UPSC Notification 2020: Exam Dates & Pattern

The UPSC notification will soon be released for the upcoming Civil Service Examination at their official website. Before applying for the IAS Exams, commonly known as the Civil Service Examination, every aspirant should go through the IAS syllabus and its exam pattern in detail.

UPSC Notification includes the exam date, centres, eligibility criteria and the pattern of the examination.

The IAS exam is conducted by UPSC every year and includes 3 stages:

1.    UPSC Prelims

2.    UPSC Mains

3.    Personality Test

Important Dates For Upcoming IAS Exam

The Commission has released the exam dates on their official website.  According to the official UPSC calendar, Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2020 will be conducted on May 31, 2020 (Sunday). The Main Exam 2020 will start from September 18, 2020.

The UPSC notification for the Civil Service Examination 2020 is expected to be released on 12th February 2020, as mentioned in the UPSC calendar.

IAS Exam Pattern

There have not been any changes in the IAS exam pattern in recent years.

There are 3 stages of the examination:

  1. Stage I: Prelims
  2. Stage II: Mains
  3. Stage III: Personal interview/personality test

IAS Prelims is of objective type and consist of two papers:

●     Paper- I: General Studies

●     Paper-II: Civil Service Aptitude Test

Each paper is of 200 marks with a time span of 2 hours each. There is negative marking and for each incorrect answer, 1/3rd (0.66) of the allotted marks of that question will be deducted.

IAS Mains is a written test and consists of 9 papers. To know about the nature and marks of the papers, refer to the table below:

Nature of the paper
Qualifying papersPaper A 300 marks

Paper B 300 marks
Merit papersPaper 1 300 marks

Paper 2
250 marks

Paper 3 250 marks
Paper 4 250 marks

Paper 5 250 marks
Paper 6 250 marks

Paper 7 250 marks

IAS Prelims Syllabus

 The questions in the IAS prelims are of the objective type or MCQs. The GS Paper-II is of qualifying nature and a minimum of 33 percent marks is required in this paper to qualify for the Mains.

The detailed IAS syllabus for the Prelims is listed below:

General Studies (Paper 1)Civil Service Aptitude Test (Paper 2)
Current events of national and international importanceComprehension
History of India and Indian National MovementLogical reasoning and analytical ability
Indian Polity and Governance Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, and Rights IssuesDecision-making and problem-solving
Economic and Social Development‐Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, and General issues on Environmental ecologyGeneral mental ability
General ScienceBasic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.)
Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World 
Biodiversity and Climate Change 

Candidates are advised to check the UPSC notification regularly for any changes in the exam dates.

IAS Mains Syllabus

Out of the 9 papers in IAS Mains, Paper-A and Paper–B  are qualifying papers, while the rest are considered for the final ranking. To know more about the detailed syllabus and topics refer to the list below:

IAS Mains Papers SubjectsMarks
Time Period
  Qualifying PapersPaper AIndian language (one of the languages to be selected from the languages included in the eight schedules to the Constitution)300 marks 3 hours

Paper B
Compulsory English
300 marks
3 hours
Merit PapersPaper 1Essay250 marks 3 hours

Paper 2

General Studies I (GS I): Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society
250 marks
3 hours

Paper 3

GS II: Governance, Constitution, Policy, Social Justice and International Relations

250 marks
3 hours

Paper 4
GS III: Technology, economic development, biodiversity, environmental security and disaster management
250 marks
3 hours

Paper 5
GS IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
250 marks
3 hours

Paper 6
Optional Paper I
250 marks
3 hours

Paper 7
Optional Paper-II
250 marks
3 hours

Any candidate who clears both UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains as per the eligible cut-off marks qualifies for a personal interview to check the personality traits of the candidates based on general knowledge, logical thinking and situation-based questions.

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