The Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination every year, which is common for the all candidates applying for Civil Services Examination and Indian Forest Service Examination. This exam acts a primary mechanism for selection of candidates for the Civil Services (Main) Examination.


The UPSC exam pattern for the Preliminary stage consists of two papers, conducted on one day. Both the papers comprise objective type questions with multiple choice of answers. The prelims examination is a qualifying stage to filter candidates for the mains exam. The marks secured at this stage are not counted towards the final merit list, though candidates have to prepare well for this exam as cut-offs are unpredictable and depend on the average score every year. 

The pattern of UPSC examination is officially divided into two stages called Preliminary and Main Examination while in practice, it is a three-stage exam.

The three stages of the IAS exam are Prelims, Mains and Personality Test.

The details of UPSC Prelims Exam are given below:




No. of questions



Negative marks

General Studies I




2 hours


General Studies II (CSAT)




2 hours




The UPSC exam pattern for the Mains stage consists of 9 papers conducted over a period of 5-7 days. Only those candidates who secure at least the declared cut off in General Studies I and 33% in General Studies II in Prelims will be allowed to appear for the Mains Examination. As per the exam pattern of UPSC Mains, all of the papers consist of descriptive answer type questions. The details of UPSC Mains Exam are given below:




Total marks

Paper A

Compulsory Indian language

3 hours


Paper B


3 hours


Paper I


3 hours


Paper II

General Studies I

3 hours


Paper III

General Studies II

3 hours


Paper IV

General Studies III

3 hours


Paper V

General Studies IV

3 hours


Paper VI

Optional I

3 hours


Paper VII

Optional II

3 hours



All of the mains papers except for the language papers A and B are of a merit ranking nature. Paper A and B are of qualifying nature and candidates must score at least 25% in each for the marks from their Paper I – Paper VII to be given weightage. Paper A is not compulsory for candidates from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim as well as candidates with hearing impairment provided they can prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their concerned board or university. The Indian Language paper covers any of the languages included in the 8th Schedule of the constitution.



Preliminary Examination

Stage 1:

Paper I : General Studies 
  • Current Events of National and International Importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science
Paper II : CSAT 
  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic Numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level).

Stage 2:


General Studies – I

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

Indian Culture: It will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature & Architecture from Ancient to Modern times.

Modern Indian History:  From about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

The Freedom Struggle: Its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

History of the World: This will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- and their forms & effect on the society.

Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

Effects of globalization on Indian society

Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

Salient features of world’s physical geography.

Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

Important Geophysical Phenomena:  Such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


General Studies – II

(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)

Indian Constitution: Historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States: Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

Parliament and State Legislatures: Its structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these. Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. Role of civil services in a democracy.


India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

General Studies – III

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Government Budgeting

  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions;

Economics of animal-rearing: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

Land reforms in India

  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Investment models

  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology;
  • indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Disaster and disaster management

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
General Studies – IV

(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered.

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
  • Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.


Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance;

  • Ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information
  • Sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s
  • Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.


Stage 3:


This is the final stage of the IAS Exam before the final results are declared. Officially it is called the Interview/Personality Test and counted as a part of the Mains Examination for merit ranking purposes. From a preparation standpoint, it is considered the third stage as preparation strategies for the written and interview stages are different. As per the IAS exam pattern, this consists of an interview by the UPSC board to assess the candidates’ suitability for a civil services career and associated responsibilities. The board consists of competent and unbiased observers who have a record of the candidates’ career. The board would judge the candidates mental and social traits by asking questions of general interest. Some of the qualities that the board looks for are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, a balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.




CISF HC Selection Procedure

The selection procedure of CISF Head Constable includes the following stages:

  1. Physical Standard Test
  2. Written Test
  3. Skill Test
  4. Medical Exam

CISF Syllabus And Exam Pattern

Now let us look into the detailed CISF Exam Pattern and Syllabus for High Constable.

The candidates must attend the Physical Standard Test and those candidates who are qualified in the physical standard test will be qualified for further rounds.

CISF Head Constable Selection Process: Physical Standard Test (PET)

The requirements in male candidates for Physical Standard Test (PST) are tabulated below:

Category Height Measurement Chest Measurement
Non-Scheduled Tribes 165 cms U – 77 cms, E – 82 cms
Scheduled Tribes 162.5 cms U – 76 cms, E – 81 cms
Age Relaxation 162.5 cms U – 77cms, E – 82cms

The requirements in female candidates are tabulated below:

Category Female Height Measurement
Non-Scheduled Tribes 155 cms
Scheduled Tribes 150 cms
Age Relaxation 150 cms


  • a. Chest measurement is not applicable for female candidates are not applicable for Chest Measurements.
  • b. U – Unexpanded
  • c. E – Expanded

CISF Head Constable Selection Process: CISF Exam Pattern For Written Test Candidates who are qualified in PST are eligible to appear for CISF Written Test. The CISF HC exam pattern for Written Test exam pattern is tabulated below:

Section Subject Marks
A General Intelligence 25
B General Studies/Elementary Science 25
C Arithmetic Ability 25
D General English/ Hindi 25


  • a. It contains 4 sections.
  • b. Each section carries 25 marks.
  • c. Each right question carries 1 mark.

CISF Head Constable Selection Process: CISF Skill Test & Medical Examination

Candidates who are qualified in the above two rounds are eligible for this round. For Skill Test, candidates must have a typing speed of 35 words per minute (WPM). Candidates can type either in English or in Hindi. Candidates who are qualified in this stage will be called for Medical Examination. The medical examination details will be notified by the officials.


The CISF Head Constable Syllabus for each section is as under:

CISF HC Syllabus For General Intelligence

  • a. Analogies
  • b. Problem Solving
  • c. Spatial Orientation
  • d. Directions
  • e. Similarities and Differences
  • f. Number Series
  • g. Discrimination
  • h. Alphabet Series.
  • i. Spatial Visualization.
  • j. Observation.
  • k. Visual Memory.
  • l. Diagram Series.
  • m. Figural Classification.
  • n. Relationship Concepts.
  • o. Arithmetical Reasoning.
  • p. Arithmetic number series.
  • q. Non-Verbal Series.
  • r. Coding & Decoding, etc.

CISF HC Syllabus For General Studies/Elementary

  • a. General Science.
  • b. Indian Polity.
  • c. History – India & World.
  • d. Indian Constitution.
  • e. Indian Economy.
  • f. Current Events – National & International
  • g. Cultural Heritage of India.
  • h. Science & Technology.
  • i. Socio-Economic Events
  • j. Geography – India

CISF HC Syllabus For Arithmetic Ability

  • a. Averages
  • b. Percentages
  • c. HCF & LCM
  • d. Time & Ratio
  • e. Simple & Compound Interest
  • f. Mixtures & Allegations
  • g. Decimal & Fractions
  • h. Time & Distance
  • i. Time & Work
  • j. Profit & Loss
  • k. Data Interpretation
  • l. Ratio & Proportions
  • m. Number System
  • n. Problems on Ages
  • o. Simplification

CISF HC Syllabus For General English/Hindi

  • a. Error Detection
  • b. Noun Forms
  • c. Grammar
  • d. Verbs & Adverbs.
  • e. Vocabulary
  • f. One Word Substitution
  • g. Tenses
  • h. Fill in the blanks
  • i. Synonyms & Antonyms
  • j. Comprehension Passage.


Click one of our representatives below to chat on WhatsApp or send us an email to