Marching towards Mains

Marching towards Mains

On completion of Civils prelims examination on 2nd June, the candidates have to get ready for the mains examination.

On completion of Civils prelims examination on 2nd June, the candidates have to get ready for the mains examination. From 2013 onwards the prelims examination is conducted both for civil services and Indian Forest services. (I FoS). The mains examinations will be conducted separately for those two services.

There will be a cut off mark to qualify for Mains- next level. That is determined according to the number of vacancies for that particular year, number of candidates who wrote the examination and the level of difficulty of the question paper of that year. It is considered only based on the general studies paper but not CSAT. The second paper is only a qualifying paper. One should score a minimum of 33% in this paper to qualify for mains. Both the papers have negative marking- 1/3 of the allotted marks of that question- Two in the case of Paper I and 2.5 marks in case of paper II. The marks scored by the candidates in the prelims are not counted for the final score.

Date for Civil services Mains examinations is September 20. Date for I FoS mains examinations is December 1. Eligible candidates can appear for both the examinations.

Examination pattern: The Civil services Main examination can be divided into 3 parts.

Part A- Qualifying paper I - English 300 marks- 3 hours

Qualifying paper II- Indian language- 300 marks – 3 hours

The candidate can choose Telugu or any other Indian language included in the constitution. These two are compulsory papers. Candidates should get a minimum of 40 per cent in both the papers. In case they fail to get the 40 per cent, there score in mains papers will not be considered. So candidates should not take it easily while preparing for these papers. One candidate could not make it to Personality test though he has scored good marks in all the 7 papers of Mains. He could not score 40 per cent marks in Telugu. There are books available for preparation of Telugu paper.

Part II – Mains papers

Paper I . General English 250 marks- 3hours

Paper II General Studies -1 250 marks 3 hours

Paper III General Studies –II 250 marks 3 hours

Paper IV General studies –III 250 marks 3 hours

Paper V General studies- IV 250 marks 3 hours

Part III- Optional

Paper I 250 marks 3 hours

Paper II 250 marks 3 hours


Total marks 250X7 = 1750 marks (written test)

Personality test 275 marks


Grand total 2025 marks

Note: a minimum of 10% marks should be scored in all the seven papers for selection to personality test/ Interview.

General Studies Papers

Paper I Indian culture, Modern Indian history and National movement Post independence consolidation, world history, Geography and Indian society

Paper II - Indian polity, Welfare mechanism, governance, International relations.

Paper III – Economic development of India, Science and Technology,

Ecology, environment and biodiversity, security management, Disaster management

Paper IV – Ethics, Integrity, Attitude, and Aptitude

How to choose an optional subject

UPSC has given several optional subjects for the candidate to select. It starts from Agriculture to Zoology in alphabetical order and literature of any Indian language. The questions papers for the examination will be of conventional- essay type questions. The question papers will be in both English and Hindi. Candidates can choose the medium of language for writing the Mains examinations - regional language as per the languages listed in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution. It should be mentioned in the application form for mains and they cannot change it later. Generally the candidates form Andhra and Telangana are opting for Telugu. They can do the interview in their own mother tongue. A translator will be provided at the time of interview. The questions in optional will be of graduation level.

1. Domain subject: The candidate can choose a subject of his graduation: Arts- science- commerce- Engineering- accounts- mathematics- Law etc. But it should be selected when he has thorough knowledge on the subject.

2. Popular optional: A subject becomes popular among the candidates due to some advantages like- a) limited syllabus b) compatibility with general studies, c) Wide availability of coaching and material d) high scoring subject

During the recent years after the changed pattern from 2013 for Mains – single option instead of 2 optionals, the following have become popular optional subjects. Even the candidates with medical, engineering, and agriculture backgrounds are opting for one among them.

a) Telugu literature or regional language

b) Public administration

c) Sociology

d) Geography

e) Anthropology

f) Mathematics

In mains, generally any score between 38% and 40% can ensure cracking of civil services. If we look at the score of the candidates who made it to the top, it will be with in 60%

Preparation strategy: The gap between prelims and Mains is less than 110 days. In 2019 it is 2rd June to 20h September. Candidate has to prepare for 9 papers including compulsory papers. Leaving two compulsory papers, there are 7 papers which are to be studied in depth to score good rank.

Normally the preparation starts a year before the mains or say minimum of 10 months. The coaching centers concentrate both on prelims and mains subjects. One should not be under the impression that coaching is a must. It is like learning car driving quickly through a driving school.

Study material: Lot of study material is available in the market both in English and Telugu language. One has to be careful in selecting the material and the time he has at his command. Expert authors have published material for General studies as well s for optionals. Take the advice of the seniors in purchasing the books since time constraint is there. With in 100 days you have to revise all the 7 papers and have a command over the subject. We will have detailed analysis on each paper during next weeks up to 20th September 2019.

Show Full Article
Print Article
Next Story
More Stories