Civil Services Exam 2020- Union Public Service Commission

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will be conducting the Civil Services Exam 2020 to shortlist the candidates for recruitment to different services. The exam will be held as preliminary exam, main exam and interview. Candidates clearing all these rounds will be considered for recruitment to different posts and services under Civil Services. It is counted as one of the toughest and prestigious exams of the country and clearing it can provide appointment to the some of the reputed posts such as Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Revenue Service, etc.

News: The application form for Civil Services exam will be released on 12th Feb 2020. 

Highlights of Civil Services Exam 2020

  • Choice of service for recruitment can be given by the candidates at the time of interview/ personality test.
  • In case of any information regarding their applications, candidature, etc candidates can contact UPSC’s Facilitation Counter.
  • Disclosure of score will only be made for the candidates who appear in the interview but are not finally recommended for appointment.
  • SC/ ST/ OBC candidates who are also covered under any other category such as Ex-servicemen or PWD will be eligible for cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.
  • Attempting the preliminary exam will be counted as an attempt to the civil services examination.
  • Candidates appointed as IAS/ IFS who continue to be a member of that service will not be allowed to compete at the exam.
  • A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Police Service and continue to be a member of it cannot opt for IPS post in the exam.

Important Dates Civil services 2020

Check below the important dates related to the Civil Services 2020 exam:

EventsRespective Dates
Availability of online application form12th February 2020
Last date for application submission3rd March 2020
Issue of admit card for preliminary exam4th week of April 2020
Preliminary exam date31st May 2020
Online DAF (Detailed Application Form) submissionJuly 2020/ August 2020
Last date to submit the DAFJuly 2020/ August 2020
Main exam admit card releaseSeptember 2020
Main exam date18th September 2020
Result announcementYet to be notified
Release of e-summon letters for interviewYet to be notified
Interview dateYet to be notified

Exam Pattern

The pattern for UPSC Civil Services 2020 for both pre and main exam is explained here:

Preliminary exam:

  • Mode of exam: Offline
  • Number of papers: 2
  • Type of questions: Objective type
  • Question paper language: Both English & Hindi
  • Duration of exam: 2 hours for each paper
  • Total marks: 400 (200 each paper)
  • Negative marking: For every incorrect answer, one-third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted

Main exam:

  • Mode of exam: Offline
  • Type of questions: Descriptive type
  • Question paper language: Both English & Hindi (other than the literature of language papers)
  • Duration of exam: 3 hours for each paper
PaperTopicsMaximum marks
Qualifying Papers
Paper AAny Indian Language selected by the candidate300 marks
Paper-BEnglish300 marks
Papers to be counted for merit
Paper IEssay250 marks
Paper IIGeneral Studies I250 marks
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II250 marks
Paper IVGeneral Studies III250 marks
Paper VGeneral Studies IV250 marks
Paper VIOptional Subject – Paper 1250 marks
Paper VIIOptional Subject – Paper 2250 marks
Sub total————1750 marks
Personality Test————275 marks
Grand total————2025 marks

Language paper and the script to be used

HindiDevanagariSindhiDevanagari or Arabic
NepaliDevanagariSanthaliDevanagari or Olchiki

List of optional subjects for main exam

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Law
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
  • Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.


  • Level of Paper A and paper B will be of matriculation or equivalent standard.
  • Paper A will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland & Sikkim and the candidates belonging to PwD category (only Hearing Impairment sub-category) provided that they have been granted such exemption by the concerned education board.


The overview of the Civil Services Exam 2020 syllabus is provided below:

Preliminary exam:

  • Paper I: Current Events, Indian and World Geography, History of India, Indian Polity and Governance, Economic and Social Development, etc
  • Paper II: Comprehension, Basic Numeracy, Interpersonal Skills, General Mental Ability, Logical Reasoning & Analytical Ability and Decision Making & Problem Solving

Main exam:

  • Paper A & B: Comprehension of Given Passages, Précis Writing, Usage & Vocabulary and Short Essay
  • Paper I: Essays on multiple topics with effective and exact expression
  • Paper II: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society
  • Paper III: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations
  • Paper IV: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
  • Paper V: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
  • Paper VI & VII: Topics from the subject selected by the candidates as their optional subjects.

Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria must be fulfilled for the Civil Services Exam 2020:

  • Age: The minimum and maximum age of the candidates should be 21 and 32 years respectively, as on 1st August 2020.
  • Nationality: Citizen of India, Subject of Bhutan or Subject of Nepal OR Tibetan refugee, who came to India before 1st January 1962 with the intention of settling permanently OR Person of Indian Origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of settling permanently
  • Qualification: A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized university is required.
  • Physical Standards: Candidates must be physically fit according to the physical standards for admission to Civil Services exam.
  • Number of attempts: A total of 6 attempts (9 for OBC and unlimited for SC/ ST candidates) will be provided to clear this exam.

Relaxation in upper age

SC/ ST candidates5 years
OBC candidates3 years
PWD candidates10 years
Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof3 years
Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/ SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2020 and have been released on (i) completion of assignment (or will be completed within one year from 1st August, 2020) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or (ii) on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service, or (iii) on invalidment5 years
ECOs/ SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August, 2018 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three month’s notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment5 years

Application Form

Interested and eligible candidates are required to apply online for the UPSC Civil Services exam from the website Before starting the application process, the candidates are suggested to keep their important documents such as photograph, signature, credit/ debit card, etc ready.

  • Information such as name, date of birth, gender, category, qualifying exam details, etc will be asked in the application form.
  • Candidates will also have to upload the scanned copies of their photograph and signature into the application.
  • All the details must be provided with extreme care as no change in the finally submitted form will be possible.
  • An application form with incomplete or false information will be liable for rejection.
  • To finish the process of application submission, the candidates will also have to pay a prescribed amount as application fee.

Application fee:

  • The candidates will have to pay an application fee of Rs. 100/- for the preliminary exam (no application fee for SC/ ST/ female/ PwD candidates).
  • Those qualifying for the main exam will have to make further payment of Rs. 200/- as application fee.
  • Payment can be done by depositing cash in any branch of SBI or by SBI net banking or nay bank debit card/ credit card.

Admit Card

  • Successfully registered candidates will be able to download their admit card for appearing in the pre exam from the UPSC website.
  • Only the candidates with a valid admit card will be allowed to appear for the examination.
  • Details of the exam center and its timing will be communicated to the candidates through the admit card.
  • Candidates facing problem in downloading the admit card or having error in their admit card should contact commission regarding the same.
  • Admit card for the main exam will be released separately and only for the candidates qualifying their pre exam.


  • The result of pre as well as main exam will be declared in online mode on the official website of UPSC.
  • Declaration of the result of both the exams will be done according to the specified schedule.
  • Candidates qualifying the pre exam will be considered for appearing in the main exam.
  • The main exam will be in the form of a written test and an interview.
  • The candidates clearing the main exam will be considered for recruitment against the available vacancies.

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