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02-06-2023

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

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. What is the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

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. Is there a negative marking in the written examination?

Yes, there is a negative marking in the prelims General Studies(GS) Paper I. Each incorrect answer would cost you 1/3rd of the marks allotted to that question. For prelims Paper-II, 1/3rd negative marking is applicable, also, you have to score at least 33% or 66 marks in the exam.

 

Q. How many papers are there in the Preliminary Examination?

The Preliminary Examination consists of two compulsory papers, each carrying 200 marks.


Q. What is the format of the question papers in the Preliminary Examination?

Both the question papers in the Preliminary Examination are of the objective type, with multiple-choice questions. Each paper has a duration of two hours.


Q. Is there a qualifying paper in the Preliminary Examination?

Yes, the General Studies Paper-II in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is a qualifying paper. Candidates need to obtain a minimum qualifying mark of 33% in this paper.


Q. In which languages are the question papers set?

The question papers are set in both Hindi and English.


Q. Where can I find the syllabus details for the Preliminary Examination?

The details of the syllabi for the Preliminary Examination can be found at https://competitionpedia.in/upsc/syllabus.


Q. Is there an option to give the paper in the Hindi language?

Yes, the question papers are set in both Hindi ad English (other than the literature of language papers).

 

Q. What are the minimum qualifying marks for the compulsory language papers?

The cut-off marks in each of the two Qualifying Papers i.e. English and Indian Languages is at present 25%.

 

Q. Is the UPSC exam conducted online or offline?

The prelims and mains exam is conducted offline only. 


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

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

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

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.

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

 

Q. Are there any minimum qualifying marks for the Personality Test?

The Interview/Personality Test is of 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks.

 

Q. Which optional subject has the highest success rate in UPSC Mains?

There are various factors that need to be considered while selecting the optional subject for UPSC Mains as electing the best optional subject can be the difference between success and failure of any candidate. The success rate generally depends on the number of candidates opting for a particular subject.

 

Q. What is the exam pattern for the mains exam?

The Mains Written Examination consists of the following papers:

  • Paper A – One of the Indian Languages (300 Marks)
  • Paper B – English (300 marks)
  • Paper I – Essay (250 marks)
  • General Studies‐I – Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society (250 marks)
  • General Studies‐II – Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations (250 marks)
  • General Studies‐III – Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management (250 marks)
  • General Studies‐IV – Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude (250 marks)
  • Optional Subject – Paper 1 (250 marks)
  • Optional Subject ‐ Paper 2 (250 marks)

This brings the total marks for the mains examination to 1750. 

275 marks for Personality Test are also included in this, which brings the total to 2025 marks.


Q. What are the scripts to be used for the Language medium/literature of languages in the exam?

For the Language medium/literature of languages, the scripts to be used by the candidates will be as under:—

Language

Script

Assamese

Assamese

Bengali

Bengali

Gujarati                

Gujarati

Hindi

Devanagari

Kannada

Kannada

Kashmiri

Persian

Konkani 

Devanagari

Malayalam

Malayalam

Manipuri

Bengali

Marathi 

Devanagari

Nepali

Devanagari

Odia

Odia

Punjabi

Gurumukhi

Sanskrit 

Devanagari

Sindhi

Devanagari or Arabic

Tamil

Tamil

Telugu

Telugu

Urdu

Persian

Bodo

Devanagari

Dogri

Devanagari

Maithilli

Devanagari

Santhali

Devanagari or Olchiki

Note : For Santhali language, question paper will be  printed   in  Devanagari  script;   but  candidates  will   be free to answer either in Devanagari script or in Olchiki.

 

Q. What are the optional subjects available for the Main Examination?

The optional subjects available for the Main Examination are as follows:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Medical Science
  18. Philosophy
  19. Physics
  20. Political Science and International Relations
  21. Psychology
  22. Public Administration
  23. Sociology
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology
  26. 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.

 

Q. What type of question papers will be given for the examination?

The question papers for the examination will be of conventional (essay) type.


Q. How long will each paper be?

Each paper will be of three hours duration.

 

Q. What options do candidates have for answering the question papers?

Candidates have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language Papers (Paper-A and Paper-B), in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English.

 

Q. Can candidates write the Optional Papers in English?

Yes, candidates can choose to write the Optional Papers (Paper I-V) in English, as long as they have already opted to write the Qualifying Language Papers (Paper-A and Paper-B) in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.


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

Yes.


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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. Where will the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination be conducted?

The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be held at various centers. 

Sl. No.

CENTRE

Sl. No.

CENTRE

Sl. No.

CENTRE

1

AGARTALA

28

GORAKHPUR

55

PATNA

2

AGRA

29

GURGAON

56

PORTBLAIR

3

AHMEDABAD

30

GWALIOR

57

PRAYAGRAJ (ALLAHABAD)

4

AIZAWL

31

HYDERABAD

58

PUDUCHERRY

5

AJMER

32

IMPHAL

59

PUNE

6

ALIGARH

33

INDORE

60

RAIPUR

7

ALMORA

(UTTARAKHAND)

34 


ITANAGAR

61

RAJKOT

8

ANANTHAPURU

35

JABALPUR

62

RANCHI

9


AURANGABAD

(MAHARASHTRA)

36


JAIPUR

63


SAMBALPUR

10

BAREILLY

37

JAMMU

64

SHILLONG

11

BENGALURU

38

JODHPUR

65

SHIMLA

12

BHOPAL

39

JORHAT

66

SILIGURI

13

BILASPUR

(CHHATISGARH)

40


KOCHI

67

SRINAGAR

14

CHANDIGARH

41

KOHIMA

68

SRINAGAR (UTTARAKHAND)

15

CHENNAI

42

KOLKATTA

69

SURAT

16

COIMBATORE

43

KOZHIKODE (CALICUT)

70

THANE

17

CUTTACK

44

LEH

71

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

18

DEHRADUN

45

LUCKNOW

72

TIRUCHIRAPALLI

19

DELHI

46

LUDHIANA

73

TIRUPATI

20

DHARAMSHALA

(HIMACHAL PRADESH)

47

MADURAI

74


UDAIPUR

21

DHARWAR

48

MANDI (HIMACHAL

PRADESH)

75

VARANASI

22

DISPUR

49

MUMBAI

76

VELLORE

23

FARIDABAD

50

MYSURU

77

VIJAYAWADA

24

GANGTOK

51

NAGPUR

78

VISHAKHAPATNAM

25

GAUTAM BUDDH

NAGAR

52

NASIK

79

WARANGAL

26

GAYA

53

NAVI MUMBAI

 

 

27

GHAZIABAD

54

PANAJI (GOA)

 

 


Q. What are the centers for the Civil Services (Main) Examination?

Following is the list of the centres of Civil Services (Main) Examination:-

Sl. No.

CENTRE

Sl. No.

CENTRE

Sl. No.

CENTRE

1

AHMEDABAD

9

DELHI

17

PATNA

2

AIZAWL

10

DISPUR (GUWAHATI)

18

PRAYAGRAJ  (  ALLAHABAD)

3

BANGALURU

11

HYDERABAD

19

RAIPUR

4

BHOPAL

12

JAIPUR

20

RANCHI

5

CHANDIGARH

13

JAMMU

21

SHILLONG

6

CHENNAI

14

KOLKATA

22

SHIMLA

7

CUTTACK

15

LUCKNOW

23

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

8

DEHRADUN

16

MUMBAI

24

VIJAYAWADA


Q. Can the centers and dates of the examination be subject to change?

Yes, the centers and dates of the examination mentioned are liable to be changed at the discretion of the Commission.


Q. Is there a limit on the number of candidates allotted to each center?

Yes, there is a ceiling on the number of candidates allotted to each center, except for Chennai, Dispur, Kolkata, and Nagpur.


Q. How are the centers allotted to candidates?

The allotment of centers will be on a "first-apply-first-allot" basis. Once the capacity of a particular center is reached, it will be frozen. Candidates who cannot get a center of their choice due to the ceiling will be required to choose a center from the remaining ones.


Q. Can the Commission change the centers if required?

Yes, the Commission reserves the right to change the centers at its discretion if the situation demands.


Q. Will the examination centers cater to Persons with Benchmark Disability?

Yes, all the examination centers for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will cater to the examination for Persons with Benchmark Disability in their respective centers.


Q. Will candidates be informed about the timetable and location of the examination?

Yes, candidates admitted to the examination will be informed of the timetable and the place or places of examination.


Q. Is it possible to request a change of center?

No, requests for a change of center will not be entertained.


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

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. Where can I check the prelims and mains result?

The result for UPSC prelims and mains is released on the official website and there candidates can download the list of shortlisted candidates.


Q. What is the Disclosure Scheme?

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

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.

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.).

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.

Such representation must be submitted through the “Online Question Paper Representation Portal (QPRep)” only by accessing the URL: http://upsconline.nic.in/miscellaneous/QPRep/ 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. 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.?

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

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


Q. 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?

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

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

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


Q. 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?

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

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.

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