The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the examination date for civil service
preliminary examination 2018. As per the schedule put on the official website,
the exam is scheduled to be conducted on June 3, 2018. The application form for UPSC civil services
preliminary examination 2018 will be available from February 7.

Preparation tips and everything you need to know about the UPSC Civil Service Examination 2018


For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service,
a candidate must be a citizen of India.

For other services, a candidate must be either :—
a. a citizen of India, or
b. a subject of Nepal, or
c. a subject of Bhutan, or
d. a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January,
1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
e. a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan,
Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda,
the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire,
Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently
settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and
(e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has
been issued by the Government of India.
Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and
(d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign
A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary,
may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment
may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been
issued to him/her by the Government of India.

Age Limit: 21-32 years
Upper Age Limit for SC/ST and OBCs are 5 years and 3 years respectively.

Minimum Educational Qualification
The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by
an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational
institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed
as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act,
1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of
which would render them educationally qualified for the
Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the
results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a
qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the
Preliminary Examination.

The competitive examination comprises two successive stages:
(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examinations (Objective Type) for the
selection of candidates for MainExamination; and
(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the
selection of candidates for the various services and posts.
The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type
(multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400. This
examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks
obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are
declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be
counted for determining their final order of merit.
The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be
about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of
vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination. Only those
candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the
Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the
Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for
admission to the Main Examination.

The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory papers of 200 marks
each. The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200
marks each.
(i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice
(ii) The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services
(Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with
minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%
(iii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
(iv) Each paper will be of two hours duration.
Other details

The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for
Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum
qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper-II of Civil
Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of
General Studies Paper-I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination
as may be determined by the Commission
There will be negative marking for incorrect answers for all questions
except some of the questions where the negative-marking will be inbuilt
in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and
not so appropriate answer for such questions.

Marking Details
(i) There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For
each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the
candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question
will be deducted as penalty.
(ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as
a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be
correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question.
(iii) If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the
candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.


Paper I – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

The topics covered under Paper I are as follows:
a) Current events of national and international importance.
b) History of India and Indian National Movement.
c) Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic
Geography of India and the World.
d) Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System,
Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights, Issues, etc.
e) Economic and Social Development Sustainable Development,
Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
f) General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate
Change – that do not require subject specialization.
g) General Science.

Paper II – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

The topics covered under Paper II are as follows:
a) Comprehension.
b) Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
c) Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
d) Decision-making and problem-solving.
e) General mental ability.
f) Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude,
etc. – Class X level).
g) Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. –
Class X level).
h) English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).


a) NCERT book Class 11 Fine Arts – Introduction to Indian Culture
(Part I)
b) National Institute of Open Schooling material on Culture
c) Culture related books of National Books Trust
d) Culture related books of Publications Division

Ancient History
a) Old NCERT book on Ancient History
c) Wonder That Was India by A. L. Basham
d) Ancient India in Historical Outline by D. N. Jha
e) National Book Trust issues on Ancient History Culture
f) Publications Division on Ancient History Culture

Medieval History
a) Old NCERT book on Medieval Indian History
c) Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India, Vol III: Medieval
Indian Society and Culture by J. L. Mehta
d) A Social, Cultural and Economic History of India by P. N. Chopra, B.
N. Puri, M. N. Das
e) The Wonder That Was India Vol II by S. A. A. Rizvi
f) History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra

Indian National Movement
a) NCERT Themes in Indian History Part III
b) India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
c) A New Look at Modern History by B.L. Grover and S. Grover
d) Any compilation of the above references

a) Certificate Physical and Human Geography – G C Leong
b) Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11
c) India: Physical Environment NCERT Class 11
d) India: People and Economy NCERT Class 12
e) Orient BlackSwan School Atlas

a) NCERT Class XI – Indian Constitution at Work
b) Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
c) Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu
d) Constitution of India Bare Act
e) Newspaper

a) NCERT XI – India’s Economic Development
b) NCERT XII – Introduction to Macroeconomics
c) NCERT XII – Introduction to Micreoconomics
d) Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh
e) Budget
f) Economic Survey (2015-16)

Environment and Ecology
a) National Open School content on Environment and Ecology

General Science
a) NCERT Science books class VI to XII


CSAT Manual: General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary
Examination (Paper II ) by Tata McGrawHill


Here are a few guidelines on how to prepare for General Studies paper of
Civil Services Preliminary Examination

I. First go through the syllabus and previous year question papers to
understand the type of questions asked and the level of expertise
required in different subjects.
II. Consult teachers and seniors to decide booklist. Then stick to those
sources. Do not give in tendency to buy all books and magazines. It
is better to well from a few books rather than trying to study all
book available in the market.
III. Start with NCERTs and then go on to the more advanced level
books. You will not be able to understand the more advanced books
unless you have a good understanding of the basics.
IV. Divide time optimally between different subjects. Do not give in to
the tendency to give more time to topic you enjoy studying or find
V. When studying a particular topic, practice previous year questions
related to that topic so you have the correct approach and are able
to identify the important topics asked.
VI. Get into the habit of reading the newspaper daily. However, this is
not enough. Decide a particular source for current affairs which
gives you daily updates so that you can learn to associate what you
read in the paper to what you learn from the textbooks.
VII. Make sure you revise multiple times before the UPSC IAS
Preliminary Exam so that you are able to remember whatever has
been studied.


I. Analyse your strengths and weakness and study accordingly. If you
feel comfortable with comprehension, but feel the need to prepare
for aptitude and mental ability, devote more time to those sections.
II. Maths and aptitude require practice. Do not be satisfied by just
memorizing the formulas. You also need to know how to use those
formulas in a question.
III. Time management is as important as getting the answers right. If
you are not able to attempt all the questions that you know within
those 2 hours, then it is as good as not knowing those questions. So
practice to improve your speed.
IV. Take mock tests to learn how to manage time.
V. Read on a variety of topics to increase your reading and
comprehension skills.
VI. Practice from previous year papers. While the comprehension
questions will be found only in the previous year CSATs, aptitude
and mental ability can also be found in General Studies papers in
the years before 2012 (when CSAT was introduced).


I. Understand the exam: To understand the type of questions asked in
the exam, the difficulty level of the questions, the mix of different
difficulty level of questions etc. candidates must go through previous
year question papers.
II. Avoid the traps: Often the multiple choices in the UPSC IAS Civil
Services Prelims Exam are very confusing. To be alert and avoid the
traps, they must understand the type of traps usually set by UPSC.
III. Learn: When studying a particular subject for example, candidates
will understand the questions that can be asked from the topic and
study with an active mind. The mind will be more receptive to
information it thinks is useful for the exam. Moreover, similar question
can also be asked in a different manner.
IV. Evaluate: While practicing questions from previous year question
papers, candidates will be able to evaluate their level of preparation
for the exam. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses surely helps in
devising the correct strategy.
V. Revise: Practice of previous year question papers is also a way for
revising important information for the exam.


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