Preliminary Exam (Prelims)


Prelims Exam is the first stage of Civil Services Exam

Scheme of Prelims Exam


Paper I (GS)

  • Current Events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian national movement.
  • Indian and World Geography – physical, social, economic geography of India and the world.
  • Indian Polity3 and governance – constitution, political system, panchayat raj, public policy, Rights issues, etc.
  • Economic & Social Development – sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives etc.
  • General issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity and climate change-that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science

Paper II (CSAT)

  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
  • Decision making and problem solving.
  • General mental ability
  • Basic 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).

 Important Points:

  1. The CSAT aptitude test or Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) examination will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to sit for the Civil Services (Mains) exam.
  2. The questions in both Paper-I (GS) and Paper-II (CSAT) will be of multiple choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours.
  3. It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he or she does not appear in both the papers of the (Prelims) exam.

The UPSC Prelims exam is meant to serve as a screening test only. The marks of Paper 1 are alone considered for making the merit list for this exam. Only those candidates who have qualified the Prelims can write the Mains exam. The marks scored in the Prelim exam is not counted in the final tally of the Mains exam or the Interview

IAS Prelims Exam is also known as CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test

  1. The Prelims Exam shall comprise of two Compulsary Papers of 200 Marks each having objective type questions (MCQ)
  2. It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination
  3. Paper- II will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualify marks fixed at 33%. It means UPSC will evaluate Paper- II first. If candidate secures 33% or more marks in Paper- II than only Paper- I will be evaluated
  4. Whether a candidate qualifies Prelims Exam or not will be decided on the basis of marks obtained in Paper- I. Cut off marks is declared every year for prelims Paper- I. Candidates seeking marks above cut off mark are declared qualified and as such are eligible for writing Mains Exam.
  5. To qualify Civil Services Exam, candidates are required to qualify all the three stages (Prelims. Mains and Interview) in one and the same year. It means if a candidate fails at any stage he/she has to start the exam process once again next year from Prelims.

About UPSC

Eligibility Criteria

Mains Written Exam (Mains)

Personality Test (Interview)

UPSC - CSE 2020