UPSC Civil Services Exam 2024: Eligibility, Syllabus & Preparation Tips

Prepare for UPSC 2024 Exam: Exam Pattern, Syllabus & Application Details.

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Easetolearn will give students all the information regarding the UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern 2024. It will make it easier for students to understand the pattern of the UPSC Civil Services exam like the total number of questions, marking scheme, sections of the exam, and duration of the exam. 


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UPSC Civil Services Examination Pattern 2024


The UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern is:


Phase 1: Preliminary Examination (Objective Type)

Phase 2: Main Examination (Descriptive Type)

Phase 3: UPSC Interview/Personality Test


UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam Pattern 2024


  • UPSC Prelims Exam consists of two objective-type papers—General Studies I and General Studies II (also known as CSAT).
  • The General Studies I paper will contain 100 questions with two marks each, with a negative marking of 1/3rd, or 0.66 marks.
  • The General Studies II or CSAT paper will have 80 questions with 2.5 marks each and 1/3rd, or 0.83 marks of negative marking.
  • Language – UPSC CSE exam will be set both in Hindi and English
  • Time: Each paper has a duration of 2 hours
  • No marks will be deducted if you choose to leave questions unanswered.
  • Most importantly, candidates must achieve a minimum of 33% marks in General Studies Paper-II and a total qualifying score in General Studies Paper-I as determined by the Commission to qualify for the Main Examination.


Exam Stage


Type of Exam

Number of Questions

Total Marks



General Studies I




2 hours


General Studies II (CSAT)




2 hours





4 hours


FAQs related to UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern 2024


  1. : What is the exam pattern for the UPSC Civil Services Exam?
  • A: The UPSC Civil Services Exam consists of three stages:
  • Preliminary Examination (Prelims): Objective-type questions with negative marking.
  • Main Examination (Mains): Descriptive type questions covering various subjects.
  • Personality Test/Interview: Assessing the candidate's personality, leadership qualities, and communication skills.


  1. Q: How is the Preliminary Examination (Prelims) conducted?
  •  A: The Preliminary Examination comprises two papers:
  • General Studies Paper I: Covers topics such as History, Geography, Indian Polity, Economy, Environment, Science and Technology, Current Affairs, Mental Ability, and Comprehension.
  • General Studies Paper II (CSAT): Tests candidates' aptitude and comprehension skills. It includes questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning, and analytical ability.


  1. Q: What is the marking scheme for the Preliminary Examination?
  • A: Each paper in the Preliminary Examination is of 200 marks, with a total of 400 marks. There is negative marking for incorrect answers.


  1. Q: How is the Main Examination (Mains) structured?
  • A: The Main Examination consists of nine papers:
  • Essay
  • General Studies I
  •  General Studies II
  • General Studies III
  • General Studies IV
  • Optional Subject Paper I
  • Optional Subject Paper II
  • English Language (Qualifying)
  • Indian Language (Qualifying)


  1. Q: What is the duration and marking scheme for the Main Examination?
  • A: Each paper in the Main Examination is of 250 marks. The qualifying language papers are of 300 marks each. The total marks for the Main Examination are 1750.


  1. Q: How are the optional subjects chosen for the Main Examination?
  • A: Candidates are required to choose one optional subject from the list provided by the UPSC. The optional subject comprises two papers, each carrying 250 marks, making a total of 500 marks.


  1. Q: What is the Personality Test/Interview stage about?
  • A: Candidates who qualify the Main Examination are called for the Personality Test/Interview. It aims to assess the candidate's personality, leadership qualities, communication skills, and suitability for a career in civil services. The interview carries 275 marks.


  1. Q: Is there a minimum qualifying marks requirement for each stage of the UPSC Civil Services Exam?
  • A: Yes, candidates must secure the minimum qualifying marks prescribed by the UPSC for each stage of the examination to proceed to the next stage. The final selection is based on the candidate's performance in the Main Examination and Personality Test/Interview.
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