The Rank in UPSC Civil Service Exam depends only on the marks scored in Main and Interview. The main exam has 1750 marks while interview has 275 marks.

The Main exam consists of nine papers. Out of these only 7 papers are counted for final result. For the remaining 2 papers, the candidate should secure at least 25% marks i.e. 75 out of 300.

Qualifying Papers – Not counted for final ranking:
  • Paper ‐ A – Indian Language. (One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. This paper will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.) 300 Marks.
  • Paper‐ B – English Language. 300 Marks.
Papers to be counted for merit ranking:


The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.

The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues and ability to analyze and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.

The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree

List of optional subjects for Main Examination:
(i) Agriculture (ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science (iii) Anthropology (iv) Botany
(v) Chemistry (vi) Civil Engineering (vii) Commerce and Accountancy (viii) Economics
(ix) Electrical Engineering (x) Geography (xi) Geology (xii) History
(xiii) Law (xiv) Management (xv) Mathematics (xvi) Mechanical Engineering
(xvii) Medical Science (xviii) Political Science and International Relation (xix) Physics (xx) Philosophy
(xxi) Psychology (xxii) Public Administration (xxiii) Sociology (xxiv) Statistics
(xxv) Zoology
(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages:  Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.