The mains exam consists of 9 Papers (conventional essay type papers of 1750 marks). The first two are language tests : First is the Language Test in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and the second is the English Test. Each test is worth 300 marks. These Test are at the high school level. The candidates are expected to only qualify, the score from these tests is not included in the aggregate. The third test is an Essay Test, worth 250 Marks. The candidate can write the essay in English or in any other language included in the Eight Schedule of the constitution. The next four tests, each worth 250 marks, are on General studies. The syllabus for each test is different. These tests aim to judge your awareness and well as your understanding and analysis of contemporary events. The remaining two tests, each worth 250 marks, are on one of the optional subjects chosen by the candidate.

Thus, the Main examination comprises a total of nine 9 papers of two types:
• 2 paper of non ranking types only qualifying in nature
• 7 papers of ranking type

Qualifying Paper :

Two papers of non-ranking type include :

Paper

Subject

Maximum marks

Paper A One of the Indian Language to be Selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution 300 marks
Paper B English, which is a compulsory. 300 marks



Both the papers will be 3 hours duration each. Both these papers are very simple in nature (10th standard) and, in a way, mentally prepare the candidate for writing the subsequence exams.

Papers to be counted for Merit

Paper

Subject

Maximum marks

Paper I Essay 250 marks
Paper II General Studies – I
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
250 marks
Paper III General Studies – II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)
250 marks
Paper IV General Studies – III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-Diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
250 marks
Paper V General Studies – IV
(Ethics, integrity and Aptitude)
250 marks
Paper VI & VII Two papers in any one optional subject (candidates may choose any one optional subject from amongst the UPCS’s list of optional subjects in the Mains Examination) 250 marks

Total

1750 marks


All the 7 paper of will be 3 hours duration each. Blind candidates will, however be allowed an extra time of 30 minutes at each paper.
Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the qualifying Language papers, Paper – A & B, in any of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English. The question papers other than language papers will be set both in Hindi and English.

List of Optional subjects for Mains Examinations :

Students have to choose one optional subject from a list of the following optional subjects. Students can also opt for one literature subject as an optional, if they so desire.

Optional subjects (26) offered by UPSC

Agriculture
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
Anthropology
Botany
Chemistry
Civil Engineering
Commerce & Accountancy
Economics
Electrical Engineering
Geography
Geology
History
Law
Management
Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering
Medical Science
Philosophy
Physics
Political Science & International Relations
Psychology
Public Administration
Sociology
Statistics
Zoology

Literature of any one of the following languages (30) is also offered as an optional subject:-

Arabic
Assamese
Bodo
Bengali
Chinese
Dogri
English
French
German
Gujarati
Hindi
Kannada
Kashmiri
Konkani
Maithili
Malayalam
Manipuri
Marathi
Nepali
Oriya
Pali
Persian
Punjabi
Russian
Sanskrit
Santali
Sindhi
Tamil
Telugu
Urdu