AN EXAMINATION PATTERN

The entrance for Civil Services comprises of two successive stages:

  • Preliminary Examination (Written).
  • Paper Subject Duration Max. Marks
    I General Studies 2 hours 200
    II CSAT 2 hours 200
    Total 400
  • Main Examination (Written and Interview)
  • The details follow:

    A. Preliminary Examination

    The Examination shall comprise two compulsory 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 and in 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) Each paper will be of two hours duration. Blind candidates will however, be allowed an extra time of twenty minutes at each paper.
    (iv) The marks obtained in the Preliminary exam will not be counted in the final merit list/rank. Note: There will be penalty (Negative Marking) for wrong answers marked. (i) For each wrong answer one-third (0.33) of 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.
    (iii) If a question is left blank i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.

    B.1. Mains Examination

    Paper Subject Duration Max. Marks
    I One of the Indian Languages chosen from the prescribed list (Qualifying ) 3 hours 300
    II English (Qualifying ) 3 hours 300
    III Essay 3 hours 200
    IV Optional Subject 1 paper I 3 hours 300
    V Optional Subject 1 paper II 3 hours 300
    VI Optional Subject 2 paper I 3 hours 300
    VII Optional Subject 2 paper II 3 hours 300
    VIII General Studies paper 1 3 hours 300
    IX General Studies paper II 3 hours 200
    Total 2000

  • The papers on Indian Languages and English 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.
  • The paper on Indian Languages will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North-Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also for candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim.
  • All the papers will consist of Conventional (essay) Type questions only.
  • All Question Papers, other than language papers, will be set both in Hindi and English.
  • Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks (to qualify for the Interview/Personality test) in any or all the subjects of the examination.
  • Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the language papers viz. Papers I and II above in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution or in English.
  • Candidates exercising the option to answer papers III to IX in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution 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.

    B.2. Interview

  • The interview will carry 300 marks. (with no minimum qualifying marks)
  • The number of candidates called for Interview will be almost twice the number of vacancies.


  • The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board who will have before them a record of his career The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is actually an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical power of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity. 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 arouse the curiosity of well educated youth. 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.