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Civil Service Mains Examination

Civil Service mains examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type, in which two papers are qualifying and only marks of seven are counted followed by a personality test (interview).

What is Civil Service Mains Examination ?

So far, our discussions were confined to the Civil Services Preliminary examination, which is a screening test for entry to the Main Examination. The most important characteristic of the Main Exam is that the questions in every paper are of the conventional essay type and highly needed right strategy with good writing skill for scoring the best marks in the highly competitive exam. Some questions may demand short notes. But there are no objective questions in any of the papers.

In fact, each question in an objective type examination usually tests your knowledge of one specific point. In sharp contrast, the essay type questions can evaluate your abilities in logical thinking, problem solving, analysis, synthesis, original thought, clarity of thought, garnering and merging facts from diverse sources, organising material, developing arguments, comparing and contrasting, making judgement, giving opinions, preparing summaries, interpreting statements, expanding and illustrating a central idea, verbal facility and power of expression.

The aspirants may confront with the questions such as compare two things, events and so on. Here the aspirants must carefully consider merits and demerits. You should apply your logic and come to the conclusions and write them with clarity. Time management in the examination hall is an important component of success. In order to answer the required number of questions, you should plan your timing accordingly.

The written examination consists of nine papers, of which two are qualifying and seven are ranking in nature. Candidates who pass qualifying papers are ranked according to marks and a selected number of candidates are called for interview or a personality test at the Commission’s discretion.

According to the new marks allocations in Civil Service Examination 2013 there are some changes made in the examination according to the suggestion of the Prof. Arun. S. Nigavekar Committee. However, after some controversy, the qualifying papers for Indian languages and English were restored to the examination.

In August 2014, the Centre announced that English marks in CSAT will not be included for gradation or merit and 2011 candidates may get a second chance to appear for the test in 2015. In addition to this, in the year 2015, the UPSC will consider only General Studies Paper-I Marks for mains selection and incorporated that aspirants should qualify minimum cut off (that is, 33%) in the General Studies Paper – II (CSAT) in the Prelims Test.

Generally, the Civil Services Mains section consists of two steps: Written Test and Personality Test / Interview:

Written Test – Total Papers & Marks

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