Careers360 Logo
IAS Exam Pattern 2024: UPSC CSE Paper Pattern (Prelims, Mains, and Interview)

IAS Exam Pattern 2024: UPSC CSE Paper Pattern (Prelims, Mains, and Interview)

Edited By Vishnukumar | Updated on Mar 20, 2024 10:07 AM IST | #UPSC CSE
Switch toEnglishEnglish Icon HindiHindi Icon

The Commission released the UPSC exam pattern in the official notification. The CSE exam pattern can be downloaded in online mode on the official website at According to the IAS exam pattern, there are three stages in the UPSC exam - prelims, mains and interviews. Candidates can also check the UPSC syllabus and other details along with the exam pattern of IAS 2024.

With the help of the UPSC IAS exam pattern, candidates can strategize their CSE exam preparation. Understanding the UPSC exam pattern in the early preparation stages is necessary to boost the level of preparation for the entrance test. The IAS paper pattern 2024 specifies details on the type of examination, language, duration, mode of paper, question type, official marking scheme, and much more. So, preparing for the exam will be inadequate without a proper familiarity with the CSE exam pattern. To know more about the UPSC exam pattern and syllabus, read the full article below.

IAS Exam Pattern (Prelims and Mains) - Overview

Aspirants preparing for the IAS exam can check the UPSC exam pattern details here.

Name of exam

Civil Services Exam (CSE)

Conducting Body

Union Public Service Commission

Mode of Exam


(IAS Paper Pattern for Prelims- MCQ-based)

(CSE Paper Pattern for Mains - Descriptive)

(Personality Test - Interview in front of board members)

Number of Stages

  • Prelims exam

  • Mains exam

  • Interview

Number of papers in the IAS Exam

Prelims: 2

Mains: 9

IAS Prelims exam pattern: Marking scheme

Paper 1: +2 marks

Paper 2: +2.5 marks

Negative marking: One-third of marks allotted to each question

Time Duration of the IAS exam

Prelims: 2 hours (Each paper) total 4 hours

Mains: 3 hours (Each paper) total of 27 hours conducted across various days

Type of questions

Prelims: Objective type

Mains: Subjective type

UPSC Exam Pattern - Prelims

According to the UPSC exam pattern, the preliminary exam is the first stage of the IAS selection process which is qualifying in nature. According to the prelims exam pattern, there will be two papers in the preliminary exam. As per the IAS paper pattern, candidates need to meet IAS cut off 2024 for paper 1 whereas for Paper 2 which is CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test), it is mandatory to secure 33% to get qualified. Check the highlights of the UPSC exam pattern of Prelims here.

IAS Prelims Exam Pattern 2024

Number of papers

GS 1: Based on Indian History, Economics, Indian and World Geography, Science and Technology, Indian Polity, Current Affairs and Environment.

GS 2: 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

Maximum marks

400 (200 each)

Qualifying marks

33% for Paper 2

IAS prelims exam pattern 2024: Marking Scheme

  • As per the exam pattern of IAS 2024, each question in the prelims exam GS paper 1 will have 2 marks while in GS paper 2 will carry 2.5 marks.

  • As per the IAS paper pattern, one-third of the marks will be deducted for each wrong answer as a negative mark.

  • In case a candidate attempts more than one answer then it will also be considered as a 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.

IAS Exam Pattern 2024 - Mains

According to the IAS 2024 exam pattern, candidates who qualify in the prelims exam are eligible for the IAS mains exam 2024. According to the UPSC mains exam pattern, there will be 9 papers in the IAS mains exam. Candidates need to secure at least 25% in their optional subject along with the remaining subjects. All languages covered in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution will be considered for language paper. Check the highlights of the UPSC exam pattern of mains here.

IAS mains exam pattern 2024

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
  • English
  • Essay
  • General Studies I
  • General Studies II
  • General Studies III
  • General Studies IV
  • Optional I
  • Optional II

Number of questions

Part A and B: 300 each

General studies and optional paper: 250 each

Sub Total (Mains)

1750 marks

Personality Test

275 marks

Grand Total

2025 marks

IAS Main Exam Pattern - 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 CSE Preparation Strategy and Best Books
UPSC CSE preparation strategy along with best books for prelims as well as mains exam for sure success.
Download EBook

IAS Exam Pattern: CSE Interview

The interview round is the final stage of the UPSC IAS recruitment and one of the major alma maters to achieve if one wants to become an administrative officer of the Indian Government. Around lakhs of candidates applied for the IAS exam, only a few thousand can make it to the interview and only hundreds get qualified. According to the previous year's trends, there is no specific UPSC exam pattern for the IAS interview round.

Candidates need to have in-depth knowledge of their subject and current affairs. The panel of the IAS interview round would assess the candidates' mental and social abilities by asking open-ended questions. Mental alertness, critical capacities of absorption, clear and logical exposition, a balance of judgement, range and depth of interest, aptitude for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral purity are some of the attributes that the board looks for.

Also Read:

IAS Exam Pattern 2024 - Benefits

  • With the help of the UPSC exam pattern, students will be able to understand the number of questions asked in prelims and main exams.

  • The qualifying criteria to crack the prelims and mains stage of the CSE exam are mentioned in the IAS paper pattern 2024.

  • According to the exam pattern of IAS, candidates will not be provided with any scribe to write the exam. However, Persons with Benchmark Disabilities in the categories of blindness, locomotor disability (both arms affected – BA) and cerebral palsy will be provided with the facility of a scribe if desired by the person under Section 2 (r) of the RPWD Act, 2016.

  • Candidates must go through the detailed paper pattern before starting their IAS exam preparation.

IAS Syllabus 2024

UPSC released the IAS 2024 syllabus along with the exam pattern in the official notification. Candidates can check the UPSC syllabus which is available separately for IAS prelims and IAS mains exam. It is important to go through the syllabus and exam pattern of IAS 2024 to plan the Civil Services preparation strategically.

Check Here List of Other Government Exams:

IAS Question Papers 2024

UPSC releases the official UPSC IAS question papers 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 IAS exam 2024, must go through the previous year's 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, the types of questions asked in the exam and most importantly the variation in questions of the IAS exam.

IAS Exam 2024: Subject-wise question paper links


IAS question paper download link

Ecology & Environment

Download link

Current Affairs

Click here


Press here


Download link


Press here


Click here

General Science

Download link

IAS Mock Test 2024

UPSC IAS mock tests are one of the most important aspects of knowing the preparation level for the IAS exam 2024. With the help of the IAS mock test, candidates will be able to understand the exam pressure and IAS paper pattern in a better way.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. How can I download the IAS exam pattern 2024 PDF?

Aspirant can download the CSE 2024 exam pattern in online mode on the official website at

2. Who provides the IAS exam pattern 2024?

The UPSC IAS exam pattern 2024 is provided by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

3. How many questions will be asked in the prelims stage?

As per the IAS exam pattern 2024, there will be 100 questions from three sections.

4. What will be the maximum marks for the IAS main stage?

There will be maximum marks of 2025 in the IAS main stage.

5. Is there any negative marking in IAS exam 2024?

As per exam pattern of IAS 2024, there will be negative marking of 0.33 marks for each wrong answer.

6. How can I prepare for IAS 2024?

Candidates need to plan the preparation as per exam pattern of IAS 2024 to prepare better for examination.

7. Is it important to appear in the IAS mock test 2024?

Yes, it will help you to prepare for a better examination.

8. Are IAS mock tests beneficial?

Yes, IAS mock test are very beneficial for IAS preparation as it helps you understand the important topics and exam pattern of IAS 2024.

9. Is there any IAS exam pattern for IAS interview?

No, there is no specific IAS exam pattern 2024 for IAS interview round.


Certifications By Top Providers

Access to Justice
Via National Law University, New Delhi
Fundamentals of Citizen Centric Governance
Via Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa
Media Law
Via New York University, New York
Sr.Secondary History 315
Via National Institute of Open Schooling
Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Law
Via Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
 185 courses
 181 courses
 84 courses
 68 courses
 63 courses

Explore Top Universities Across Globe

University of Essex, Colchester
 Wivenhoe Park Colchester CO4 3SQ
University College London, London
 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
 Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, Post Code EH8 9YL
University of Bristol, Bristol
 Beacon House, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1QU
University of Nottingham, Nottingham
 University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD
Lancaster University, Lancaster
 Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW

Questions related to UPSC CSE

Have a question related to UPSC CSE ?

It's great that you are taking the initiative to pursue your dream of becoming an IAS officer, Bettaswamy. Many working professionals like you crack the UPSC exam every year.

Anxiety often stems from dwelling on uncertainties. Instead, focus on what you can control – your daily preparation. Break down your study plan into manageable chunks and celebrate small goals. Challenge negative thoughts with realistic and empowering self-talk. Instead of "what if I fail," tell yourself, "I am putting in the effort to succeed, and I am capable of learning from any outcome." Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to calm your mind and reduce stress.

Plan your study schedule around your work commitments. Utilize pockets of time for revision and dedicate focused study time during evenings or weekends.

Plan your study schedule around your work commitments. Utilize pockets of time for revision and dedicate focused study time during evenings or weekends.

Connect with other UPSC aspirants or online forums for motivation and sharing strategies. Consider joining a coaching institute that caters to working professionals.

I hope it helps!


I assume you want to know the eligibility criteria to becoming an IAS. First of all, to become an IAS,  one has to clear UPSC CSE examiner. There are certain eligibility criteria for applying in this examination and they are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree from any recognised college.
  • Age between 21-32; with some relaxation for reserved categories.
  • Citizen of India ora subject of Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugee who came to India, to permanently settle here before January 1, 1962, or People of Indian origin who migrated from Uganda, Burma, Pakistan, Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Sri Lanka, East African Countries of Kenya, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam to permanently settle in India.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

And other government jobs, the eligibility test is different for different jobs. It would have been if you could mention the government job you are interested in.

Hope this answers your query. Thank you

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !

Yes it will be considered because Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) is a 4-year degree course . It is a multi-disciplinary profession with core subjects including speech pathology, language pathology, and audiology.

Hope it helps you ;

Thank you

Dear Aspirant !

Hope you are fine!

The main subjects for the UPSC Exam are Indian Politics, Indian Economy, International Relations, Science and Technology, Geography, History, Environment and Ecology, and related Current Affairs . There are 25 subjects and 23 literature optional that one can choose from in addition to this..

Thank you

Hello aspirant,

With the help of the IAS Answer Key 2024, applicants can estimate their potential score for the IAS preliminary exam, learn about the various IAS question types, gauge the exam's difficulty, and much more.

To get the answer key, you can visit our website by clicking on the link given below.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

View All
Back to top