The Civil Services Aptitude Test (earlier called as Civil Services Preliminary
examination) is held by the UPSC for the selection of candidates for Civil
Services (Mains) examination(Written and Interview). The examination is
conducted, once every year, in accordance with the rules published by the
Department of Personnel & Training. It is one of the most competitive
examinations in the country. For example, in year 2008-09, approximately 7% of
the candidates, who appeared for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination,
could qualify for appearing in the Main Examination.
There are 24 services(or posts) to which recruitment is finally made through
this two stage examination process(i.e CSAT followed by Mains examination).
These 24 servcies include 3 All India Services, 16 Group A services, and 5
Group B services. The services which come within All India Services are Indian
Administrative Service(IAS), Indian Foreign Service(IFS) and Indian Police
Service(IPS). The services which come within Group- A are Indian Audit and
Accounts Service, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Indian
Defence Accounts Service, Indian Postal Service etc. The services which come
within Group-B are Pondicherry Civil Service, Pondicherry Police Service etc.
The number of vacancies corresponding to these 24 services(or posts) is liable
to change every year. For example, in year 2004, the number of vacancies was
453 and it increased to 965 for the year 2010.
The eligibility conditions, as given below, were applicable for Civil services
(P) examination, 2010.
i) Age Limits : For, civil services (P) examination 2010, the criterion for
agelimit was that, a candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must
not have attained the age of 30 years on 1st August, 2010. The upper agelimit
is relaxable for certain other categories.
ii)Minimum Educational Qualifications: The candidate must have completed his
graduation while appearing for preliminary examination. However, candidates who
are in the final year are also eligible to apply for and appear in the
preliminary examination. However, he need to submit proof of his qualification
while applying for the main examination, if selected.
Number of attempts:
Every candidate appearing at the Civil Services Examination, who is otherwise
eligible, shall be permitted four attempts at the examination.This restriction
on the number of attempts will not apply in the case of SC/ST candidates. Also,
the number of attempts permissible to candidates belonging to OBCs, who are
otherwise eligible, shall be seven. IAS/IFS officers are not eligible to appear
for the exam.
A candidate appearing for the exam will have to pay a fee of Rs 50. Female
candidates and candidates belonging to SC/ST/PH categories are exempted from
paying any fee.
The application for Civil Services (P) exam 2012 is ONLY through online mode.
No other mode for submission of applications is allowed.
The online application can be filled up to 5th March, 2012 till 11:59 P.M after which the link will be disabled.
The detailed instructions are available on the website http://www.upsconline.nic.in for filling up the online application form.
It is be noted that there are two different parts of filling up the application form -Part I and Part II.
It is mandatory to fill both the parts, otherwise your application will be rejected.
Also, you will have to fill up Part I first and then Part II - in that same order.
Before filling up the form, please go through the guidelines as issued by UPSC.
You can click here to access the same. Also, ensure that you have gone through the FAQs, as released by UPSC
(click here for FAQs)
CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test)- Preliminary
Examination- New Pattern.
The Preliminary Examination shall now comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200
marks each and of two hours duration each.
Click here to download the new syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary
Examination, applicable for Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2011 onwards:
Comparison: New Pattern & Old Pattern
The table below gives a comparison between the old pattern and the new pattern
on different parameters like Marks, questions, marks per question, time,
|Name of the examination
||Civil Services Preliminary
||Civil Services Aptitude Test
||Paper 1(General Studies)
||Paper 2(One optional paper out of 23 subjects)
|Marks Per question
||0.33 of the marks allotted to that question
Note(**): In Paper-2, the candidate had to choose one optional paper (out of 23
subjects). For Mathematics and Statistics, the number of questions was 100,
while the number of questions for any of the remaining 21 optional subjects was
Note(*): The number of questions, marks per question, and negative marking have
not been released by UPSC till date.
Comparison: Past and Present (for Paper-I)
The table below gives the comparison between the old syllabus for Paper-I and
the new syllabus for Paper-II. It can clearly be observed that the test area of
'General Mental Ability” which was there in Paper-I(old syllabus) has now been
taken out from Paper-I and kept in Paper-II(as the next table indicates).
Syllabus-Paper I or General Studies(till 2010)
||New Syllabus -Paper
|Current events of national and
||Current events of national and international
|History of India and Indian
||History of India and Indian national Movement
|India and World Geography
||India and World Geography
|Indian Polity and Economy
||Indian Polity and Governance
||Economic and Social Development
|General Issues on Environmental Ecology,
Bio-diversity and Climate chage
Comparison: Past and Present (for Paper-II)
The table below gives the comparison between the old syllabus
and the new syllabus for Paper-II. It can be observed that Paper-II had
undergone a major change in light of the fact that lots of new areas have been
included, which were earlier not there in Civil services(Preliminary)
Syllabus -Paper II(till 2010)
||New Syllabus- Paper
Optional Paper(any one out of 23 subjects)
|Interpersonal Skills including Comprehension
|Logical reasoning & Analytical ability
|Decision making and Problem Solving
|General Mental Ability
|Basic Numeracy(Numbers & their relations,
orders of magnitude etc)-Class Xth level, Data Interpretation(charts, graphs,
tables, data sufficiency etc)-Class Xth level.
|English Language Comprehension Skills(Class Xth
The candidates who clear the first stage of the civil services
examination(i.e CSAT), will be called for the next stage(i.e main examination).
In year 2008, the number of candidates who qualified for mains was
approximately 7% of the total number of candidates who appeared for civil
services preliminary examination. The Main Examination consists of a written
examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9
papers of conventional essay type.Out of these 9 papers, first two papers are
only qualifying in nature.
||One of the Indian languages to be selected by
the candidate from the Languages included in the eigth schedule to the
constitution (Qualifying Paper).
|Papers-IV & V
||General Studies (2 papers)
||600 (300 marks for each of the two papers)
|Papers-VI, VII, VIII & IX
||Any two subjects to be selected from the list
of optional subjects. Each subject will have two papers. Thus, a total of four
||1200 (300 marks for each of the four papers)
(Excluding the marks obtained in the qualifying paper)
Number of Test Takers-Prelims & Mains
The table below gives the number of candidates who applied for
civil services (prelims & mains) for different posts.
|Year of Examination
||Number of Candidates applied for CS(Prelims)
||Number of Candidates appeared for CS(Prelims)
||Number of Candidates applied for CS(Mains)
||Number of Candidates appeared for CS(Mains)
||Total number of vacancies
Candidates who obtain a certain minimum qualifying marks in the
written part of the Main Examination will be called for an interview for a
Personality Test. However, the papers on Indian Languages and English will be
of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in these qualifying papers will not be
counted for ranking. The number of candidates to be called for interview will
be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry
300 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).
Centres for Preliminary Examination:
The examination centres for the prelimainary exam usually are:
Agartala, Gangtok, Patna, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Puducherry, Aizwal, Imphal,
Port blair, Aligarh, Itanagar, Raipur, Allahabad, Jaipur, Ranchi, Aurangabad,
Jammu, Sambalpur, Bangalore, Jodhpur, Shillong, Bareilly, Jorhat, Shimla,
Bhopal, Kochi, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Kohima, Thiruvanathapuram, Chennai,
Kolkata, Tirupati, Cuttack, Lucknow, Udaipur, Dehradun, Madurai,
Vishakhapatnam, Delhi, Mumbai, Dharwad, Nagpur, Dispur, Panaji (Goa).
1) Date of Notification: 2nd Feb 2013
2) Last Date for receipt of applications: 4th March 2013
3) Date of CSAT exam: 19th May 2013(Duration- 1 day)
4) Civil Services (Main) exam: 8th Nov 2013 (Duration -21 days)