What is UPSC Exam and Civil Service Exam Pattern and How to Prepare for UPSC Exams?

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What is UPSC Exam?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is India’s central agency authorized to conduct the Civil Services Examination to fill up the posts of Indian Administrative Services(IAS), Indian Police Service(IPS) , Indian Revenue Services(IRS), Indian Forest Service examination(IFS), National Defence Academy Examination (NDA), Naval Academy Examination and other government department Posts.

UPSC Exam Pattern for Civil Service Exam:

CSE (Prelims) Pattern

The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry maximum of 400 marks. This exam is only a screening test; the marks obtained in the prelims are only for qualifying for main exam and are not counted for determining final order of merit.

Prelims Paper Duration Questions Marks
Paper I – General Studies 2 Hours 100 200
Paper II – Aptitude 2 Hours 80 200
Total   400

In General Studies Paper – II, minimum qualifying marks is 33%. You will be selected for Mains exam based total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper – I.

Civil Services (Mains) Pattern

The pattern has changed from 2013 main examination. The new pattern is:

# Paper Subject Marks
1 Paper A Indian Language (Qualifying) 300
2 Paper B English (Qualifying) 300
3 Paper I Essay 250
4 Paper II General Studies – I 250
5 Paper III General Studies – II 250
6 Paper IV General Studies – III 250
7 Paper V General Studies – IV 250
8 Paper VI Optional Subject Paper 1 250
9 Paper VII Optional Subject Paper 2 250
Total   1750
Interview (Personality Test) 275
Grand Total 2025

How to Prepare for UPSC:

At the UPSC exams, getting over 50% is the biggest challenge. The Times of India reported on Monday that only five candidates in the 2014 civil services examination could secure more than 50% marks. The topper for the year scored 53.4%. This can be said to be an indication of just how tough the examination is.

While the total marks for the Mains examination were 1,750, there was not even a single candidate who could notch up a four-figure score.

In fact, there was only one person, Ira Singhal, who secured more than 900 in the Mains examination. Singhal, who hails from Delhi, has emerged as the highest scorer in the civil services, with a total score of 1,082 out of 2,025 marks.

Incidentally, although Singhal had cleared the UPSC exam on an earlier occasion as well in 2010, she was denied a posting because of a disability, reported India Today.

A total of 1,236 candidates are said to have been selected for appointment to various civil services, out of about 4.51 lakh who appeared for the examination.

  • Tip #1
    For coming out successful in the UPSC exam one needs to be well motivated and confident about his/her own abilities because only if one believes in them can they put in 100% efforts.
  • Tip #2
    To begin with the preparation the candidates should regularly follow one national newspaper and magazines to keep them updated of the latest happenings in and around the world.
  • Tip #3
    Also the candidates should be well aware of the pattern of the UPSC which is a three stage examination and direct their efforts accordingly.
  • Tip #4
    The syllabus should be studied well and one by one the topics should be taken up and should be prepared in great detail.
  • Tip #5
    It is advisable to choose subjects which you are studying or you have already studied. This will help you do well since you already know about the subject. Only a little more effort and revision will be needed.
  • Tip #6
    The candidates should be dedicated enough because it may require more than 1 attempt to crack the UPSC exam.
  • Tip #7
    Also, a good teacher who can guide you well can prove to be a great advantage because the teacher can plan your schedule so that your efforts are not wasted.
  • Tip #8
    It is advisable for the candidates to have discussions with fellow candidates on various topics from the syllabus. These discussions help you retain more.
  • Tip #9
    Though you are putting in your 100% you should also learn the technique of Time Management. All the questions need to be done in a given amount of time.
  • Tip #10
    The candidates may take coaching classes if necessary but only after a good research should they choose a coaching centre.



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