UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 – UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains Exam Pattern and Syllabus



While preparing for the UPSC Exams / UPSC Civil Services Exams, a candidate must know about the Exam Pattern to qualify the examination as everyone knows that how tough is it to clear the UPSC Civil Services Examination. A prior knowledge of the examination pattern shall give an edge to the aspirant while preparing for the UPSC Exams. Before giving the detailed pattern for the UPSC Civil Service Exams, let us see the stages which are required for the UPSC Exams which is as follows:

UPSC Civil Services 2020 will be conducted in three different stages which is given below:

  • Preliminary Exam
  • Mains Exam
  • Personality Test/ Interview Process

Candidates, who qualify the preliminary exams, will be called for the mains exam and all those candidates who qualify both preliminary and mains exams, then he/ she will be called for the Interview Process. All these rounds will be granted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

UPSC Exam Pattern

 UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern for Prelims

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Prelims Exam Pattern for the IAS, IFS, etc. for the year 2020 is given below:

  • The Stage I (Preliminary Exam) is consists of 2 (two) Compulsory Papers,e. General Ability Test (GAT) and the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). This round or examination will test the analytical skills of the applicants.
  • Stage I (Prelims Exam) will consist of Objective Type Questions. Candidates have to choose any one of the 4 options provided for each question.
  • The Preliminary Exams are set in both English as well as in Hindi However, questions relating to the English Comprehension (English Language) will be based on the class 10th level. This will be only available in English and it will not be translated in Hindi.
  • Applicants should have to get a Minimum of 33% Marks to be qualified for the Mains Exams.

Highlights of UPSC Civil Service Exam Pattern for Preliminary Exams

The highlights required for the UPSC Exam Pattern for Prelims is given below:

Name of the examination UPSC Preliminary Exam
Mode of examination Offline (With Pen & Paper)
Total number of papers 2 papers (General Ability Test (GAT) and Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT))
Total number of questions 180 questions (Paper 1- 100 questions and Paper 2- 80 questions)
Type of question Objective type questions
Total marks 400 marks (Paper 1- 100 marks and Paper 2- 100 marks)
Nature of exam Qualifying
Duration of exam 2 hours each, + 20 minutes for the Blind Candidates
Mode of paper Both English and Hindi

UPSC 2020 Exam Pattern for Prelims

The Prelims Exam for UPSC Exam 2020 consists of GS & CSAT. Let’s have a look at the Exam Pattern for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020:

Name of the paper Paper I (General Studies) Paper II (Civil Service Aptitude Test)
Total no. of questions 100 80
Total Marks 200 marks 200 marks
Duration 2 hours 2 hours
Nature of paper Considered for cut off Qualifying Nature

Important Points for UPSC Prelims Exams

The important points regarding for the Prelims Exams are as follows:

  • Each question in GS (paper 1) carries 2 marks.
  • Each question in CSAT (paper 2) carries 5 marks.
  • For each wrong answer, one-third (0.33) of the marks will be deducted as penalty.
  • If a candidate chooses more than one option, then it will be treated as wrong answer and same one- third (0.33) marks will be deducted as penalty.
  • If a candidate left a question blank, i.e. he / she has not given answer to that question, and then there will no penalty and no marks will be deducted.
  • Candidates must score minimum 33% marks to qualify the examination.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern for Mains

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Exam Pattern for Mains for the IAS, IFS, etc. are as follows:

  • The UPSC Mains Exam is also an offline exam, i.e. it will be done with the help of pen and paper.
  • The UPSC Mains Exam contains total 9 (Nine) Papers.
  • Each paper will be of 3 hours. 30 Minutes are given extra for blind applicants.
  • Questions will be both objective and subjective in nature.
  • Question papers are available in both English as well as in
  • UPSC IAS Mains Exam is further divided into two types – Qualifying Exam and Merit Exam. It is compulsory for student to appear for both exams.
  • There will be two optional papers. Candidates may choose any of the two papers.

UPSC Mains Exam Pattern 2020

The UPSC IAS/ IFS Mains Exam Pattern 2020 is as follows:

Sl. No. Paper Subject Total Marks Duration
1. Paper A One of the Indian Langauge to be selected by an applicant from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution 300 marks 3 hours
2. Paper B English 300 marks 3 hours
3. Paper I Essay 250 marks 3 hours
4. Paper II General Studies – I (Indian Heritage and Culture, Geography of the World and Society and History) 250 marks 3 hours
5. Paper III General Studies – II (Governance, Polity, International relations, Constitution and Social Justice) 250 marks 3 hours
6. Paper IV General Studies –III (Technology, Bio – diversity, Economic Development, Security, Environment and Disaster Management) 250 marks 3 hours
7. Paper V General Studies – IV (Ethics, Aptitude and Integrity) 250 marks 3 hours
8. Paper VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250 marks 3 hours
9. Paper VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250 marks 3 hours
  Total 9 papers 1750 marks  

 Important Points for UPSC Mains Exam 2020

The important points regarding for the UPSC Mains Exam Pattern 2020 are as follows:

  • All the above given papers are of Merit Nature except for the language papers, i.e. Paper A and Paper B.
  • Both of the Papers A & Paper B are of qualifying nature.
  • All the papers are in descriptive answer type papers.
  • Applicants must need to score a minimum of 25% marks in all paper I to VII.
  • The above given Paper A is not compulsory for the candidates belonging from the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Nagaland and those candidates who are hearing impairment.
  • All papers are available in both Hindi and English language papers.
  • Each question will carry of 5 marks.

List of the optional subjects are as follows:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Anthropology
  3. Chemistry
  4. Geography
  5. History
  6. Commerce & Accountancy
  7. Political Science & International Relations
  8. Economics
  9. Management
  10. Mathematics
  11. Mechanical Engineering
  12. Psychology
  13. Sociology
  14. Public Administration
  15. Electrical Engineering
  16. Physics
  17. Zoology
  18. Botany
  19. Civil Engineering
  20. Medical Science
  21. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  22. Geology
  23. Law
  24. Philosophy
  25. Statistics

UPSC Interview Exam Pattern 2020

This part of examination, i.e. UPSC Interview/ Personality Test comes only after the results of the Mains Exams are declared. All those candidates who qualify the mains exams can be given preference for choosing the language in which they may like to be interviewed. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will make an arrangement for the translators. So applicants may choose the language of their choice. After appearing in an interview, the marks obtained in this round will be combined with the rest of marks obtained in the mains exams.

  • This round will be of 275 marks.
  • Marks obtained in this round will fetched with mains exam marks. So the Grand Total will be 2025 Marks.
  • Candidates will be ranked on the basis of the total (grand) marks and then called for the final interview.

Above information are related with UPSC Exam Pattern 2020.

Imp FAQ:

List of History & Indian Culture Books for preparation for UPSC Exam?

A Brief of History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir, Ancient India by RS Sharma (Old NCERT), Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania.

How to prepare for UPSC General Knowledge?

Go through daily newspaper and watch News.

Important Link:

UPSC IFS Recruitment 2020 – Click Here

UPSC Civil Service Recruitment 2020 – Click Here

UPSC IAS Eligibility Criteria  Click here

How to Prepare UPSC Exam – Click Here

UPSC IAS Preparation Tips in Hindi Click Here

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