UPSC Preliminary Examination


At the Preliminary Examination stage, there will be two objective- type question papers (multiple choice questions with four alternatives for  the answer to every question) common for all the candidates. Both these papers will have equal weight age and carry a total of 400 marks.

The emphas is will be on testing the aptitude of the candidate for the demanding life in the civil service, and on the ethical and moral dimensions of decision making.

This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only and the  marks obtained by the successful candidates (who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination) will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies (across all services and posts) to be filled in the year through this examination.

  • These vacancies are notified in the UPSC’s Notification for Civil Services Examination.

The Examination is generally conducted in the month of August every year over one single day and carries a maximum of 400 marks in the following manner:

  • General Studies, PaperI– is a paper on General Studies – 200marks
  • General Studies, Paper II– is a paper on Aptitude Test-200 marks(Popularly referred to as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT),the General Studies Paper – II will be aqualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%. This means that the marks secured in Paper II will not determine the selection of the candidate or the marks secured will not be used for arriving at the cut – off. The cut – off will purely bedetermined by the marks secured in Paper I)
    • The syllabus of both these papers is available under Section III, ‘Syllabus of Preliminary Examination.’



  • The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills (in Paper II) of Class X level will be tested through passages from English Language only with out providing Hindi translation there of in the question paper.
    • Details of the syllabi are available in Section III, ‘Syllabus of Preliminary Examination.’
  • Both the papers will carry 200 marks and will be 2 hours in duration.
  • Blind candidates will however; be allowed an extratime of twenty minutes at each paper.
  • Total Number of Questions asked in Paper I will be 100 and that in Paper II will be 80.
  • 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 the yare other wise eligible for admission, to the Main Examination.
  • NoteI: The Commission will drawa list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper – I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission
  • It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore acandidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.
  • There will be negative marking for incorrect answers (as detailed below) for all questions except some of the questions where the negative marking will be in built in the form of different marks being awarded to them os t appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions.
  • There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one- third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
  • If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question.
  • If a question is left blank, e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

Joing Over 1000 Students Enjoying KSR IAS ACADEMY Education now

Become Part of KSR IAS ACADEMY to Further Your Career.

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.