UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

The Prelims’ stage of IAS exam pattern 2022 consists of 2 papers, both conducted on the same day. The question type in both papers is objective with one right answer out of several multiple choices.

Assuming that the table given above is able to sufficiently inform you about the total marks and time duration of the 2 papers of the Prelims exams, there are some important points that I’d like to add. 

However, before putting light on that let me inform that the following points are relevant with UPSC Exam Pattern 2022, in case you were wondering.

  • Paper 1 or the GS paper contains 100 questions with negative marking. Every right answer will fetch you 2 marks and every wrong one will cost you 1/3rd of that or .66 marks. Questions that you choose to leave unanswered will not fetch you or cost you any mark.
  • Paper 2 or the CSAT paper contains 80 questions, most of them with negative marking. Every right answer will fetch you 2.5 marks, and wrongly answering a question with negative marking will cost you 1/3rd of that or .83 marks. Certain questions designed to test your decision-making skills will not cost you any marks if answered wrongly. Also, questions left unanswered will not fetch or cost you any marks.

UPSC Exam Pattern 2022

Exam Pattern Prelims Mains
Exam Mode Offline Offline
Exam Duration 2 papers of 2 hours each 9 papers of 3 hours each
Type of Paper Objective Descriptive
Type of Questions MCQs Descriptive
Total Number of Questions CSAT: 80 questions
GS: 100 questions
Usually, 20 questions per paper
Total Marks 400 1750
Marking Scheme +2 for correct answer, negative marking of 1/3 of 2 marks No negative marking


IAS Prelims Exam Pattern Summary

Paper Subjects Total Marks Duration
1 General Studies (GS) 200 2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
2 CSAT 200 2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)

IAS Mains Exam Pattern Summary

Papers Subjects Marks
Paper A Any Indian language (compulsory) – qualifying paper 300
Paper B English – qualifying paper 300
Paper 1 Essay (you can choose to write it in a medium of your choice) 250
Paper 2 General Studies 1 (Indian and World history, Culture, heritage, &Geography;) 250
Paper 3 General Studies 2 (Polity, Constitution, Governance, International Relations & Social Justice) 250
Paper 4 General Studies 3 (Economic Development, Technology, Disaster Management & Security, Biodiversity) 250
Paper 5 General Studies 4 (Aptitude, Ethics, & Integrity) 250
Paper 6 Optional Subject: Paper 1 250
Paper 7 Optional Subject: Paper 2 250

The prelims paper, as I have mentioned before is essentially a qualifying stage designed to filter out the unsuitable candidates from the exam process.



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