the UPSC Prelims examination is basically conducted for the purpose of screening only, meaning that the marks that you receive in the Prelims exam will decide your eligibility to appear for the UPSC Mains exam.
Also, your Prelims marks will not be considered in your final order of merit, provided you manage to make it through to the interview round.
The UPSC prelims examination comprises 2 papers, namely the General studies paper and the CSAT paper or the Civil Services Aptitude Test. Both of these papers have objective-type questions.
Paper I ‐ (200 marks):
This GS paper or paper 1 is designed to test your overall knowledge about your surroundings and the world, and also to test how observant you are as a person, by asking questions related to current affairs.
The paper contains 100 objective-type questions. Each right answer would fetch you 2 marks, whereas selecting the wrong answer will cost you 1/3 of those 2 marks, or in other words, 0.66 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer.
The UPSC prelims syllabus for the GS paper consists of topics from a wide range of subjects making it extremely difficult to pinpoint the kind of questions that might be asked in the upcoming paper.
1. Current events of national and international importance.
2. History of India and Indian National Movement.
3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
4. Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
5. Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
6. General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization.
7. General Science.
Paper II‐(200 marks) Duration :
The CSAT or Paper 2 is conducted with the intention to test you on your reasoning, comprehension, and analytical abilities.
This is because, as a Civil Servant it is of paramount importance that you are able to perceive the world and the problems therein with utmost precision and rationality. That pretty much sums up the IAS syllabus for the Prelims exam.
2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
3. Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.
4. Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
5. Decision making and problem solving;
6. General mental ability;
7. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.
Note 1: Paper-II of the Civil Services Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
Note 2: The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of the Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.
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