IAS Exam Pattern for UPSC Mains?

  • The UPSC Mains test consists of nine papers administered over a period of 5-7 days. Only those candidates who scored at least the specified cut off in General Studies I and 33 percent in General Studies II in the Prelims Examination will be allowed to take the Mains Exam.
  • All the papers of the UPSC Mains test comprise of descriptive answer style questions, according to the exam format. It is a time-consuming process, and your total marks in the UPSC mains will have a direct impact on your overall score. As a result, the UPSC exam results for the mains phase are immensely important because they are used to determine merit. The following are the details of the UPSC curriculum, along with their respective marks:
UPSC CSE Exam – Mains Pattern
PaperSubjectDurationIAS Total marks
Paper ACompulsory Indian language3 hours300
Paper BEnglish3 hours300
Paper IEssay3 hours250
Paper IIGeneral Studies I3 hours250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 hours250
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 hours250
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 hours250
Paper VIOptional I3 hours250
Paper VIIOptional II3 hours250
  • Except for the language exams A and B, all of the mains papers are merit-based. Papers A and B are qualifying papers, and candidates must achieve at least 25% in each to have their grades from Paper I through Paper VII weighted.
General Studies 1General Studies 2General Studies 3General Studies 4
Indian Heritage and CultureGovernanceTechnologyEthics
History and Geography of the WorldConstitutionEconomic DevelopmentIntegrity
 Social JusticeEnvironment 
 International relationsSecurity and Disaster Management 
  • Candidates from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim, as well as candidates with hearing impairment, are free from Paper A if they can show that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their respective board or university. The Indian Language paper covers any of the languages included in the Constitution’s 8th Schedule. x
  • The UPSC interview stage has a total score of 275, raising the total score for UPSC Mains and Interview for merit list consideration to 2025.
  • The UPSC IAS examination has a comprehensive exam pattern, and the competition is fierce. Because the examination procedure lasts over a year and failing to make the cut means beginning over the following year, one should begin studying as soon as possible.