The full form of UPSC is the Union Public Service Commission. It is a constitutional body that is responsible for the recruitment of prestigious central services in India. It conducts various examinations(including technical & non-technical) where qualified candidates get a chance to work at different “A” and “B” grade jobs across the union of India.
When an aspirant kicks-start the preparation, the following questions pop up in his/her mind
- How to prepare for UPSC?
- What is the UPSC syllabus?
- Which study material is the best for UPSC preparation?
- How many exams do UPSC conduct?
- What is the difference between UPSC and IAS?
- How many examinations does UPSC conduct?
However, most candidates consider UPSC and IAS the same, but that’s not true!
UPSC is the conducting authority that held various examinations, including CSE (Civil Service Examination), ESE (Engineering Service Examination), and many more.
On the other hand, IAS(Indian Administrative Services) is a civil servant comes under the government of India. Selected candidates get an opportunity to serve the country at various constitutional bodies, staff and line agencies, and statutory bodies.
Often aspirants encounter difficulties in finding the best & relevant study material for the examination. A dedicated learning hub for students where they will get free notes, syllabus, examination pattern, eligibility, preparation tips and best books for UPSC preparation.
What is UPSC?
- UPSC(Union Public Service Commission), also known as “Sangh Lok Seva Aayog,” is a central government recruitment agency that accounts for the recruitment of all “A” & “B” grade posts across the union of India.
- UPSC was established on 1 October 1926 and entitled to the constitutional body under Article 315-323 Part XIV Chapter II in the constitution of India. The UPSC's functions, duties, and obligations are defined under Article 320.
- It ensures the fair conduct of the examination and declaration of results in an impartial manner. The headquarters of the UPSC is in New Delhi.
UPSC Examination Lists
As discussed above, students are often curious about the examinations conduct by the UPSC.
Here, we have listed the examination conducted by the UPSC.
|UPSC Examination List|
|Civil Services Examination|
|Engineering Services Examination|
|Combined Medical Services Examination|
|Indian Naval Academy Examination|
|Employees Provident Fund Organisation|
|Special Class Railway Apprentice|
|Indian Forest Service Examination|
|Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination|
|Combined Geoscientist and Geologist Examination|
|Central Armed Police Forces(Assistant Commandant) Examination|
Let's explore the examination one by one.
Civil Service Examination
- UPSC Civil Service examination or UPSC CSE is one of the most difficult examinations conducted by UPSC to select the higher civil servants in the government of India. Selected candidates serve the nation at various “A” and “B” grade posts, including IAS(Indian Administrative Service), IPS(Indian Police Service), and IFS(Indian Foreign Service).
- The primary UPSC CSE eligibility criteria for the examination is a graduation degree from any recognized university.
The UPSC CSE syllabus is vast, and one must rigorously prepare for the examination. The examination is conducted the three phases mainly:
UPSC CSE Prelims Structure
|Two Compulsory Papers||General Studies Paper-I|
|General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)|
|Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I||100|
|Number of Questions asked in CSAT||80|
|Total Number of Marks||
GS Paper-I – 200 Marks
CSAT – 200 Marks
|Negative Marking||⅓ of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer|
Two hours each;
GS Paper-I – 2 Hours (9:30 AM -11:30 AM)
CSAT – 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)
UPSC CSE Mains Structure
|Paper-I||Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)||250|
|Paper-II||General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)||250|
|Paper-III||General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)||250|
|Paper-IV||General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)||250|
|Paper-V||General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)||250|
|Paper-VI||Optional Subject – Paper I||250|
|Paper-VII||Optional Subject – Paper II||250|
As per the UPSC CSE notification, we have mentioned the details of the UPSC CSE examination.
|1.||Issue of advertisement & application form||February|
|2.||Date of closure of the application form||March|
|3.||Date of the CSE Prelims Exam||June/August|
|4.||Date of the CSE Main Exam||December|
|5.||Announcement of result||February|
|6.||Personality test/ Interview||April/May/June|
Engineering Service Examination
- Engineering Services Examination (ESE), also known as Indian Engineering Services, is India's sought-after engineering entrance examination for diverse technical fields.
- UPSC is the conducting authority of the examination, and selected candidates get an opportunity to work under the government of India as class-1 engineering officers.
- The UPSC ESE syllabus is very extensive and requires a rigorous preparation strategy to ace the examination. One must create a proper planner and choose the best study material for the examination. Also, candidates should well familiar with the latest UPSC ESE exam pattern.
Examination Pattern of ESE
The Engineering Services Examination(ESE) is conducted in different stages mainly:
|Stage I Papers||ESE Prelims Objective Type||Duration||Marks|
|Paper-I (Common for all Candidates)||General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Paper||2 Hours||200|
|Paper-II||Specific Engineering specific paper||3 Hours||300|
Candidates who qualify the stage-1 will be eligible for the next stage.
|Stage II Papers||ESE Mains Descriptive Type||Duration||Marks|
|Paper-1||Engineering specific Paper-I||3 Hours||300|
|Paper-2||Engineering Specific Paper-II||3 Hours||300|
|Total Combined Marks(Paper1+2)||1100|
Stage III is a personality assessment test which consists the weightage of 200 marks.
|Stage-III||ESE Personality Test||Duration||Allotted Marks|
|Personality Test/Interview||Interview||Not mentioned||200|
Candidates who opted through the ESE must work at sectors like economy and infrastructure, central service engineering, including railways, roads, defence service engineering, manufacturing, inspection, supply, construction, public works, power, and telecommunications.
On the basis of the latest ESE notification, we have listed the details of the examination.
|1.||Issue of application form||September|
|2.||Date of closure of the application form||October|
|3.||Date of the Exam (Prelims)||January|
|4.||Date of the Exam (Mains)||May|
|5.||Announcement of result (Mains)||August|
|6.||Interviews/ Personality test||November|
Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandant) Examination
- The UPSC conducts CAPF(Central Armed Police Forces) to recruit candidates for assistant commandment(Group A) in various central defence organizations in India. The UPSC CAPF examination pattern mainly consists of tests in general ability and intelligence, which are objective types, and paper II consists of general studies essay and comprehension. The total sum marks of the two papers are 450 marks.
- After clearing the written examination, candidates then proceed to the interview/personality test, followed by physics and medical tests. The UPSC CAPF result declares between September and December.
- Students preparing for the examination should comprehensively go through the UPSC CAPF syllabus so that they can inch every important topic and be well prepared.
|Paper-1||General Ability and Intelligence(This section consists of multiple objective type questions in both medium)||250|
|Paper-2||General Studies, Essay and Comprehension(Paper-II consists of precise writing, comprehension etc to test the language skills of the candidates)||200|
The different organizations that select the candidates through this examination are:
- Border Security Force (BSF)
- Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
- Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
- Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
- Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
Combined Medical Services Examination
Every year, UPSC conducts the Combined Medical Services Examination, also known as UPSC CMS, to recruit medical officers in different organizations under the government of India. Chosen officers will get a chance to serve in different organizations like Indian Ordnance Factories, Indian Railways, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and New Delhi Municipal Council.
Generally, the UPSC CMS notification is released in March, and the examination is conducted in June. To crack this examination, aspirants should go through the UPSC CMS previous years' question papers, which help them to crack the examination.
Check the latest UPSC CMS 2023 syllabus.
|1.||Issue of application form||February|
|2.||Date of closure of the application form||March|
|3.||Date of the Pre-Exam||May/June|
|4.||Date of the Mains examination||May|
|5.||Announcement of result (Mains)||July|
|6.||Interviews/ Personality test||August-December|
Indian Naval Academy Examination
- UPSC conducts Indian Naval Examination, also known as INA, to pick the officer trainee for our prestigious Indian navy. To crack the gate of INA, candidates must pass the written examination along with the SSB interview.
- The syllabus of INA mainly consists of mathematics and general ability test. After clearing the written examination, candidates will get an SSB interview call.
- SSB(Services Selection Board) conducts a five days assessment program of the candidates which includes testing of aptitude, psychology, medical, and team-building skills.
Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA)
- UPSC conducts SCRA (Special Class Railway Apprentice) to select qualified candidates who freshly completed their 10+2 with science stream for the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering.
- The Indian railway is solely responsible for the training cost of selected candidates. After rigorous and practical training sessions, candidates will be awarded a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.
- The SCRA exam syllabus consists of mathematics, physics, chemistry, English general knowledge, and psychological tests. After qualifying the written examination, candidates will call for an interview. The weightage of the interview is 200 marks.
- Solving SCRA's previous years' questions can help you understand the examination's nature. It also briefs you about the important chapters required for the examination. Check the latest SCRA notification here.
Indian Forest Service Examination
- For the scientific management of the forests, UPSC conducts the Forest Examination, also known as IFS. The IFS full form is Indian Forest Service. It is also regarded as the prestigious civil service examination in India after IAS(Indian Administrative Service), IPS(Indian Police Service), and IFS(Indian Foreign Services).
- The preliminary examination pattern for the examination is the same, but the UPSC conducts the Mains examination separately.
Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination
UPSC conducts the Indian Statistical Service(ISS) to select the “A” grade officers who are highly dexterous in the statistical methods and application under the executive branch of the government of India.
As discussed earlier, the prelims examination pattern will same as the UPSC CSE examination but the mains pattern varies. Here we have mentioned the mains examination pattern of the IES(Indian Economic Service) examination.
|1||Written Test||General English||100||3 Hours|
|General Studies||100||3 Hours|
|Statistics-I (Objective)||200||2 Hours|
|Statistics-II (Objective)||200||2 Hours|
|Statistics-III (Subjective)||200||3 Hours|
|Statistics-IV (Subjective)||200||3 Hours|
Combined Geoscientists and Geologist Examination
To select the Geophysicist, Geologist, and Chemical Group ‘A’ in GSI and Junior Hydro-geologist (Scientist Group ‘B’) and Central Ground Water Board of Group ‘A’ under the government of India.
Combined Geo-scientist examination or CGSE examination notification release in November, and it is conducted in two stages:
- Written examination
- Personality test/Interview
To clear the examination with flying colors, aspirants need to go through the CGSE syllabus and make a properly structured strategy. Know the comprehensive Combined Geo-scientist examination syllabus.
Which Notes Are Good for UPSC?
- UPSC preparation takes time. A well-structured strategy and relevant study material can surely help you to ace the examination. Sometimes students waste their precious time in finding the best UPSC study material for themselves.
- To resolve all your queries regarding the UPSC exam preparation,
- We Physics Wallah has launched a dedicated online website that consists of free UPSC notes, and NCERT notes for UPSC for UPSC preparation. All these study materials will prove a boon for the aspirants who are seriously preparing for the UPSC examination. Apart from it, we also have provided the UPSC previous year's papers.
How to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC?
- UPSC Current affairs plays an important role in UPSC preparation. Although it is prescribed in the UPSC syllabus. Current affairs help you to understand the latest updates in the country, like government policies, amendments, economic policies, appointments, foreign policies, etc.
- Current affairs also assist you in framing your mind to make the right decision during answer writing, and it can not be neglected that precise and thoughtful answer writing is required.
- To help you, we have provided the monthly current affairs pdf, which provides the extract of all important CA necessary for the examination.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q1. What is the full form of UPSC?
Ans. The full form of UPSC is the Union Public Service Commission.
Q2. How many Attempts for UPSC?
Ans. The number of attempts in UPSC depends on different categories. For the general category, there is a total of six attempts. For the OBC category, nine and for SC/ST, physically handicapped candidates have unlimited attempts till the upper age limit is reached.
Q3. How many exams are there in UPSC?
Ans. There are a total of 11 examinations that UPSC conducts
- Civil Services Examination
- Engineering Services Examination
- Combined Medical Services Examination
- National Defence Academy Examination
- Naval Academy Examination
- Special Class Railway Apprentice
- Indian Forest Service Examination
- Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination
- Combined Geoscientist and Geologist Examination
- Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandant) Examination
Q4. How to prepare for UPSC?
Ans. Follow the tips to ace the UPSC examinations
- Know the examination.
- Understand the pattern of the examination with the help of the syllabus.
- Make structured notes. Prefer using the mind-mapping technique.
- Solve previous years’ question papers to know the latest trends of the examination.
- Attempt mock tests relevant to the UPSC examination.
- Revise the concepts on a regular basis.
Q5. Is it easy to crack UPSC?
Ans. It is apparent that UPSC is one of the toughest examinations in India. It requires a diligent study routine. Under the right guidance and with relevant study material, one can easily ace the UPSC examination.
Q6. What are the importance of NCERT books for UPSC?
Ans. NCERT books are important for UPSC because
- It helps you to build a strong foundation of concepts.
- It provides authentic information.
- UPSC asks direct questions from NCERT.
Q7. What is the eligibility criteria for the UPSC examination?
Ans. Candidates must hold a graduation certificate from any recognized university as an eligibility criteria for the examination.
Q8. What is the fee for UPSC form?
Ans. Candidates applying for the UPSC examination must pay 100rs as an application fee, while those who belong to SC/ST categories are exempted from paying the application fee.