All You Need to Know About UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

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As a candidate preparing for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Preliminary Examination, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the exam format. The UPSC examination is administered in three phases: Preliminaries, Mains, and the Personality Test (Interview). The UPSC exam age limit serves as a vital criterion for aspirants, with certain relaxations provided for reserved categories.

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the UPSC Preliminary Exam pattern.

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Table of Contents
What is the UPSC Initial Examination?

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Paper I (General Studies)

Paper II (Civil Services Aptitude Test – CSAT)

How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims?

What is the UPSC Initial Examination?

The Civil Services Examination begins with the UPSC Preliminary Examination. This examination is administered to select candidates for the main examination. Paper I and Paper II are administered on the same day as the Preliminary Examination. The examination is administered once yearly, and the notification is distributed in February. The UPSC Prelims Exam is regarded as one of the most difficult examinations in India, and lakhs of candidates take it annually. The examination is a screening test, and only those who pass the Preliminaries may sit for the Mains examination

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

The UPSC Prelims Syllabus is vast and covers various subjects. The UPSC exam age limit is a crucial factor that aspirants must keep in mind while preparing for the exam. The following is the detailed UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Paper I and Paper-II:

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.
  • Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity & Climate Change – General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

Paper II (Civil Services Aptitude Test – CSAT)

  • Comprehension
  • 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)
  • English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims?

Preparing for the UPSC Prelims Exam requires a strategic approach and dedication. Here are some tips to prepare for the UPSC Prelims Exam:

  • Know the Syllabus: The first step towards preparation is to know the syllabus thoroughly. It will help in focusing on the relevant topics and avoid wasting time on irrelevant topics.
  • Study Material: Choose the right study material to prepare for the exam. There are various sources available in the market like books, online material, coaching classes, etc.
  • Time Management: Managing time is crucial in the preparation process. Create a timetable and follow it strictly. It will help in covering the syllabus and revision.
  • Practice Previous Year Papers: Practicing previous year papers is an effective way to prepare for the exam. It will help in understanding the exam pattern and the type of questions asked in the exam.
  • Revision: Revision is essential in the preparation process. Revise the topics regularly to retain the information and increase accuracy.
  • Mock Tests: Attempting mock tests is an effective way to analyse the preparation level. It will help in identifying the weak areas and improve the performance.
  • Stay Updated: Current affairs play a significant role in the UPSC Prelims Exam. Stay updated with the latest news and events to score well in the exam.

Conclusion

The UPSC Prelims Exam is the first stage of the UPSC Civil Services Examination. It is a screening test conducted to shortlist candidates for the Mains examination. The exam consists of two papers, and the duration of each paper is 2 hours. Paper I tests the aspirant’s knowledge of general studies, while Paper II tests the aspirant’s aptitude and reasoning skills.

Aspirants should prepare for the exam systematically and strategically. They should know the syllabus thoroughly and choose the right study material. Time management, revision, and mock tests are essential in the preparation process. Aspirants should also stay updated with the latest news and events to score well in the exam. Aspirants must familiarize themselves with the IAS Prelims exam pattern to ensure a comprehensive preparation strategy.

The UPSC Prelims Exam is a highly competitive exam, and aspirants need to put in a lot of effort and dedication to clear it. However, with the right approach and guidance, aspirants can achieve success in the exam and fulfil their dream of becoming a civil servant.

FAQs

1. What is the duration of the UPSC Prelims Exam?

Ans. The duration of the UPSC Prelims Exam is 2 hours for each paper.

2. What is the marking scheme for the UPSC Prelims Exam?

Ans. The UPSC Prelims Exam is conducted for 400 marks. Paper I is conducted for 200 marks, and Paper-II is conducted for 200 marks. The marks of Paper II are not counted for the merit list.

3. Is there negative marking in the UPSC Prelims Exam?

Ans. Yes, there is negative marking in the UPSC Prelims Exam. 1/3rd of the marks will be deducted for each wrong answer.

4. What is the qualifying marks for the UPSC Prelims Exam?

Ans. The qualifying marks for the UPSC Prelims Exam is decided by the UPSC every year. Candidates need to score the minimum qualifying marks to appear for the Mains examination.

5. Is there any sectional cut-off in the UPSC Prelims Exam?

Ans. No, there is no sectional cut-off in the UPSC Prelims Exam. Candidates need to clear the overall cut-off to qualify for the Mains examination.

6. Can aspirants clear the UPSC Prelims Exam without coaching?

Ans. Yes, aspirants can clear the UPSC Prelims Exam without coaching. However, coaching can provide guidance and support in the preparation process. Aspirants can opt for coaching classes, online coaching, or self-study, depending on their preferences and requirements.

7. How many attempts are allowed for the UPSC Prelims Exam?

Ans. The number of attempts for the UPSC Prelims Exam is limited. General category candidates can attempt the exam up to 6 times, while OBC candidates can attempt the exam up to 9 times. There are no restrictions on the number of attempts for SC/ST candidates.

 

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