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UPSC Exam Pattern 2023 for IAS Prelims, Mains and Interview

UPSC Exam Pattern 2023

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) publishes the UPSC Exam Pattern to assess candidates’ academic knowledge as well as their ability to organize their responses for UPSC Exam. Because of this, candidates must have a thorough understanding of the Prelims and Mains UPSC Exam Pattern. Candidates may better organize their time and prepare for the exam if they had a thorough understanding of the format. It will also be simpler to match their study plan to the requirements of the exam. Candidates will be able to interpret a clear image of the quantity of questions and negative markings thanks to the UPSC Exam Pattern.

There are three stages to the UPSC Exam: the preliminary exam, the main exam, and the personality test. The complete UPSC Exam Pattern for each stage is provided below, along with comprehensive information on the negative marking policy. Candidates can prepare for the exam in the appropriate way with a thorough understanding of the UPSC Exam Pattern.

UPSC Exam Pattern Overview

The UPSC Exam Pattern is broken down into three parts in the IAS Selection Process. To advance to the next step, candidates must pass each one. Candidates who pass the Prelims Exam becomes qualified to sit for the Mains Exam, and the after clearing Mains exam will receive a call for the Personality test round.

It is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the entire UPSC Exam pattern for the prelims, mains, and interviews because the IAS Exam cycle lasts an entire year. Candidates can obtain all of the information about the UPSC Exam Pattern that is provided below.

UPSC Exam Pattern Overview
UPSC Exam Stages Papers Total Marks Exams Nature
UPSC Exam Pattern for Prelims 2 Papers – GS Paper 1 & CSAT 400 Objective Type
UPSC Exam Pattern for Mains 9 Papers 1750 Descriptive Test
IAS Interview 275 Personality Test
UPSC Total Marks Mains Marks + Interview Marks = 2025 Marks


Read more: UPSC Notification 2023

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern includes two papers General Studies-1 and General Studies-2, or CSAT. The prelims exam’s two papers are conducted on the same day. CSAT Paper/GS Paper 2 of the UPSC Prelims is a qualifying paper. To be eligible, applicants must pass the CSAT with a minimum score of 33%. To ensure that you pass the exam on your first try, familiarize yourself with the UPSC Prelims Syllabus.

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern
Prelims Paper Name of Questions  Marks Allotted Time Allotted Nature of Paper
GS Paper I 100 Questions 200 2 hours Merit Ranking
GS Paper II (CSAT) 80 Questions 200 2 hours Qualifying
Total Marks in Prelims 400 Marks

Read about: UPSC Mains Syllabus

UPSC Exam Pattern Negative Marking Rule

According to the UPSC exam pattern for the Prelims, each question on General Studies-1 is for two points, and each question on the CSAT paper is worth five points. In the UPSC, one-third of the marks allotted to such question would be deducted.

  • This indicates that there would be a negative marking of 0.66 for IAS Prelims Paper 1.
  • The UPSC negative marking for the CSAT will be 0.83.
UPSC Exam Pattern Negative Marking Rule
Paper Total Questions  Total Marks Negative Marks
General Studies-1 100 2*100=200 0.66
General Studies-2 (CSAT) 80 2.5*80=200 0.83

Read more: UPSC Calendar 2023

UPSC Exam Pattern Mains

As a detailed paper, the UPSC Mains Exam format differs from the prelims format. The 2023 UPSC Mains is expected to take place on September 15th. Those who pass the preliminary exam are qualified to take the main examination. For a better understanding of the subjects included on the test, download the UPSC Mains Syllabus. Candidates must sit both qualifying and merit papers in accordance with the UPSC Mains Exam Pattern.

  • There will be a total of 9 papers, of which 2 will have qualifying characteristics, 4 will be for General Studies, and 2 will be for the optional courses.
  • For the Mains exam, candidates are permitted to select an optional topic.
  • All of the articles will also be descriptive.

The following papers will be included in the UPSC CSE 2023 Mains Written Examination:

UPSC Exam Pattern Mains
Paper Subject Name Maximum Marks Time Duration
Paper A The candidate chosen one of the Indian Language from Languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution 300 3 hrs
Paper B English 300 3 hrs
Papers to be Counted for Merit
Paper I Essay 250 3 hrs
Paper II General Studies I  250 3 hrs
Paper III General Studies II 250 3 hrs
Paper IV General Studies III 250 3 hrs
Paper V General Studies IV 250 3 hrs
Paper VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250 3 hrs
Paper VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250 3 hrs
Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test / Interview 275
Grand Total 2025

Candidates from Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, and Nagaland, as well as those with hearing impairment, are exempt from taking Paper A. These candidates must, however, demonstrate that their university or board has exempted them from taking second or third language courses.

Read about: UPSC Prelims Syllabus

UPSC Mains Marks Distribution

Papers A and B are qualifying according to the UPSC mains exam pattern, and all other papers are taken into consideration for merit. To be taken into consideration for the final merit list, candidates must receive at least a 25% on each paper. There are 300 marks on each of Papers A and B. The last seven papers each carry a total of 250 points.

Read More :- Indian Polity Notes

UPSC Exam Pattern for Optional Subjects

The Mains pattern comprises two optional papers, as was already mentioned. According to the UPSC Marking Scheme, each paper carries 250 points. From the list of UPSC Optional Subjects, candidates are free to select any subject they desire. The complete list of electives is provided in the link below.

UPSC Exam Pattern and List for Optional Subjects

UPSC Exam Pattern Personality Test

After clearing the written examination, the candidate faces a Personality Test in which most questions are based on general interests topics. The purpose of the interview round or personality test is for a Board of knowledgeable and objective UPSC observers to examine if the candidate is suitable for a career in public service.

  • According to the UPSC Paper Pattern, there will be a total of 275 points awarded for the interview phase.
  • The final merit list will be created based on the candidate’s scores in the Mains and Interview when the UPSC Result of the interview round is announced.

 UPSC Syllabus

UPSC Topper Ishita Kishore

Read more: UPSC Optional Subjects

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Will there be a UPSC exam in 2023?

Yes, On May 28, 2023, the UPSC CSE exam will take place.

How can I prepare for CSE 2023?

UPSC CSE is a comprehensive examination. For the preparation of this exam, candidates should be aware of the UPSC CSE exam pattern and syllabus thoroughly. This exam takes at least one year to complete all the important parts of the syllabus.

When will IAS form come in 2023?

On 1st February 2023, UPSC released the UPSC CSE 2023 notification on their official website and the application form is also released on February 1, 2023, and the last date for the application is 21st February 2023.

How many months current affairs UPSC 2023?

For the civil service examination, UPSC does not specify a certain time limit for covering current affairs. However, aspirants can prepare for at least one year (from may 2022 onwards to April/May month of  2023) of current affairs thoroughly.

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