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IAS Exam Pattern 2024 for Prelims & Mains, UPSC CSE Marking Scheme

IAS Exam Pattern

Everyone will agree to the fact that the UPSC IAS is the toughest competitive examination held in India. In this regard, you must check the latest UPSC IAS Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme updated on this page. Have a look at the IAS Prelims Exam Pattern, IAS Mains Exam Pattern, Interview pattern, and UPSC CSE Marking Scheme 2024 to know about the Nature & No. of Questions, Time Limit, section-wise Marks Weightage, and other vital details.

Candidates can download IAS Exam Pattern 2024 In Hindi/English PDF also so that they can access the same offline whenever required. Apart from the UPSC IAS 2024 Exam Scheme, we have provided some other essential details also that can help you with the preparation for one of the hardest examinations.

IAS Exam Pattern 2024 Highlights:

Name of the examCivil Services Exam- IAS
Conducting authorityUnion Public Service Commission
Mode of ExamOffline
Number of Stages
  • Prelims exam
  • Mains exam
  • Interview
Number of PapersPrelims: 2 Mains: 9
Prelims marking schemePaper 1: +2 marks
Paper 2: +2.5 marks
Negative marking: One-third of marks
allotted to each question
DurationPrelims: 2 hours (Each paper)
Mains: 3 hours (Each paper)
Type of questionsPrelims: Objective type
Mains: Subjective type
Vacancies861 (Approximately)

IAS Exam Pattern

UPSC IAS Exam is conducted in three phases – preliminary exam, main exam, and interview. Candidates may obtain complete information on the  UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern and begin their exam preparations in the right direction. Let’s have a look at the detailed Exam Pattern for each phase of the examination.

  • Phase I: Preliminary Examination
  • Phase II: Main Examination
  • Phase III: Personality Test (Interview)

IAS Prelims Exam Pattern 2024

  • Number of Marks: 200 marks each.
  • Type of Paper: objective type (multiple choice questions).
  • Nature of Paper: The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • Language: Hindi and English according to the IAS Preliminary Exam Question Pattern.
  • Time Duration: 2 hours each, +20 minutes for blind students
Exam ModeOffline
Number of Papers2- General Ability test (GAT)
and Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)
Number of QuestionsPaper 1- 80; Paper 2-100
Question Paper TypeMultiple Choice Questions
IAS Prelims Total Marks400
Nature of ExamQualifying
Exam Duration2 hours each, +20 minutes
for blind students
Exam LanguageEnglish and Hindi

Get Here Subject Wise: UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus

IAS Mains Exam Pattern 2024

  • Type of Paper: Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be qualifying in nature.
  • Language: The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.
  • Time Duration: Each paper is of 3 hours. 30 minutes are given extra to blind students as mentioned in the IAS Main Exam Question Pattern.
  • Number of Papers: The exam will contain 7 papers as per IAS Exam Pattern Details.

We have provided the Current IAS Exam Pattern in tabular form in the beneath section, so please have a glance:

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)
BEnglish (Qualifying)300
IIGeneral Studies I (Indian heritage and culture,
history and geography of the world and society)
IIIGeneral Studies II (Governance, constitution,
polity, social justice, and international relations)
IVGeneral Studies III (Technology,
economic development, biodiversity,
environment, security and disaster management)
VGeneral Studies-IV(ethics, integrity, and aptitude)250
VIVIITwo papers on subjects to be selected by
the candidate from the list of optional subjects
below (250 marks for each paper)
TOTAL 1750

UPSC CSE Mains – Subjects for General Studies

The subjects covered by the General Studies papers in UPSC IAS Mains Exam are tabulated below:

General Studies IGeneral Studies II
Indian Heritage and CultureGovernance
History and Geography of the WorldConstitution
Social Justice
International relations
General Studies IIIGeneral Studies IV
Economic DevelopmentIntegrity
Security and Disaster Management

List of Optional Subjects in IAS Mains:

Commerce &
MathematicsMechanical Engineering
Public AdministrationSociology
Animal Husbandry& Veterinary ScienceBotany
ChemistryElectrical Engineering
Political Science & International RelationsMedical Science
ManagementCivil Engineering

IAS Exam Pattern For Interview (Personality Test)

  • Candidates qualifying the Main examination will be called for the Personality Test.
  • Phase III of UPSC IAS 2024 includes Psychometric Test, Assessment Test, and Personal Interview.
  • The test comes around in the language of preference.
  • The candidate’s mental caliber will be tested during the Personality Test.
  • This is an assessment of not only the candidate’s intellectual qualities but also his social traits and his interest in current affairs.
  • The interview carries 275 marks. Thus, the total marks for  IAS (UPSC CSE) will be 2025 marks.
  • Students will be contemplated per total marks and final interview.

Read About – IAS Interview Questions Answers

Attention Please!!!

It is mandatory for the candidate to clear both the stages (Prelims and Mains Exam). Candidates who qualify written examination or Stage I then will be called for Personality Test/Interview/Stage II. The final selection of the candidate is based on his/her interview performance. Candidates finally will be called for the Document Verification process before the final selection.

IAS Exam Marking Scheme

  • One-third (0.33) of the marks will be deducted as a penalty.
  • If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens to be correct and the penalty will be the same as mentioned above for that question.
  • If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.

Press Here For IAS Exam Pattern Download

Press Here For UPSC Official Link

UPSC Exam Calendar 2024

Previous Year’s UPSC IAS Cut Off:

Refer to the table placed below to check the UPSC Cutoff For Civil Services 2020 – Prelims and Mains Examination:

UPSC Cut Off – IAS Prelims & Mains 2020
CategoryUPSC Cut Off – PrelimsUPSC Cutoff- Mains

IAS Paper Pattern & Analysis Details

UPSC IAS Exam Scheme: Topic-wise distribution of questions

TopicsNo. Of Qs.Difficulty level
History/Art & Culture15Moderate
Science & Tech8Moderate
Geography & Agriculture7Moderate
Ecology & Environment18Moderate
MISC. GK/Current Affairs27Moderate

UPSC Exam Pattern of IAS 2024: Distribution of Questions

SubjectsTopicsNumber of Questions
ReasoningAnalytical Reasoning8
Directions, Coding-Decoding, Cubes6
Blood Relation2
Misc. Math Reasoning3
QuantNumbers / Fractions7
Averages / % ages4
Ratios, Mixtures2
Time, Speed, Distance & Work3
Geometry, Mensuration2
P&C, Probability, Sets2
Profit and Loss1
Clock and Calendar3
VerbalCritical Reasoning / Single Question RC29
Two Question – RC (2 Passages)4

Do UPSC Civil Service Registration– IAS Application Form

IAS Exam Preparation Tips:

Candidates to score good marks must follow these preparation tips:

  • Firstly candidates need to check the UPSC IAS Exam Pattern and syllabus mentioned by the commission on the official website
  • After that make time table according to the Exam Pattern.
  • Now candidates should also check the exam patterns from the official website
  • Through the exam pattern, the candidate will get an idea about which subject he/she should focus on more or which topic have more weightage
  • Candidates should also make notes of important topics and tricks to solve difficult numerical questions
  • Candidates should practice the previous year’s question papers
  • Aspirants also give online mock tests.

Get Here Best Tips: How To Prepare For IAS Exam (Prelims/Mains)

IAS Preparation Books 2024:

Candidates are also suggested to go through the latest UPSC IAS Syllabus. With the help of the UPSC IAS Syllabus candidates will get to know about the contents included in the topics given above.

Further after getting the syllabus of IAS, candidates must also buy Standard IAS Books. Without the best books, it will not be easier for candidates to prepare well and crack the exam.

UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2024 FAQs

Ques1. How many exams are there in IAS?
The UPSC IAS exam is conducted in 03 stages:

  • Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims),
  • Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
  • Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Ques2. What is the weightage of IAS Prelims?
The maximum marks allotted to the IAS prelims exam are 400; comprising 02 papers, each for 200 marks. Both the papers are objective in nature.

Ques3. What are the total marks for IAS Mains exam?
There are 07 papers in the UPSC IAS Main examination carrying a total of 1750 marks.

Ques4. What is the syllabus for IAS Mains exam 2024?
The syllabus for the UPSC CSE mains exam is quite comprehensive. You may check this article UPSC IAS Exam Syllabus for a detailed Exam Structure and Syllabus for the UPSC IAS Main exam 2024.

Ques5. What is the IAS exam pattern 2024?
Go through the above section of this article to know about the detailed UPSC IAS paper pattern for Prelims, Mains, and Personality Test.

Ques6. Is there any limit on the number of attempts for the IAS exam?
Yes, A general or EWS category candidate can appear for the UPSC IAS exam a maximum of 6 times. On the other hand, OBC category aspirants have 9 attempts whereas there is no limit on the total no. of attempts for SC/ST candidates to participate in the IAS exam. SC/ST candidates can appear for the exam till they reach the Upper Age Limit.

Ques7. What is the salary of an IAS officer?
According to the 7th Pay Commission, the starting salary of an IAS officer is Rs. 56,100. Along with the basic salary, an IAS officer is also provided with a number of allowances which include Travel Allowance, Dearness Allowance, etc. The basic salary of an IAS officer can hike up to Rs. 2,50,000 for a Cabinet Secretary.


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