UPSC EXAM FAQs
Issue of Examination Notice and filling up of Online Application Form
Q 1. When is the Examination Notice Issued?
Answer - UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the
Rules of Examinations notified by the Government. Examination Notices of all the
14 Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website around 3 months before
the date of examination. Examination Notices for direct recruitment examinations
are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar. The tentative dates
of notification of Examinations for a year are also made available on UPSC’s
website in July of the previous year.
Q 2. What is UPSC’s annual calendar?
Answer - UPSC publishes an Annual Calendar of all the Structured
Examinations conducted by it at least 6 months in advance. The date of issue of
Examination Notice is also mentioned in the Annual Calendar.
Q 3. How to apply for Examinations conducted by UPSC?
Answer - Candidates can apply online for UPSC conducted Examinations
by accessing the online portal hosted on the UPSC’s website.
Q 4. How much time is given to the candidates for applying online?
Answer - A candidate gets 3 weeks to 1 month time to apply online and
can fill up the online application by following the instructions provided on the
website for filling up online applications.
Q 5. What happens if a candidate submits multiple online applications?
Answer - While a candidate should avoid submitting
more than one online application, in case of doing so, the data provided in the
last application that is successfully submitted online is accepted by the
Commission. All previous applications are ignored.
Q 6. When should I apply if I choose to pay by Bank Challan?
Answer - 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
before the notified closing date so that they can make the payment required, if
any, on time.
Q 7. Which category of candidates is exempted from payment of Examination
Answer - For all the examinations conducted by the
Commission, Female candidates, candidates with Disabilities and candidates
belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories are exempted
from payment of Examination fee.
Q 8. What is meant by ‘fictitious payment’?
Answer - 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.
Q 9. How does the Commission resolve fictitious payment cases?
Answer - 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 10
days, from the date of such communication, 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.
Q 10. What precautions must be taken by candidates for claiming community
reservation or reservation for PH?
Answer - Candidates seeking reservation/ relaxation
benefits available for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes/ Other Backward
Classes/Physically Handicapped/Ex-servicemen must ensure that they are entitled
reservation/ relaxation in accordance with the eligibility prescribed in the
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.
Q 11. Can a candidate change his/her Community Status?
Answer - 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. 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 2-3 months from the date of submission of application, the
Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case.
If a candidate unfortunately becomes physically challenged
during the course of the examination process, his/her request for moving from
physically able to physically disabled category can be considered by the
Commission as a special dispensation based on a proper certificate furnished by
Q 12. Can a candidate change the Date of Birth from what he/she has
submitted in the online application?
Answer - 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
Q 13. What action is taken by the Commission in case of submission of
false information by the candidates?
Answer - A candidate found to be furnishing false
information to the Commission or suppressing information, adopting various
unfair means in the examination like impersonation, etc., is liable to be
disqualified or debarred
from writing UPSC Examinations as decided by the Commission. A detailed
stipulation in this regard is incorporated in the Rules of Examination/
Issue of e-Admit Card
Q 14. When are the e-Admit cards issued?
Answer - The eligible candidates shall be issued an
e-Admission Certificate around three weeks to four weeks before the commencement
of the examination. The e-Admission Certificate will be made available on the
UPSC website [www.upsc.gov.in] for downloading by candidates. Admission
Certificate will not be sent by post.
If a candidate does not receive his/her e-Admission
Certificate or 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. 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-
Q 15. What is the procedure adopted for allotment of Roll Number, Centre
and Venue to the candidates?
Answer - Allotment of Roll number and Venue to the
eligible candidates is carried out in a random manner without manual
intervention. The Commission makes all efforts to allot the candidate the Centre
of his/her choice; however, the Centre may be changed at the discretion of the
Commission. Further, the allotment of Centres will be on the “first-apply-first
allot” basis, and once the capacity of a particular Centre is exhausted, the
same will be frozen. Applicants, who cannot get a Centre of their choice due to
ceiling, will be required to choose one of the remaining Centres. Applicants
are, thus, advised to apply early so that they get the Centre of their choice.
Q 16. Are requests for change of Centre/ Venue accepted?
Answer - The candidates should note that no request
for change of Centre / Venue will be granted. While filling in his/her
Application Form, the candidate should carefully decide about his/her choice of
centre for the Examination. If any candidate appears at a Centre other than the
one indicated by the Commission in his/her Admission Certificate, the papers of
such a candidate will not be evaluated and his/her candidature will be liable
Q 17. What are the precautions to be taken while uploading candidates’
photographs and signatures?
Answer - 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 40 KB and must not be
less than 3 KB in size for the photograph and 1 KB for the signature. The
photograph and signature must be clearly discernable.
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 wrong photograph is the sole
responsibility of the candidate and in such a case his/her candidature is liable
to be cancelled for false identity. Please check the e-Admit Card carefully and
discrepancies/ errors, if any, should be brought to the notice of UPSC
Q 18. What items are banned at the Examination Venues?
Answer - (a) Mobile phones, bluetooth, pagers or any
other communication devices and IT gadgets are banned items and are therefore
not allowed inside the premises where the examination is being conducted. Any
infringement of these instructions shall entail disciplinary action including
ban from future examinations.
(b) Candidates are advised in their own interest not to bring any of the
banned items including mobile phones/bluetooth/pagers to the venue of the
(c) Candidates are also advised not to bring any valuable/costly items to the
Examination Halls, as safety of such items cannot be assured. Commission will
not be responsible for any loss in this regard.
Reasons for Rejection of Online applications
Q 19. What precautions should be taken while filling up the Online
Answer - Please read the instructions carefully before filling up the
Online Application Form.
Q 20. What is RID?
Answer - RID is Registration ID, which is generated by the system when
the applicant completes PART-I registration of his/her application.
Q 21. What is TID?
Answer - TID is Transaction ID, which is given by the Bank official
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
Q 22. What is meant by Part I and Part II of the Application Form?
Answer - Online Application Form consists of Two parts
i.e. Part I and Part II. Candidate should place the curser over the
‘Examination’ menu. The link would display a set of two options namely “PART-I
Registration” and “PART-II Registration Once PART-I of the Online Application
procedure is completed, the candidate has to complete the PART-II Registration
for successful submission of the Online Application.
Q 23. Non-filling up of Part II/No submission of fee.
Answer - 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 photograph and signature).
Q 24. Not following all the steps of PART-II registration
Answer - Part II registration comprises of following important steps:-
1. Uploading of photograph
2. Uploading of signature
3. Fee payment
4. Choosing of the Examination centre from the available drop down menu.
Q 25. Not selecting and submitting the choice of Centre
Answer - Not submitting the choice of Centre is treated as non
submission of Part II and leads to rejection of the Application. Therefore,
Candidates are advised to click on the “submit” button after selecting the
Q 26. Non Payment of Fee
Answer - Submission of multiple applications, followed by either
non-payment of fee particulars OR fee particulars (TID) of one application (RID)
being mentioned against another application with a different RID leads to
rejection of the online applications.
The applicants who are submitting multiple applications
should note that only the applications with higher Registration ID (RID) number
shall be entertained by the Commission and fee paid against one RID shall not be
adjusted against any other RID number.
Q 27. Not uploading Photograph/ Not uploading signatures
Answer - Poor quality of uploaded photograph / signature / submission
of photograph only, i.e., no signature submitted or photograph submitted at the
place of signature may also lead to the rejection of the online applications.
.Q 28. Entering wrong TID in case of payment through Bank Challan
Answer - It is seen that some candidates who are
submitting their fee through the bank challan either enter the wrong challan
number OR submit challan number against the old RID. It is to be noted that in
case of multiple
submission of online applications by the candidate, only the last RID is
considered and all other applications are rejected through the automated system.
Therefore, the candidate should ensure that he/ she submits the fee
against the last online application.
Civil Services Examination
Q 29. What is the structure of the Civil Service Examination?
Answer - 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).
Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination
Q 30. What is the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?
Answer - 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
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 will not be 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 in the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible
for admission to the Main Examination
Q 31. Is an attempt at the Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination (CSP)
counted as an attempt at the Civil Service Examination (CSE) ?
Answer - (i) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination
shall be deemed to be an attempt at the Civil Services Examination. (ii) If a
candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination,
he/she shall be
deemed to have made 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.
Q 32. If a candidate has applied for the Civil Services (Preliminary)
Examination but has not appeared at any paper in the Civil Services
(Preliminary) Examination will it be counted as an attempt?
Answer - No, an attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in
at least one paper in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.
Q 33. What is the scheme of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?
Answer - The Examination shall comprise of two
compulsory papers of 200 marks each. (i) Both the question papers will be of
objective type (multiple choice questions). (ii) The question papers will be set
both in Hindi and English. (iii) Details of the syllabi will be provided in the
Examination Notice and Gazette Notification published by the Government. (iv)
Each paper will be of two hours duration.
Q 34. Is there negative marking at Civil Services (Preliminary)
Answer - Candidates should note that there will be
penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the
Objective Type Question Papers. 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 (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be
deducted as penalty. (ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be
treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen 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.
Q 35. What are the minimum educational qualifications prescribed?
Answer - 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.
Q 36. What is the eligibility for availing reservation by the Physically
Answer - The eligibility for availing reservation against the
vacancies reserved for the physically disabled persons shall be the same as
prescribed in “The Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of
Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.”
Q 37. What are the eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/
functional classification required for a Service/ Post?
Answer - The physically disabled candidates shall also
be required to meet special eligibility criteria in terms of physical
requirements/functional classification (abilities/disabilities) consistent with
requirements of the identified
Service/Post as may be prescribed by its Cadre Controlling Authorities. The
details of physical requirement and functional classification are given in the
Rules of Examination.
Q 38. What information should be given by persons already in Government
Service to their Head of Office?
Answer - 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 in the examination, their application will be liable to
be rejected/candidature will be liable to be cancelled.
Q 39. What are the provisions regarding community reservation and change
Answer - A candidate will be eligible to get the
benefit of community reservation only in case the particular community/ caste /
tribe to which the candidates belong 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
category to a reserved one, such request shall not be entertained by the
Commission. Similar principle will also be followed for physically disabled
Q 40. What are the provisions for reservation for SC, ST, OBC and
Physically Disabled candidates?
Answer - Reservation will be made for candidates
belonging to Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and
Physically Disabled Categories in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the
Civil Service (Main) Examination
Q 41. Can a candidate choose an optional subject, which he has not studied
at graduate/post graduate level?
Answer - Yes.
Q 42. Which is the language / medium of question papers?
Answer - The question papers (other than the literature of language
papers) are set in bilingual i.e. Hindi and English only.
Q 43. Can a candidate write different papers of Civil Service (Main)
Examination in different languages?
Answer - 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 Civil
Service (Preliminary) Examination.
Q 44. How are the Question Papers for the Civil Services (Main)
Examination structured? What is the duration of each paper?
Answer - The question papers for the examination are of conventional
(essay) type. Each paper are of three hours duration.
Q 45. Can a candidate write the Civil Service (Main) Examination in
English and take the interview in Hindi or any other Indian language?
Answer - 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
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 their 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 of Personality Test.
Q 46. What are the Cut-off Marks for the compulsory language Papers?
Answer – The minimum qualifying standards in each of the two
Qualifying Papers i.e. English and Indian Languages is 25%.
Q 47. Is the Indian language Paper compulsory for candidates hailing from
the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and
Answer - The paper on Indian Language (Paper A) will not be compulsory
for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya,
Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
Q 48. What marks are reckoned for merit ranking in the written part of the
Civil Services (Main) Examination?
Answer - 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 will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of