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UPSC Main Examination 2019 - Explained

The primary aim of the Mains Examination is to analyze the academic skills of the candidates through their capability to state their knowledge in a prefect and reasonable way. The mains examination is to assess the general intellectual persona and profundity of understanding of candidates.

The UPSC has announced the date for UPSC 2019 Civil services examination. The Prelims exam will be held on 2nd June 2019 and the Mains exam will be held on 20th September 2019. There is no change in the syllabus. The mains exam will continue as a written paper with nine papers with the existing syllabus.

How to Prepare for IAS Mains Exam 2019

Revised Pattern of Mains Exam

The UPSC has revised the pattern of Civil Services Main examination from 2018.

There are 7 + 2 = 9 papers to be answered in the main examination. All of them are of descriptive type. There are two qualifying papers 1) any modern Indian language of 300 marks 2) English of 300 marks. The marks of these two papers will not be counted in the merit list of the main examination.

The candidate is allowed to pick any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium for writing the mains examination.

According to the new pattern in the UPSC syllabus, there are "FOUR" General Studies paper each comprising of 250 Marks with a total of 1000 Marks are made compulsory. The scope of the syllabus of General Studies papers are of degree level.

There is only "ONE" optional subject to choose from the list of subjects. It comprises of two papers each of 300 marks. So the optional paper has total 600 marks. Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject "without the condition of having the same at graduation level." The scope of the syllabus of optional paper is higher than the bachelor's degree but lower than the master's level.

Interview/Personality Test is of 275 Marks. Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.
The total mark of the written examination is 1750 Marks.
The Interview/Personality Test will be of 275 marks.
The Grand Total 2025 Marks

Summary of the Latest Pattern of Civil Services (Mains) Examination


Paper - A
Language -300 Marks
Candidate can take any Modern Indian language but this paper is of qualifying nature

Paper - B
English -300 Marks

This paper is of qualifying nature


Paper - I
Essay - 250 Marks

Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice


Paper-II
General Studies-I 250 Marks
(Indian Heritage and Culture,
History and Geography of the World and Society)

Paper-III
General Studies -II: 250 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Paper-IV
General Studies -III 250 Marks
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Paper-V
General Studies -IV 250 Marks
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Marks carried by General Studies papers are 4X 250=1000

Paper-VI
Optional Subject - Paper 1 -250 Marks

Paper-VII
Optional Subject - Paper II -250 Marks

Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject "without the condition of having it at the graduation level."


Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks

Marks of English and Language will not be counted in the total tally of marks for the written exam. So the total of the Mains exam will be 1750 Marks Only.


Interview/Personality Test - 275 marks

Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.


Grand Total 2025 Marks



Here are some links that can be useful for your preparation of the Mains Examination