What is UPSC Mains?

UPSC Mains stands for Union Public Service Commission Main Examination. It is the second stage of the Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the UPSC to recruit candidates for various prestigious civil services in India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

When is the UPSC Mains conducted?

The UPSC Mains examination is usually conducted in September or October each year. The exact dates are announced through the official UPSC notification.

What is the format of UPSC Mains examination?

The UPSC Mains examination consists of a written examination and a personality test (interview). The written examination consists of nine papers, out of which two papers are qualifying in nature (Paper-A and Paper-B), and the remaining seven papers (Essay, GS-I, GS-II, GS-III, GS-IV, Optional Paper-I, Optional Paper-II) are considered for the merit ranking.

What are the optional subjects in UPSC Mains?

UPSC Mains allows candidates to choose one optional subject from a list of subjects. Some common optional subjects include History, Geography, Public Administration, Sociology, Political Science, Economics, and more. The choice of the optional subject is an important decision and should be made after careful consideration of one’s interests and strengths.

Is there negative marking in UPSC Mains?

Yes, there is negative marking for incorrect answers in the UPSC Mains examination. However, negative marking is applicable only for certain objective-type papers (GS Paper-II and Paper-IV).

How are the essay and ethics papers evaluated?

The Essay paper and the General Studies Paper-IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude) are subjective in nature and are evaluated by a team of examiners. Evaluations take into account the depth of content, clarity of expression, and the candidate’s ability to present a well-structured argument or essay.

What is the marking scheme for UPSC Mains?

Each paper in the Mains examination is of 250 marks, making the total written examination worth 1750 marks. The personality test (interview) is worth 275 marks. The final merit list is prepared based on the total marks obtained in the Mains examination and the interview.

How can I prepare for UPSC Mains effectively?

Effective preparation for UPSC Mains requires a thorough understanding of the syllabus, regular practice through mock tests, and comprehensive study material. It’s also important to maintain a structured study schedule and focus on answer writing skills.

Is coaching necessary for UPSC Mains?

Coaching is not mandatory for UPSC Mains, but it can be helpful for some candidates, especially those who need guidance in understanding the syllabus and exam pattern. Many successful candidates have prepared on their own, while others have taken coaching.

How many attempts are allowed for UPSC Mains?

The number of attempts for UPSC Mains varies depending on the category of the candidate. General category candidates can attempt the exam six times, while OBC candidates can attempt it nine times. There are additional relaxations for SC/ST and PwD candidates.

These FAQs should provide you with a basic understanding of UPSC Mains. For more detailed information and updates, it’s recommended to refer to the official UPSC website and notifications.