Civil Services Preliminary Examination

Union Public Service Commission

Civil Services Examination

Stage 1: Preliminary Examination

  • Eligibility Criteria: The candidate should be 21 years of age and should have graduated in any discipline from a recognized university. Students in their final year of graduation can also apply.

  • Applying for the Exam: The candidate should log on to and follow the instructions given on the website.

  • E-Admit Card: Candidates have to download the e-admit card from the website The admit cards can be downloaded three weeks before the examination.

Around 5-6 lakhs students apply for the preliminary exam. The actual number of candidates appearing for the examination varies. It will be around 2.5 to 3 lakh students. The Preliminary exam is Objective and of qualifying nature. It consists of two papers, each of 200 marks. Paper 1 is concerned with General Studies and deals with subjects like:

  • History

  • Geography

  • Environment

  • Polity

  • Economy

  • Science & Current Affairs etc.

Paper 2 checks a candidate's aptitude in terms of  Reading Comprehension, Numerical Ability, Graphical Representation, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making etc. The Result of Preliminary exams are declared two months after the Preliminary exam. Those who are successful in clearing the Preliminary exam have to appear for the Mains examination. Around 12000 candidates qualify for the Main Exam every year.

Detailed Syllabus

Paper I : General Studies - (200 marks) | Duration : Two hours


Paper II : CSAT - (200 marks) | Duration: Two hours

  • Comprehension

  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability

  • Decision-making and problem-solving

  • General mental ability

  • Basic Numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),

  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level).



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