Exam Structure


1. The competitive examination comprises three successive stages:

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

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

(iii) Civil Services Interview or Personality Test.

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 sub-section (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 admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination. 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.

Note I:

The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the total qualifying marks as may be determined by the Commission, of the two papers put together.

Note II:

There will be negative marking for incorrect answers (as detailed below) for all questions except some of the questions where the negative marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions.

(i) There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

(ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question.

(iii) If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

3. The Main Examination will consist of written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type in the subjects set out in sub-section (B) of Section II out of which two papers will be of qualifying in nature. Also see Note (ii) under Para I of Section II (B). Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (Paper–I to Paper-VII) and Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking.

4. 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 an interview for a Personality Test, vide sub-section ‘C’ of Section II. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).

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.


Scheme and subjects for the Preliminary and Main Examination


    The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.


(i). Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions).

(ii). The question papers will be set both in Hindi and 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 translation 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 for each paper.


    The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Qualifying Papers:


Qualifying Papers:

Paper- A

(One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from
the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution).
300 Marks

Paper- B

300 Marks
Papers to be counted for merit  

Paper- I

250 Marks

Paper- II

General Studies–I 
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History 
and Geography of the World and Society)

Paper- III

General Studies –II 
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, 
Social Justice and International relations)
250 Marks

Paper- III

General Studies –III 
(Technology, Economic Development,
Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and
Disaster Management)
250 Marks

Paper- IV

General Studies –IV 
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
250 Marks

Paper- V

Optional Subject – Paper 1
250 Marks

Paper- VI

Optional Subject – Paper 2
250 Marks
Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks
Personality Test 275 Marks

Grand Total

2025 Marks



1. The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his/her career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object 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 judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

2. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

3. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their 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 rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.



(i). The papers on Indian Languages and English (Paper A and Paper B) will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

(ii).Evaluation of the papers, namely, ‘Essay’, ‘General Studies’ and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on ‘Essay’, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance of who attain such minimum standard as may be fixed by Commission at their discretion for the qualifying papers on ‘Indian Language’ and ‘English’.

(iii). The paper A on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.

(iv). Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.

(v). For the Language medium/ literature of languages, the scripts to be used by the candidates will be as under:—

1. List of languages


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 Santali language, question paper will be printed 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:



(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) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) 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.


(i). The question papers for the examination will be of conventional (essay) type.

(ii). Each paper will be of three hours duration.

(iii).Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language papers Paper-A and Paper-B, in any of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English.

(iv). Candidates exercising the option to answer Papers in any one of the languages mentioned above may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them. Candidates should, however, note that if they misuse the above rule, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to them and in extreme cases; their script(s) will not be valued for being in an unauthorized medium.

(v). The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.

(vi). The details of the syllabi are set out in Part B of Section III.

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