Scheme Of Civil Services Main Examination


The Main written examination comprises a total of nine (9) papers of two types:             

A 2 papers of non-ranking types

A 7 papers of ranking type

Non-ranking Papers

Two papers of non-ranking type include:             

Paper A: Indian language, to be selected by the candidate out of languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution

Paper B: English, which is a compulsory paper

A Both the papers of non ranking type will be 300 marks and for 3 hours duration each.               

Ranking Papers

A Paper - I : Essay

A Four (4) papers of General Studies in the following manner:

A Paper – II: General Studies  – I on Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society

A Paper – III: General Studies  – II on Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and  International relations

A Paper – IV: General Studies  – III on Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

A Paper – V: General Studies  – IV on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

A Paper VI & Paper VII: Two (2) papers in any one optional subject (candidates may choose any one optional subject from amongst the UPSC’s list of optional subjects in the Mains Examination).

All the 7 papers of ranking type will be 250 marks and for 3 hours duration each. Blind candidates will, however be allowed an extra time of thirty minutes at each paper.


A The paper on Indian Language and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

A The paper on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North-Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also for candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim.

A Evaluation of the ranking papers, namely, ‘Essay’, ‘All the papers of 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 of who attain such minimum standard as may be fixed by Commission at their discretion for the qualifying papers on ‘Indian Language’ and ‘English’.

A Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language papers, Paper – A & Paper - B, in any of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English. For the Language medium/ literature of languages, the scripts to be used by the candidates will be as under:

Language    Script

Assamese    Assamese

 Bengali      Bengali

Gujarati        Gujarati 

Hindi           Devanagari

Kannada     Kannada 

Kashmiri     Persian 

Konkani      Devanagari

Malayalam Malayalam

Manipuri     Bengali

Marathi       Devanagari

Nepali         Devanagari

Oriya                    Oriya

Punjabi       Gurumukhi

Sanskrit      Devanagari

Sindhi         Devanagari or Arabic 

Tamil          Tamil

Telugu         Telugu

Urdu            Persian

Bodo           Devanagari

Dogri           Devanagari

Maithilli      Devanagari

Santhali      Devanagari or Olchiki

A Candidates exercising the option to answer the papers in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them. (Candidates should, however, note that if they misuse the above rule, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to them and in extreme cases, their script(s) will not be valued for being in an unauthorised medium).

A The question papers other than language papers will be set both in Hindi and English.

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