provided they have been granted such exemption from 2nd or 3rd language courses by the concerned education Board/University. The candidate needs to provide an undertaking/self declaration in this regard in order to claim such an exemption to the Commission.

Q 52. What marks are reckoned for merit ranking in the written part of the Civil Services (Main)Examination?

Answer - Marks obtained by the candidates for the Papers I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking(of those candidates who obtain the specified minimum marks in the qualifying papers). However, the Commission has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.




Q 53. What is the Disclosure Scheme?

Answer - This Scheme for disclosing the scores and other details of the non- recommended candidates was implemented with the Combined Medical Services Examination-2017. The Scheme covers non-recommended willing candidates, who appeared at the Interview/SSB Stage of a Commission’s Examination. Details of such candidates which are disclosed at the Commission’s Website (further linked to the NCS Portal of the M/o Labour & Employment) are - Name of the candidate, Father’s/Husband’s name,  Date of Birth, Category, Gender, Educational Qualifications, Total marks etc, arranged in Roll Number order. The objective of the Scheme is to provide a useful database to other employers to enable them to identify good employable candidates. This information of an Examination remains available for one year from the date of disclosure.

Q 54. What is the Representation Portal of the Commission on the questions asked in an Examination?

Answer – (a) For each Examination, a time frame of 7 days (a week) i.e. from the next day of the Examination Date to 6.00 p.m. of the 7th day is fixed for the candidates to make representations to the Commission on the questions asked in the Papers of that Examination. No representation shall be accepted under any circumstances after this window of 7 days is over.

  1. In case of Single Day Examinations,  for  example,  if the  Examination  is held on 1st March, then the representations  can be  submitted  from 2nd March to 8th March(till 6:00 p.m.).
  2. For Multi-Days Examinations, the date on which the last Paper of that Examination is held, will be the crucial reckoning date for making representations on the questions asked in all the Papers of that Examination. For example: if last Paper of a Multi-Days Examination is conducted on 1st July whereas the first Paper of that Examination is held on 29th June, then the candidates can submit representations from 2nd July to 8th July (till 6:00 p.m.) for all the Papers of that Examination.
  3. Such representation must be submitted through the “Online Question Paper Representation Portal (QPRep)” only by accessingthe URL: This Portal will be available for submitting representations from the next day after the Examination is concluded. No representation by email/post/hand or by any other mode shall be accepted




Q 55. After the written examination, on what criterion is the answer books sent for evaluation? Is it on Roll No. basis or based on centre of examination? That is, will a particular examiner/ set of examiners get to evaluate answer books only of a particular centre or a particular group of Roll Nos.?

Answer - Mixing of the answer books received from different venues is done before sending them for evaluation. Computer-based randomized fictitious code no. is given to each answer-book before evaluation.

Q 56. Are answer books segregated/ sorted based on community of the candidate?

Answer - This is not done at any stage of the evaluation process.

Q 57. Is it likely that my evaluated performance suffers because my answer books were evaluated by a ‘strict’ examiner, while another candidate benefits as his answer books were evaluated by a ‘liberal’ examiner?

Answer- To achieve uniformity in valuation, where more than one Examiner is involved, the Commission arranges a meeting of the Head Examiner with the Additional Examiners after the Examination is over. At this stage ,they discuss thoroughly the question paper, the appropriate answers and decide the standard of evaluation. To further bring about uniformity of assessment inter se the Examiners, the following procedure is undertaken. The Head Examiner conducts a sample survey of answer books of each Additional Examiner to verify whether the uniform standards of evaluation evolved in the meeting of Examiners have actually been followed.   Depending on the standard adopted by the Additional Examiner, the Head Examiner may confirm the awards without any change if the Examiner has correctly followed the standard decided upon, or may carry out upward/ downward moderation as considered necessary to ensure maximum possible degree of uniformity in the evaluation process. Therefore, the aspect of inter-examiner variation in standards of evaluation in a Paper affecting candidates’ performance is taken care of adequately.

Q 58. Can I know the ‘question-wise’ marks awarded to me for a paper?

Answer - The evaluation process does not end after initial evaluation by an Examiner. Moderation, wherever applied, is on the total award initially given (the so-called ‘raw marks’) and not on question-wise basis. Therefore, once the evaluation process is complete, neither ‘raw marks’ nor ‘question-wise marks’ subsist. What subsists is the candidate’s  total score  in  a paper awarded at the end of the evaluation process and this award is normally made available to the candidate in due course on the Commission’s website through a query-based application software. Further, in a competitive  examination, what is relevant is not the absolute performance of a candidate, but his/ her relative performance that in fact determines whether the candidate qualifies and, if so, his/ her position in the merit list.

Q 59. If the overall marks of two or more candidates are equal, how is relative merit between such candidates decided?

Answer - ‘Tie-breaking’ principles are applied to decide inter se merit among candidates having the same overall marks.

Q 60. Wherever evaluation standards are set or moderation  is applied, are these different for different mediums(languages) in which  a particular subject/paper Examination is written?

Answer - No. The evaluation standards/ moderation for a Paper are not medium specific. In other words, if the Rules  of the  Exam  provide that  a Paper can be written in any of, say, English/Hindi/ a recognized Indian language, then the medium in which a candidate writes the Paper will not be a factor in determining evaluation standards or the moderation to be applied.

Q 61. Is it possible that evaluation/ assessment could be affected by the knowledge of a candidates’ identity?

Answer - No. Before evaluation, the Roll No. written on every answer book is detached and computer-based randomized fictitious code no. is given. At no stage of the evaluation process(including the moderation stage) is the actual Roll No./ identity of the candidate known to any of the Examiners/ officials associated in the process.