Civil Services Examination Pattern

The entrance for Civil Services comprises of two successive stages:
  • Preliminary Examination (Written)
  • Main Examination (Written and Interview)
The details follow: A.  Preliminary Examination
Paper Duration Maximum Marks
I 2 hours 200
II 2 hours 200
  • Both papers will consist of Objective (multiple choice answer) Type questions only
  • Both the question papers would be bilingual (English and Hindi), except for some questions specifically intended to test English Language Comprehension skills, which would be in English only
B.1. Main Examination
Paper Subject Duration Maximum Marks
I One of the Indian Languages chosen from the prescribed list 3 hours 300
II English 3 hours 300
III Essay 3 hours 200
IV Optional Subject 1 3 hours 300
V Optional Subject 1 3 hours 300
VI Optional Subject 2 3 hours 300
VII Optional Subject 2 3 hours 300
Total 2000
  • The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature; the marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
  • The paper on Indian Languages will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North-Eastern States of Arunachanl Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also for candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim.
  • All the papers will consist of Conventional (essay) Type questions only.
  • All Question Papers, other than language papers, will be set both in Hindi and English.
  • Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks (to qualify for the Interview/Personality test) in any or all the subjects of the examination.
  • Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the language papers viz. Papers I and II above in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution or in English.
  •  Candidates exercising the option to answer papers III to IX in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them.
For the list of optional subjects and syllabus for the Main Exam check “Mains” under Study Guide.

The Study guide also provides, syllabus, suggested readings, books, strategy and previous years question papers for all subjects.

For more detailed exam instructions for Conventional and Objective type papers go through Exam Instructions.

B.2. Interview
  • The interview will carry 300 marks.
  • The number of candidates called for Interview will be twice the number of vacancies
  • Total marks obtained by the candidate in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine his/her final ranking.
More on Interviews in Interview Section.


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