Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the current pattern of the Civil Services Examination?

Civil Services Examination is a 3-stage examination held every year.

Stage 1 – Preliminary Test

Stage 2 – Main Exam

Stage 3 – Personality Test / Interview


What is the Preliminary Test?

Preliminary Test – consists of objective questions with penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers.

Paper 1 – General Studies (200 marks) 2 hours

Paper 2 – CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) (200 marks) 2 hours (This will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%)

There is a cut-off in the Preliminary Test which varies every year and is decided by the UPSC.


What is the Main Examination?

The Main Exam (Subjective papers of 2000 marks) consists of 9 papers which are usually held from early november for around 5-7 days. The current pattern of Main examination is as follows:-

General Studies

Paper 1 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 2 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 3 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 4 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Optional Subject 1

Paper 1 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Paper 2 – 250 marks (3 hours)

Essay – 250 marks (3 hours)

English Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks not included in Main Exam)

Indian Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks not included in Main Exam)

Both the papers of either General Studies or Optional subject are held on the same day.


What is the Interview or Personality Test stage?

Students who qualify for Interview are called by the UPSC in March or April. The Interviews usually start 2 weeks after the Main Exam results are announced. The duration of Interviews is around 60 days.


When is the Final result declared?

This is computed on the basis of the total marks scored by candidates in Main Examination (1750) and Personality Test or Interview (275). The final result is declared in April or May.
Final Ranking and Service allocation is based on the combined marks scored in Main Examination (1750) and Interview (275) and on the preferences given by the candidates at the time of filling up of the Main Examination application form.


What is the eligibility to appear for this Examination?

Students must be degree holders or graduates (degree recognized by University Grants Commission) to appear for this Examination. Indian students holding a foreign degree need to ensure that their degree is accredited or recognized by UGC.


When does the UPSC advertise about the Examination?

UPSC publishes the advertisement for holding the Civil Services Examination every year in the month of May for the Preliminary Test to be held in August, of that year. Applications are invited by UPSC until the stipulated date of that year more specifically mentioned in the year’s advertisement.


What is the number of maximum attempts for different categories?

General category and OBC (creamy layer) category have a maximum of 6 attempts.

OBC (non creamy layer) have a maximum of 9 attempts.

For Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe category candidates there is no limit on the number of attempts till they attain the age of 37 years.

Students belonging to OBC/SC/ST can give the first 4 attempts as General category candidates (if they so desire) and thereafter they can avail the relaxation in the number of attempts by availing the category benefits.


What is the minimum and maximum age required to appear in the exam?

Candidates belonging to General category and OBC (creamy layer) must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 32 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.

Candidates belonging to OBC (non creamy layer) category must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 35 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.

Candidates belonging to SC category must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 37 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.

Candidates belonging to ST category must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of the year of the Exam but must not have attained the age of 37 on 1st August of the year of the Exam.


What is the competition level in UPSC Civil Services Examination?

Every year, for the 1st stage (Preliminary Test), the number of students aspiring for the UPSC Civil Services can up to more than 600,000 who fill the form and the people appearing in the preliminary exam is about 450,000. Out of the 4.5 lakh candidates appearing in the Preliminary Examination, the number of candidates qualifying is dependent on the number of vacancies in the Civil Services advertised that year. To give an example, if the advertisement is for 1100 vacancies, then about 13,200 candidates would be called (qualified) by the UPSC to appear in the Main exam & the number of candidates who will qualify the Main examination to appear in the Interview would be about 3300.


What are the optional subjects which students can choose?

Students have to choose any one optional subject from a list of the following optional subjects. Students can also opt for literature subject as an optional, if they so desire.

Optional subjects (26) offered by UPSC

Agriculture, Animal H & Vet Sc, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engg, Commerce & Acc, Economics, Electrical Engg, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engg, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Pol Sc & IR, Psychology, Public Admin, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology

Literature of any one of the following languages (30) is also offered as an optional subject:-

Arabic, Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Chinese, Dogri, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu,Urdu


How does Jokta Academy help me in preparing for the Examination?

For preparation it is ideal to do Main Examination preparation  before the preparation of Preliminary Examination. Ideally the Optional Subject preparation has to be done before the preparation of Preliminary Examination. The primary reason being lack of time between Preliminary Exam and Main Exam (which is around 4 months before Main exam and only around 2 and half months before declaration of Preliminary Examination result). The time of (4 months or 2 and half months) is insufficient for any preparation from ground-up for both the GS as well as Optional subject. The available time is only sufficient for revision of GS and Optional subject and appearing in mock tests in GS and the Optional subject.

We advise students to prepare General Studies (Preliminary+ Main) simultaneously and choose to study either CSAT or Optional Subject simultaneously along with their 9-12 month course in General Studies.


Which subjects are offered at Jokta Academy?

Optional Subjects offered at Jokta IAS/HAS Academy are Public Administration and Political Science.