UPSC Civil Services 2019 Exam Pattern – IAS, IFS Preliminary, Main, Interview Paper, Subjects, Syllabus

UPSC Civil Services 2019 Exam Pattern – IAS, IFS Preliminary, Main, Interview Qualifying Papers, Subjects, Language medium, optional subjects, Syllabus

The UPSC Civil Services 2019 – IAS, IFS competitive examination comprises two successive stages:

  • Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination.
  • Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.


  • The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.
  • Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions) and each will be of two hours duration.
  • The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.

Click to see Details of the syllabus for Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2019

  1. The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in sub-section (A) of Section II.
  2. 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 will not be counted for determining their final order of merit.
  3. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination.
  4. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission, to the Main Examination.



The written examination will consist of the following papers :—

Qualifying Papers :

Paper-A (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution). 300 Marks
Paper-B English 300 Marks

Papers to be counted for merit

  • Paper-I  Essay 250 Marks
  • Paper-II  General Studies-I 250 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
  • Paper-III  General Studies -II 250 Marks (Governance, Constitution, Polity,  Social Justice and International relations)
  • Paper-IV General Studies -III 250 Marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
  • Paper-V General Studies -IV 250 Marks (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
  • Paper-VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250 Marks
  • Paper-VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250 Marks
  • Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks
  • Personality Test 275 Marks
  • Grand Total 2025 Marks

Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from amongst the list of subjects given in para 2 below:—

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.

List of optional subjects for Main Examination :

  • 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
  • Zoology

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.

Interview Test

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

  • The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
  • The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.

Download for Civil Services Exam Syllabus 2019 in PDF


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