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Important Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ's) for Civil Service Exam

Students often have many doubts about the preparation for the IAS exams. Any number of questions crop in their mind before they think about the preparations of the Civil Service exam. We are trying answer here some of the frequently asked questions FAQ's on how to prepare for the IAS exams.

Q1. How many times one can take this exam?

Ans. Number of attempts: General Category- FOUR (4) OBC- SEVEN (7) SC/ST- No restriction

Q2. Is there any relaxation in number of attempts for physically handicapped?

Ans. Only physically handicapped candidates belonging to SC, ST and OBC categories are eligible for relaxation in number of attempts provided to such categories.

Q3. Can a candidate who has completed his education from an open school/ University apply for Commission's Examination?

Ans. Yes. Candidates having pass bachelor degree from the UGC recognized University are eligible to write the exam. The minimum educational qualifications prescribed for the exam is a bachelor's degree.

Q4. Candidate belonging to a community included in the OBC list of states but not in the Central list of OBCs is eligible for age relaxation, reservation etc. for IAS exam?

Ans. No. Only candidates belonging to communities which are included in the Central list of OBC's are eligible.

Q5. Can a candidate choose an optional subject, which he has not studied at graduate/PG level?

Ans. Yes.

Q6. Is it, compulsory for a candidate to take the same optional subject in the Main Exam, which he had in the UG/PG level?

Ans. No.

Q7. If a candidate has applied for the Prelims Exam but has not appeared in the exam, will it be counted as an attempt?

Ans. No. An attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper of the Prelim exam.

Q8. Is a candidate who has done his graduation without passing class X and class X11 is eligible for the Civil Service Examination?

Ans. Yes.

Q9. A candidate can write different papers of Mains Exam in different languages?

Ans. No, Candidates have the option to write their answers either in English or in any one of the languages mentioned in the Eighth schedule.

Q10. Can a candidate write the Mains Exam in English and take the interview in Hindi or any other Indian language?

Ans. Yes. The candidate can take the interview in any language mentioned in the Eighth schedule, the UPSC will arrange a translator of that language in the interview boad.

Q11. On what criterion the answer books of the written examination is sent for evaluation?

Ans. After the Mains exams, the answer books that are collected from different centers is brought to the UPSC office in New Delhi. The answers books are then first mixed and then reshuffled. After that computerized randomized fictitious code number is given to each answer-book. It is only when this process is over the answer books are being sent for evaluation.

Q12. Are answer books segregated/sorted based on community of the candidate?

Ans. NO. This is not done at any stage of the evaluation process.

Q13. It's likely that evaluation in mains exam may suffer due to 'strict' evaluation by a particular examiner, while those evaluated by a 'liberal' examiner may get benefited?

Ans. To achieve uniformity in evaluation, where more than one Examiner is involved, the UPSC arranges a meeting of the Head Examiner and the Additional Examiners. In the meeting the question paper and the appropriate answers is thoroughly discussed and the standard of evaluation is agreed upon. After the evaluation, the Head Examiner conducts a sample survey of the answer books of each Additional Examiner to verify whether the uniform standards of evaluation is actually have been followed. If the Examiner has correctly followed the standard decided upon in the meeting the Head Examiner then confirms the awards without any change. Else he may carry out upward / downward moderation as considered necessary to ensure maximum possible degree of uniformity in the evaluation process. In such way, inter-examiner variation in the standards of evaluation is taken care of adequately.

Q14. Wherever evaluation standards are set or moderation is applied, are these different for different mediums (languages) in which a particular subject/paper Examination is written?

Ans. No. The evaluation standards/moderation for a Paper are not medium-specific. In other words, if the Rules of the Exam provide that a Paper can be written in any recognized Indian language; then the medium in which a candidate writes the Paper will not be a factor in determining the evaluation standards or the moderation to be applied.

Q.15. Is it possible that evaluation/assessment could be affected by the knowledge of a candidate's identity?

Ans. No. Before evaluation, the Roll number written on every answer book is detached and computer-based randomized fictitious code number is given. At no stage of the evaluation process (including the moderation stage) is the actual Roll number or identity of the candidate is known to any of the Examiners or officials associated in the process.

Q.16. Can I know the 'question-wise' marks awarded to me for a paper?

Ans. No. The evaluation process does not end after initial evaluation by an Examiner. Moderation wherever applied is done on the total award initially given and not on each answers. Therefore, once the evaluation process is complete, neither 'raw marks' nor 'answer-wise' marks subsist. What matters at the end of the evaluation process is the candidate's total score in a paper. The final score is normally made available to the candidate on the Commission's website.

Q.17. In which Civil Services examinations, subject-wise/paper wise marks of each candidate are not made accessible or available?

Ans. Prelim Examination. This is because the Prelim exam is an elimination exercise to select candidates for the Main Examination. As such the scores obtained in this examination is not communicated to candidates.

Q.18. Can I know the marks of other candidates who took the Examination from the UPSC?

Ans. NO. The UPSC cannot reveal such information of those candidates who have qualified the Civil Services. This is because the commission sends the detailed results qualified candidates to the concerned Ministry/Department for further processing. So any queries pertaining to the results of the qualified candidates have to be addressed to the concerned Ministry/Department and not to the UPSC.

Q.19. If the overall marks of two or more candidates are equal, how is relative merit between such candidates decided?

Ans. 'Tie-breaking' principles are applied to decide inter se merit among candidates having the same overall marks. Candidate securing more marks in the Compulsory Papers and the Personality Test put together is to be ranked higher; In case where the marks mentioned at (i) above are equal, the candidate senior in age is to be ranked higher; and in case where the (i) and (ii) above are same, then the candidate getting more marks in the compulsory papers is to be ranked higher.