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IAS Exam Pattern 2022: Check section-wise paper pattern and marking scheme

Safalta Expert Published by: Himani Mehra Updated Sun, 29 May 2022 10:12 PM IST

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Looking for details on IAS Exam Pattern? Get to know the section-wise paper pattern and marking scheme here at Safalta.com.

Confused about the UPSC Civil Services exam pattern? Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Exam to recruit eligible and interested candidates to various prestigious posts such as IAS, IFS, IPS, and other Group 'A' posts. This exam is highly competitive and candidates should ensure that they have clarity about the exam pattern before starting their preparation. It is Popularly known as the ‘IAS exam’.As per many analysis, this is the toughest exam in the world. The exam is attempted by around 5 Lakh candidates each year. 
  • UPSC Civil Services exam pattern is a must for candidates to know as the first step towards their preparation.
  • This exam is conducted in two stages- Preliminary Exam, Mains Exam, and Interview.
  • UPSC Preliminary Exam is objective and qualifying in nature while Mains Exam is descriptive and the Interview list is prepared on the basis on the scores on Mains Exam.
  • The duration of the Preliminary Exam is 4 hours- 2 hours for Paper I and 2 hours for Paper-II.
  • The application process for the exam to be held on 5 th of June will soon begin ib the month of February.
Candidates have to qualify for each stage to be finally selected in the services. The examination process itself goes on for a year. Read this article to know all about the UPSC Civil Services exam pattern and other details. If you are preparing for competitive exams and are looking for expert guidance, you can check out our daily FREE Current Affairs. 

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IAS Exam Pattern

There are two stages in UPSC Civil Services Exam:
  •      Stage 1- Preliminary Exam
  •      Stage 2- Mains Exam (which includes the Interview round)

The detailed pattern of each of these stages are as follows:

Check UPSC Eligibility Criteria here.

IAS Exam Pattern: Preliminary Examination

The UPSC Exam pattern for the preliminary exam consists of two papers:
  1. Paper 1 is - General Studies I
  2. Paper 2 is - CSAT (General Studies Paper-II).
  3. Both these papers are objective in nature.
  4. Preliminary exam is conducted to select the candidates who will appear for the Mains Examination.
  5. A total of 100 questions are asked in Paper I and 80 questions in Paper II.
  6. There is negative marking and 1/3 marks are deducted for every incorrect answer. 

Paper Name

Time Duration

No. of Questions

Total Marks

Nature of Paper

GS Paper I

2 hours

100

200

Marks considered for Preliminary Exam Merit

GS Paper II (CSAT)

2 hours

80

200

Qualifying in nature


Check What is PCS Officer Salary here with Safalta.

How many stages are there in UPSC Civil Services Exam?

There are two stages in the UPSC Civil Services Exam- Preliminary Examination and Mains Examination (inclusive of interview round).

What is the duration of the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination?

The duration of UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination is 4 hours- 2 hours for each paper.

Is there a negative marking in UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination?

Yes, there is a negative marking in UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination. 1/3 marks are deducted for every incorrect answer.

How many papers are there in UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination?

There are 9 papers in UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination out of which 2 papers are qualifying in nature while the other 7 are considered for merit.

How many marks does the Interview round carry in UPSC Civil Services Exam carry?

Interview round carries a total of 275 marks in UPSC Civil Services Exam.

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