IAS Examination Marking Scheme Prelims Mains | How to Fill Application Form

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Examination Scheme

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Marking Scheme Of IAS Examination

The Indian Civil Services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year. The Civil Services examination schedule is announced from January - to February after which the selection is done in 3 stages. Candidates are filtered at every stage through a process of elimination.

The civil services examination comprises of three successive stages :

1) Prelims - Objective Type (Qualifier)
2) Mains - Written Test
3) Interview.
One can take one step at a time and go on to the next only if you clear the previous. The UPSC conducts the Civil Services examination in the above 3 stages selecting and dropping candidates as they go from stage to stage.

The Civil Services examination's Prelims are held in May-June and the results are announced in July-August. The Main Examination of the IAS Exam is held in October-November and the candidates who qualify at this stage are invited to the interview in March-April next. The final recruitment and posting of candidates depend on their ranking and the available vacancies for different posts to be filled during that particular year.

Students need to first apply for the Prelims of Civil Services examination only. Candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified for admission to the Main Examination will have to apply again, in the Detailed Application Form which would be supplied to them.


Preliminary Examination of Civil Services examination

The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only.

  • Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.
  • The marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit.
  • The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total an approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year for various Services and Posts.


Main Examination of Civil Services examination

The Main Examination will consist of 9 papers in total comprising of conventional essay-type questions.

  • Candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview / for a Personality Test.
  • The number of candidates to be summoned for interviews will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled.


Interview of Civil Services examination

  • The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).
  • Marks thus obtained by the candidates (in the Main Examination as well as interview) would determine their final ranking.
  • Candidates will be posted to various services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and Posts.
Officially called the "Personality Test", the objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to evaluate the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only a candidate's intellectual qualities but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety, and depth of interest, the ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination, but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation that is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate. The interview is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidate, which has been already tested through written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should arouse the curiosity of all well-educated youth.

 The procedure with timetable for Civil Services examination

UPSC usually releases its notification for the IAS exam in February/March. The Prelims exam is held in June/August. Candidates should apply online only on the UPSC official website before the closing date mentioned in the notification. About three weeks before the exam commences, UPSC will send the admit cards which can be downloaded by the candidates from the official website.

Once the prelims are over, results will be announced by the Commission where they mention the roll numbers of the candidates who would have cleared it. After this, the mains exam will be held generally in the month of October/December.  For this exam also, candidates who have cleared the prelims will have to apply online for the mains. During this time, candidates should send the duly filled DAF (Detailed Application Form) and send it to the UPSC.

The DAF is an important document since it has a bearing on the third stage, i.e. the UPSC interview. The UPSC panel can ask questions based on what you have filled out such as hobbies, extra-curricular activities, native town, work experience, etc. So fill out this form with adequate care.

If you clear this round, you will get the interview summons from the UPSC. The UPSC would announce the results of the UPSC mains written exam generally a month or two before the personality test is scheduled to begin. And, the e-summons would be downloadable from the website about three weeks before the personality test begins (usually held in March/April/May).

The Interview is the final round in this mammoth process and if you successfully clear it, you will be able to make an entry into the civil services. Along with the interview which is held in Delhi, candidates will have to undergo a medical test as well.

The final results are out generally in June or July. Depending on the rank of the candidate, he/she would be allotted to service and care. 


Civil Services examination Process

Step 1: Fill IAS Exam Application Form

Candidates can fill the IAS exam 2019 application form online mode on the official website of the commission. Once the application form is filled, candidates also need to pay Civil Services exam application fee in online or offline mode.


Preliminary Exam Fee

Mains Exam Fee

General/ OBC

Rs 100

Rs 200

Females/ SC/ ST/ Persons with Benchmark Disability



Step 2: Download IAS Preliminary Exam Admit Card

Candidates can download their Civil Services Exam admit card from the official website of the commission three weeks before the commencement of the exam. It may be noted that admit cards will not be sent by post to any candidates. Also, candidates who fail to carry their admit cards on the day of the exam will not be allowed to take the exam.

Step 3: Appear for IAS Preliminary Exam

Next, candidates need to appear for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam. The Preliminary exam is conducted in order to shortlist candidates for the next stage of the Civil Services exam.

Step 4: Download IAS Mains Exam Admit Card

All candidates who clear the Preliminary exam can download their admit cards for the Civil Services Mains exam. The admit cards will be available on the official website of UPSC three weeks before the commencement of the Mains exam.

Step 5: Appear for IAS Mains Exam

Candidates need to appear for IAS Mains 2019 Exam as per the details mentioned on the admit card. The mains exam of Civil Services will consist of a total of two qualifying papers, seven merit-based papers and one personality test. Candidates need to take all the papers to clear the exam.

Step 6: Check IAS exam Final Results

After both the stages of the Civil Services Exam (Preliminary and Mains) are conducted successfully, UPSC will release a final merit list on its official website. Candidates whose names/ roll numbers appear in the merit list will then be eligible for recruitment in different services and posts on offer through Civil Services Exam.  

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