FAQ for Civil Services

The number of candidates aspiring for the UPSC Civil Services has gone up to more than 9,00,000 who fill the form and almost 4,00,000 who appear in the 1st stage of the exam, Preliminary Exam.

The number of candidates who qualify the Preliminary exam to appear in the Main Exam is equal to 12 to 13 times the number of vacancies in the Civil Services Exam that year.

Out of these, the number of candidates who will qualify to appear in the Interview is 2 times the number of vacancies in the Civil Services advertised that year.

For instance, if the number of vacancies in given year is 1000, then about 13,000 candidates would be called (qualified) by the UPSC to appear in the Main exam & the number of candidates who will qualify the Main examination to appear in the Interview would be about 2,000.

UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the Rules of Examinations notified by the Government.

Examination Notices of all the 14 Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website (www.upsc.gov.in) around 3 months before the date of examination.

Examination Notices for direct recruitment examinations are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar.

The tentative dates of notification of Examinations for a year are also made available on UPSC’s website (www.upsc.gov.in) in July of the previous year.

The number of vacancies is reported by Union Public Service Commission in its advertisement/notification for the exam. The number of vacancies varies every year; the number of vacancies per year in the last 4 years has varied between 1000 and 1200.

UPSC publishes/releases the notification for holding the Civil Services Examination every year in the month of May for the Preliminary Test to be held in the month of August, of the same year. Applications are invited by UPSC till June end of that year.

Candidates must be at least 21 years old on the 1st of August of the year in which they aspire to give the Exam and must hold a graduation degree (recognized by University Grants Commission) to appear for this Examination. Indian students holding a foreign degree need to ensure that their degree is accredited or recognized by UGC.

Yes, provided it is a recognized University and he/she possess the educational qualifications prescribed for the exam and is otherwise eligible.

Yes, provided the graduation has been completed from a recognized University and he/she possess the educational qualifications prescribed for the exam and is otherwise eligible.

Number of attempts for General Category candidates is 6; OBC is 9 and for a candidate belonging to SC/ST category is unlimited (there is no restriction on number of attempts for SC/ST category).

A physically handicapped will get as many attempts as are available to other non-physically handicapped candidates of his or her community, subject to the condition that a physically handicapped candidate belonging to the General Category shall be eligible for nine attempts. The relaxation will be available to the physically handicapped candidates who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.

Members of other backward classes, belonging to the Creamy layer (‘Creamy layer’ is the income limit beyond which OBCs are not eligible for quotas) will not be eligible for reservations in jobs and education. Right now the creamy layer bar stands at earnings of over rupees 6 lakhs annually.

The candidates, who opt for an Indian Language medium to write Civil Services (Main) Exam, may choose either the same Indian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview.

The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English, may choose as the medium for interview either English or Hindi or any other Indian Language opted by them for the compulsory Indian Language Paper.

However, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview of Personality Test.

Mixing of the answer books received from different venues is done before sending them for evaluation. Computer-based randomized fictitious code no. is given to each answer-book before evaluation.

This is not done at any stage of the evaluation process.

The Paper Setter, who is an eminent person in his field, normally acts as the Head Examiner, and wherever the number of candidates in a particular subject is very large, the Commission appoints Additional Examiners for valuation of answer books.

To achieve uniformity in valuation, where more than one Examiner is involved, the Commission arranges a meeting of the Head Examiner with the Additional Examiners after the Examination is over. At this stage, they discuss thoroughly the question paper, the appropriate answers and decide the standard of evaluation.

To further bring about the uniformity of assessment inter se the Examiners, the following procedure is undertaken: The Head Examiner conducts a sample survey of answer books of each Additional Examiner to verify whether the uniform standards of evaluation evolved in the meeting of Examiners have actually been followed. Depending on the standard adopted by the Additional Examiner, the Head Examiner may confirm the awards without any change if the Examiner has correctly followed the standard decided upon, or may carry out upward / downward moderation as considered necessary to ensure a maximum possible degree of uniformity in the evaluation process.

Therefore, the aspect of inter examiner variation in standards of evaluation in a Paper affecting candidates performance is taken care of adequately.

In a competitive examination, what is relevant is not the absolute performance of a candidate, but his her relative performance that in fact determines whether the candidate qualifies and, if so, his/her position in the merit list. Accordingly, as already explained above, the evaluation process does not end after initial evaluation by an Examiner. Moderation, wherever applied, is on the total award initially given (the so-called raw marks) and not on the question-wise basis.

Therefore, once the evaluation process is complete, neither raw marks nor question-wise marks subsist. what subsists is the candidate’s total score in a paper awarded at the end of the evaluation process and this award is normally made available to the candidate in due course (a month or two) on the commissions website.

No. This is because the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is simply a short-listing (elimination) exercise to select candidates for the Main Examination and as such the scores obtained in this Examination are not communicated to candidates. However, an individual candidate desirous of knowing his/her marks may seek such information from the Commission pursuant to RTI Act 2005.

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