Everything you need to know about the UPSC Examination (2020)

In this article, we have covered everything that you need to know about the upcoming UPSC examination such as eligibility criteria, syllabus and admit card details,


  1. Introduction
  2. UPSC syllabus and UPSC exam pattern
  3. UPSC prelims syllabus
  4. UPSC mains syllabus
  5. UPSC interview
  6. UPSC age limit
  7. UPSC admit card
  8. UPSC result
  9. educational qualifications for UPSC 2020
  10. Nationality
  11. UPSC CDS Exam
  12. UPSC CMS Exam
  13. UPSC IES
  15. How to prepare for UPSC
  16. Conclusion



The civil services examination or as it is simply referred to as the UPSC examination is a competitive exam conducted through the nation to recruit candidates to services like the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Forest Service of India, and Indian Police Service. The UPSC full form is union public service commission which conducts this civil services exam across India. The exam is conducted in three phases-

  1. The preliminary examination- consisting of two objective type papers based on general studies called the civil service aptitude test (CSAT).
  2. Mains exam consisting of 9 essay type papers.
  3. The third phase consists of a personal interview.


UPSC syllabus and UPSC exam pattern

upsc exam

The syllabus of UPSC cannot be well defined as it embodies various concepts, facts, and theories which a civil servant must be well aware of. There is no such thing as out-of-syllabus when you are appearing for the UPSC exam. You can be asked anything from history to ecology and therefore must be well prepared with all topics. As mentioned earlier, the first phase is the preliminary examination the pattern of which has been revamped from time to time over the years. The latest pattern focuses extensively on a candidate’s reasoning abilities and skills rather than focusing on just memory skills. The preliminary exam or as popularly called the prelim exam consists of 2 papers of 2 hours and 200 marks each. The questions asked are all objective-type only.


UPSC prelims syllabus

1. Paper one general studies- includes the following topics- history of India, world and Indian geography, latest events around the globe, Indian polity and governance, biodiversity, economic and social affairs, climate change and other environmental facts and news, general science, art, and culture.

2. Paper two or CSAT-comprehension skills, logical reasoning, communication, decision-making abilities, problem-solving, data interpretation, mental ability, and English language skills. Candidates are required to score minimum percentage marks set at 33 percent in order to stand qualified for the second phase of the UPSC exam.


UPSC mains syllabus

The mains exam includes 9 written papers out of which 2 are qualifying and the rest 7 are ranking. The marks distribution may vary from question to question. Some questions carry 60 while others carry one mark. Each paper is conducted for 3 hours. The candidates who pass this phase are eligible to appear for the personal interview. The syllabus is as follows-

Civil Services New Mains Format
Paper Subject Marks
Paper A (One of the Indian languages which the candidate has to select) (Qualifying) 300
Paper B English (needs to be qualified) 300
Paper I Essay 250
Paper II General Studies I  250
Paper III General Studies II 250
Paper IV General Studies III 250
Paper V General Studies IV  250
Papers VI, VII Optional subject paper one and optional subject paper two(to be selected by the candidate) 250 marks for each paper. 500
Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test interview 275
Total 2025



UPSC interview

This is also termed as the personality test which tests the candidate on his personality and mental caliber in order to analyze whether he is suitable for the job of a civil servant. However, a candidate will also be judged on how well aware he/she is about the ongoing affairs in the world. The interview is conducted in the manner following a natural conversation style rather than a strict question-answer format. The aim is not to instill fear in the candidate but to bring out his genuine personality and quality traits. Candidates must be well prepared to face the interview panel so as not to face last-minute jitters.


UPSC age limit

The age requirements are different for different castes. 

1. For candidates belonging to the general category, the minimum age limit is 21 years and the maximum age limit is 32 years as of August 1, 2020.

2. For other backward classes (OBC)- The maximum age limit is 35 years.

3. For scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, the age limit is 37 years.

4. For defense services personnel the limit is 40 years.

5. For candidates belonging to ex-servicemen, the limit is 32 years.

6. For ECOs/SSCOs, the age limit is 5 years.

7. For PWD candidates, the age limit is 37 years.

8. For Jammu and Kashmir domiciles from 1 January 1980 to December 31, 1989, the limit is 32 years. 

There is no age relaxation provided to candidates belonging to the economically weaker sections for the UPSC examination 2020.


UPSC admit card

After the successful completion and submission of the online UPSC examination 2020 form, candidates will be able to download the admit card successfully on its due date. Usually, admit cards are issued on the official website of UPSC three weeks before the exam.


UPSC results

After both the prelims and the mains exam is conducted, UPSC releases the final result with a candidate’s UPSC mark sheet on its official website. Candidates whose names and roll numbers are mentioned on the list of selected candidates are considered qualified.

UPSC calendar 2020 

Event Dates
IAS Exam 2020 Notification 12-Feb-2020
Last date to fill the application form and submit it 3-Mar-2020
IAS Prelims Exam 2020 31-May-2020
IAS Prelims 2020 Result On the official website of UPSC
IAS Main Exam 2020 18-Sep-2020



Educational Qualifications

Candidates willing to appear for the UPSC exam must be graduates in any stream from any licensed and recognized university. Those candidates who are in their last year of graduation awaiting their final results can also appear in the exam.



For the Indian administrative service and the Indian police service, a candidate must be a citizen of India whereas, for all other services, a candidate must be an Indian citizen or any of the following-

  1. A subject of Nepal or Bhutan.
  2. A Tibetan refugee who entered India before January 1 962.
  3. A person of Indian origin who migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.



The combined defense services (CDS) exam is conducted by the UPSC two times a year. The candidates selected get recruited into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy. The exam is conducted online and lasts for 2 hours. The CDS exam is conducted in two stages. The first phase includes the written exam and the second exam includes the SSB interview for the candidates to clear their written exam. The exam notifications are out usually in the months of October and June every year. The exam is scheduled for February and November.



CMS stands for a combined medical services exam which is conducted by the UPSC. It is conducted once a year to recruit candidates to the positions of-

  1. Assistant Divisional Medical Officer in the Railways
  2. Assistant Medical Officer
  3. Junior Scale Posts in Central Health Services
  4. General Duty Medical Officer
  5. General Duty Medical Grade-II in East Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, and South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Candidates must have an MBBS degree from any recognized university. There are two stages in which the exam is conducted. The first is the written eligibility test which takes place online and the second phase includes the personality test. The notifications for the exam are out usually by the month of April and the exam is conducted in June each year.



Indian engineering services exam is also known as Engineering Services Examination (ESE) which gets conducted at the national level to recruit candidates to various engineering departments in the government of India.

The exam is conducted in 3 stages- the IES preliminary, IES mains, and the personality test. The notifications to fill the application forms are usually out by September and the prelims are conducted in January while the mains are held in June every year.



CAPF stands for central armed police forces and its exam is conducted by the UPSC to recruit candidates to the following forces-

  1. Border Security Force (BSF)
  2. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
  3. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  4. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
  5. Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

The exam is conducted in three stages. The first stage includes a written exam, the second is a physical test and the third stage is the personality test. The exam notifications are out by April each year and the exam starts from august.


How to prepare for UPSC 

upsc exam

Cracking any national level competitive exam requires you to maintain a routine and be wholly dedicated towards your cause. There are several UPSC books and materials available in the market along with innumerable coaching centers that offer guidance. However, a candidate must keep in mind to follow his/her own schedule and method of learning and studying rather than blindly listening and following a second person’s footsteps. UPSC books that may help a candidate clear the exam include all the NCERT books on geography, history, economics and science and several other books by different authors like Laxmikant and R.S. Sharma.

Shop for UPSC books on Amazon



upsc exam

Details regarding the UPSC news and exam schedule can be noted from the official UPSC website to prevent any confusion. The UPSC prelims result as well the UPSC mains result can be downloaded and viewed from the official UPSC website. Students preparing for this exam should remember to follow their structured study plan and revise patterns instead of getting overpowered by the vastness of the syllabus.

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After much debate with herself. Nitika has finally started to follow her passion for writing. Apart from this she likes puncturing beauty myths and gorging on books.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article have been curated for our audience and does not warrant a 100% accuracy. All the information mentioned in the article is subject to change according to the changing viewpoints. Feel free to reach us at [email protected] for any change or copyright issues.

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Nitika Chamoli
Nitika Chamoli
After much debate with herself. Nitika has finally started to follow her passion for writing. Apart from this she likes puncturing beauty myths and gorging on books.

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