Prelims Exam FAQ


Q What is the structure of UPSC Civil Service Prelims Exam?

(Prelims Exam)

Prelims exam is objective in nature based on multiple choice questions. There will be two papers – 200 marks each.

Paper 1 – General Studies

Paper 2 – Civil Service Aptitude Test.

(i) Both the question papers will be of objective type (multiple choice questions).
(ii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
(iii) Details of the syllabus will be provided in the Examination Notice and Gazette Notification published by the Government.
(iv) Each paper will be of two hours duration.

For selection to the main exam, only marks of Paper 1 will be counted, provided the candidate has qualified in Paper 2 with 33 percent (i.e. 66 marks).

Q Will there be an individual cut-off for two papers in Civil Service Prelims?

The minimum cut off marks for Paper 2 is 33 percent which is qualifying in nature and the cut off for Paper 2 is decided by the Commission every year.

Q. Is there negative marking at Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Candidates should note that there will be penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Objective Type Question Papers. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. (i) For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty. (ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question. (iii) If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

Q. In Prelims exam, which is the language / medium of question papers?

The papers of both(PRELIMS & MAINS) will be available in 2 languages i.e., Hindi & English

Q. Are subject-wise/ paper-wise marks of each candidate made accessible/ available to him/her for Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination?

No. This is because the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is simply a short-listing (elimination) exercise to select candidates for the Main Examination and as such the scores obtained in this Examination are not communicated to candidates. However, an individual candidate desirous of knowing his/her marks may seek such information from the Commission pursuant to RTI Act 2005.

Q. Can I know the question-wise marks awarded to me for a paper?

In a competitive examination, what is relevant is not the absolute performance of a candidate, but his her relative performance that in fact determines whether the candidate qualifies and, if so, his/her position in the merit list. Accordingly, as already explained above, the evaluation process does not end after initial evaluation by an Examiner. Moderation, wherever applied, is on the total award initially given (the so-called raw marks) and not on question-wise basis.

Therefore, once the evaluation process is complete, neither raw marks nor question-wisemarks subsist. What subsists is the candidates total score in a paper awarded at the end of the evaluation process and this award is normally made available to the candidate in due course (a month or two) on the Commissions website.