My id is: UPSC CSE- Selection Procedure

UPSC CSE- Selection Procedure

2020-01-22 | 4 minutes

UPSC annually conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE) to select candidates for filling less than 1000 vacancies across different services. CSE is considered as one of the toughest examinations all over India. The competition in CSE is very high as a large number of candidates apply for the limited number of vacancies. Candidates appearing in CSE generally prefer IAS, IFS, IPS and IRS.

The minimum educational qualification for CSE candidates is graduation. Candidates can give CSE between the age of 21 years and 32 years. Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates are given five years relaxation in upper age limit for CSE. OBC candidates are given a relaxation of three years. In CSE, every general category candidate is given six attempts. The limit of a maximum of six attempts does not apply to candidates belonging to SC and ST. Candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes can give a maximum of nine attempts.

There are two stages in the Civil Services Examination (CSE):

(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination [Objective]

The purpose of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is to select candidates for the UPSC Civil Services Mains examination. Marks obtained in Preliminary examination are not considered in final merit. It consists of General Studies Paper-I & Paper-II. Both papers are of Objective type. They carry 400 marks.  There is one third (0.33) negative marking in both the papers. General Studies Paper-II of Preliminary examination is qualifying in nature. Candidates are required to secure 33% marks in this paper. The cut off for General Studies Paper-I of the preliminary examination is fixed by UPSC every year.

(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination [Written and Interview]

Civil Services (Main) Examination consists of a total of nine papers. Out of these, two papers are qualifying in nature and carry 300 marks each. They are of Matriculation or equivalent standard. For the first qualifying paper (Paper-A), candidates are required to choose one Indian language from languages given in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.

The second qualifying paper (Paper-B) is of the English language. Marks in qualifying papers are not counted for merit. In addition to two qualifying papers, Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) also consists of seven different papers.

Out of these seven papers, the first paper is of the essay. It carries 250 marks. There are four papers (Paper-I to Paper-V) of General Studies (GS-I,GS-II, GS-III & GS-IV). Two papers (Paper-VI & Paper-VII) in Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written) belong to the optional subjects chosen by the candidate. Minimum qualifying marks that candidates should obtain in written examination for receiving interview calls are fixed every year by UPSC.


Stage 2 (Main Examination)



Maximum marks

Qualifying Papers


Paper-A (Any one Eighth Schedule language)



Paper-B (English)


Papers Counted for Merit


Paper-I (Essay)



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)



Paper-IV/ General Studies –III

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security

and Disaster Management)



Paper-V/ General Studies -IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)



Paper-VI (Optional Subject - Paper 1)



Paper-VII (Optional Subject - Paper 2)



Maximum marks for Papers Counted in Merit



Personality Test/Interview



Total marks (Written and Interview)



Along with written papers, Civil Services (Main) Examination also consists of an Interview/ Personality Test. The interview carries 275 marks. UPSC has not fixed minimum qualifying marks for interview. The candidates are given a final ranking on the basis of their marks in written examination and interview during Main Examination. After securing final selection in CSE, candidates get services as per their ranking in CSE and preferences in Detailed Application Form (DAF). Candidates successful in CSE join LBSNAA for their training. After completion of training, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) allocates cadres to officers.