The Civil Services Examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. The examination is conducted by the UPSC to select officers for the Central and All India services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), etc.


Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary examination consists of two papers:

Paper I – is a paper on General Studies – 200 marks
Paper II – is a paper on Aptitude Test- 200 marks

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. 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 in the various Services and Posts.

Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in a 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 Main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies Papers (Papers II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study.

The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyse, and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.