For the selection of all Group “A” officers who work for the Indian government, the Union Public Service Commission, or UPSC as it is more often known, is the country of India’s highest central employment organization. Its nomination and examination procedures apply to all Group “A” posts in all union government establishments, including all central public sector organizations and all central autonomous bodies. The Department of Personnel and Training is India’s main personnel agency. It must also consult with the government on matters relating to employee hiring, transfer, promotion, and discipline. The President, who also acts as a conduit for advice to the government, is the commission’s sole source of accountability. Such advice, however, does not bind the government. The UPSC, a constitutional organization, is one of the few institutions that function with both autonomy and freedom, along with the nation’s higher judiciary. IAS, IPS, IFS, Data Processing Assistant, Geoscientist, etc. are among the positions covered by UPSC.

UPSC Job Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2022

  • Given that the UPSC recruitment exam is one of the hardest in Asia, applicants must have a thorough understanding of it. The UPSC syllabus changes depending on the position being filled.
  • The majority of exams have graduation-level syllabuses. Our mission is to give applicants study resources and better prepare them for the exams by explaining the UPSC syllabus to them.
  • For the majority of its selection processes, UPSC uses offline exams. The majority of the UPSC exam formats are written tests that are objective and descriptive.
  • Only the preliminary exams for UPSC Recruitments use negative marking and normalization. For the best preparation for the exams, candidates need to be informed of the UPSC exam format.

UPSC Jobs Selection Process 2022

  • Depending on the posts that are available in particular recruitment and their rank, different UPSC selection procedures apply. Candidates seeking employment with the UPSC need to be aware of the selection processes.
  • The first two stages of the UPSC selection process are the Preliminaries and Mains, which are subsequently followed by a personality test and document verification.
  • A call for an in-person interview will be made to the applicant who completes the preliminary and main exams.
  • After being provisionally selected, students are required to appear for document verification, during which the legitimacy of their documents will be checked. But the selection procedure varies depending on the position.

50+ Common Queries and Concerns Answered

Q 1.  What is the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer – By the regulations published by the government (Department of Personnel & Training) in the Gazette of India Extraordinary, UPSC conducts the preliminary examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and other Central Services and posts.

Q2 What is the structure of the Civil Services Examination?

Answer – Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (CSP) and Civil Services (Main) Examination are the two successive phases of the Civil Services Examination (CSE).

Q3 What exactly is UPSC?

Answer – UPSC is the Central Agency responsible for recruiting candidates for various services such as Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and so on.

Q4 Is an attempt at the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination counted as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination?

Answer – A Preliminary Examination attempt shall be deemed to be a Civil Services Examination attempt. It shall be deemed an attempt at the Examination if a candidate appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination. The candidate’s attendance at the examination counts as an attempt even if they are disqualified or have their candidature canceled.

Q 5. What is the scheme of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer – Two mandatory papers for 200 points each make up the exam. Both test questions are of the objective variety (multiple choice questions). Both Hindi and English are used in the question papers. Information on the curricula is included in the government’s examination notice and gazette notification. Each paper has a two-hour time limit.

Q 6 Is the General Studies Paper-II of qualifying nature? What are the Cut-off Marks for this Paper?

Answer – The General Studies Paper-II does meet the requirements. The Examination Rules specify a minimum passing score for this Paper, which is currently 33%.

Q 7. Is there any negative marking at the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer – Candidates should be aware that marking incorrect answers in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination carries a penalty (negative marking). For each question, there are four possible responses. (i) As a punishment, one-third (1/3) of the marks allotted to each question for which the candidate provided a false response are subtracted. (ii) Even if one of the candidate’s replies turns out to be accurate, giving more than one response is still considered a mistake, and the same punishment applies to that question as described above. (iii) There is no penalty if a candidate leaves a question unanswered, i.e., provides no response.

Q 8. What is the UPSC’s Annual Programme (Calendar) of Examinations/RTs (Recruitment Tests)?

Answer – A minimum of six months in advance (i.e., in June) for the Examinations/RTs to be held during the upcoming calendar year, the UPSC publishes an Annual Programme (Calendar) of all the Structured Examinations/RTs conducted by it. The Program is published in the nation’s top newspapers as well as uploaded to the UPSC website. This Annual Programme also includes the date on which each Examination Notice is issued.

Q 9. What are the minimum educational qualifications prescribed?

Answer – The candidate must have a degree from one of the universities in India that have been established by an act of the Central or State Legislature, as well as from any other institution of higher learning that has been authorized by an Act of Parliament, is recognized as a university under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act of 1956, or has an equivalent degree.

Q 10. How to apply for Examinations conducted by the UPSC?

Answer – Candidates can apply online for the UPSC Examinations by accessing the online portal hosted on the UPSC’s website (https://upsconline.nic.in).

Q 11. How much time is given to the candidates for applying online?

Answer – The Examination Notice makes explicit when to submit an online application. A candidate has approximately three weeks to submit an online application. They can do so by following the website’s online application procedures.

Q 12. What happens if a candidate submits multiple online applications?

Answer – While an applicant should refrain from submitting more than one online application, if they do, the Commission will consider the information from the most recent application (with the highest RID Number) that is submitted successfully online. If a candidate (who has previously successfully applied) wishes to make changes to the application, he must submit a new application on or before the deadline for the Examination. Therefore, it must be ensured that the price is only applied to the most recent online application, which must also be finished in every way, including the final submission. No fee paid about one RID number may be offset against another RID number.

Q 13 Which category of candidates are exempted from payment of the Examination fee?

Answer – Candidates who are female, persons with benchmark disabilities (PwBD), and those who fall under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories are all exempt from paying the examination fee for any examinations administered by the Commission.

Q14 When are the e-Admit Cards issued?

Answer – Three weeks before the start of the exam, the qualified candidates receive their electronic admit cards. The UPSC website [ makes the e-Admit Cards available for candidates to download.

Q15 What is the procedure adopted for allotment of Roll Numbers, Centre and Venues to the candidates?

Answer – Roll numbers and locations are randomly assigned by computer to the qualified candidates without manual involvement. The Commission uses the “first-apply-first-allot” method to assign the candidate the Center of his or her choice. Once a Center has reached capacity, applicants will no longer have that option open to them. Therefore, one of the available Centers must be selected by the applicants. Therefore, it is advisable to apply early in order to secure the preferred Center. To address any unique circumstances that may arise at that time, the Commission has the right to adjust the centres of the candidates.

Q16 Are requests for change of Centre/ Venue accepted?

Answer – The candidates should note that no request for change of Centre / Venue is accepted.

Q. 17 When should I produce the proof of passing my graduation examination before UPSC?

Answer: All applicants who have been given the go-ahead by the Commission to sit for the Civil Services (Main) Examination must submit documentation of their success in the prerequisite exam along with their application for the Main Examination; otherwise, they will not be permitted to sit for the Main Examination.

Q18 If I apply for the Civil Services Prelims Exam but do not appear in any paper will it be counted as an attempt?

Answer: No, an attempt will be counted only if you have appeared in at least one paper.

Q.19 If a candidate belongs to a community included in the OBC list of states but not in the Central list of OBCs is he eligible for age relaxation, reservation etc. for Civil Services Examinations?

Answer: No, only candidates from communities on the Central List of OBCs are qualified to receive such benefits.

Q20 What is meant by Part I and Part II of the Application Form?

Answer – The online application form is divided into Part I and Part II. Personal information on the applicant is included in Part I of the application, including name, father’s or mother’s name, date of birth, residence, educational background, age relaxation, scribe information (only for PwBD candidates choosing scribe), preferences for a particular examination, etc. The candidates must also list how many Photo ID cards they have.  The payment choice for the examination fee (only for applicants who are not exempt from paying the price), the examination centre, and the uploading of the applicant’s photo, signature, and photo ID card are all included in Part II of the application. The candidate must successfully finish both Parts I and II before submitting their application to take the examination in question.

Q21 What are the provisions for reservation for SC, ST, OBC, EWS and PwBD candidates?

Answer – Candidates from Scheduled Castes would be given preference. Candidates from the following groups may be considered for open positions: Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Economically Weaker Sections, and Persons with Benchmark Disabilities.

Q 22. Which is the language/medium of question papers?

Answer – The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) are set in Hindi and English.

Q 23. Can a candidate write different papers of Civil Service (Main) Examination in different languages?

Answer – No, except for the qualifying language papers Paper-A and Paper-B, which they have indicated at the time of filling out their online application form for the Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination, candidates have the option to write their answers in either English or any one of the Eighth Schedule languages.

Q.24 How to read NCERT books?

Answer: Subject matter is presented in the NCERT curriculum in the form of stories, and the language is relatively straightforward. Make an effort to comprehend the story’s premise and relate it to the modern world. It is comparable to the ocean in the Gorge, and NCERT helps you comprehend concepts and serves as the basis for your preparation. Try to answer the questions in the book; this will strengthen your grasp of the subject and improve your writing.

Q.25 Is it mandatory to read India Year Book?

Answer: Must be read since it includes comprehensive information on the government’s goals, programmes, and accomplishments as well as the difficulties it faces. Read a few selected chapters, such as those on the environment, finances, culture, and tourism, if reading the entire book is not feasible. Information and communication technologies, legal issues, water resources, national events, justice and the law, health and family welfare, India and the rest of the globe, etc. When it comes to the exam, these chapters are crucial. Use them in accordance with the curriculum.

Q.26 How helpful is the Test Series in preparation?

Answer:

Exceptionally helpful because we experience an environment similar to an exam room and doing well develops our mental faculties. Through the Test Series, we assess our level of self-preparation because we follow the test series timetable and cover the entire curriculum.  If we receive a good result in the test series, our self-confidence increases and it also motivates us to work hard. Test Series also inspires us to perform well under pressure.

Q. 27 If I am working then how can I prepare for the UPSC exam?

Answer: Your job’s requirements will be critical, you’ll need to modify your routine, and time management will become crucial because the quality study is more significant than quantity.

Weekly goals should be defined in order to prevent boredom. When the weekly goal is reached, confidence will also rise. Please make the most of your weekend, go over the reading you did during the week, and evaluate your readiness using the tests. Using a sensible strategy when under pressure means editing what you read, reading only what you need to, and honing your writing abilities.

Q 28. What are the Cut-off Marks for the compulsory language Papers?

Answer – Currently, 25% is the required minimum score in each of the two qualifying papers—English and Indian Languages—as stated in the examination rules.

Q29 If the overall marks of two or more candidates are equal, how is relative merit between such candidates decided?

Answer – ‘Tie-breaking’ principles are applied to decide inter se merit among candidates having the same overall marks.

Q30 What is the educational qualification needed to appear in IAS exam?

Answer: Any degree, whether it be a conventional or distance graduation. The candidate must hold a degree from one of the universities established in India by an act of the Central or State Legislature, from another educational institution created by an act of Parliament, or from an institution recognised as an equivalent institution under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.

Q.31 Can final-year students of graduation apply for UPSC CSE?

Answer: Yes, applicants who took a test that, if passed, would have qualified them academically for the Commission’s examination but who have not yet received the results as well as candidates who plan to take the test will also be eligible for admission to the preliminary examination.

Q.32 Can I choose an optional subject (in Mains), which I have not studied at Graduate/PG level?

Answer: Yes, you can choose any optional subject from amongst the UPSC’s list of optional subjects for Civil Services Main Exam.

Q.33 Generally, it is advised that the candidates should carefully study the last 10 years question papers of General Studies (Prelims) exam as these give a fair idea as to how the questions are framed from the respective themes of the syllabus and also indicate the difficulty level.

Answer: Yes, previous years’ papers help the candidates to know the trend and they must go through these papers again and again.

Q.34 Are individual marks secured in various papers or aggregate marks across all papers considered for merit?

Answer: Total marks are considered.

Q.35 How tough is the competition in UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE)?

Answer: The following information can be used to gauge the degree of competition:

• Annual number of vacancies advertised: 1000–1200.

• Over 9,00,000 candidates filled out the application.

• Number of applicants who took the preliminary exam: around 4,50,000–5,000,000.

• The number of applicants who pass the preliminary examination and are qualified to take the main examination is equal to 12 to 13 times the number of CSE openings.

• There are 2 to 212 times as many candidates who make it through the mains as there are openings in the CSE. So, it is safe to assume that CSE is one of the most difficult competitive exams.

Q.36 Will there be any exceptions to the above-mentioned educational requirements?

Answer: In exceptional circumstances, the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate as qualified even if they do not meet any of the aforementioned requirements as long as they have passed an examination held by another institution, the standard of which, in the Commission’s opinion, justifies the candidate’s admission to the examination.

Q.37 I possess professional/technical qualifications. Am I eligible to appear for UPSC CSE?

Answer: Candidates with professional and technical credentials that the government has deemed to be comparable to a professional and technical degree are also allowed to sit for the exam.

Q.38 I have passed MBBS, but have not completed the internship. Can I appear for UPSC CSE Mains?

Answer: Candidates who have passed the required final professional medical examination, such as the M.B.B.S. or another medical examination, but who have not yet finished their internship by the time their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination are submitted, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination if they submit a copy of their certificate from the relevant university or institution with their application. In these situations, the candidates will be required to present their original degrees or a certificate from the relevant competent authority of the university or institution at the time of their interview stating that they have fulfilled all requirements (including finishing the internship) for the award of the degree.

Q.39 Can I clear IAS exam without attending classroom coaching?

Answer: If you are good at self-study, then you can. We have nothing against in-person instruction. Aspirants can save a lot of time and effort by working with reputable institutes and tutors. However, not all coaching schools offer top-notch services, so if you want to join one, do your research beforehand. It should be mentioned that with the development of technology, study materials and advice may now be found online.

Q.40 Should we prepare our own Notes?

Answer: There is nothing better than this. The issue arises, however, when one takes into account the extensive syllabus, which becomes excessive if we include the two optional papers and general studies, which in turn includes a wide range of subjects. There are many sources to consult, or one can choose to make his own notes on subjects that are crucial from the perspective of the exam in areas where one is weak. Otherwise, creating notes for each topic will be an enormous undertaking.

Q.41 Will there be an individual cut-off for two papers in Civil Service Prelims?

Answer: The required percentage of marks to pass Paper 2 is 33%. For Paper 1, the Commission may also set a minimum cut-off score.

Q.42 Will there be negative marks or different marks for Preliminary Questions?

Answer: Except for some questions, where the negative marking will be built-in and take the form of various marks being granted to the most appropriate and not-so-appropriate answers for such questions, there will be negative marking for erroneous answers for all questions.

Q.43 Which stream/subject should I choose for graduation to clear the UPSC exam?

Answer: For the UPSC Mains, you are free to select any elective subject; it need not be the one you studied for graduation. The majority of the questions on the general studies section of the Prelims and Mains exams are about backgrounds in the humanities. However, choosing Humanities as your graduation major is not compulsory nor desirable if your only goal is to pass the UPSC exam. Your area of interest for graduation can be in the humanities, sciences, engineering, literature, or management. Choose whatever track you want to study for three to four years before graduating.

Q.44 Can an average student also compete with the rest?

Answer: An advantage for the average student is that he is aware of his limitations. He is aware that time is of the essence. In actuality, the majority of graduates who succeed in the civil service were fairly average academic students. However, they understood how to add “extra” to “ordinary” to make it “extra-ordinary.”

Q45 Will there be minimum qualifying marks for UPSC Mains Compulsory Papers?

Answer: The Commission may decide to set the minimum passing scores for any or all of the exam’s subjects. Since 2015, the required minimum score for both English and Indian languages have become 25%. 10% is the required minimum for GS1, GS2, GS3, and GS4.

Q.46 Will UPSC deduct marks for bad handwriting?

Answer: If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.

Q.47 Will there be minimum qualifying marks for UPSC Interview?

Answer: The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).

Q.48 Can candidates use calculators in UPSC Civil Services Exam?

Answer: Not for the preliminary UPSC Civil Services Exam. But during the subjective UPSC Mains Exam, applicants will be permitted to utilise Scientific (Non-Programmable type) Calculators. However, programmable type calculators will not be permitted, and using one will be considered using unfair means by the candidates. Calculators may not be borrowed or traded in the examination room. Additionally, applicants are prohibited from using calculators when completing objective-type exams (Test Booklets). Therefore, they shouldn’t bring it into the examination room.

Q.49 Could the civil services questions be answered in the regional languages?

Answer: Yes, aspirants can write answers in any language provided in the eighth schedule of the constitution of India.

Q.50 Preparation for Preliminary and Mains – Separate or Integrated?

Answer: It is actually a cohesive whole that provides a thorough comprehension. The preparation follows the same rules. It is important to comprehend the topic in its entirety. Only then, with a focus on the orientation, could the prerequisite for the Preliminary and Mains be satisfied. Preliminary exams are oriented at a combination of factual knowledge and understanding, with a preference for the former.

Q.51 Is coaching important?

Answer: One of the most commonly asked questions is this one. Over the years, UPSC has altered its schedule frequently to make civil services test preparation available to and feasible for candidates from all backgrounds. Its goal is to counteract the effects of coaching so that all applicants compete on an even playing field. If a candidate decides to enrol in coaching, he should pick the most well-known schools. Numerous coaching centres boast about creating top students in their advertising; however this is frequently untrue. The prospects who are drawn to these institutes ultimately enrol there, spending considerable time, money, and energy.

Q.52 Speaking English during an Interview – How important is it?

Answer: As long as the candidates write all of the papers (both the optional and general studies) in the same language, the UPSC conducts personality tests and interviews in English, Hindi, and all other languages in the 8th schedule, or 22 languages. Additionally, UPSC seeks to identify the greatest minds in the nation who can aid in the advancement of the country through the Civil Services exam. Therefore, the idea that the UPSC favours one language over another is false.The candidates themselves must learn English for their own benefit, though, as they will encounter numerous opportunities throughout their lengthy careers in the civil service where they will need to communicate with a variety of organisations, institutions, seniors, and people. In these circumstances, language should not be a barrier.

Q.53 I have got only one year time duration for preparation. Can I become an IAS in such a short period of time?

Answer: Because the curriculum is so broad and it takes some time to gain a firm grasp of the material, one or two years of serious study are needed to prepare for the IAS Exam. However, with the appropriate plan, better guidance, and persistence, one year can also be sufficient.

Q54 What clauses in the Constitution govern the consultation of Ministries and Departments with the UPSC?

According to Article 320 of the Constitution, among other things, the Commission must be consulted while recruiting for various services and positions with the Government of India and Union Territories.

Q55 When is the Examination Notice issued?

Answer – The government’s notified examination rules are contained in the UPSC examination notices. Around three months prior to the date of the Examination, all 13 Structured Examination Notices are posted on the Commission’s website. The Employment News/Rozgar Samachar also publishes examination notices.

You Can Read Also:

UPSC Civil Services Main Examination – Optional and Compulsory Papers
UPSC Cutoff Marks 2022
Coaching for the Civil Services Exam: Is It Necessary?
Best IAS Coaching in Delhi


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