Civil services examination

The civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is divided into three stages. The first stage or the preliminary test is held in the month of May. This is followed by the main examination which is usually held in the month of October.

After the written examinations, the aspirant is required to face an interview round in the month of April or May of the following year. The examinations that last almost an entire year require continuous practice and thus, must start preparing a year in advance. The examination gives a wide range of subjects to choose from. So the first step towards its preparation is to carefully select the subjects.

Aspirants must opt for those subjects that can be mastered and attempted in a short period of time. "Aspirants should learn the basics of various subjects taught in school along with the NCERT syllabus. They should start studying in advance and must prepare basic subjects such as geography, history, polity, general science, English language and environment to name a few," says D. P. Singh, course coordinator, Rau's IAS Study Circle.

Although the pattern of the examination is the same, there is a slight change in the preliminary examination. "UPSC has changed the pattern of examination from this year. According to the proposal, the preliminary stage of the civil services examination will be replaced by a civil service aptitude test (CSAT).

Aspirants will sit for Paper-I and Paper-II, both of which will be objective type," says V.P. Gupta director, Rau's IAS Study Circle. The former will have general knowledge subjects and the latter will test students' aptitude and logical reasoning skills. The second paper may also include communication skills; logical reasoning and analytical and general mental ability, decision making, problem solving and English language comprehension skills of Class X level.

Under the present scheme, the preliminary stage has one optional and one general studies paper. "This new system will provide a level playing field for students, since all the students will attempt the same question paper. They will now be judged on a similar platform as opposed to being marked on just one common paper," reiterates Singh.

As per the UPSC website ( the date of the preliminary test is June 12, 2011 and of the civil services main examination is October 29, 2011. The duration of the former is one day, while the latter is for 21 days. Students must remember that civil services examinations are extremely competitive but not very difficult. All it takes is stepwise and repeated learning.

courtesy: India Today , Yahoo

Civil Services Examination Time Table 2011

Name of Examination Date of Notification/ Last date for receipt of applications
Date of commence ment of Examination and its duration
Minimum academic qualifications prescribed
Civil Services(Preliminary) Examination 2011 19.02.2011 21.03.2011 12.06.2011 (One day) A degree from a recognised University or equivalent. Candidates appearing at the degree examination also eligible to compete subject to certain conditions
Civil Services(Main) Examination 2011 - 29.10.2011 - -



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