MAINS STRATEGY

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IAS/IPS/UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam Pattern

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The Civil Services Mains Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers. Syllabi of the papers of general studies included in the scheme of Civil Services Mains Examination are given as follows:-

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Qualifying Papers (Time Duration-3Hours)

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Paper-APaper-B
300 Marks300 Marks
One language paper from list of eight schedule such as Hindi language.English Language

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Paper to be counted for Merit (Time Duration-3Hours)

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S.No.PaperMarks   Topic
1.PAPER-I – Essay: Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic.250The choice of topics for essay writing will be given.
They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly manner, and to write concisely.
Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
2.PAPER-II
General Studies 2nd Paper
250I. Indian Heritage and Culture
II. World History
III. World & Indian Geography
IV. Social Issues
3.PAPER-III
General Studies 1st Paper
250I. Governance
II. Constitution
III. Political System
IV. Social Justice
V. International Relation
4.PAPER-IV
General Studies 3rd Paper
250I. Technology II. Economic Development
III. Biodiversity
IV. Environment
V. Security
5.PAPER-V 
General Studies 4th Paper
250I. Ethics
II. Integrity
III. Administrative Aptitude
6.PAPER-VI
Optional Paper-I
250– 
7.PAPER-VII
Optional Paper-II
250– 

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Written Examination Total Marks= 1750

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STAGE-III

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Personality Test = 275

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Total Marks : 2025

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Now there are 7 + 2 = 9 papers to be answered in the mains examination. All of them are of descriptive type. There are two qualifying papers 1) any modern Indian language 2) English are of 300 marks each. Their marks will not be counted in the mains examination.

The candidate is allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination.

According to the new pattern there are “FOUR” General Studies paper each comprising of 250 Marks with a total of 1000 Marks. The scope of the syllabus of General Studies is of degree level.

There is only “ONE” optional subject to choose from the list of subjects. It comprises of two papers each of 300 marks. So the total of optional paper is 600 marks. Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject “without the conditional of having to do his/her graduation in that language’s literature. The scope of the syllabus of optional paper is higher than the bachelor’s degree but lower than the master’s level.

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