In the second wave of COVID-19 across the country, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has postponed the Civil Services 2021 preliminary exam date to 10 October. This delay in the examination process has triggered different reactions from UPSC candidates as they must once again change their preparation strategy. The Civil Services Examination is broadly divided into three successive stages - Preliminary, Main and Personality Test. Candidates need to qualify in all the three stages to make place in the final merit list.

Preliminary Exam Pattern & Syllabus
The first phase, known as prelims, consists of two papers: GS I and CSAT. General Studies I is an amalgamation of several subjects, which include History, Post-Independence era, Geography, Indian Polity, Economics, Environment, Science and Technology and Current Affairs. Whereas, Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) tests the analytical and aptitude skills of the candidates. It includes questions based on English Comprehension, Maths, Logical and Analytical Reasoning
Candidates will have to compulsorily appear in both the papers for evaluation. Both the papers carry a maximum of 200 marks. While GS I is a merit-based exam, CSAT is a merit test and candidates are required to score a pass to pass the paper. Prelims cut-off is based on GS I only. However, the marks obtained in the preliminary stage are not counted in the final merit list. GS - I question paper consists of 100 questions and CSAT paper consists of 80 questions in Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) format. There is a negative marking for each wrong answer in both the papers. 1/3 of the total marks allotted to a question is deducted for each wrong answer. Candidates must complete each paper within the allotted time of two hours.
Since the exam has been postponed, the candidates will have to work out a new strategy for the next four months. You can join any online revision batch for upsc coaching in indore to brush-up. Apart from modifying the static syllabus, candidates should also pay attention to the current events of the next three months. With the extra time available, candidates can study all the subjects with equal importance. Some additional important books which may be mentioned while reviewing is:
• Certificate Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong,
• Textbook for Environmental Studies by Erach Bharucha,
• A New Look at Modern Indian History by BL Grover,
• Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
NCERT is the best source to understand the basic concepts related to any subject of any subject. It is necessary that students see all the above-mentioned books only after revising the books prescribed for NCERT and all subjects in general. The main thing should be that more attention should be paid to quality than quantity of study material.

Main Exam Pattern & Syllabus
Once a candidate successfully clears the prelims stage, the next stage is to appear for the main exam. The main examination consists of nine papers, out of which seven are merit-based papers and two papers are of qualifying nature. All the nine papers are descriptive and are to be completed within the time limit of three hours. All papers except Language Papers A and B can be answered in English or any of the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India. Optional papers can be answered in English even if no other paper in English language has been answered by the candidate.
The Civil Services main syllabus is diverse and covers different subjects in a single paper. General Studies 1 paper covers topics like India and Indian National Movement, freedom struggle, world history, Indian and world geography, Indian heritage and culture, social development and current events related to all these subjects.
General Studies II focuses on governance, constitution, politics, social justice, and international relations. It also includes topics such as welfare schemes by the government, various international institutions, and bilateral relations.
Whereas General Studies III deals in many disciplines including economics, environment and ecology, agriculture, internal security, disaster management, science and technology. It also includes topics like infrastructure, land reform, military force.
General Studies IV focuses on ethics, integrity and competence. This paper is divided into two sections where section A deals with theoretical questions and section B has questions based on case studies.

Apart from four general studies papers, the main examination consists of an essay paper, two elective papers and two language papers qualifying. The essay question paper consists of two sections, each containing four essay topics. Candidates need to attempt one topic from each section. Whereas, for optional papers, UPSC offers 25 subjects and 23 language literature subjects to choose from. Paper V and VI are based on selected optional subjects.
Writing skill is must to clear mains exam of upsc the questions asked in the exam are descriptive. If it is your first attempt of upsc then you need some directions in answer writing which comes by the experience and you can find this in some good upsc coaching in indore.

Personality test
On passing the main examination, the selected candidates are called for a personal interview. This stage is conducted by the UPSC board to evaluate the suitability of the candidate for a career in civil services. The board assesses the mental ability, reasoning, and decision-making skills of the candidate by asking questions based on the information provided by the candidate in his/her Detailed Application Form (DAF). The personality test is of 275 marks.

The rank of a candidate in the UPSC Civil Services Final Merit List depends only on the marks obtained in Main and Personality Test together. The cut-off is calculated based on total 2025 marks.

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