Exam Pattern

Preliminary Exam

– for the selection of candidates for Civil Services (Main) Examination.

  • This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only. Prelims qualified candidates become eligible for admission to the Civil Services (Main) Examination
  • The marks obtained in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination by the candidates are not counted for determining their final order of merit.
  • Preliminary examination consists of two papers of Objective type(multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks (200 marks for each paper).Each paper has a duration of 2 hrs.
  • For each wrong answer, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
Civil Service Preliminary Examination
1. General Studies Paper 1:

Marks obtained in this paper are considered for merit (cut off).

2. General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT):

Qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33 % i.e. for cut off (merit), marks obtained in this paper is not considered.

Main Examination (Written and Interview/Personality Test)

- for the selection of candidates for the various Services and Posts.The Civil Services (Main) Examination consists of a Written Examination and an Interview/Personality Test.

  1. Written Exam:
    • Once the Candidates are declared to have qualified in the Preliminary exam, they become eligible for Main examination.
    • The Written Exam consists of 9 papers including two language papers which are of qualifying nature. Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (total 7) and in the Personality test are counted for final ranking.
Qulaifying Papers (Need to score 25% in each paper to qualify)
  • Paper-A (300 marks)

    Any one of the Indian Language mentioned in the eighth schedule to the constitution.
  • Paper-B (300 marks)

Compulsory Papers (Counted for merit)
  • Paper 1- Essay (250 marks):

  • Paper 2 - General Studies 1 (250 marks):

    Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society
  • Paper 3 - General Studies 2 (250 marks):

    Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations
  • Paper 4 - General Studies 3 (250 marks):

    Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
  • Paper 5 - General Studies 4 (250 marks):

    Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
  • Paper 6 & 7 - Optional Subject (One subject divided in two papers, 250*2 = 500 marks):

    Paper 1 (250 marks)
    Paper 2 (250 marks)
Interview/Personality Test:

Candidates who qualify the written exam are summoned for an Interview/Personality test. The Interview/Personality test carries 275 marks.Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written part as well as Interview/Personality Test) determine their final ranking.

Paper wise total marks considered for final rank:

Essay paper 250
General Studies paper – 1 250
General Studies paper – 2 250
General Studies paper – 3 250
General Studies paper – 4 250
Optional paper 1 250
Optional paper 2 250
Written Total 1750
Personality test 275
Grand Total 2025


  • Candidates can write answers for all the question papers in any of the language mentioned in the 8th schedule to the Constitution of India or in English except Language paper A & B.
  • Also, candidates can write optional paper in English even though she/he opted any other language of the schedule 8th for Paper 1 to 5 i.e. Essay and GS Papers.
  • The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard.