FAQ

1. When is the Examination Notice issued?

Answer - UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the Rules of Examinations notified by the Government. Examination Notices of all the 13 Structured Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website around 3 months before the date of Examination. Examination Notices (indicative) are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar.

2. How to apply for Examinations conducted by the UPSC?

Answer - Candidates can apply online for the UPSC Examinations by accessing the online portal hosted on the UPSC’s website (https://upsconline.nic.in)

3. How much time is given to the candidates for applying online?

Answer – Time for applying online is clearly mentioned in the Examination Notice. A candidate gets about 3 weeks time to apply online and can fill up the online application by following the instructions provided on the website for filling up online application.

4. What happens if a candidate submits multiple online applications?

Answer - While a candidate should avoid submitting more than one online application, in case of doing so, the data provided in the last application (highest RID Number), that is successfully submitted online, is accepted by the Commission. All previous applications are ignored as these are amalgamated with the last completed & finally submitted application. If an applicant (who has already submitted an application successfully) wants to make amendments in the application, then he has to submit a fresh application on or before the last date of submission of application of the Examination. Therefore, it must be ensured that fee is submitted against the last online application only, which should also be complete in all respects including its final submission. Fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID number.

5. When should I apply if I choose to pay by Bank Challan?

Answer - The closing date of submission of online application is clearly mentioned in the Examination Notice. Candidates, who make payments through Bank Challan, are required to submit online application at least a day before the notified closing date so that they can generate the Bank Challan to be submitted in any Branch of SBI within Bank working hours throughout India. Facility of Challan generation is deactivated on the last day of online application automatically by the system. However, Candidates can submit Bank Challan on the last day in any Branch of the SBI. Bank Challan generation is in Part-II of Online Application

6. Which category of candidates is exempted from payment of Examination fee?

Answer - For all the Examinations conducted by the Commission, Female candidates, Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) and candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories are exempted from payment of Examination Fee.

7. What precautions must be taken by candidates for claiming community reservation or reservation for Persons with Benchmark vDisabilities (PwBD)?

Answer - Candidates seeking reservation/ relaxation benefits available for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes/ Other Backward Classes/Economically Weaker Sections/Persons with Benchmark Disabilities/Ex-servicemen must ensure that they are entitled to such reservation/ relaxation in accordance with the eligibility prescribed in the Examination Rules/Notice. They should also be in possession of all the requisite certificates in the prescribed format in support of their claims for availing reservation before applying for the examination, and in any case, not later than the closing date for receipt of applications for the examination.

8. Can a candidate change his/her Community Status?

Answer - A candidate is eligible to get the benefit of community reservation if his/her caste/tribe is included in the reserved community as may be determined by the Central Government and he/she has claimed for the same. The Commission does not entertain a request for change of community from unreserved to reserved category once the examination process is initiated. However, in some exceptional cases where a particular caste/tribe is included in the list of reserved community within 3 months from the date of submission of application, the Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case. In case of a candidate unfortunately becoming physically disabled during the course of the examination process, the candidate should produce valid document showing him/her acquiring a disability to the extent of 40% or more as mentioned in the relevant rules to enable him/her to get the benefits of PwBD reservation.

9. Can a candidate change the Date of Birth from what he/she has

submitted in the online application?

Answer - The Commission does not allow change of Date of Birth that has been furnished by a candidate and recorded by the Commission on any ground whatsoever.

10. What action is taken by the Commission in case of submission of false information by the candidates?

Answer - A candidate found to be furnishing false information to the Commission or suppressing information, adopting various unfair means in the Examination like impersonation, cheating, etc., is liable to be disqualified and/or debarred from writing UPSC Examinations as decided by the Commission. A detailed stipulation in this regard is incorporated in the Rules of Examination/ Examination Notices.

11. When are the e-Admit Cards issued?

Answer - The eligible candidates are issued e-Admit Cards around three weeks before the commencement of the Examination. The e-Admit Cards are made available on the UPSC website [https://upsconline.nic.in] for downloading by the candidates. The Admit Card is not sent by post. If a candidate is not issued his/her e-Admit Card or does not receive any other communication regarding his/her candidature for the Examination around three weeks before the commencement of the examination, he/she should immediately contact the Commission at the concerned email ID. Information in this regard can also be obtained from the Facilitation Counter located in the Commission’s Office either in person or over phone Nos. 011- 23381125/011- 23385271/011-23098543. Q 15. What is the procedure adopted for allotment of Roll Numbers, Centre and Venues to the candidates? Answer - Allotment of Roll Numbers and Venues to the eligible candidates is carried out though computer in a random manner without manual intervention. The Commission makes all efforts to allot the candidate the Centre of his/her choice, which is done on the “first-apply-first allot” basis. Once the capacity of a particular Centre is exhausted, the same shall not be available to the applicants as an option. The applicants shall, therefore, be required to choose one of the available Centres. It is, thus, advised to apply early for getting the choice Centre. However, it may be noted that the Commission may change the Centres of the candidates as per its discretion to address the special situations arising at that point of time.

12. Are requests for change of Centre/ Venue accepted?

Answer - The candidates should note that no request for change of Centre / Venue is accepted.

13. Can a candidate appear at a Centre/Venue other than the Venue mentioned his/her e-Admit Card?

Answer - No candidate is allowed to appear at a Centre/Venue other than the Centre/Venue mentioned by the Commission in his/her e-Admit Card. If a candidate appears at such a Centre/Venue (except by a court order), the papers of that candidate shall not be evaluated and his/her candidature will be liable for cancellation.

14. What are the precautions to be taken while uploading candidates’ photographs and signatures?

Answer - Before filling up the Online Application, a candidate must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the “JPG” format in such a manner that each file should not exceed 300 KB and must not be less than 20 KB. The photograph and signature must be clearly discernible. Samples of acceptable photograph and signature are displayed in the application module. Candidates should take due care while uploading their photograph since no changes are allowed once the photograph is uploaded and online application is submitted. Uploading of photograph/signature is the sole responsibility of the candidate and in case a wrong photograph/signature is uploaded, his/her candidature is liable to be cancelled for false identity. Candidates should check the e-Admit Card carefully and discrepancies/ errors, if any, should be brought to the notice of the UPSC immediately.

15. What items are banned at the Examination Venues during Examinations and during conduct of the Personality Tests (Interviews) in the UPSC premises?

Answer - (a) Mobile phones (even in switched off mode), any electronic equipment or programmable device or storage media like pen drive, smart watches etc. or camera or bluetooth devices or any other equipment or related accessories either in working or switched off mode capable of being used as a communication device or any other communication devices and IT gadgets, are banned items and are, therefore, not allowed inside the premises of the Venue where the Examination is being conducted as also in the UPSC premises during conduct of the Personality Tests (Interview). Any infringement of these instructions shall entail disciplinary action including cancellation of candidature for that Examination and debarment from all future Examinations/Selections of the Commission. (b) Candidates are advised in their own interest not to bring any of the banned items including mobile phones/Bluetooth devices etc. (as detailed above) to the Venue of the Examination and the UPSC premises when the examination process is underway (c) Candidates are also advised not to bring any valuable/expensive items to the Examination Halls/UPSC premises, as safety of such items cannot be assured. The Commission will not be responsible for any loss in this regard.

16. Is it essential to carry Photo ID Card for appearing at an Examination/Interview?

Answer – The applicant is required to fill in the number of the Photo ID Card (viz. Aadhaar Card/Voter Card/PAN Card/Passport/Driving Licence/Any other Photo ID Card issued by the Central/State/UT Government) and to upload the same while filling up the online application form of anExamination of the Commission. The above number of the Photo ID Card is printed on the e-Admit Card of the Examination issued to the candidate. The candidate is then required to carry the same Photo ID Card along with the eAdmit Card/e-Summon Letter for appearing at the Examination/Interview. This Photo ID Card will be used for all future referencing. In case he/she is unable to produce the same during Examination/Interview, he/she will have to submit an Undertaking alongwith any other Photo ID Card issued by the Central/State/UT Government.

17. What are the timing for reporting at the Examination Venue and time of closure of entry into the Examination Venue?

Answer – The candidates are advised to reach the Venue well in time so that their entry inside the Examination Venue could be ensured smoothly after observing necessary protocol. As regard time for closure of entry, the candidate may note that the entry into the Examination Venue is closed 10 minutes before commencement of the Examination Session e.g. if Session starts at 10:00 a.m., the entry inside the Examination Venue shall be closed sharp at 09:50 a.m.

18. What is the structure of the Civil Services Examination?

Answer - The Civil Services Examination (CSE) comprises of two successive stages: the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (CSP) and the Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview).

19. What is the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer - UPSC conducts Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and other Central Services and posts in accordance with the Rules published by the Government (Department of Personnel & Training) in the Gazette of India Extraordinary. This Examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates, who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination, are not counted for determining their final order of merit. Only those candidates, who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year, will be eligible to appear at the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

20. Counted as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination?

Answer - (i) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be taken as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination. (ii) If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, it shall be taken as an attempt at the Examination. (iii) Notwithstanding the disqualification/ cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the Examination will count as an attempt.

21. If a candidate has applied for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination but has not appeared at any paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will it be counted as an attempt?

Answer - No, an attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.

22. What is the scheme of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer - The Examination is comprised of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. (i) Both the question papers are of objective type (multiple choice questions). (ii) The question papers are set in Hindi and English. (iii) Details of the syllabi are provided in the Examination Notice and Gazette Notification published by the Government. (iv) Each paper is of two hours duration.

23. Is the General Studies Paper-II of qualifying nature? What are the Cut-off Marks for this Paper?

Answer – Yes, the General Studies Paper-II is of qualifying nature. The minimum qualifying standards in this Paper is indicated in the Examination Rules and at present, it is 33%.

24. Is there any negative marking at the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer - Candidates should note that there is penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. (i) For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (1/3rd) of the marks assigned to that question is deducted as penalty. (ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it is treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question. (iii) If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

25. What are the minimum educational qualifications prescribed?

Answer - The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or any other educational institution established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification. Q 40. What are the eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/ functional classification required for a Service/ Post? Answer - The Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates shall also be required to meet eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/functional classifications (abilities/disabilities) consistent with the requirements of the identified Service/Post as may be prescribed by its Cadre Controlling Authorities. The details of physical requirements and functional classifications are given in the Rules/Notice of the Examination

26. What are the provisions regarding community reservation and change of community?

Answer - A candidate will be eligible to get the benefit of community reservation only in case the particular community/ caste / tribe to which the candidate belongs is included in the list of reserved communities issued by the Central Government. If a candidate indicates in his/her application form for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination that he/she belongs to General category but subsequently writes to the Commission to change his/her category to a reserved one, such request shall not be entertained by the Commission. Similar principle will also be followed for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates. However, in some exceptional cases where a particular caste/tribe is included in the list of reserved community within 3 months from the date of submission of application, the Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case. In case of a candidate unfortunately becoming physically disabled during the course of the examination process, the candidate should produce valid document showing him/her acquiring a disability to the extent of 40% or more as mentioned in the relevant rules to enable him/her to get the benefits of PwBD reservation.

27. What are the provisions for reservation for SC, ST, OBC, EWS and PwBD candidates?

Answer - Reservation will be made for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Economically Weaker Sections and Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government.

28. Can a candidate choose an optional subject, which he has not studied at graduate/post graduate level?

Answer - Yes.

29. Which is the language / medium of question papers?

Answer - The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) are set in Hindi and English.

30. Can a candidate write different papers of Civil Service (Main) Examination in different languages?

Answer - No, the Candidates have the option to write their answers either in English or in any one of the Eighth Schedule languages except the Qualifying Language papers Paper-A and Paper-B, which they have indicated at the time of filling up of their online application form for the Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination.

31. How are the Question Papers for the Civil Services (Main) Examination structured? What is the duration of each paper?

Answer - The question papers for the examination are of conventional (essay) type. Each paper is of three hours duration.

32. Can a candidate write the Civil Service (Main) Examination in English and take the interview in Hindi or any other Indian language?

Answer - The candidates, opting for Indian Language medium for the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination may choose either the same Indian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview. The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in the same ndian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview. The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English, may choose either English or Hindi or any other Indian Language opted by them for the compulsory Indian Language Paper in the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, as the medium for interview. The candidate has to indicate the language medium of interview at the time of filling up of the Detailed Application Form (DAF) However, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview or Personality Test.

33. What are the Cut-off Marks for the compulsory language Papers?

Answer – The minimum qualifying standards in each of the two Qualifying Papers i.e. English and Indian Languages is indicated in the Examination i.e. English and Indian Languages is indicated in the Examination Rules, is at present 25%

34. Is the Indian language Paper compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim?

Answer – The Paper A on Indian Language is not compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. In the Online Application, if a candidate hails from these North-Eastern States, the option for Indian Language will automatically be disabled in the Online Application.

35. Is the Indian language Paper compulsory for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities categories?

Answer – Yes, Paper A on Indian Language is compulsory for candidates belonging to Persons with Benchmark Disabilities category. However, it will not be compulsory for the candidates suffering from Hearing Impairment provided they have been granted such exemption from 2nd or 3rd language courses by the concerned education Board/University. The candidate needs to provide an undertaking/self declaration in this regard in order to claim such an exemption to the Commission.

36. Can I choose an optional subject if I don’t have degree in the same?

Answer - Yes you can. It is not necessary to choose the optional subject according to your degree.

37. Does my score in my preliminary examination affect my rank?

Answer - No. preliminary exam is only for shortlisting candidates. The score is not taken into account for ranking.

38. How to choose mock test series?

Answer - First, familiarize yourself with UPSCs way of asking questions. For this it is imporatant to solve previous year question papers. Now you can estimate the test series whether they are of Upscs standard of asking questions. You can solve questions that improve your conceptual understanding.

39. I have degree in engineering, will studying subjects like geography, history, economics etc,.be difficult?

Answer - No. UPSC tests basic level of understanding and does not require specialised knowledge in any of these subjects.

40. Is CUT off for IFS and other all India services in preliminary examination same?

Answer - No , generaly the cut off in the preliminary examination for IFS is higher than that of , for other all India services .

41. What is the average duration of preparation?

Answer - I year of preparation before the examination is usually recommended. However, this can vary according to individual capacity and competency.