Preliminary Examination

UPSC conducts the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination which is common for the candidates applying for Indian Forest Service  Examination and Civil Services Examination , and acts as a screening mechanism for selection of candidates for the Civil Services (Main) Examination and Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination.

The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry maximum of 400 marks. This exam is only a screening test; the marks obtained in the prelims are only for qualifying for main exam and are not counted for determining final order of merit.

Prelims Paper

Duration Questions


         Paper I – General Studies

2 Hours



         Paper II – CSAT

2 Hours






In CSAT Paper – II, minimum qualifying marks is 33%. You will be selected for Mains exam based total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper – I.

Paper- I  (General Studies)

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

 Paper-II  (CSAT)

  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level).

As you may know, only when tested in an exam atmosphere with negative marking, you can improve the ability to deliver in the actual exam hall.Try for free IAS/IFoS Prelims Online/Offline All India Mock test by DIAS (DIAS India Edutech Pvt.Ltd.)– the new innovative platform which integrates learning with test-taking. You would be surprised to find how fast you can learn.

Mains Examination




Paper I

General English 300

Paper II

General Knowledge


Paper III

Optional Subject 1


Paper IV

Optional Subject 1


Paper V

Optional Subject 2


Paper VI Optional Subject 2



After written examination, interview for personality test will be of 300 marks.

Paper –II (General Knowledge)

Syllabus :

General Knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of every day observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions on Indian Polity including the political system and the Constitution of India, History of India and Geography of a nuture which the candidate should be able to answer without special study.