Union Public Service Commission (UPSC): Everything you need to know before you start preparing for UPSC

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(Union Public Service Commission)UPSC Civil Services Exam is a popular competitive exam in India. The exact number of vacancies is notified by the UPSC and according to the 2017-18 Notification, this time there are close to 980 qualified posts as vacancies for Civil Service. The examination is conducted in order to recruit IAS(Indian Administrative Service)/IPS(Indian Police Service)/IFS(Indian Foreign Service)/IRS(Indian Revenue Service) and other Central Government Group A and B officers.

The recruitment process consists of three stages –

  1. Preliminary Exam
  2. Mains Exam
  3. Interview

UPSC Prelims Exam

(UPSC)Union Public Service Commission Prelims Exam is the first phase of IAS exam preparation because questions are objective in nature, i.e. candidates need to choose the right answer from the four given options. The questions can be tricky. The candidate should be focused and alert to get their entrance ticket to Mains.

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

UPSC Preliminary Exam Paper Duration Number of questions Marks
GS Paper 1 2 hours 100 200
GS Paper 2 or CSAT (This paper is qualifying in nature, candidates need to score 33% of marks) 2 hours 80 200
TOTAL 4 hours 180 400

 

From 2015 onwards, GS Paper 2 or CSAT paper has become qualifying in nature i.e., candidates need to score 66.7 marks out of 200 marks.

Negative Marking

There is negative marking in (UPSC)Union Public Service Commission Preliminary exam. One-third of marks for each question are deducted for every wrong answer in the paper.

Age Limit

General Category Upper age limit is 32 Years Number of attempts allowed is 6
OBC Category Upper age limit is 35 years Number of attempts allowed is 9
SC / ST Category Upper age limit is 37 Years Number of attempts allowed is Unlimited
Physically Handicapped Category Upper age limit for General Category Candidates is 42 Years
OBC Category Candidates is 45 Years
SC/ST Category Candidates is 47 Years
Number of attempts allowed is Unlimited in all the cases
J & K Domicile Candidates Upper age limit for General Category Candidates is 37 Years
Upper age limit for OBC Category Candidates is 40 Years
Upper age limit for SC/ST Category Candidates is 42 Years
Upper age limit for Physically Handicapped Candidates is 50 Years
Number of attempts allowed is the same as specified above for the General, OBC, SC/ST, Physically Handicapped category students
Ex-Servicemen Candidates Upper age limit for General category is 37 Years
Upper age limit for OBC category is 40 Years
Upper age limit for SC/ST category is 42 Years
Number of attempts allowed is the same as specified above for the General, OBC, SC/ST, Physically Handicapped category students
Disabled Defence Services Personnel* conditional Upper age limit for General category is 37 Years
Upper age limit for OBC category is 40 Years
Upper age limit for SC/ST category is 42 Years
Number of attempts allowed is the same as specified above for the General, OBC, SC/ST, Physically Handicapped category students

Overview of UPSC Prelims Exam 

  • The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.
  • Both the question papers will be of the Objective Type (multiple choice questions).
  • Application forms are issued in February and the candidate the can apply in February until the last date in March(specified).
  • The General Studies Paper 2 of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • Thee admit card is issued three weeks prior to the Prelims Exam date
  • The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
  • Duration of each paper will be two hours.
  • The cut-off is announced post the final result announcement in the following year (like for 2017 candidates, the cut-off will be released in 2018).
  • Blind candidates and the candidates with Locomotor Disability and Cerebral Palsy, where dominant (wilting) extremity is affected to the extent of slowing the performance of function (minimum of 40% impairment), will be allowed an extra time of twenty minutes per hour for each paper.

Importance of UPSC Prelims Syllabus

The candidate should read their syllabus notification multiple times as it will help them get acquainted with it and they will be able to focus on what to read and what to leave. Otherwise, the candidate will get lost in the ocean of books, newspapers and a vast amount of study materials available. JobAndExams.com will keep you updated on everything there’s to know.

The words in IAS Prelims syllabus such as women empowerment, sustainable development, inclusive growth has to be imbibed in the mind and every topic should be read with regard to those keywords. An ideal candidate should try to correlate anything he reads with the syllabus and should distinctly be able to recall which part of the UPSC syllabus the topic belongs to.

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus for GS Paper 1

  • General Science.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus for GS Paper 2 (CSAT)

  • Comprehension
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision making and problem-solving
  • English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level)
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.- Class X level

Significance of UPSC IAS Prelims Exam

(UPSC)Union Public Service Commission Prelims Exam is the first stage of the examination in becoming an IAS officer. UPSC Prelims Exam is conducted to screen the candidates for the Mains examination. The marks secured in it are not included in the final merit list.

(UPSC)Union Public Service Commission exam is all about writing accurate and conceptually correct answers in UPSC Mains Examination. To get your Mains hall ticket, you need to qualify for the Prelims exam. So don’t take IAS Prelims exam lightly, it is the most tricky aspect of UPSC Civil Services exam. Many questions asked by UPSC are conceptual in nature, and answering these questions requires a focussed mind.

Roughly every year around 15,000 candidates are shortlisted for Mains exam out of the 4-5 lakh aspirants appearing for the Prelims exam.

Point to remember before appearing UPSC Prelims Exam

  • For blind candidates, 20 minutes extra time is provided.
  • It is mandatory to appear for both the papers for the purpose of evaluation. Further, if you have appeared in one paper alone then you are counted as one attempt.
  • UPSC Civil Services Prelims exam is common for Both Civil Services and Indian Forest Services.

Prelims exam is all about conceptual understanding and having a clarity on subject topics. Those who have good command over all subjects then Prelims exam is just another exam.

The Mains- Stage 2

Stage 2 is the CSE Mains and it is a subjective section which has nine papers in the essay (conventional) exam pattern.

The Mains exam consists of 7+2=9 papers.

The two qualifying papers of Any Indian Language and English paper called Paper A and Paper B is of matriculation level or the equivalent of the matriculation standard. It is mandatory to pass the qualifier papers.

The 5 papers of General Studies and 2 papers of Optional Subjects will be evaluated simultaneously with the assessment of the qualifying papers (Paper A and Paper B). However, the complete evaluation or the final assessment is done only based on a candidate qualifying the Paper A and Paper B. If a candidate does not qualify the two papers then the complete score of the 7 papers will not be accounted for.

The only exception to the paper A format on Indian Language is for candidates belonging to or appearing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim.

The Interview- Stage 3

The qualified candidates must appear for the Personality Test likely to be held in March and April. The selection result is expected in the months of May or June.

UPSC shortlists and invites around 2500-3000 candidates on an average every year through an interview call. UPSC creates various boards working on an everyday basis and a UPSC member heading each of the many boards. Each board has 4-5 members comprising of a variety of field experts. The board members ask questions to assess the objective ability and mental agility of a candidate. The questions are related to issues concerning national and international matters. Candidates can expect questions related to personal profile as per the detailed application form details submission.

Posts under civil UPSC Exam

Group A Services

  1. Indian Administrative Service
  2. Indian Foreign Service
  3. Indian Police Service
  4. Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service
  5. Indian Audit and Accounts Service
  6. Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
  7. Indian Defence Accounts Service
  8. Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
  9. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
  10. Indian Postal Service
  11. Indian Civil Accounts Service
  12. Indian Railway Traffic Service
  13. Indian Railway Accounts Service
  14. Indian Railway Personnel Service
  15. Indian Railway Protection Force (Assistant Security Commissioner)
  16. Indian Defence Estates Service
  17. Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
  18. Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ (Gr. III)
  19. Indian Corporate Law Service

Group – B Services

  1. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer’s Grade)
  2. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
  3. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
  4. Pondicherry Civil Service
  5. Pondicherry Police Service

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