There are 2 written tests in the CSE Exam – Prelims and Mains Exam.

The Prelims exam is qualifying in nature while the IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains exam and Personality test together will decide the candidates’ place in the Merit List.

CSE Prelims Exam Pattern

The UPSC CSE Prelims exam will be the same for both IAS and UPSC Indian Forest Service Exam (IFoS) Exam. The exam is to test the analytical skills of the candidates.

CSE Prelims exam pattern:

  • There are 2 compulsory papers – General Ability Test (GAT) and the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT).
  • All questions are objective in nature.
  • There are 4 options among which any one of the 4 answer choices given for each question.
  • Questions are set in both Compulsory English Language Paper and Hindi Language.
  • Questions from the English Language Comprehension are of the class 10th level.

The number of candidates to be admitted to Mains is about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination

Exam ModeOffline
Exam PapersPaper-I: General Studies Ability Test (GSAT) Paper-II: Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)
Number of Question100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Total Marks200 marks
Exam Duration2 hours for each paper (for blind candidates, additional 20 minutes)
Exam LanguageEnglish and Hindi