UPSC Exam Pattern 2020

While preparing for UPSC 2020 exam, a candidate must be well versed with the UPSC Exam Pattern 2020. A prior knowledge of the exam pattern will give an edge to the aspirant while he/she is preparing for the same. Before we start discussing the detailed pattern for UPSC 2020 Exam , let us see the phases in which the Exam for UPSC IAS is conducted.

UPSC 2020 will be conducted in three different stages:

  • Preliminary Exam
  • Mains Exam
  • Interview Process

Candidates who successfully clears all the three round will be granted the offer letter by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Let’s discuss in detail the exam pattern for UPSC 2020 Exam

UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 for Prelims

The Prelims Exam for UPSC Exam 2019 consists of GS (General Studies) & CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test). All Candidates appearing in the Preliminary Test Must qualify the cut-off for Preliminary Exam of UPSC Exam 2020. Let’s have a look at the Exam Pattern for Exam Pattern for UPSC Exam 2019.

Name of Paper No. of QuestionsTotal MarksDurationNature of Paper
Paper I: General Studies1002002 hoursConsidered for cut off
Paper II: General Studies802002 hoursQualifying Nature

Negative Marking: There is negative marking associated with questions asked in UPSC Exam 2020. 1/3rd of total allotted marks of a particular question will be deducted if the question is attempted wrong.

Important Points to Keep in Mind

  • All Questions asked in UPSC Prelims Exam 2020 will be of objective nature, i.e. MCQs of Multiple Choice Questions will be asked in the Preliminary Exam.
  • The CSAT Paper will be of Qualifying nature and it is mandatory for all candidates to score a minimum of 33% in the paper to qualify the Preliminary round.
  • Each Question of General Studies (Paper I) consists of 2 marks. Similarly, every question asked in General Studies (Paper II) carries 2.5 marks.
  • Visually Impaired Candidates will be given an additional time of 20 minutes (Each Paper) to complete the Preliminary exam.
  • The Question Paper will be bilingual, i.e. asked in both English & Hindi
  • It is mandatory for all aspirants to appear in both the papers of Prelims to qualify for the Mains Exam
  • The score of Preliminary Exam is just for screening purpose, thus the score of this exam will not be considered in the final evaluation of the candidates when final result is drawn after the interview process has been conducted.
Prelims Exam Mode Offline
Prelims Exam Date2nd June 2019
Number of Papers AskedPaper I,Paper II
Total MarksPaper I: 200
Paper II:200
Total Marks: 400
No. of QuestionsPaper I: 100
Paper II: 80
Total No. of Questions: 180
Paper TypeObjective MCQ Type
Exam Duration2 hours for each paper [additional 20 mins for visually impaired candidates]
Language of PaperBilingual (Both English & Hindi)

UPSC Exam Pattern 2020 for Mains

The Mains Exam of UPSC Exam 2020 will have two types of papers: One will be of qualifying nature and the other will be of merit purpose. The first paper will constitute of two language exams, one in English and the other will be of candidates’ choice. The second paper will have 9 papers in total, out of which, 7 will be merit based papers and 2 will be qualifying type paper.

Paper A
PaperSubjectTotal MarksDuration
One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution)3003 hours
Paper BEnglish3003 hours
Paper IEssay2503 hours
Paper IIGeneral Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)2503 hours
Paper III General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)2503 hours
Paper IVGeneral Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)2503 hours
Paper VGeneral Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)2503 hours
Paper VIGeneral Studies -IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)2503 hours
Paper VIIOptional Subject - Paper 12503 hours
Paper VIIIOptional Subject - Paper 22503 hours

Important Points to Keep in Mind

  • All the papers are of merit nature except for the language papers A & B
  • Paper A & B are of qualifying nature
  • All the Papers are descriptive answer type paper
  • Candidates need to score a minimum of 25% marks in all paper I to VII to be given weightage in the Mains Exam
  • Paper A is not compulsory for candidates from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim as well as candidates with hearing impairment provided they can prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their concerned board or university
  • The Indian Language paper covers any of the languages included in the 8th Schedule of the constitution
  • All Papers will be bilingual, i.e. asked in both English & Hindi except for the language papers

Click to check UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus

UPSC 2020 Interview Process

All candidates are called for the final Interview Process/Personality Test that is counted as the part of Mains Exam for merit. This is the final stage of the Recruitment Process of UPSC 2020 Exam. A board of recruiters sit together and ask candidate questions related to his/her field of interest and his/her past experience to check the compatibility for the selected post offered through UPSC 2020 Exam. Some of the qualities that the board looks for are:

  • mental alertness
  • critical powers of assimilation
  • clear and logical exposition
  • balance of judgement
  • variety and depth of interest
  • ability for social cohesion and leadership
  • intellectual and moral integrity etc.

The maximum marks allotted for the interview stage is 275. This means that the total marks for the merit list consideration is 2025.



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