UPSC Exam Pattern


Hey Guys!!! Here we will have a discussion regarding one of the toughest exams for which students do preparations from years and years. Yes, we are asking about UPSC that is Union Public Service Commission which is the central agency of India. Various examinations are being organized by the commission and those are:

  • Civil Services Exam
  • IFS
  • NDA
  • CDS
  • SCRA etc…

In the session of 2019, almost 6-7 Lakhs students appeared in the exam against the 980 seats. Only a few dedicated aspirants got selection and from here one can assume the level of UPSC exam which demands pure hard work and smart mind at a time. After the struggle of years and year’s aspirant got success in their dreams of becoming an officer like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, etc… Here, we will demonstrate about the process of UPSC exam and hence if you are unaware of the same then read the article and then you will have some idea about the exam of UPSC.

Eligibility for the UPSC Exam

Before appearing in the exam, the candidate must have an awareness of eligibility criteria so that they could plan accordingly. As explained earlier, UPSC is being organized for the recruitment of different posts of Civil Services. Hence Eligibility criteria may differ based on the posts. Let us explain categorically:

Age Eligibility for UPSC exam

Category Upper Age Limit Number of Attempts
General 32 6
OBC 35 9
SC/ST 37 Unlimited (Up to age limit)
General Physically Disabled 35 9
OBC Physically Disabled 38 9
SC/ST Physically Disabled 40 Unlimited (Up to age limit)
Disabled servicemen (General) 35
Disabled servicemen (OBC) 38
Disabled servicemen (SC/ST) 40

Candidate must be a citizen of India for IAS, IFS and IPS exam

For the IRS and other services, a candidate must be one of the following:

  • A citizen of India
  • A  person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India

Required Educational Qualification for UPSC exam

Now, let’s have a discussion of educational qualification. To appear in the exam of UPSC candidate must have below mentioned educational qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from any recognized university of state or central
  • Bachelor’s degree from correspondence or distance education will also work

Till now we have discussed for the very basic details of the UPSC exam and now we need to you aware of the stages of Civil Services Exam. Once you will know about the same then you would be able to plan your preparation in a suitable way. Planning is the most important thing for the clearance of such exams.

The UPSC exam is organized in three phases and usually, the notifications will come out in the month of April. The three phases of the UPSC exam will be dealing with:

Phase 1: Preliminary Exam (called as “pre”) which will have objective questions only. It will be comprised of General Studies and Aptitude test. This section will be of 200 marks and 2 hours will be given.

Phase 2 Main Examination (called as “mains”) which will have subjective questions, in which you will need to describe the answers in words. It will have nine papers of conventional. The total marks of the exam will be 2000 and it goes for around 21 days. Hence you must have a hard working spirit while preparing for the UPSC exam.

Exam pattern of mains will be as mentioned below:

  • Paper 1 – 300 marks (3 hours)
  • Paper 2 – 300 marks (3 hours)

Optional Subject 1

  • Paper 1 – 300 marks (3 hours)
  • Paper 2 – 300 marks (3 hours)

Optional Subject 2

  • Paper 1 – 300 marks (3 hours)
  • Paper 2 – 300 marks (3 hours)

Essay – 200 marks (3 hours)

  • English Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks excluded in Main Exam)
  • Indian Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks excluded in Main Exam)

SEE ALSO: Staff Selection Commission (SSC) Syllabus

Phase 3: Interview: After clearing the Phase 1 and Phase 2, you will have to face the interview. This is one of the most known and tough interviews because the interviewer panel plays with your mind. They check the stability of mind and inner potential of an aspirant. Hence, you need to be confident enough to face the interview.

The pre-exam held in the month of August and its results get declared approx in September. Then Mains pattern gets organized in the month of December and mostly UPSC declares the result in the month of February or March. After that, in the month of March or April, the interview gets scheduled which needs focused preparation.

The pre-exam held in the month of August and its results get declared approx in September. Then Mains pattern gets organized in the month of December and mostly UPSC declares the result in the month of February or March. After that, in the month of March or April, the interview gets scheduled which needs focused preparation.

The whole process takes approx a year because the final result comes out in the month of May or June. So guys!!! Be ready to face the challenges of UPSC exam and if in case of any query get in touch with our experts. They will guide you in the best possible way.

The subjects which can be taken as an Option is the exam of UPSC:

  • Any literature subjects
  • Political Science & International Relations + Public Administration
  • Commerce & Accountancy + Management
  • Anthropology + Sociology
  • Mathematics + Statistics
  • Agriculture + Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Management + Public Administration
  • Any Engineering building subjects
  • Medical Science + Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science

Above mentioned are the basic details of the UPSC exam. Hence, if you are planning to prepare for the same then read all the mentioned points carefully because here you will be getting the right information in regards to the UPSC exam. Also, feel free to get in touch for any kind of consultation. Now below, we will mention the exams of UPSC in brief with highlighted points so that you could have an idea of the various exams which get organized by the authority of the Union Public Service Commission.

SEE ALSO: Banking Exam Preparation Tips

Indian Administrative Service or IAS:

It has been defined as the Indian Administrative Service. At the initial stages, this exam was called Imperial Civil Services i.e. ICS. The exam of IAS gets conducted by UPSC and all the candidates who get appear in UPSC exam always dream to come under the category of IAS that is why they strive hard to get a maximum possible score in the exam.

Highlights of IAS

  • It was founded in the year 1858 as ICS and later on, at 26 Jan 1950 it had been called as IAS that is Indian Administrative Services.
  • Amongst all 24 services of UPSC, IAS is the highest administrative post.

The Indian Police Service or IPS

The exam IPS is a part of the civil services examinations which get organized under the supervision of UPSC. The controlling authority of the IPS division is the Home Affairs Ministry.


  • It was formed in the year 1948 as per the norms of Government of India
  • Their job responsibility revolves around the safety of the public and maintains peace in them
  • The IPS gives more importance to law and order, which, at the district level, is a collective responsibility of IPS and IAS officers; detecting and preventing crime; and traffic control, preventing drug, accident prevention, and management etc…

Indian Foreign Services or IFS

This is the administrative service, organized by UPSC comes under Group A and Group B. It is the Central Civil Service of Government of India. The skills required for the IFS exam are Decision-making ability, Good Communication Skill, Excellent command over current affairs with foreign nations, Analytical and leadership ability.


  • Age Limit for the exam is 21-30 years and it may vary depends upon category as per the norms of Government.
  • Job responsibility revolves around the maintenance of relationships with foreign countries in terms of trade, diplomacy, and culture.

National Defense Academy or NDA

Lots of aspirants are there who always wish to be the part of Indian Naval Academy. To fulfill their dreams UPSC organizes the exam of NDA two times in a year. This examination gets organized in the month of April and September through which a student can be the part of Army, Navy or Air force winds.

Below mentioned are the numbers of seats which may available in all three forces:

  • Army: 208
  • Navy: 39
  • Air Force: 92

All the willing aspirants can apply for the exam online by filling all the required details.


  • NDA was established on 7 December 1954
  • Those candidates who have completed class 12th with Physics, Chemistry and Maths can opt for all the three forces i.e. Army, Navy, and Air force
  • Those who only wish for Army then they can be of any stream, only you must have class 12th pass certificate in hand
  • This exam is organized in 3 phases:
  1. Written exam
  2. Interview by Selection Board
  3. Medical

Combined Defense Services or CDS

This exam is a little bit same as NDA but here the chance of attempts are more as the age limit is more here. All aspirants must have graduated in order to appear in the exam. This exam is also organized 2 times in a year by the UPSC for recruitment into IMA, (Indian Military Academy), OTA (Officers Training Academy), INA (Indian Naval Academy) and IAFA (Indian Air Force Academy). The examination gets conducted in the month of February and November


  • Age limit to appear in the exam is 19-24 years
  • Marks of the subjects will be as mentioned below:
Subject Marks
English 100
General Knowledge 100
Elementary Maths 100
Total 300

Tentative Vacancy in the CDS exam

Academy Tentative Vacancies
IMA 100
AFA 32
INA 45
OTA 225
Total 400

Special Class Railway Apprentice SCRA

This entrance exam is organized in order to make recruitments in the department of Indian Railway by UPSC. Majorly aspirants get attracted towards the exam of SCRA and reason for the same is their handsome salary and royal life


  • SCRA was started in the year 1927 and it is the oldest exam of India
  • The exam will have objective questions with multiple answers. Negative marking is also there hence we advice to attempt only those questions for which you are sure.
  • The mode of exam will be offline hence you must have ballpoint blue and black pen.
  • SCRA exam will be organized into two sections: 1. written Test 2. Physical Science
  • The written exam will be of 600 marks (with subjects English, Psychology and General Knowledge) and Physical Science will be of 200 marks
  • You will get 2 hours for the exam.


These are the examinations which are being organized by the Union Public Service Commission. Various state-level commissions are also there which works under the control of UPSC. They organize various exams for the particular state at regular intervals for the recruitment of civil services posts of the exam. If you are willing for the exam of UPSC then you should also have an eye of state commission’s exam as well because exam pattern, syllabus etc… are approximately the same in their examinations. So be ready to attempt those exams as well. There are some tips which you should follow for the exam of UPSC:

  • Be Smart while attempting the objective questions of Pre
  • Manage your time while solving the paper.
  • Initially read the whole question paper and prioritize the section based on your knowledge
  • Fill the answer sheet along with marking on the question paper. Sometimes people plan to fill the sheet at the end, and then in a hurry the do plenty of mistakes. Hence do not do that.
  • In subjective questions, read your answer once after writing. Check all the spellings etc because while writing in running we make silly mistakes unknowingly. So read your answers very carefully before submission.
  • Always think first and go for the known questions only to avoid negative marking. Never answer based on your assumption.
  • For the interview, be confident and always interact with everyone to remove your hesitation. Keep in touch with news so that you could face the interview panel with confidence.

Here, we have presented the UPSC exam’s requirement and hoping that we are able to provide the knowledge for the same.

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