Mains Strategy

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Mains Exam

The exam has 4 GS papers + 2 optional papers + 1 essay paper. In addition to this, there are 2 language papers which are only qualifying in nature. (a total of 9 papers.)

A candidate’s rank in UPSC Civil Service Exam depends only on the mark scored in Main and Interview. The main exam has 1750 marks while interview has 275 marks.

The written examination (main) will consist of the following nine papers, but only 7 papers will be counted for final merit ranking. For the rest two papers, the candidate should secure minimum marks prescribed by UPSC each year.

Qualifying Papers – Not counted for final ranking:
◾Paper ‐ A – Indian Language – Syllabus. (One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. This paper will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.) 300 Marks.
◾Paper‐ B – English Language – Syllabus . 300 Marks.

Papers to be counted for merit ranking:
◾Paper‐I Essay – Syllabus. 250 Marks.
◾Paper‐II General Studies – I – Syllabus. 250Marks. (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society).
◾Paper‐III General Studies –II – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations).
◾Paper‐IV General Studies –III – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management).
◾Paper‐V General Studies –IV – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude).
◾Paper‐VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 – 250 Marks.
◾Paper‐VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 – 250 Marks.

Strategy and Approach :
◾Consolidate your optional preparation first, Practice essays to score more than the average And keep doing your General Studies side by side .
◾Decide on your optional subjects.
◾Read and understand the pattern on the type of questions asked in previous years on economy , polity , history , science and geography and start preparing accordingly.
◾Start with the newspaper(preferably The Hindu or The Indian Express).
◾In Newspaper, necessarily read News in Front page, Economy page, International affairs page, Science and technology page and Editorials page. Try to avoid political news, micro news and Political parties internal news.
◾After finishing the newspaper try to make note of important news and points on the newspaper for further reading.


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