Frequently Asked Questions


UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the Rules of Examinations notified by the Government. Examination Notices of all the 13 Structured Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website around 3 months before the date of Examination. Examination Notices (indicative) are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar.
The UPSC publishes an Annual Programme (Calendar) of all the Structured Examinations/RTs conducted by it at least 6 months in advance (i.e. in June) for the Examinations/RTs to be conducted during the next calendar year. The Programme is uploaded on the UPSC’s website as also published in the leading news papers of the country. The date of issue of Examination Notice for each Examination is also mentioned in this Annual Programme.
Candidates can apply online for the UPSC Examinations by accessing the online portal hosted on the UPSC’s website (
Time for applying online is clearly mentioned in the Examination Notice. A candidate gets about 3 weeks time to apply online and can fill up the online application by following the instructions provided on the website for filling up online application.
While a candidate should avoid submitting more than one online application, in case of doing so, the data provided in the last application (highest RID Number), that is successfully submitted online, is accepted by the Commission. All previous applications are ignored as these are amalgamated with the last completed & finally submitted application. If an applicant (who has already submitted an application successfully) wants to make amendments in the application, then he has to submit a fresh application on or before the last date of submission of application of the Examination. Therefore, it must be ensured that fee is submitted against the last online application only, which should also be complete in all respects including its final submission. Fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID number.
The closing date of submission of online application is clearly mentioned in the Examination Notice. Candidates, who make payments through Bank Challan, are required to submit online application at least a day before the notified closing date so that they can generate the Bank Challan to be submitted in any Branch of SBI within Bank working hours throughout India. Facility of Challan generation is deactivated on the last day of online application automatically by the system. However, Candidates can submit Bank Challan on the last day in any Branch of the SBI. Bank Challan generation is in Part-II of Online Application.
For all the Examinations conducted by the Commission, Female candidates, Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) and candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories are exempted from payment of Examination Fee.
Those payments mentioned by the candidates in their online application, which are not authenticated by the State Bank of India, i.e. the designated bank managing the entire payment module (including managing the payment gateway), are called Fictitious Payments or No Fee.
The applicants, whose payments are marked fictitious, are intimated through e-mail to submit physical proof of payment to the Commission. These applicants are required to submit the proof within the timeframe given in the email either by hand or by speed post to the Commission. In case, no response is received from the applicants, their applications are summarily rejected and no further correspondence is entertained in this regard.
Candidates seeking reservation/ relaxation benefits available for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes/ Other Backward Classes/Economically Weaker Sections/Persons with Benchmark Disabilities/Ex-servicemen must ensure that they are entitled to such reservation/ relaxation in accordance with the eligibility prescribed in the Examination Rules/Notice. They should also be in possession of all the requisite certificates in the prescribed format in support of their claims for availing reservation before applying for the examination, and in any case, not later than the closing date for receipt of applications for the examination.
A candidate is eligible to get the benefit of community reservation if his/her caste/tribe is included in the reserved community as may be determined by the Central Government and he/she has claimed for the same. The Commission does not entertain a request for change of community from unreserved to reserved category once the examination process is initiated. However, in some exceptional cases where a particular caste/tribe is included in the list of reserved community within 3 months from the date of submission of application, the Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case. In case of a candidate unfortunately becoming physically disabled during the course of the examination process, the candidate should produce valid document showing him/her acquiring a disability to the extent of 40% or more as mentioned in the relevant rules to enable him/her to get the benefits of PwBD reservation.
The Commission does not allow change of Date of Birth that has been furnished by a candidate and recorded by the Commission on any ground whatsoever.
A candidate found to be furnishing false information to the Commission or suppressing information, adopting various unfair means in the Examination like impersonation, cheating, etc., is liable to be disqualified and/or debarred from writing UPSC Examinations as decided by the Commission. A detailed stipulation in this regard is incorporated in the Rules of Examination/ Examination Notices.


The eligible candidates are issued e-Admit Cards around three weeks before the commencement of the Examination. The e-Admit Cards are made available on the UPSC website [] for downloading by the candidates. The Admit Card is not sent by post. If a candidate is not issued his/her e-Admit Card or does not receive any other communication regarding his/her candidature for the Examination around three weeks before the commencement of the examination, he/she should immediately contact the Commission at the concerned email ID. Information in this regard can also be obtained from the Facilitation Counter located in the Commission’s Office either in person or over phone Nos. 011- 23381125/011- 23385271/011-23098543.
Allotment of Roll Numbers and Venues to the eligible candidates is carried out though computer in a random manner without manual intervention. The Commission makes all efforts to allot the candidate the Centre of his/her choice, which is done on the “first-apply-first allot” basis. Once the capacity of a particular Centre is exhausted, the same shall not be available to the applicants as an option. The applicants shall, therefore, be required to choose one of the available Centres. It is, thus, advised to apply early for getting the choice Centre. However, it may be noted that the Commission may change the Centres of the candidates as per its discretion to address the special situations arising at that point of time.
The candidates should note that no request for change of Centre / Venue is accepted.
No candidate is allowed to appear at a Centre/Venue other than the Centre/Venue mentioned by the Commission in his/her e-Admit Card. If a candidate appears at such a Centre/Venue (except by a court order), the papers of that candidate shall not be evaluated and his/her candidature will be liable for cancellation.
Before filling up the Online Application, a candidate must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the “JPG” format in such a manner that each file should not exceed 300 KB and must not be less than 20 KB. The photograph and signature must be clearly discernible. Samples of acceptable photograph and signature are displayed in the application module. Candidates should take due care while uploading their photograph since no changes are allowed once the photograph is uploaded and online application is submitted. Uploading of photograph/signature is the sole responsibility of the candidate and in case a wrong photograph/signature is uploaded, his/her candidature is liable to be cancelled for false identity. Candidates should check the e-Admit Card carefully and discrepancies/ errors, if any, should be brought to the notice of the UPSC immediately.
(a) Mobile phones (even in switched off mode), any electronic equipment or programmable device or storage media like pen drive, smart watches etc. or camera or bluetooth devices or any other equipment or related accessories either in working or switched off mode capable of being used as a communication device or any other communication devices and IT gadgets, are banned items and are, therefore, not allowed inside the premises of the Venue where the Examination is being conducted as also in the UPSC premises during conduct of the Personality Tests (Interview). Any infringement of these instructions shall entail disciplinary action including cancellation of candidature for that Examination and debarment from all future Examinations/Selections of the Commission. (b) Candidates are advised in their own interest not to bring any of the banned items including mobile phones/Bluetooth devices etc. (as detailed above) to the Venue of the Examination and the UPSC premises when the examination process is underway. (c) Candidates are also advised not to bring any valuable/expensive items to the Examination Halls/UPSC premises, as safety of such items cannot be assured. The Commission will not be responsible for any loss in this regard.
The applicant is required to fill in the number of the Photo ID Card (viz. Aadhaar Card/Voter Card/PAN Card/Passport/Driving Licence/Any other Photo ID Card issued by the Central/State/UT Government) and to upload the same while filling up the online application form of an Examination of the Commission. The above number of the Photo ID Card is printed on the e-Admit Card of the Examination issued to the candidate. The candidate is then required to carry the same Photo ID Card along with the eAdmit Card/e-Summon Letter for appearing at the Examination/Interview. This Photo ID Card will be used for all future referencing. In case he/she is unable to produce the same during Examination/Interview, he/she will have to submit an Undertaking alongwith any other Photo ID Card issued by the Central/State/UT Government.
The candidates are advised to reach the Venue well in time so that their entry inside the Examination Venue could be ensured smoothly after observing necessary protocol. As regard time for closure of entry, the candidate may note that the entry into the Examination Venue is closed 10 minutes before commencement of the Examination Session e.g. if Session starts at 10:00 a.m., the entry inside the Examination Venue shall be closed sharp at 09:50 a.m.


Please read the instructions carefully before filling up the Online Application Form.
RID is Registration ID, which is generated by the system when the applicant completes PART-I registration of his/her application.
TID is Transaction ID, which is given by the State Bank India when the applicant deposits his/her fee in cash. It is automatically generated when Internet Banking or credit/debit card mode is used for making the fee payment.
Online Application Form consists of two parts i.e. Part I and Part II. • Part I of the Application has personal details like name, father’s/mother’s name, date of birth, address, educational qualification, age relaxation, scribe details (only for PwBD candidates opting for scribe) and preferences of particular Examination etc. The applicants are also required to mention the number of Photo ID Card. • Part II of the Application consists of payment option for Examination Fee (only for those who are not exempted from payment of fee), Centre of Examination along with uploading of photo, signature and photo ID card of the candidate. Candidate has to complete both Part I and Part II and submit finally to be a candidate of the said Examination.
If only PART-I of the application is submitted without submitting PART-II, the application remains incomplete and candidature cannot be registered. The application is incomplete even in cases where the applicant has submitted PART-I and paid fee as well, but has not completed PART-II (i.e. failed to submit Centre, photograph, signature and photo ID card).
Part II registration comprises of following steps:- 1. Fee payment (only for candidates not exempted from payment of fee). 2. Choosing of the Examination Centre from the available drop down menu. 3. Uploading of photograph, signature and photo ID card. 4. Agreeing to the Declaration
The online system will not allow the candidate to submit the form if he/she has left the choice of Centre blank in Part II and status of the application will remain “not submitted”. Thus, he/she will not be the candidate of that particular Examination. Therefore, candidates are advised to click on the “submit” button after selecting the Examination Centre.
Non-payment of Fee (if not exempted from Fee payment) will lead to cancellation of the candidature.
It is seen that some candidates who submit their fee through Bank Challan either enter the wrong TID or submit an old TID. It has also been observed that submission of multiple applications is followed by either nonpayment of fee OR fee particulars (TID) of one application (RID) being mentioned against another application with a different RID. This leads to rejection of the online application.
Poor quality of uploaded photograph and signature or swapping of the same will lead to complications in future. Therefore, candidates are advised to peruse the relevant instructions carefully regarding acceptable photograph/ signature in the application module at the time of application.


The Civil Services Examination (CSE) comprises of two successive stages: the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (CSP) and the Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview).


UPSC conducts Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and other Central Services and posts in accordance with the Rules published by the Government (Department of Personnel & Training) in the Gazette of India Extraordinary. 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, are not counted for determining their final order of merit. Only those candidates, who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year, will be eligible to appear at the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.
(i) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be taken as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination. (ii) If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, it shall be taken as an attempt at the Examination. (iii) Notwithstanding the disqualification/ cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the Examination will count as an attempt.
The Examination is comprised of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. (i) Both the question papers are of objective type (multiple choice questions). (ii) The question papers are set in Hindi and English. (iii) Details of the syllabi are provided in the Examination Notice and Gazette Notification published by the Government. (iv) Each paper is of two hours duration.
Yes, the General Studies Paper-II is of qualifying nature. The minimum qualifying standards in this Paper is indicated in the Examination Rules and at present, it is 33%.
Candidates should note that there is penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. (i) For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (1/3rd) of the marks assigned to that question is deducted as penalty. (ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it is treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens 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
The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or any other educational institution 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.
The Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates shall also be required to meet eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/functional classifications (abilities/disabilities) consistent with the requirements of the identified Service/Post as may be prescribed by its Cadre Controlling Authorities. The details of physical requirements and functional classifications are given in the Rules/Notice of the Examination.
Persons already in Government Service, whether in a permanent or temporary capacity or as work charged employees other than casual or daily rated employees or those serving under the Public Sector Enterprises, are required to submit an undertaking that they have informed their Head of Office/Department, in writing, that they have applied for the Examination. Candidates should note that in case a communication is received from their employer, by the Commission, withholding permission to the candidates applying for/appearing at the Examination, their applications will be liable to be rejected/candidature will be liable to be cancelled.
A candidate will be eligible to get the benefit of community reservation only in case the particular community/ caste / tribe to which the candidate belongs is included in the list of reserved communities issued by the Central Government. If a candidate indicates in his/her application form for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination that he/she belongs to General category but subsequently writes to the Commission to change his/her category to a reserved one, such request shall not be entertained by the Commission. Similar principle will also be followed for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates. However, in some exceptional cases where a particular caste/tribe is included in the list of reserved community within 3 months from the date of submission of application, the Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case. In case of a candidate unfortunately becoming physically disabled during the course of the examination process, the candidate should produce valid document showing him/her acquiring a disability to the extent of 40% or more as mentioned in the relevant rules to enable him/her to get the benefits of PwBD reservation.
Reservation will be made for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Economically Weaker Sections and Persons with Benchmark Disabilities candidates in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government.


The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) are set in Hindi and English.
No, the Candidates have the option to write their answers either in English or in any one of the Eighth Schedule languages except the Qualifying Language papers Paper-A and Paper-B, which they have indicated at the time of filling up of their online application form for the Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination.
The question papers for the examination are of conventional (essay) type. Each paper is of three hours duration.
The candidates, opting for Indian Language medium for the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination may choose either the same Indian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview. The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English, may choose either English or Hindi or any other Indian Language opted by them for the compulsory Indian Language Paper in the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, as the medium for interview. The candidate has to indicate the language medium of interview at the time of filling up of the Detailed Application Form (DAF) However, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview or Personality Test.
The minimum qualifying standards in each of the two Qualifying Papers i.e. English and Indian Languages is indicated in the Examination Rules, is at present 25%.
The Paper A on Indian Language is not compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. In the Online Application, if a candidate hails from these North-Eastern States, the option for Indian Language will automatically be disabled in the Online Application.
Yes, Paper A on Indian Language is compulsory for candidates belonging to Persons with Benchmark Disabilities category. However, it will not be compulsory for the candidates suffering from Hearing Impairment provided they have been granted such exemption from 2nd or 3rd language courses by the concerned education Board/University. The candidate needs to provide an undertaking/self declaration in this regard in order to claim such an exemption to the Commission.
Marks obtained by the candidates for the Papers I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking (of those candidates who obtain the specified minimum marks in the qualifying papers). However, the Commission has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.


This Scheme for disclosing the scores and other details of the nonrecommended candidates was implemented with the Combined Medical Services Examination-2017. The Scheme covers non-recommended willing candidates, who appeared at the Interview/SSB Stage of a Commission’s Examination. Details of such candidates which are disclosed at the Commission’s Website (further linked to the NCS Portal of the M/o Labour & Employment) are - Name of the candidate, Father’s/Husband’s name, Date of Birth, Category, Gender, Educational Qualifications, Total marks etc, arranged in Roll Number order. The objective of the Scheme is to provide a useful database to other employers to enable them to identify good employable candidates. This information of an Examination remains available for one year from the date of disclosure.
(a) For each Examination, a time frame of 7 days (a week) i.e. from the next day of the Examination Date to 6.00 p.m. of the 7th day is fixed for the candidates to make representations to the Commission on the questions asked in the Papers of that Examination. No representation shall be accepted under any circumstances after this window of 7 days is over. (b) In case of Single Day Examinations, for example, if the Examination is held on 1st March, then the representations can be submitted from 2nd March to 8th March (till 6:00 p.m.). (c) For Multi-Days Examinations, the date on which the last Paper of that Examination is held, will be the crucial reckoning date for making representations on the questions asked in all the Papers of that Examination. For example: if last Paper of a Multi-Days Examination is conducted on 1st July whereas the first Paper of that Examination is held on 29th June, then the candidates can submit representations from 2nd July to 8th July (till 6:00 p.m.) for all the Papers of that Examination. (d) Such representation must be submitted through the “Online Question Paper Representation Portal (QPRep)” only by accessing the URL: This Portal will be available for submitting representations from the next day after the Examination is concluded. No representation by email/post/hand or by any other mode shall be accepted.


This is not done at any stage of the evaluation process.
To achieve uniformity in valuation, where more than one Examiner is involved, the Commission arranges a meeting of the Head Examiner with the Additional Examiners after the Examination is over. At this stage, they discuss thoroughly the question paper, the appropriate answers and decide the standard of evaluation. To further bring about uniformity of assessment inter se the Examiners, the following procedure is undertaken: The Head Examiner conducts a sample survey of answer books of each Additional Examiner to verify whether the uniform standards of evaluation evolved in the meeting of Examiners have actually been followed. Depending on the standard adopted by the Additional Examiner, the Head Examiner may confirm the awards without any change if the Examiner has correctly followed the standard decided upon, or may carry out upward/ downward moderation as considered necessary to ensure maximum possible degree of uniformity in the evaluation process. Therefore, the aspect of inter-examiner variation in standards of evaluation in a Paper affecting candidates’ performance is taken care of adequately.
The evaluation process does not end after initial evaluation by an Examiner. Moderation, wherever applied, is on the total award initially given (the so-called ‘raw marks’) and not on question-wise basis. Therefore, once the evaluation process is complete, neither ‘raw marks’ nor ‘question-wise marks’ subsist. What subsists is the candidate’s total score in a paper awarded at the end of the evaluation process and this award is normally made available to the candidate in due course on the Commission’s website through a query-based application software. Further, in a competitive examination, what is relevant is not the absolute performance of a candidate, but his/ her relative performance that in fact determines whether the candidate qualifies and, if so, his/ her position in the merit list.
‘Tie-breaking’ principles are applied to decide inter se merit among candidates having the same overall marks.
No. The evaluation standards/ moderation for a Paper are not medium specific. In other words, if the Rules of the Exam provide that a Paper can be written in any of, say, English/ Hindi/ a recognized Indian language, then the medium in which a candidate writes the Paper will not be a factor in determining evaluation standards or the moderation to be applied.
No. Before evaluation, the Roll No. written on every answer book is detached and computer-based randomized fictitious code no. is given. At no stage of the evaluation process (including the moderation stage) is the actual Roll No./ identity of the candidate known to any of the Examiners/ officials associated in the process.