Civil services Preliminary exam

Civil Services Preliminary Exam Pattern

The Preliminary Examination will be organised in August from 2016 and approximately five lakh candidates appear in it. 

Questions in Objective type format are asked in the examination and each question has four possible answers. The candidate has to select the right answer option among them.

From 2007 onwards the assessment of the Preliminary Examination is based on Negative Marking Pattern. It means, if the selected answer for any given question is wrong, then one-third of the total marks allotted to that question are deducted as penalty. 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.

Actually, the purpose of the Preliminary Examination is only to adjudge the aptness of the candidate; in the Final Selection its marks are not taken into account. While applying for preliminary examination, the candidate has to indicate his optional subjects (these can be changed while filling the mains detailed application form).

Syllabus of GS

The Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

Paper I - (Questions : 100,  Marks : 200,  Duration : Two hours)


  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion,
  • Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialisation
  • General Science.

Syllabus of CSAT

Paper II- (Questions : 80,  Marks - 200, Duration : Two hours)


  • Comprehension (Bilingual)
  • Interpersonal skills including
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • General mental ability

Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class-X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class-X level).

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