“For Mains, think more than you read. Try to work on information processing and practice. While writing answers, stick to the basics. Write in a structured, reader-friendly way and try to cover as much paper as possible. End your answer on a positive note with some constructive suggestions. More than word limit or space limit, follow time limit. Remember that time management is a very crucial factor in Mains.”

The written examination will consist of following papers

Qualifying Papers

1. Paper - A

Language Paper -300 Marks One of the Indian language to be selected by the candidate from the language included in the 8th schedule to the Indian constitution.

2. Paper - B

English -300 Marks

Papers to be counted for merit

Compulsory Subject

3. Paper - I Click here for strategy

Essay - 250 Marks Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice as indicated while filling the form

4. Paper-II (GS 1) Click here for GS1 strategy

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

5. Paper-III (GS 2) Click here for GS2 strategy

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

6. Paper-IV (GS 3) Click here for GS3 strategy

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

7. Paper-IV (GS 4)Click here for GS4 strategy

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

Optional Subject

8. Paper-VIClick here for strategy

Optional Subject - Paper 1 -250 Marks

9. Paper-VIIClick here for strategy

Optional Subject - Paper 2 -250 Marks

Sr.No. Subject Papers Marks Total
1 General Studies(I II III and IV) 4 250 1000
2 Essay 1 250 250
3 Optional 2 250 500
4 Written Total - - 1750
5 Personality Test - 250 275
6 Grand Total - - 2025

Weightage of Paper & Interview

dnyandeep mains desc

If there any one stage which plays a very important part of your selection in final list, that is the Mains stage

The graph besides shows the marks weightage mains exam and interview after clearing Preliminary. We can see that weightage of GS is more than anything else. But keep in mind that it contains 4 papers with various topics in it

Essay paper and optional subject paper are the ones that will give a chance to score more than average and stay in the competition with considerable lead.

Cut off marks for final selections

dnyandeep mains desc

Here is an analytical graph about marks required to score by a candidate to qualify for final selection

We can see that from the previous year there is substantial increase in marks to qualify for both interview and also for the final selection.

The passing marks percentage has increased from 38.62% to 44.97 for qualifying for interview and also increased 43.31% to 47.79% for selection into the final merit list.

This increase in cut off marks indicate of the rising cutthroat competition for this coveted exam.

Analysis of previous year questions and working on your weakness and strengths with lot of writing practice will make you improve day by day. This will also give you an idea of what UPSC asks about the syllabus topics.

Clearing UPSC mains is not a one day or one month of hard work but a consistent hard work throughout the process