UPSC Exam Pattern, IAS Exam Pattern || 2019-20

By | April 7, 2018

1-UPSC Exam Pattern/ IAS Exam Pattern-

UPSC Exam Pattern-Civil services exam which is also known as UPSC exam, one of the most competitive exam in India where more than 1 million aspirants compete for some hundreds seats. Clearing this exam gives you opportunity to serve nation from administration departments to diplomatic post in foreign countries.

So having such a wonderful career in UPSC exam, aspirants are always seeking right information about UPSC exam and want to clear it as soon as possible. Before you start your preparation , you must know the very basic things about exam, how its pattern, syllabus , eligibility etc.

In this article we will tell you each and everything about UPSC exam pattern, IAS exam pattern , UPSC exam syllabus, UPSC exam books , Question papers and many more. So let’s start-

Civil service exam is conducted by UPSC every year which start in the month of may-june and last around in a year. The UPSC exam notification are issues in the month of march every year when you are asked to fill-up your application online through its official website.

UPSC exam pattern is divided into 3 phases which are known as Prelims ,Mains and interview. Prelims is the first step and for qualifying in nature for the mains exam where mains and interview marks are counted for final merit . Based on marks of mains and interview , you are selected for the various posts as per your rank and vacancies. So let’s explore more about UPSC exam pattern-

Prelims Exam Pattern-

Prelims Paper-01 Prelims is the first exam as per UPSC exam pattern which consists of two paper. Prelims paper-01 is general studies paper which marks are counted for prelims merit ( cut-off ) where prelims paper-02 CSAT marks are not counted for prelims merit. CSAT paper is only for qualifying in nature for prelims exam.

So you need to score high in Prelims paper-01 to clear prelims exam as well as passing marks in CSAT paper ( prelims paper-02 ).

Prelims PaperQuestionsMarksTimeRemarks
Prelims Paper -011002003 hoursCounted for Merit
Prelims Paper-02 ( CSAT)802003 hoursJust Qaulifying

Prelims Paper-02- Prelims paper 02 which is CSAT is just for qualifying in nature in UPSC prelims exam. This paper is made to test the basic numerical , reasoning, english grammar abilities of the aspirants. So you need to just score minimum passing marks in this paper to clear it.

Before the introduction of CSAT , Prelims paper-02 marks were also counted for Prelims merit but now UPSC has changed its pattern and introduced CSAT in place of Prelims paper-02. It is recommended to read these books for UPSC Prelims Paper-02 CSAT to clear it.

Click here- UPSC Prelims Books ( CSAT)

2-UPSC Exam Eligibility-

UPSC exam eligibility are the basic requirement which must full-fill by aspirants before applying for UPSC exam. It includes Your age limit, minimum educational qualification, medical fitness etc. It is strongly recommended to know your eligibility for this exam and then study and dream for it.


Your nationality should be Indian when you apply for UPSC exam but there are certain conditions for those who are residing in India Like (Tibetan refugee, Bhutan people ,nepali people who came to India for the permanent residence etc,) Read More here- Click 

UPSC Exam Age Limit-

There are certain condition for all the UPSC aspirants related to their age limit, currently the minimum age limit for UPSC exam is 21 years for all the category aspirants and the maximum age limit has some variation based on the category of the candidates. Read more here about UPSC Age Limit-

UPSC Exam Educational Qualification-

The Minimum Educational qualification for UPSC CSE exam is graduation degree from any recognised university or equivalent degree. If you have completed your graduation from Open university, private university , you also can apply for UPSC CSE exam. Read more about Educational Qualification here-

3-UPSC Exam Pattern & Syllabus-

This is the first and most important step in UPSC exam preparation to know the complete UPSC Prelims and mains syllabus. If you want clear UPSC exam in your first step , you must pay enough attention to UPSC syllabus and then start its preparation.

UPSC exam syllabus/IAS exam syllabus is also defined by UPSC in its official notification which is issued along with UPSC exam notification. UPSC prelims and Mains syllabus is explained in the below-

UPSC Prelims Exam Syllabus-

UPSC prelims paper 1 cover all the general studies subject like history, geography, economics, polity, art & culture, environment etc. You have to prepare all these subject from the basic , You can read NCERT of class 6th to 12th to prepare your basic understanding of all these subject .UPSC prelims paper syllabus is explained in topics wise in this article, click here to read more-

If you need Books for UPSC prelim exam preparation click here- UPSC Prelims Books

UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus-

UPSC mains consists of 9 papers where two language papers and qualifying in nature rest 7 papers marks are counted for final merit. Essay is the first paper where syllabus is not mentioned , you have to prepare all the possible topics of importance. Rest are the four GS paper and two optional subject paper. The syllabus of these papers is explained here in details.

Here is the best list of UPSC Mains books which are based on the UPSC syllabus-Click here to find them all at one place.

4-UPSC Optional Papers-

UPSC mains has two paper of optional subjects, you are asked to choose one subject as an optional for the mains exam. Optional subject consists of 500 marks in the mains exam so the importance of these paper is huge in upsc mains exam.

so it is highly recommended to choose only those subject as optional where you are very familiar can score high in the exam. here is the guide for the selection of optional for the mains exam which can help you in selection. read here how to select optional subject for upsc exam.

There are some very popular subject in UPSC mains optional which syllabus is mentioned below. If you are interested in any of them read below.

1-UPSC Syllabus For Political Science & International Relation

UPSC Geography Syllabus (UPSC Mains Optional Syllabus)

UPSC Syllabus History -UPSC Mains Syllabus (Optional)

5-UPSC Interview-

Interview is the last stage of UPSC exam pattern where UPSC board member test your personality and suitability for the various posts under government of india. The syllabus of upsc interview is not mentioned but there are some common field where questions are asked every year.

Your Educational Background- It is 99% sure that some questions will be asked from your educational background so prepare well this area to answer any unexpected question by UPSC board.

Your family background– This is another important area where some questions are asked in upsc interview so your need to prepare this are well before the interview.

About your Home town– India is very large nation so every place has something special , your city may be famous for something and you must be aware of that. Like if you belong Agra , you must be well aware of the TAJ and its related questions.

If you prepare current affairs daily, keep eye on burning issue of the society, national and international , you can answer most of the questions asked in the UPSC interview. Good Luck.

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