IAS Prelims 2016 : Pattern of Exam

This article will help cadidates to know the pattern of IAS Prelims Exam 2016.

Created On: Feb 4, 2016 17:55 IST

Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission is considered to be mother of all examinations because of the toughness of the exam and hard work, patience and perseverance required to clear the exam. Commonly known as IAS exam, it is conducted every year in two stages- Preliminary and Main (written and interview).

Pattern of Examination:

The Preliminary stage consists of two papers- General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II. General Studies Paper I consists of 100 questions of 2 marks each which is to be answered in 2 hours. The syllabus for Paper I can be found here.

General Studies Paper II consists of 80 questions of 2.5 marks each which is to be answered in 2 hours. The syllabus for General Studies Paper II can be found here.

For each question for which a wrong answer is given by the candidate, one-third of the marks assigned to that question are deducted as penalty. If a candidate gives more than one answer it is treated as wrong answer. If a question is left blank, there is no penalty for that question.

The question papers are set both in English and Hindi. There is sectional cut off for both the papers.


A candidate must be a graduate to appear in this examination. Those who have appeared in qualifying degree are also eligible. Candidate must have completed 21 years of age. The upper age limit for General Category students is 32 years, for OBC it is 35 years and for SC/ST it is 37 years.

Number of Attempts Permissible to each category of candidates:

General Category:     6
OBC Category:         9
SC/ST Category:      Unlimited till the age of 37 years


This year Civil Services Preliminary exam would be conducted on 7 August 2016. The Civil Services 2016 notification would be released on 23 April 2016.

Lakhs of candidates appear every year in Preliminary Exam of which only 10000-12000 are able to clear IAS Prelims Exam. Thus there is enormous competition. Candidates must take into consideration the difficulty level of preliminary exam and prepare accordingly.
Hard work, perseverance, planned studies, focused approach and firm determination are some of the things that are needed to crack this exam. We will talk about the required strategies in other articles.

Click here to know all about IAS Prelims 2016

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