- Paper A: (One of the Indian Languages to be selected from the ones included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution – 300 Marks)
- Paper B: English – 300 Marks
UPSC has announced IAS 2020 Prelims Result, conducted on October 4, at its official website – upsc.gov.in on October 23, 2020. The result is published as a PDF file having the roll numbers of qualified candidates. Download Result PDF. The aspirants, who have qualified the exam, need to submit their Detailed Application Form-I (DAF-I) through online by 11 November 2020 to appear for the IAS Main Exam 2020.
IAS Exam Pattern talks about the distribution of questions, marking schemes, sectional weightage, and duration. The brief for all three stages of IAS are:
Name of the exam
Civil Services Exam- IAS
Union Public Service Commission
Mode of Exam
Number of Stages
Number of papers
Prelims marking scheme
Paper 1: +2 marks
Paper 2: +2.5 marks
Negative marking: One-third of marks allotted to each question
Prelims: 2 hours (Each paper)
Mains: 3 hours (Each paper)
Type of questions
Prelims: Objective type
Mains: Subjective type
Here are the highlights of IAS Exam Pattern for Prelims:
|IAS Exam Pattern for Prelims|
|Number of Papers||2- General Studies and Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)|
|Number of Questions||Paper 1- 100; Paper 2- 80|
|Question Paper Type||Multiple Choice Questions|
|IAS Prelims Total Marks||400|
|Nature of Exam||Qualifying|
|Exam Duration||2 hours each, +20 minutes for blind students|
|Exam Language||English and Hindi|
The aspirants may get negative marks in the IAS Prelims Exam. More specifically, in the case of three incorrect answers, the aspirants will get a deduction of 1 mark. That is, the aspirants will get 1/3 mark deduction for every incorrect answer. On the other hand, there will be no deduction if the candidates will leave blank any of the answers. Read about IAS Preparation Tips
Go through the practice of previous years’ papers of IAS Exam free of cost
Go through the practice of previous years’ papers of IAS Exam free of cost
Merit Exams- Candidates will have to score a minimum percentage in the qualifying exam to qualify for the exam. The question papers are prepared to test the intellectual and interpersonal skills of the candidate. The essay type questions will test the student's understanding of the subject and the concept. The students will be tested on the strength of an Indian Language. There would be two optional papers that the candidates would have to select. Check IAS Interview Preparation tips
The following table will enrich the candidates for the compulsory papers, the marks allotted in which would be added to calculate Merit:
|Paper||Title of the Paper||Marks Allotted|
|Paper 1||Essay writing||250 Marks|
|Paper 2||General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)||250 Marks|
|Paper 3||General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)||250 Marks|
|Paper 4||General Studies –III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||250 Marks|
|Paper 5||General Studies –IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)||250 Marks|
|Paper 6||Optional Subject – Paper 1||250 Marks|
|Paper 7||Optional Subject – Paper 2||250 Marks|
|-||Sub Total in the written Test||1750 Marks|
|-||Personal Interview||275 Marks|
|-||Grand Total ( for merit calculation)||2025 Marks|
Check IAS Exam Cut off
|List of Optional Subjects in IAS Mains|
|Geography||History||Political Science & International Relations|
|Commerce & Accountancy||Economics||Management|
|Public Administration||Sociology||Electrical Engineering|
|Animal Husbandry& Veterinary Science||Botany||Civil Engineering|
Check IAS Selection Procedure
Paper 1 – General Awareness
This paper will test the candidates’ knowledge and passion for the country. The questions will be from various aspects like history, geography, economy, etc pertaining to the country. Some of the important topics include:
Paper 2 – English & General Aptitude
The command of English is mandatory in the field of Public Service and candidates have to score a minimum of 33 % to qualify for the exam. The aptitude of a person determines his ability to solve complex problems, time management, and agility. The important areas to practice for IAS Exam include
Read complete IAS Syllabus
Paper 3 – Essay Writing
Candidates can write the essay on the topic of their choice
Paper 4 – General Studies I
This paper will contain questions relating to ancient India pertaining to History, Geography, Heritage, Culture, etc. Some of the topics include
Paper 5 – General Studies II
This paper will contain questions about the reforms in Indian Governance post-Independence. The topics include
Paper 6 – General Studies III
This paper will contain questions about Modern India and recent Key developments. The topics include
Paper 7 – General Studies IV
This paper will contain questions about Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. The topics include
Paper 8 & 9 – Candidates can select their desired subject from the list of subjects given below
Read Current Affairs (Polity and Governance Part II) before appearing for IAS exam
Here are some of the most recommended books for IAS Preparation. We suggest you make vital use of your time and go through these books.
|Subject||Book Name||Author/ Publisher|
|History||Ancient India||RS Sharma|
|History||Modern India||Satish Chandra Mittal|
|History||History Of Modern India||Bipan Chandra|
|Polity||The Constitution of India||PM Bakshi|
|Ethics||Ethics, Aptitude and Integrity for Civil Services Mail Examination||Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary|
|Economy||Indian Economy||Mishra and Puri|
|Environment||Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure||Rajagopalan|
|Environment||Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains||Khullar|
|Science and Technology||Science and Technology in India||TMH|
|English||High School English Grammar and Composition||Wren and Martin|
|General Studies||IAS Mains Exam General Studies (IAS Mains Exam General Studies)||Ashish Bharti (IPS)|
1. NCERT VI to XII
2. Certificate Physical Geography: G C Leong
3. World Atlas
Check IAS Preparation Tips
Ques. What are the best books for UPSC civil services prelims?
Ans. The following are the best books for UPSC Prelims-
Ques. What is the IAS Exam pattern of the UPSC main?
Ans. There are 2 compulsory language papers, 4 general studies papers, and 2 optional papers in the UPSC Mains. The total marks for all the exams are 1750 and each paper has 3 hours’ time duration. You can check the details of the main exam here.
Ques. Which subjects are compulsory and optional in UPSC?
Ans. English comprehension, regional language papers, and the four general studies papers are all compulsory. You can select a subject of your choice for the optional papers in UPSC. History, geography, public administration, sociology, mechanical engineering, and many other similar subjects are there for you to choose for the optional paper.
Ques. Is mathematics a good optional subject for UPSC?
Ans. Maths is very scoring for UPSC and you do not have to memorize anything. But on the other, it requires lots of practice and has a huge syllabus. You can learn more about mathematics optional and relevant preparation tips here.
Ques. How is geography as an optional for UPSC?
Ans. Geography is a very popular subject and chosen by many aspirants as optional paper. It overlaps to a certain extent with general studies papers too making it a smart choice. However, whether it is the best choice for you depends entirely on your preference and aptitude.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.