UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2021 (Prelims & Mains) - Subject Wise Paper Pattern
UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2021 - UPSC mentions the UPSC exam pattern in the IAS notification and has released it on its official website - upsc.gov.in. The exam pattern of UPSC IAS 2021 consists of the number of questions asked in the exam, stages of the exam, exam duration and total marks of the UPSC exam. As per the UPSC IAS exam pattern 2021, the exam is conducted in 3 stages - preliminary, mains and personality test/interview. According to the UPSC IAS 2021 exam pattern, the prelims consists of 2 papers that will be MCQ-based, the mains consists of 9 papers that are in descriptive mode. Candidates qualifying each stage of the UPSC CSE 2021 will be eligible to appear in the subsequent stage. The final stage of the CSE exam as per the exam pattern of UPSC IAS 2021, will be the personality test/Interview after which aspirants will be recruited to the vacant posts. Apart from the IAS exam pattern, aspirants must also check the UPSC IAS syllabus 2021 to know about the topics and sections on which the question paper will be based. Check all details related to the UPSC IAS exam pattern 2021 here.
UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2021 (Prelims & Mains) - Overview
Name of exam
Civil Services Exam (UPSC CSE)
Union Public Service Commission
Mode of Exam
(Preliminary - MCQ-based)
(Mains - Descriptive Mode)
(Personality Test - Interview in front of board members)
Number of Stages
Number of papers in UPSC Exam
UPSC Prelims marking scheme
Paper 1: +2 marks
Paper 2: +2.5 marks
Negative marking: One-third of marks allotted to each question
Time Duration of UPSC CSE exam
Prelims: 2 hours (Each paper) total 4 hours
Mains: 3 hours (Each paper) total 27 hours conducted across various days
Type of questions
Prelims: Objective type
Mains: Subjective type
UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2021 for Prelims
The prelims are the first stage of the UPSC IAS selection process. Aspirants who successfully apply for UPSC CSE can appear for the first stage of the exam which is conducted in objective-based mode. Check the highlights of the UPSC CSE prelims exam pattern here.
The UPSC IAS Prelims 2021 exam comprises of two papers - General Studies 1 and General Studies 2 (CSAT - Civil Services Aptitude Test)
Both the GS 1 and GS 2 papers will be multiple-choice questions.
Each question will carry two marks in GS 1 while in GS 2 it will be 2.5 marks.
The prelims stage is qualifying in nature. Aspirants will have to score the minimum qualifying marks.
The marks scored by candidates in the prelims exam will not be considered for final selection.
Below is the UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2021
IAS Prelims Exam Pattern 2021
Number of papers
2 (GS 1 and GS 2)
GS 1 will be based on Indian History, Economics, Indian and World Geography, Science and Technology, Indian Polity, Current Affairs and Environment.
GS 2 will be based on Reasoning, Aptitude and Quantitative
Language of paper
Duration of exam
4 hours (2 hours each)
Number of questions
General studies paper 1: 100
General studies paper 2: 80
400 (200 each)
UPSC IAS Prelims 2021 Marking Scheme
As per the exam pattern of UPSC IAS 2021, each question in the prelims exam GS paper 1 will have 2 marks while in GS paper 2 will carry 2.5 marks.
For each wrong answer, there will be one-third of the marks will be deducted as negative marking.
In case a candidate attempts more than one answer then it will also be considered as negative marking.
There will be no penalty for questions left unattempted.
Candidates will have to score a minimum of 33% to qualify for GS paper 2.
UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2021 for Mains
The mains exam is the second stage of the UPSC recruitment process. Aspirants who qualify for the prelims will be eligible to appear in the mains exam. Check the highlights of UPSC IAS exam pattern 2021 for the mains exam here.
As per the IAS exam pattern, the mains exam comprises 9 papers.
Candidates who score the cut off marks in GS paper 1 and 33% in GS paper 2 in the prelims exam will be called for the mains exam.
As per the exam pattern of UPSC IAS 2021, all questions will be descriptive in nature in the mains exam. Candidates have to score at least 25% on all remaining papers.
All languages covered in the 8th Schedule of the constitution will be considered for the language paper. Candidates can check the UPSC IAS main exam pattern 2021 from the following table -
IAS Main Exam Pattern 2021
Number of papers
Language of paper
Descriptive paper: Candidates can appear for language paper in 22 languages mentioned in schedule 8 of the Indian constitution
Duration of exam
3 hours each
Compulsory Indian language
General Studies I
General Studies II
General Studies III
General Studies IV
Number of questions
Part A and B: 300 each
General studies and optional paper: 250 each
UPSC IAS Main 2021 Marking Scheme
The IAS Mains exam carries a total of 1750 marks.
Each subjective paper in the mains exam carries 300 marks.
Candidates can choose two optional papers in the mains exam.
UPSC IAS Syllabus 2021
UPSC prescribes the syllabus of IAS 2021 and mentions it in the notification. The IAS syllabus consists of the subjects, topics and sections that candidates need to study in order to qualify for the exam. Along with the syllabus, UPSC also mentions the IAS syllabus for the optional subject as well as the language subject. Candidates preparing for the UPSC IAS exam must refer to the official syllabus to plan their preparation strategy.
UPSC IAS Question Papers 2021
UPSC releases the official question papers of IAS on its official website a few days after the exam is conducted. UPSC releases the prelims and mains, both question papers in PDF format. Candidates preparing for the UPSC IAS exam 2021, must go through the previous year question papers to start their preparations. With the help of IAS previous year question papers, candidates will be able to know about the difficulty level of the exam, types of questions asked in the exam and most importantly the variation in questions of the IAS exam.
UPSC IAS Preparation Tips 2021
- IAS aspirants must refer to the official exam pattern, syllabus and question papers to strategise their preparations.
- Download question papers and answer keys and prepare with them.
- Check IAS cut off marks and analyse the cut off trends for the previous years.
- Focus on writing skills as it will be very much beneficial for the mains stage.
- To prepare for current affairs, read newspapers, magazines, refer to official government notices, websites, PIB and other sources.
- Study of government schemes is also mandatory for GS sections.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2021 (Prelims & Mains) - Subject Wise Paper Pattern
Question: What is the exam pattern of UPSC IAS 2021?
The exam pattern can be checked from the official notification as well as this article. The exam pattern consists of the sections, stages, marking scheme of the exam.
Question: Is the UPSC IAS exam difficult?
Yes, it is one of the most difficult exams in India. Aspirants have to study head to toe in order to qualify the exam.
Question: Is there negative marking in the UPSC IAS exam?
Yes there is negative marking in the exam in the preliminary stage.
Question: How many stages are there in the UPSC IAS exam?
There are 3 stages in the exam - Preliminary, Mains and Interview.
Question: How many exams are there in UPSC?
UPSC is India's premier exam conducting authority and conducts a lot of exams like - Civil Services Exam, NDA, CDS, CMS, IES/ISS etc.
Question: What are the 9 papers in UPSC Mains?
The 9 papers in UPSC mains are the descriptive paper our of which 6 are General Science papers, 2 are Optional Papers and 1 is a Language paper.
Question: What is the salary IAS?
The starting in-hand salary of UPSC IAS is Rs. 56100.
Question: Which degree is best for IAS?
The minimum education qualification to apply for IAS is Bachelor's degree, there is no best or worst degree, candidates who have a Bacherlor's in Technology can also qualify while those who have Bachelors in Arts can also qualify.
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Questions related to UPSC Civil Services Exam
in what ways degree of humanities help an IAS officer in his real duty
Yes, Humanities is a basic for UPSE Examination. Having degree in Humanities helps IAS Officers in their real duty. Both in Prelims and Mains General Studies subject is there. Candidates those who have graduated with humanities will certainly have a slight advantage.
Hope this helps you.
All The Best!!
which group best fits for an IAS in his duty.
Student with any degree are eligible to give UPSE exam. Humanities are the basics for IAS exam. The general studies have the maximum weightage for the Prelims and the Mains of civil service exam.
For more information about this go through below mentioned link.
All The Best!!
what type of management degree is best for an Indian to become an IAS
To become an IAS, you will have to appear for UPSC examination. Here are the minimum educational qualifications that are required for the same:
- You must have completed your graduation in any discipline from a recognized university.
-You can also apply if you are in your final year and no minimum percentage is required for eligibility.
Based on this, it really does not matter much that from which educational background you are from and you can choose any management course. It would not affect your chances in UPSC IAS.
Here is a link that you can refer for more details: https://competition.careers360.com/articles/upsc-ias-eligibility-criteria
I hope this helps you.
what subjects are really useful to an IAS in his job career?
Sun has successfully created IAS examination and has got appointed as an IAS officer in Theni district more than subjects he needs skills in order to manage that particular administrative region.
Some the skills which an IAS officer should have are- management skills, power to take a decision and stand for it, impart justice to the The innocent and punish the guilty, work on for development of your particular area from the ground level itself.
All The Best.
which degree is best for an iitian to become an IAS
In order to apply for IAS examination through the union public services commission test, the candidate must hold at least a diploma degree or a bachelor's degree in any of the fields.
So, it does not matter much if you have a bachelor's degree in any of the stream because NIOS examination you have to either choose science or arts as the subject of your preparation and work it accordingly.
Hope it was informational!!