UPSC Full form

UPSC Full Form

UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission (UPSC Full Form) which is India’s prestigious agency responsible for recruiting top authority officers for the civil services in India.

UPSC appoints all the civil servants of India for various services like Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Foreign Services (IFS), Indian Revenue Services (IRS) and Indian Police Services (IPS).

UPSC is considered as one of the toughest competitive exams in India. About nine to ten lakhs candidates apply every year to appear for the UPSC examination but hardly a thousand candidates are selected to fill in the required posts.

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Exams:-

There are certain eligibility criteria stated by UPSC in order to be eligible to appear for the UPSC exams.


  • In the case of Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police Services, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For the other services apart from the above two, a candidate should be:
  1. A citizen of India
  2. A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  3. A Tibetan refugee who settled in India before January 1, 1962.
  4. A candidate must be a  person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the motive of permanently settling in India.

Educational Qualification

All the candidates must fulfil at least one of the following required qualifications:-

  • An authorized bachelors degree from a central, state or a deemed university.
  • A degree received over correspondence or distance education.
  • A degree received from an open university.
  • Candidates appearing or appeared for the final year examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply.
  • Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS but have not completed their internship can also apply.
  • Candidates who hold a professional and technical bachelor’s degree recognised by Govt of India can also apply.

Age Limit

  • Candidates who are minimum of 21 years and maximum of 32 years are eligible to apply (in case of General Category).
  • The upper age limit is relaxed for candidates belonging to SC, ST by 5 years and 3 years in case of OBC.
  • For defence service personnel, the upper age limit is relaxed by 3 years.
  •  Up to a maximum of 10 years of relaxation for dumb, deaf and orthopedically handicapped students.
  • For Domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir from January 1, 1980, to December 31, 1989, the limit is 32 years.

Maximum number of attempts

The maximum number of attempts for appearing in UPSC exams are as follows:-

  • 6 attempts for general category candidates  
  • 9 attempts for OBC candidates till the age of 35 years
  • Unlimited attempts for SC/ST candidates till the age of 37

UPSC Exam Pattern:-


The UPSC exams are held in three phases:-

  1. Preliminary Examination
  2. Mains Examination
  3. Interview and personality test

1. Preliminary Examination:-

UPSC preliminary exam is a fundamental step for the selection of civil servants in India, it is important to clear prelims exams in order to appear for the main examination.

Preliminary Exams are only meant for the screening purpose because marks scores in these exams will not be counted for the merit list.

It consists of two papers:-

  1. General Ability Test
  2. Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)

General Ability Test:-

General Ability Test consists of multiple-choice questions and is of 200 marks, which is to be attempted in 2 hours.

The topics that are covered under the general ability test are as follows:-

  • National and International current affairs
  • Indian history and movements that took place in India
  • World and Indian geography including physical, economic and social aspects
  • Indian polity and constitution
  • Economic and social development that took place in India and World
  • General science 
  • General issues that are taking place around the world

Civil Service Aptitude Test(CSAT):-

CSAT is a qualifying test and candidates must score a minimum of 33% in order to appear for the main examinations.

It is based on multiple-choice questions and carries 200 marks and the allotted time is 2 hours. It covers the following areas:-

  • Logical and analytical reasoning of a candidate.
  • Comprehension skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills and abilities.
  • General mental test.

2. Mains Examination:-

Candidates who qualify the preliminary exams are only eligible to appear for the main examinations. UPSC mains examinations are usually held in the month of September or October.

The main examination consists of two types of papers qualifying papers and papers that will be counted for the merit list.

 Qualifying Papers:-

Language(paper A) and English( paper B)

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Merit Exams:-  

Main examinations test the overall intellectual ability of a candidate and the in-depth knowledge of the subject. The marks scored in these exams are counted while calculating merit.

UPSC full syllabus:-

Prelims Exam:-

Paper-I. General Studies Syllabus

  • Indian national movements
  • India polity
  • Basic economics
  • Indian Geography
  • Current affairs and events

Paper-2 Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)

  • Analytical reasoning
  • Logical reasoning
  • Basic mathematics
  • Interpersonal skills

Mains Examination:-

Paper 1

Indian Language (Qualifying)

  1. Assamese            
  2. Bengali
  3. Bodo
  4. Dogri
  5. Gujrati
  6. Hindi
  7. Kannada
  8. Kashmiri
  9. Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Malayalam
  12. Meitei
  13. Marathi
  14. Nepali
  15. Odia
  16. Punjabi
  17. Sanskrit
  18. Santali
  19. Sindhi
  20. Tamil
  21. Telugu
  22. Urdu

Paper 2

English Language (Qualifying)

  • English comprehension
  • Precis Writing
  • Vocabulary test and usage
  • Short essays

Paper 3

Essay Writing

  • Candidates have to write essays on multiple topics.

Paper 4

General Studies I

  • Indian history (modern and ancient)
  • History and Geography of the world
  • Indian culture and heritage
  • Features of Indian society
  • Indian national movements
  • Indian diversity
  • Globalization

Paper 5

General Studies II

  • Indian Constitution (feature, evolution, amendments etc)
  • Governance policies and rules
  • Indian polity
  • Issues faced across the world and their solutions
  • Departmental structure of government
  • Welfare and social schemes formulated by the government

Paper 6

General Studies III

  • Economy of India
  • Technological developments
  • Disaster management
  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental studies
  • Indian reforms
  • Infrastructural development
  • Indian achievements in science and technology
  • Security changes and development

Paper 7

General Studies IV

  • Ethics and human interface
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers

Paper 8 & 9

Optional subject

Candidates are required to select their optional subject from the following list:-

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology


Union Public Service Exam (UPSC full form) is one of the toughest competitive exams in India.

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