UPSC Civil Services Examination is organized in three phases:

Step 1: Initial Examination or CSAT (Objective Section)

Step 2: Main examination (subject section)

Step 3: Interview (vocal section)

Step 1:

Initial Examination – CSAT Course:

CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test is the first stage of the Preliminary Examination of UPSC. This examination is meant to assess the eligibility of candidate in solving ‘exam and analytical’ questions.

In the IAS prelims exam, there are two types of documents for two types of purpose, each 200 points (total of 400 marks) and two hours duration and candidates should take both papers.

Paper -1 General study  200 marks

Paper 2 Apttitude skill 200 marks


Step 2:

Ability to understand the academic talent depth of the candidate and to understand it properly. The IAS  test is designed to analyze the understanding of candidates and to determine the intellectual quality of candidates rather than their information and memory.

UPSC’s main examination consists of 9 paper. Two of which have 3oo marks and other 250. These two papers need only qualify which is mandatory and the marks obtained will not be considered or will not be counted for final merit list. These two are   –

I. Any Indian language    3oo marks

II. English     3oo marks


And the remaining seven paper can be written in any language ( eighth Schedule of the Constitution) or in English. The remaining seven papers are –

Paper -1.  Essay – 250 marks
Paper -2. General study –1  250 marks
(Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of world and society)

Paper -3.General study -2  250 marks
(governance, polity, international relation)

Paper -4.General study -3  250 marks
(technology, biodiversity, environment, disaster)

Paper -5.General study -4  250 marks
(ethics integrity aptitude)

Paper -6.   Optional 1st  250 marks
Paper -7.   Optional2nd  250 marks