UPSC CSE Mains 2022 Exam Begins Today (16th Sep): Check Last Minute Tips Here!

UPSC CSE Mains 2022 Exam Begins Today (16th Sep): Check out the UPSC Mains preparation strategy for the upcoming examination. Know the expert-suggested tips that help in maximizing scores, essay writing tips, etc here.
Archana Shandilya
UPSC CSE Mains 2022 Exam Begins Today (16th Sep)

UPSC CSE Mains 2022 Exam Begins Today (16th Sep): The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is going to conduct the UPSC CSE Mains examination from tomorrow, September 16 to 18, 2022. The remaining four papers shall be held on September 24 and 25, 2022. The commission is going to conduct two papers each day in two shifts i.e. forenoon and afternoon session. The forenoon session shall be held from 9 am to 12 pm. Whereas, the second shift shall be held from 2 pm to 5 pm. Check out the complete exam schedule in the table below:

Exam Date

Forenoon Shift

Afternoon Shift

September 16, 2022

Paper-I Essay 


September 17, 2022

Paper-II General Studies-I  

Paper-III General Studies-II  

September 18, 2022

Paper-IV General Studies-III 

Paper-V General Studies-IV  

September 24, 2022

Paper-A Indian Language

Paper-B English

September 25, 2022

Paper-VI Optional Subject-Paper-1 

Paper-VII Optional Subject-Paper-2  

UPSC CSE Mains Exam Pattern



Maximum Marks



Paper A

Compulsory Indian Langauge


3 hours


Paper B



3 hours


Paper I



3 hours


Paper II

General Studies I


3 hours


Paper III 

General Studies II


3 hours


Paper IV

General Studies III


3 hours


Paper V

General Studies IV


3 hours


Paper VI

Optional Paper 1


3 hours


Paper VII

Optional Paper 2


3 hours




1750 marks


UPSC CSE Mains 2022 Preparation Strategy 

Citing the high difficulty level of the questions asked in the examination, the candidates are advised to resort to the following last-minute UPSC Mains preparation strategy. 

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1. Revise Using Short Notes

With a vast syllabus to cover for the UPSC IAS mains examination, revision using short notes is suggested. These short notes help in saving a lot of time. Other than this, you can also use the NCERT books to revise the topics that are mentioned in the syllabus. Referring to the study material prescribed by the coaching classes is also helpful in cracking the UPSC mains examination on the first attempt. 

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2. Practice Answer Writing

UPSC Mains examination is all about answer writing. All the nine papers asked in the exam have only descriptive questions. Hence, toppers always suggest practicing answer writing from day one of UPSC CSE exam preparation. As per experts, an answer should be divided into three sections, introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should always include data that adds value. The body should be properly demarcated into pointers, maps, and data. The conclusion of the answer should always end on a positive note. 

3. Include Maps and Diagrams in Your Answers

The subjects asked in the UPSC CSE mains exam are descriptive in nature. This means the candidate has to write answers to the questions balancing the current and static parts. Apart from good handwriting and a properly demarcated answer, maps and diagrams are something that an examiner looks for in the answer copies. Time and again UPSC IAS exam experts have stressed the importance of including maps and diagrams in the main exam answer. Using maps or drawing present the essence of the answer in a pictorial way thus drawing the examiner’s attention.  

4. Attempt UPSC IAS Previous Year Papers

Attempting the previous year's question papers of UPSC Mains helps in getting an insight regarding the level and type of questions asked in the exam. Remember, the questions asked in the main exam do not check the aptitude of a student. Rather it is a more knowledge and opinion-oriented examination. Skimming through the previous paper serves the purpose of giving an idea of what kind and type of questions can be asked from a particular section. 

UPSC is not an organization that is known to repeat questions in the Civil services examination. However, in some subjects, like History, Political science, etc it has been found that some questions made a comeback. You can make a list of all of these questions and prepare them well to score good marks in case they are asked again. 

5. Highlighting and Underlining facts

If you have seen copies of previous year's UPSC CSE exam toppers then you will find they use to highlight and underline points. The primary reason for doing this is to make the important pointers visible in the eyes of the examiner. Citing the large number of copies an examiner usually does not read each answer seriously. This trick highlights the important facts included by the candidate in their answers. This makes the job of the examiner easier as he gets to know about the knowledge of the test taker in a go. 

6. Quality Answers

The total time allotted to any paper of the UPSC CSE mains examination is three hours. The candidate has to attempt around 6 to 7 questions in each paper. Hence, the best way of using this allotted time is to curate answers that have an essence. The best tip to do that is to keep the answers short and crisp. Try to include real-time data in the answer to add more value. For example, if there is a question based on federal government powers. Then, curate your answers in a way that is a backstory related to this topic, including some recent survey numbers and a subtle opinion of yours regarding the same.  

Final Words

UPSC mains is one of those stages of the recruitment process that makes or breaks a candidate’s selection in the examination. The major idea behind this exam is to assess the candidate’s analytical and theoretical knowledge of the concepts relevant to the exam. Hence, it is very important to secure high marks on this paper. This is because higher marks will lead to less burden for the interview round and help in scoring well in that section too.


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