The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is considered to be the mother of all written examinations. It is a curriculum heavy examination especially at the Main exam stage. A candidate, therefore, has to prepare first for the Main Exam and then for the Prelim. This is so because, if one starts his preparation for the Main exam after the having written the Prelim exam, he will have just four months (August to November) to prepare the Optional subject, Essay and General Studies, which is almost impossible to achieve. The optional subject is of post graduation level and usually it will be totally a new subject.

How to prepare for the CSE?
Finally ,there is no fixed rule of game.it vary from student to student.it depends on calibre,diligence, and positive & confident mindset with which one start the preparation.there are examples of candidates who qualified in least time(exceptional),there are many who even follow the time table religiously and not qualified.so start preparing when ever you decide to take a chance in civil services with all your ENERGY.it is your self motivation that decide your outcome in exam.

IAS/ Civil services exam Pattern


What is the current pattern of the Civil Services Examination?
Stage 1 – Preliminary Test
Stage 2 – Main Exam
Stage 3 – Personality Test / Interview.

What is the Preliminary Test?
Paper 1 – General Studies/ (200 marks) -2 hours
Paper 2 – CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test)/ (200 marks) -2 hours


The competitive examination comprises two successive stages:

i. Civil Services (Preliminary) Examinations (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and

ii. Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts.

2. The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in subsection (A) of Section-II.

This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary 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 ad mitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts.

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.

3. Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for interview for a Personality Test . Marks obtained in the papers will be counted for ranking. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled.

Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and Posts. Section-II Scheme and subjects for the Preliminary and Main Examinations A.

Preliminary Examination The Examination shall comprise two co mpulsory papers of 200 marks each.

NOTE (i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions). (ii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi an d English. However, questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level will be tested through passages from English Language only without providing Hindi tr anslation thereof in the question paper. (iii) Details of the syllabi are indicated in Part A of Section III. (iv) Each paper will be of two hours duration. Blind candidates will however; be allowed an extra time of twenty minutes at each paper. B. Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Paper-I Essay -250 Marks
Paper-II General Studies-I 250 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
Paper-III General Studies -II 250 Marks (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Paper-IV General Studies -III 250 Marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
Paper-V General Studies -IV … 250 Marks (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Paper-VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 …250 Marks Paper-VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250 Marks
Sub Total (Written test)……….. 1750 Marks
Personality Test ………..275 Marks.
Grand Total ………………………2075 Marks

{Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongs t the list of subjects given in para 2 below (Group 1). However, a candidate can opt for the litera tures of a language, indicated in Group-2 below para 2, as an optional subject, only if the candidate has graduated in the literature of that particular language as the main subject}. NOTE: i. Marks obtained by the candidates for all papers (Paper I-VII) will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination .

ii. 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 Note : For Santhali language, question paper will be pr inted in Devanagari script; but candidates will be free to answer either in Devanagari script or in Olchiki.

2. List of optional subjects for Main Examination:

Group-1 (i) Agriculture (ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science(iii) Anthropology (iv) Botany (v) Chemistry (vi) Civil Engineering (vii) Commerce and Accountancy (viii) Economics (ix) Electrical Engineering (x) Geography (xi) Geology (xii) History (xiii) Law (xiv) Management (xv) Mathematics (xvi) Mechanical Engineering (xvii) Medical Science (xviii) Philosophy (xix) Physics (xx) Political Science and International Relations (xxi) Psychology (xxii) PublicAdministration (xxiii) Sociology (xxiv) Statistics (xxv) Zoology

Group-2 Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi , Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English. NOTE: i. The question papers for the examination will be of conventional (essay) type. ii. Each paper will be of three hours duration.

General Studies-Preliminary Examination
The Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.
Paper I – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
• 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- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

Syllabus for 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)
English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

Note 1: Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

Note 2: The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.


The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to an swer them without any specialized study.

The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have r ele v anc e for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio- economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers. The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree. Syllabi of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination are given as follows:-

PAPER-I Essay:
Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of th e essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression. English Comprehension & English Precis will be to te st the English language Comprehension and English précis writing skills (at 10th standard level).

PAPER-II General Studies- I : Indian Heritage and Culture, History a nd Geography of the World and Society.

 Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times

. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

 The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

 Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

 History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

 Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

 Effects of globalization on Indian society.Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

 Salient features of world’s physical geography.Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub- continent); factors responsible for the location of prim ary, secondary, and tertia ry sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

 Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their lo cation- changes in critical geographical features (including water- bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

PAPER-III General Studies- II : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

 Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evol ution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.  Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

 Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.  Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

 Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.  Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

 Salient features of the Repr esentation of People’s Act.

 Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

 Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, ins titutional and other stakeholders

 Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of th e population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

 Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizen s charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.  Role of civil services in a democracy.

 India and its neighborhood- relations.

 Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

PAPER-IV General Studies-III : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.  Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

 Government Budgeting.  Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

 Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.  Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

 Land reforms in India.

 Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

 Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Ro ads, Airports, Railways etc.

 Investment models.

 Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

 Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technol ogy, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment  Disaster and disaster management.

 Linkages between development and spread of extremism.  Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.  Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

 Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism  Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

PAPER-V General Studies- IV : Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered.

 Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determ inants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great lead ers, reformers and ad ministrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

 Attitude: content, structure, function; its influen ce and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

 Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker- sections.  Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

 Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

 Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethi cal governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in internati onal relations and funding; corporate governance.

 Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

 Case Studies on above issues.

PAPER-VI & PAPER VII Optional Subject Papers I & II

Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given in para 2 (Group 1 ). However, if a candidate has graduated in any of th e literatures of languages indicated in Group-2 , with the literature as the main subject, then the candidate can also opt for that particular literature subject as an optional subject


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