Pattern of Civil Services Exam

Civil Services Examination has 3 Stages:

  1. Prelims
  2. Mains
  3. Interview

The detailed information regarding each stage is discussed under to help the students know what is the pattern, criteria, eligibility and syllabus for Civil Services Exam.





Preliminary exam [Stage 1] consist of two Exams:

  1. a) Paper 1 which is General Studies and it carry 200 marks.
  2. b) Paper 2 which is Aptitude Test commonly known as CSAT and it also carry 200 marks.

Note: Candidates get selected for Mains i.e. Stage 2 when they clear both the paper of stage 1.

Paper 2 [CSAT] in stage 1 is qualifying in nature with a minimum requirement of 33%.

Cutoff is made out from Paper 1 [General Studies] only and on the basis of it candidates are further called for Mains Exam [Stage 2].

Both the papers are objective type and time allotted to complete each exam is 2 Hours.

Candidates with moving disability and cerebral palsy (Brain disorder) will, however, be allowed extra 20 minutes per hour for each paper.

It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of civil service [Prelims] for the purpose of evaluation. Candidate will otherwise be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in any of the one paper [Prelims]. 

Topics to be covered for Paper 1

History- Indian History (Ancient, Medieval and Modern)
Current Affairs- National/ International News.
Geography- Indian and World Geography [Physical, Social and Economic].
Polity- Indian Governance and Constitution.
Economy- Sustainable Development, Social Sector Initiatives etc.
Ecology & Environment- Biodiversity and climatic change.
Science- Physics, Chemistry, Biology [General Science]


Note: Topics for Paper 2 have already been discussed in the above diagram

Mains Examination [Stage 2] consist of 9 papers:

Paper A: This paper is on any one Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. An important note regarding this paper is that for candidates from the following states- Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, Paper A on Indian language is not compulsory.

Paper B: This paper is English and is compulsory for every candidate.

Note: Both the above Paper A and B will be of 300 marks each. Moreover both the Paper A and B are qualifying in nature and will not be counted for ranking the merit.

Paper 1: Essay

Candidates would be given specific topics on which he/she would have to write by arranging their ideas in order and in a concise manner. The essay should not be too long or short. Word limit will be given and candidates have to write their essay in prescribed word limit.

Paper 2:

General Studies I {Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society}.

# Salient aspects of Arts Forms, Literature and Architecture from Ancient to Modern times.

# History of India from about 18th century i.e. Modern History.

# Freedom Struggle and various stages and important contributors/contributions from different part of the world.

# India after Independence.

# Role of Women and women organizations.

# Indian Society and Diversity.

# Effects of Globalization on Indian society.

# Communalism, Regionalism, Secularism and Social Empowerment.

# Features of India and World Geography Physical.

# Distribution of natural resources all over the world.

# Geophysical phenomena such as Earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc. Flora and Fauna and effects of such changes on the environment.


Paper 3:

General Studies II {Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations}

# Indian Constitution evolution, features, amendments, significance, provision and basic structure.

# Functions and Responsibilities of the Union, the States and the issues and challenges belonging to the Federal Structure.

# Separations of powers between the various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.

# Parliament and State Legislature [Structure, Functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these].

# Salient features of Representation of People’s Act.

# Various Regulatory, Statutory and Quasi-Judicial Bodies.

# Structure, Functioning of the Executive, Judiciary, Ministries and Departments of Govt.

# Welfare schemes by Centre and State Govt for the betterment of vulnerable sections of society.

# Role of NGO’s and SHG’s and various other groups and association, institutions and stakeholders in development processes.

# Management of Social Sector relating to Health, Education and Human Resources.

# Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger.

# Role of Civil Services in a Democracy.

# India and its neighborhood Relations.

# Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India and affecting India’s interest.

# Policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interest, Indian Diaspora.

# International institutions and agencies.

Paper 4:

General Studies III {Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Security and Disaster Management}

# Indian economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

# Food processing and related industries in India and their scope.

# Effects of Liberalization on the economy, changes in Industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

# Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano- Technology, Bio- Technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

# Conservation, environmental, pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

# Role of external state and non- state actors in relating challenges to internal security.

# Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

# Internal security challenges, basic of cyber security, money laundering and its prevention.

# Various securities forces and agencies and their mandate.

Paper 5:

General Studies IV {Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude}

# Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions.

# Attitude: Content, Structure, function and its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and belief.

# Aptitude and foundational values for civil services, integrity, impartiality and non- partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker section.

# Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

# Contribution of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

# Public/Civil service values and ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as source of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding corporate governance.

# Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to information, Codes of ethics, Code of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Workers culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of Public funds, challenges of corruption.

# Case studies on above issues.

Paper-VI & Paper VII:

Optional Subject Papers I & II

Any one optional to be chosen

Agriculture Civil Engineering Geology



Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Commerce & Accountancy History Medial Science Public Administration
Anthropology Economics Law Philosophy Sociology
Botany Electrical Engineering Management Physics Statistics
Chemistry Geography Mathematics Political Science & International Relation Zoology


Literature- one of the following Languages

Assamese Bengali Bodo Dogri Gujarati
Maithili Konkani Kashmiri Kannada Hindi
Malayalam Manipuri Marathi Nepali Oriya
Tamil Sindhi Santhali Sanskrit Punjabi
Telugu Urdu English xxxx Xxxx