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IAS Papers

The Civil Services exam comprises of two successive stages. They are:

1) Civil Services (Preliminary)

2) Civil Services (Main)

The Prelims is an objective type paper which is of qualifying nature to select candidates for the Main examination. It consists of two papers with a maximum of 400 marks in total. The exam serves as a screening test to qualify candidates for the Main exam and is not considered for ranking in the final result. Candidates who have cleared the Preliminary stage will be eligible to sit for the IAS Main exam. A candidate has to secure a minimum of 33% in Prelims Paper II to be considered as qualified for the Main exam. There is negative marking for wrong answers.

The Main exam consists of a written test and a face-to-face interview. There are 9 papers in the written test out of which two are qualifying in nature – Indian Language and English, each carrying a total of 300 marks. The performance in the rest 7 papers would be taken in consideration for merit listing.

Papers Marks Nature
Indian Language 300 Qualifying
English 300 Qualifying
Paper I – Essay 250 Counted for merit
Paper II – General Studies I 250 Counted for merit
Paper III – General Studies II 250 Counted for merit
Paper IV – General Studies III 250 Counted for merit
Paper V – General Studies IV 250 Counted for merit
Paper VI – Optional Paper I 250 Counted for merit
Paper VII – Optional Paper II 250 Counted for merit
Total 1750
Personality Test 275
Grand Total 2025


Points to note:

  1. The difficulty level of Indian Languages and English papers will be of Matriculation or Equivalent standard and the exam will be of qualifying nature. Marks scores in these two papers would not be counted for merit.
  2. Evaluation of the papers, namely, ‘Essay’, General Studies and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on ‘Essay’, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language and 25% marks in English as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers.
  3. Marks secured in the Paper I to Paper VII will be counted for merit in the final selection. The commission holds full authority to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.
  4. The written round is to gauge the overall mental abilities, decision making skills, critical thinking, communication skills and more capabilities in a candidate.
  5. The difficulty level of optional papers are of honors level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and a level lower than the masters’ degree. In case of Engineering, Medical Science and Law, the difficulty level is that of degree standard.
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