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IAS 2016 Exam Pattern

IAS Exam Pattern comprises of the structure and question type of each stage of the exam. IAS is a three tier exam i.e. Prelims, Mains and Interview. While IAS Prelims is an objective type paper, the Mains stage is conventional type. IAS Exam is an offline mode exam with question paper in both English and Hindi.

IAS Prelims has two papers i.e. Paper I and Paper II which are scheduled in offline mode in the month of May 2017. IAS Question Paper for Prelims comprises 200 questions in each paper too be solved in 2 hours. The total marks of both the paper is 400.

IAS Mains Exam Pattern comprises 7 Papers that include 5 compulsory subjects and 2 optional language papers. The time duration of each paper is 3 hours. The total marks of IAS Mains Paper is 2025. The mode of IAS Mains available is English & Hindi. 

IAS consists of three different stages. First stage i.e. IAS Preliminary Examination will be conducted in the month of May, 2017. Second stage of IAS is the Mains stage. It will be held in the month of October/November, 2017. After the candidate clears mains examination selected candidates will be called for Interview and Final Selection in the month of April/May, 2018.

Read More IAS Syllabus

IAS Exam Pattern for Prelims

IAS is conducted in two successive stages after which interview and final selection of candidates is done. The first stage of IAS 2017 is the Prelims, which will be conducted in the month of May 2017.

Candidates who qualify the UPSC Prelims proceed to the next stage i.e. IAS Mains Exam 2017. IAS Prelims is a pen and paper based test conducted in two sessions i.e. Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (Civil Services Aptitude Test) on the same day at the allotted IAS Test center. IAS Question Paper has questions in both Hindi and English with 200 questions in each paper.

Following table elaborates the pattern of Preliminary Examination 2017 ascertained by UPSC:

Duration of examination2 hours or 120 minutes (extra time of 20 minutes for blind candidates) for each paper.
Number of QuestionsPaper I- 200 questions, Paper II- 200 questions
Total Marks400 Marks
Types of QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions
MarksPaper I- 200 marks, Paper II- 200 marks
Negative marking1/3rd of the marks allotted to the question
Mode of ExaminationHindi and English

IAS Syllabus for Prelims

  • IAS Prelims is evaluated on the basis of two sections of the examination- Paper I and Paper II.
  • Both the papers carry 200 marks each.
  • IAS Question Paper has to be answered by choosing one of the correct answer from the four available options.

It is necessary for the candidate to score well in both the papers to qualify for the further stages of the IAS Selection Process. For IAS Prelims, candidate must go through the following topics:

Paper I

Paper I tests the knowledge about the current affairs, general studies and events across the world. The table below gives the important topics from which the IAS Question Paper for Paper I is prepared:

Current events of national and international importanceHistory of India and Indian National Movement
Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the WorldIndian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, PovertyInclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate changeGeneral Science

Paper II

IAS Question paper for Paper II includes questions which test the aptitude skills of the candidate. The topics that must be studied to qualify Paper II are tabulated below:

ComprehensionInterpersonal skills including communication skills
Logical reasoning and analytical abilityDecision making and problem solving
General mental abilityBasic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level)
Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc., Class X level)English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level)

IAS Exam Pattern for Mains

  • IAS Mains consists of 7 papers which will be considered for calculation of marks and merit of the candidate.
  • It is a subjective type written examination with two parts.
  • The total marks of all the papers is 2025 marks.
  • The written test for IAS Mains holds a weightage of 1750 marks and the personality test is of 275 marks.
  • IAS Questions paper for Mains includes different number of questions in each paper in both English and Hindi.

Following table will help the candidate to understand the pattern which will be followed by IAS for Mains Exam 2017:

Duration3 hours (each paper)
Total Marks2025 marks
Types of QuestionsConventional essay type questions
Marks250 marks each for Paper I- Paper VII, 275 Marks for Personality Test
Language used in question papersHindi and English

Candidates must keep in mind the following points while sitting for UPSC Mains:

  • Paper A and Paper B (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.
  • For candidates belonging to the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, it is not necessary to give Paper A.
  • For the Language medium/ literature of languages, the scripts to be used by the candidates will be as under:
GujaratiGujaratiSindhiDevnagari or Arabic
MarathiDevanagariSanthaliDevanagari or Olchiki

Read More IAS Exam Preparation Tips

IAS Syllabus for Mains

Those candidates who qualify the preliminary examinations of IAS are eligible for Mains exam. The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates.

Following are the topics for Paper I to Paper VII of IAS Main examination 2017:

  • 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 and Paper VII- Candidate can select any of the following subjects as optional subject- paper I and Optional subject – paper II:
AgricultureElectrical EngineeringMedical Science
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceGeographyPhilosophy
BotanyHistoryPolitical Science and International Relations
Civil EngineeringManagementPublic Administration
Commerce and AccountancyMathematicsSociology
EconomicsMechanical EngineeringStatistics

IAS Interview 2017

  • IAS Interview is generally conducted to assess candidate’s communication skills and efficiency to be a part of the civil services.
  • The board that interviews the candidate consists of some competent and unbiased judges who evaluate candidate’s intellectual qualities, social traits and awareness with the current happenings and 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.
  • It is very important to note that candidate selected for interview must possess intense knowledge of his/her subject field. Though technical skills are already evaluated in the written examination but it should definitely reflect in his career record and his personality as well. The conversation between board members and the candidate will determine the final selection.


IAS Exam 2017 Instructions

Candidates who wish to appear for IAS Exam must keep themselves updated with the instructions pertaining to both IAS Prelims and IAS Mains. Here are some instructions for the candidates appearing for IAS 2017 examination:

  • Candidate will have to attempt and write the examination paper by himself/herself. No help will be allowed in any circumstances. Scribe can be allowed for the blind candidate with an added time of thirty minutes for each paper.
  • The criteria that determines percentage of visual impairments is as follows:
CategoryBetter eyeWorse eyePercentage
Category O6/9-6/186/24- 6/3620%
Category I6/18-6/366/60- nil40%
Category II6/60—4/60 or field of vision 10—20°3/60- nil75%
Category III3/60—1/60 or field of vision 10°F.C. at 1 ft. to nil100%
Category IVF.C. at 1 ft. to nil field of vision 100°F.C. at 1 ft. to nil Field vision 100°100%
One eyed person6/6F.C at 1 ft. to nil30%
  • Blind candidate must produce a certificate from a medical board constituted by central or state government to avail concession admissible to blind candidates.
  • An extra time of twenty minutes per hour shall be permitted for the candidates with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy in main examinations.
  • The concession admissible to blind candidates shall not be admissible to those suffering from Myopia.
  • Qualifying marks will be ascertained by the Union Public Services Commission.
  • If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made from the total marks that he/she scores.
  • Candidates should use only International form of Indian numerals (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 etc.) while answering question papers.
  • Candidate can use Scientific (Non-Programmable type) calculator in essay type IAS examination.
  • Candidate must refrain from getting into any activity such as loaning or exchanging items in the examination hall or using unfair means.

IAS Exam OMR Sheet 2017

OMR sheet is provided to the candidate to mark the correct answer in case of Multiple Choice Questions. OMR Sheet is mechanically evaluated and if the candidate fails to mark the answer option correctly, it will not be evaluated by the computer. Candidate must use Black ball pen to mark the answers and fill in all the particulars in OMR sheet.

Here are the list of particulars that must be filled in OMR Sheet

  • Centre- Candidate must be familiar to the centre of his/her examination. For example, if candidate’s center is Delhi, then candidate must write it with black ball pen either in English or Hindi language.
  • Subject- Candidate must write the subject name along with the Test Booklet Series which is indicated in the right hand side at the top of the Test Booklet in alphabets such as A, B, C and D.
  • Subject Code- From the time-table candidate must look for the subject code and fill it in the OMR Sheet.
  • Roll Number- Candidate will fill his/her roll number mentioned in the e-admission certificate with the help of Black ball pen.

Candidate will be required to mark all the particulars in the OMR sheet and encircle the subject code and roll number from the circle options. Candidate must completely blacken the circle and mark correct information on the OMR sheet.

How to mark answers in OMR Sheet?

When answering through OMR Sheets, candidates will not be required to write the answers. The candidate will be provided with the choices out of which he/she will darken the appropriate circle and mark the correct answer using black ball pen. The IAS Question Paper will be given in the form of Test Booklet. Candidate will look for the answer from this booklet and mark the correct option in the OMR Sheet.

Candidate will need to mark one option only, marking multiple options will be considered as a wrong answer. If candidate assumes the answer to be more than one option, he/she must mark the best answer that he/she considers correct.



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