Exam Pattern of Civil Service Examination (CSE)

Exam Pattern of the Civil Service (CSE)

  • The Civil Services Examination is considered to be one of the most difficult and competitive examinations in India.

  • On average, 9,00,000 to 10,00,000 candidates apply every year and the number of candidates appearing to sit the preliminary examination is approximately 4,50,000.

  • The examination consists of the following 3 stages:civil

Stage I: Preliminary examination

  • A qualifying test advertisied in May and held in August each year. Results are published in mid-October.

Stage II: Main examination

  • Held in December every year. Results are usually published in the second week of March.

Stage III: Personality Test (interview)

  • Held in April/May each year. Final results are usually announced in May .

  • The training program for the selected candidates usually commences the following September.

Preliminary exam pattern

  • civilThe exatm pattern of the Prelims up to 2010 was based on the recommendations of the Kothari Commission (1979).

  • It included two examinations, one on general studies worth 150 marks, and the second on one of 23 optional subjects worth 300 marks.

  • Until 2011, when it was revamped, the preliminary exam pattern was sustained with only minor changes once every ten to fifteen years.

  • From 2011 onwards, the Preliminary examination, now popularly known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) (officially it is still called General Studies Paper-1 and Paper-2), intends to focus on analytical abilities and understanding rather than the ability to memorize.

  • The new exam pattern includes two papers of two hours duration and 200 marks each.

  • Both papers have multiple choice objective type questions only. They are as under:

Paper I

It tests the candidate’s knowledge on current events, history of India and Indian national movement, Indian and world geography, Indian polity and governance, economic and social development, environmental ecology, biodiversity, climate change and general science.

Paper II

  • It tests the candidates’ skills in comprehension, interpersonal skills, communication, logical reasoning, analytical ability, decision making, problem solving, basic numeracy, data interpretation, English language comprehension skills and mental ability.

  • In May 2015, the Government of India announced that Paper II of the preliminary examination will be qualifying in nature.

  • That means it wouldn’t be graded for eligibility in Mains Examination & a candidate needs to secure at least 33% marks in order to be eligible for graded on basis of Marks of Paper I of Preliminary Examination.

Mains exam pattern – 1750 marks

  • The written examination consists of 9 papers, 2 qualifying and seven ranking in nature.

  • The range of questions may vary from just 1 mark to 60 marks, 20 words to 600 words answers.

  • Candidates who pass qualifying papers are ranked according to marks and a selected number of candidates are called for interview or a personality test at the Commission’s discretion

  • According to the new marks allocations in Civil Service Examination 2013 there are some changes made in the examination according to the suggestion of the Prof. Arun. S. Nigavekar Committee.

  • However, after some controversy, the qualifying papers for Indian languages and English were restored to the examination.

Civil Services New Mains Format

Paper

Subject

Marks

Paper A

(One of the Indian languages listed below, to be selected by the candidate (from the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India) (Qualifying)

300

Paper B

English (Qualifying)

300

Paper I

Essay

250

Paper II

General Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society)

250

Paper III

General Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relations)

250

Paper IV

General Studies III (Technology, economic development, bio-diversity, environment, security and disaster management)

250

Paper V

General Studies IV(ethics, integrity and aptitude)

250

Papers VI, VII

Two papers on subjects to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects below (250 marks for each paper)

500

Sub Total (Written Test)

1750

Personality Test (Interview)

275

Total Marks

2025

Qualifying Papers of Civil Services Mains

Paper A – Indian Language

Assamese

Bengali

Gujarati

Hindi

Kannada

Kashmiri

Konkani

Malayalam

Manipuri

Marathi

Nepali

Oriya

Punjabi

Sanskrit

Sindhi

Tamil

Telugu

Urdu

Bodo

Dogri

Maithilli

Santhali

   
  • The qualifying paper on Indian Languages will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard.

  • The marks obtained in this paper will not be counted for ranking.

  • The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.

  • Minimum marks needed is 30%

  • Paper A will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim

Paper B – English

  • Qualifying in nature – Marks not counted – Passing mandatory (approx. 30%)

  • The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.

Exam Pattern of questions would be broadly as follows

  • Comprehension of given passages

  • Precise Writing

  • Usage and Vocabulary

  • Short Essay

  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice‐versa

List of optional subjects for Mains

Agriculture

AH & VC

Anthropology

Botany

Chemistry

Civil Engg

C & A

Economics

Electrical Engg

Geography

Geology

History

Law

Management

Mathematics

Mechanical Engg

Medical Science

Philosophy

Physics

PS& IR

Psychology

Public Admin

Sociology

Statistics

Zoology

Note:

  • AH & VC – Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

  • C & A – Commerce & Accountancy

  • PS & IR – Political Science & International Relations

Languages Optional

Assamese

Bengali

Hindi

Konkani

Bodo

Dogri

Kannada

Telugu

English

Sanskrit

Tamil

Maithili

Malayalam

Gujarati

Kashmiri

Urdu

Marathi

Nepali

Santhali

Manipuri

Oriya

Punjabi

Sindhi

 

Interview – 275 marks

  • Officially called the “Personality Test“, the objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a board of competent and unbiased observers.

  • The test is intended to evaluate the mental calibre of a candidate.

  • In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only a candidate’s intellectual qualities, but also social traits and interest in current affairs.

  • Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.

  • The interview is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidate, which has been already tested through written papers.

Feel free to comment !!