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Cracking the UPSC Code: Frequently Asked Questions


Cracking the UPSC Code: Frequently Asked Questions

Cracking the UPSC Code: Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are you aspiring to join the ranks of India's most distinguished civil servants and make a lasting impact on the nation's future? If so, you are likely well-aware of the UPSC, the Union Public Service Commission, which serves as the gateway to some of the most coveted and influential positions in the country. But with its reputation for toughness, the UPSC examination can seem like a daunting challenge.

Fear not, for you have embarked on a journey towards unravelling the secrets of "Cracking the UPSC Code." In this comprehensive guide, we will address the most frequently asked questions that have baffled and inspired countless UPSC aspirants like yourself. Whether you are just starting your UPSC preparation or seeking to refine your strategy, this blog is your compass on the path to success.

We will delve deep into the intricacies of the UPSC examination, offering insights, tips, and expert advice to help you navigate this formidable test with confidence and poise. From understanding the exam structure and syllabus to mastering time management and study techniques, we have got you covered.

So, whether you are curious about the eligibility criteria, wondering how to prepare for the interview stage, or seeking guidance on staying motivated during the long and demanding journey, we invite you to explore our collection of frequently asked questions, designed to empower and guide you towards your UPSC dreams.

Join us on this enlightening journey as we decode the UPSC puzzle, demystify its challenges, and equip you with the knowledge and strategies needed to emerge victorious. Your quest to become a civil servant and contribute to the nation's progress starts here. Let us get started on "Cracking the UPSC Code" together!
 

What is the UPSC Exam?

The UPSC exam is an annual competitive exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruiting candidates to various civil services offered by the Indian government. The exam is held in three stages: the preliminary examination, the mains examination, and the interview. Only candidates who have qualified for the preliminary examination are allowed to appear for the mains examination, and only those who clear the mains would be invited for the interview.
 

What are the stages of the UPSC Examination?

The UPSC exam is divided into three stages:

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is the first stage of the UPSC exam, and it is conducted in the month of May or June. The exam consists of two papers, each comprising of objective-type multiple-choice questions. The maximum marks for each paper is 200, and the duration of each exam is 2 hours. The UPSC preliminary examination is considered a screening test, and only those who qualify for the preliminary examination are allowed to appear for the mains examination.

Mains Examination

The mains examination is the second stage of the UPSC exam and consists of nine papers, including one paper of English and one paper of a second language. The other seven papers are of the student’s chosen discipline from a given list of subjects. The total duration of the mains examination is 3 hours per paper, and the maximum marks for each paper range between 250-300. Those who pass the mains examination are invited for the final stage of the examination.

Interview

The interview is the final stage of the UPSC exam and is conducted by the UPSC board. The interview process aims to evaluate the candidate's personality, psychological capacity, and mental aptitude. The interview carries a total of 275 marks, and the candidate's cumulative score in the mains examination and the interview ultimately decides whether they would be selected for the civil services or not
.

What are the eligibility criteria for UPSC?

The following are the eligibility criteria to appear for the UPSC examination:

Age Limit

A candidate must be between 21-32 years old as of 1st August of the year for which they are appearing for the exam. However, there is relaxation of age for different categories:
 

  • For OBC category candidates, the age limit is 35 years.
  • For SC/ST category candidates, the age limit is 37 years.
  • There is no age limit for Physically Handicapped categories
 

Educational Qualification

A candidate must hold a bachelor's degree from a recognized university in any discipline. Final year students can also appear for the exam provided they can submit proof of passing the examination.

 

What are the subjects asked in the UPSC exam?

The UPSC exam consists of two stages: the Preliminary Examination and the Main Examination.
The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers:
 

  • Paper I: General Studies, 200 marks, 2 hours
  • Paper II: CSAT, 100 marks, 2 hours
 

The Main Examination consists of nine papers:

  • Paper I: General Studies I, 250 marks, 3 hours
  • Paper II: General Studies II, 250 marks, 3 hours
  • Paper III: General Studies III, 250 marks, 3 hours
  • Paper IV: General Studies IV, 250 marks, 3 hours
  • Paper V: Optional Subject I, 125 marks, 3 hours
  • Paper VI: Optional Subject II, 125 marks, 3 hours
  • Paper VII: Essay, 250 marks, 3 hours
  • Paper VIII: Language I, 300 marks, 3 hour
  • Paper IX: Language II, 300 marks, 3 hours
 

The candidates are required to choose one of the following optional subjects:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Indian Philosophy
  • Law
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Public Administration
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
 

The most important subjects in the UPSC exam are Indian Polity, Economy, Environment and Ecology, and Current Affairs. These subjects have a higher weightage in the exam and are relatively easier to understand. However, the best subject to choose will vary depending on the individual candidate's interests and strengths. It is important to choose a subject that you are passionate about and that you are confident you can write well on.

 

What is the pattern and marking scheme of the UPSC exam?

The UPSC exam pattern and marking scheme are as follows:

Preliminary Examination

  • Paper I: General Studies, 200 marks, 2 hours
    • There will be 100 questions of 2 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 0.66 marks for every wrong answer.
  • Paper II: CSAT, 100 marks, 2 hours
    • There will be 80 questions of 1.25 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 0.83 marks for every wrong answer.
 

Main Examination
 

  • Paper I: General Studies I, 250 marks, 3 hours
    • There will be 150 questions of 1.66 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 0.83 marks for every wrong answer.
  • Paper II: General Studies II, 250 marks, 3 hours
    • There will be 150 questions of 1.66 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 0.83 marks for every wrong answer.
  • Paper III: General Studies III, 250 marks, 3 hours
    • There will be 150 questions of 1.66 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 0.83 marks for every wrong answer.
  • Paper IV: General Studies IV, 250 marks, 3 hours
    • There will be 150 questions of 1.66 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 0.83 marks for every wrong answer.
  • Paper V: Optional Subject I, 125 marks, 3 hours
    • There will be 60 questions of 2.08 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 1.04 marks for every wrong answer.
  • Paper VI: Optional Subject II, 125 marks, 3 hours
    • There will be 60 questions of 2.08 marks each.
    • There will be negative marking of 1.04 marks for every wrong answer.
  • Paper VII: Essay, 250 marks, 3 hours
    • There will be one essay of 250 words.
    • There will be no negative marking in this paper.
 

The total marks for the Preliminary Examination are 400. The qualifying marks for the Preliminary Examination are different for each category of candidates.
The total marks for the Main Examination are 1750. The qualifying marks for the Main Examination are different for each category of candidates.
The final selection of candidates will be based on their performance in the Main Examination and the Interview.

 

How can one prepare for the UPSC exam?

Preparing for the UPSC exam requires extensive dedication and effort. Here are a few tips that can help you in the preparation process:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the syllabus of the UPSC exam and devise a study plan accordingly.
  • Read newspapers and stay updated with current affairs.
  • Develop a habit of making notes and short notes to revisit regularly.
  • Take coaching from a reputed and experienced coaching institute.
  • Join Online Test series.
  • Refer to NCERT books for conceptual clarity.

 

 
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When is the UPSC exam conducted?


The UPSC examination is usually held in May or June of every year. In case there are any changes in the exam schedule, it is updated on the UPSC website. The admit cards can be downloaded around a month before the exam is held. Candidates must regularly check the official website to stay updated with exam details.

How many attempts are allowed for the UPSC exam?


The number of attempts allowed to a person depends on their category:

  • For General Category candidates, 6 attempts are allowed.
  • For Other Backward Classes (OBCs) candidates, 9 attempts are allowed.
  • For SC/ST candidates, there are no limits on the number of attempts.
  • For Physically Handicapped candidates from General and OBC categories, attempts are allowed up to 9, subject to the other conditions.
 

Conclusion

Clearing the UPSC exam requires extensive preparation and a strong determination to succeed. Candidates can refer to various online resources and coaching institutes to get the right guidance and prepare themselves for the exam holistically. Candidates must work hard and remain focused on achieving their goals to crack the UPSC exam and land a position in the Indian bureaucracy.

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