The Preliminary Examination conducted by the UPSC for Civil Services such IAS, IPS, IFS and other government services comprises of two compulsory papers. Each of the papers is 200 marks. The two papers together carry a maximum of 400 marks.
Both of the question papers are multiple choice or what is referred to as objective type papers. The question papers will be in both Hindi and English, but questions relating to English Language Comprehension will be only in English.
Each of the papers will be of 2 hours duration.
The syllabus for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination: https://www.jagranjosh.com/articles/what-is-the-syllabus-for-civil-services-2011-preliminary-examination-1299558504-1
Candidates must appear Civil Services Preliminary Examination for the selection for the Main Examination. Candidates will be declared by the UPSC to have qualified for admission to the Main Entrance Examination based on Preliminary Examination results.
The Preliminary Exam is for screening purposes only. The marks obtained in the preliminary examination by the candidates who have qualified for the Main Examination will not be counted for the determining the final order of merit.
The number of candidates that will qualify in the Preliminary Exams is 12 - 13 times, the total number of vacancies. For the year 2011, it is estimated that there will be 880 vacancies. This means that somewhere between 10,000 - 11,500 candidates will qualify to take the civil services Main Examination of 2011.