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UPSC CSE Exam Schedule: A Step-by-Step Guide

UPSC Exam schedule

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination (CSE) is the gateway to prestigious bureaucratic careers in India. But for many aspirants, the exam schedule can seem daunting. Here’s a breakdown of the UPSC CSE exam schedule, simplifying each stage for a smoother path to success.

The Three-Phase Battleground

The UPSC CSE is a three-stage examination:

  1. Preliminary Examination (Prelims): This objective-type exam acts as a screening stage. It consists of two papers – General Studies Paper I (GS Paper I) and General Studies Paper II (CSAT). Both papers are of 200 marks each.

  2. Main Examination (Mains): Only candidates who qualify the Prelims get to appear for the Mains. This subjective exam assesses your in-depth knowledge and writing skills. It comprises nine papers of 250 marks each, totaling 1750 marks.

  3. Interview/Personality Test: The final stage evaluates your personality, leadership qualities, and suitability for various civil services. It carries 275 marks.

UPSC CSE Exam Cycle Timeline (Indicative):
  • November/December: The UPSC releases the official notification for the upcoming year’s CSE exam, typically around November or December. This notification includes important dates like the application window and exam schedule.

  • February/March: Applications for the Prelims exam open sometime in February or March.

  • May/June: The Prelims exam is usually conducted in May or June.

  • August/September: Results for the Prelims are declared, and successful candidates can start preparing for the Mains. The Mains exam typically takes place in September or October.

  • February/March (Next Year): Mains results are announced, and shortlisted candidates are called for the Interview stage. Interviews are generally held between February and April of the following year.

  • May/June (Next Year): The UPSC declares the final results, listing the recommended candidates for various services.

Important Points to Remember
  • The entire selection process can take up to a year, so plan your preparation accordingly.
  • The exact dates for each stage may vary slightly depending on the annual UPSC calendar.
  • Always refer to Vimarsha IAS Notice Board or the official UPSC website (https://upsc.gov.in/examinations/exam-calendar) for the latest updates and notifications.

The UPSC CSE exam may seem like a marathon, but with a well-defined strategy and a well-managed schedule, you can conquer each stage and emerge victorious.

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