UPSC CSE (IAS) Exam Pattern 2022 For Prelims, Mains & Interview

UPSC Exam Pattern consists of three stages- Prelims, Mains, and Interview. UPSC Exam, also known as IAS Exam, is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to recruit suitable candidates for IAS, IPS, IFS, and other allied services.

This article details the UPSC Exam Pattern for prelims, mains, and the interview. It is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the UPSC Exam Pattern. It will allow you to effectively manage your time thereby making your UPSC preparation more efficient. It is also important to have a deep understanding of the IAS exam pattern to align your preparation with all the exam needs.

UPSC CSE (IAS) Exam Pattern 2022

Broadly, UPSC conducts the Civil Service Examination in three phases namely:

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Main Examination
  • Personality Test (Interview)

Candidates who qualify for all the rounds are recommended for joining the civil services in India. Each round is an elimination round, so you need to qualify each one in order to appear for the next one. Now, let us discuss the UPSC Exam Pattern 2022 along with the marking scheme for each of the papers in different rounds.

Note: UPSC CSE 2022 notification will be released on 2nd February 2022. The Prelims and Mains Exam are scheduled to be conducted on 5th June and 16th September 2022, respectively.

NOTE: UPSC prelims 2021 has been conducted on 10th Oct 2021 and Main Exam is scheduled to be conducted from 7th to 16th January 2022.

UPSC Exam Pattern For IAS Preliminary Examination

UPSC CSE Prelims consists of two papers namely General Studies I and CSAT (General Studies Paper-II). While CSAT is qualifying in nature, the marks obtained in the General Studies paper determine your selection for UPSC Mains. It means your score in the General Studies Paper will be considered for the Prelims cutoff.

Additionally, there is negative marking for the wrong answers. 1/3rd of the marks allotted for the question would be deducted as a penalty for marking the wrong answer. However, if you do not attempt the question, there will be no deductions. Hence, you should take only calculated risk when it comes to marking doubtful questions.

Now, let us look at the UPSC Exam pattern for Prelims 2022:

Name of the PaperNo of QuestionsMarks AllottedTime AllottedNature of Exam
Paper I: General Studies (Objective-type)1002002 hoursThe score will be considered for Cut-off
Paper-II: General Studies-II (CSAT) (Objective-Type)802002 hoursQualifying Nature- Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify CSAT.

In reference to the UPSC Exam Pattern, the following points should be kept in mind while appearing for IAS Exam 2022:

  • It is mandatory for all the candidates to appear for both the exams viz General Studies and CSAT to qualify for the Mains.
  • The score obtained in the Prelims will not be added to the final score. UPSC CSE Prelims 2022 will be just for screening purposes.
  • The question paper of Prelims will be bilingual. It will have questions written both in Hindi and English Language.
  • There is a negative marking of 1/3rd for every incorrect answer in both the papers.

UPSC Exam Pattern 2022 For IAS Main Examination

The UPSC Exam Pattern for the Mains Exam is tabulated below. The IAS Mains Exam consists of two types of papers viz qualifying and merit-ranking. Paper A and Paper B namely the Language paper and English paper will be qualifying in nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be added to marks that may determine your rank. All the other papers will be evaluated for merit purposes.

PaperSubjectDurationTotal marksTime AllottedNature of paperType of Paper
Paper ACompulsory Indian language3 hours3003 hoursQualifyingDescriptive
Paper BEnglish3 hours3003 hoursQualifyingDescriptive
Paper IEssay3 hours2503 hoursMeritDescriptive
Paper-IIGeneral Studies I3 hours2503 hoursMeritDescriptive
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 hours2503 hoursMeritDescriptive
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 hours2503 hoursMeritDescriptive
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 hours2503 hoursMeritDescriptive
Paper VIOptional I3 hours2503 hoursMeritDescriptive
Paper VIIOptional II3 hours2503 hoursMeritDescriptive

The following points should be kept in mind while preparing for UPSC CSE Mains 2022:

  • Except for language papers, Paper A and Paper B, scores in all the other papers will determine your rank.
  • Hence, your score will be out of a total of 1750 marks.
  • It is mandatory to score at least 25% in each paper to be evaluated during the final selection.
  • Candidates will be required to write the answers in the answer sheets provided by the UPSC. No extra sheets will be provided.

General Studies Paper

The subjects which are covered in different General Studies Paper in the Mains Exam are mentioned as under:

General Studies IIndian Heritage and Culture, History n Geography, Society
General Studies IIGovernance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, International Relations
General Studies IIITechnology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
General Studies IVEthics, Aptitude, Integrity

List of Optional Subjects for UPSC Mains

Here’s the list of optional subjects that can be opted for UPSC Mains:

AgricultureAnimal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceAnthropologyBotanyChemistry
Civil EngineeringCommerce and AccountancyEconomicsElectrical EngineeringGeography
Mechanical EngineeringMedical SciencePhilosophyPhysicsPolitical Science and International Relations
PsychologyPublic AdministrationSociologyStatisticsZoology

The options for literature subjects are:


IAS Exam Pattern 2022 | UPSC Interview Process

The interview process is the last and final stage of the selection process of the UPSC Exam Pattern. The interview consists of 275 marks which makes the grand total of maximum marks 2025. Some of the qualities that the board assess in a candidate are:

  • Mental acuity
  • Critical thinking
  • Analytical thinking
  • Risk assessment skills
  • Crisis management skills
  • Ability to become a leader
  • Intellectual and moral integrity

This was a brief overview of the UPSC Exam Pattern 2022. Keep following our articles to apprise yourself with the latest information about the exam. MYUPSC offers you detailed courses for both prelims and mains to help you get through this exam.

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