Civil Services Preliminary Examination

The Civil Services Preliminary Examination is screening test of candidates to appear for Civil Services Mains Examination. Other synonymous for this test are Civil Services Prelims Test, CSP Test, CSP Exam, CSE Prelims and Civil Services Pre etc. Any college graduate who fulfills minimum eligibility criteria can write this examination. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) of India is administering authoring for the CSP Test. The commission has the sole responsibility to invite application forms, conduct examinations and declare result. Application process is completely online for the CSP Test. The examination test the knowledge and skills of candidates and measures what they have learnt throughout previous academic years and whether they are right fit to appear for Civil Services Mains Examination for the selection of officers with various government departments.

Important Dates Civil Services Examination

  • Date of Notification: February
  • Last Date for Online Registration: March
  • Date of Examination: May
For latest dates see notifications

No. Of Attempts: Candidates who fulfills the minimum eligibility criteria are given 6 attempts. However, there is no limitation on candidtes belonging to SC/ST categories.

Civil Services Preliminary Examination Pattern

The Civil Services Preliminary Examination is a two paper examination and conducted in a single day. There are two papers in the examination. Paper – I is administered in morning session; Paper- II is administered in the afternoon session, same day.  Following given question paper pattern

Paper-I: General Studies Paper
  • Maximum Marks: 200
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Type of Questions: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Paper-II Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)
  • Maximum Marks: 200
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Type of Questions: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Paper II is qualifying in nature. Minimum marks required to pass this paper are 33%

Civil Services Preliminary Examination Syllabus

Civil Services Prelims Exam Syllabus for Paper I – (200 marks) 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 specialization.
  • General Science

Civil Services Prelims Exam Syllabus for Paper II – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • 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)
Note 1 : Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with
minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
Note 3 : It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim)
Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in
case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

Civil Services Preliminary Examination Centres

The UPSC administers Civil Services Preliminary Examination across following Indian Cities and Towns
  • Agartala
  • Agra
  • Ajmer
  • Ahmedabad
  • Aizawl
  • Aligarh
  • Allahabad
  • Anantpur
  • Aurangabad
  • Bangalore
  • Bareilly
  • Bhopal
  • Bilaspur
  • Chandigarh
  • Chennai
  • Coimbatore
  • Cuttack
  • Dehradun
  • Delhi
  • Dharwad
  • Dispur
  • Faridabad
  • Gangtok
  • Gaya
  • Ghaziabad
  • Gorakhpur
  • Gurgaon
  • Gwalior
  • Hyderabad
  • Imphal
  • Indore
  • Itanagar
  • Jabalpur
  • Jaipur
  • Jammu
  • Jodhpur
  • Jorhat
  • Kochi
  • Kohima
  • Kolkata
  • Kozhikode (Calicut)
  • Lucknow
  • Ludhiana
  • Madurai
  • Mumbai
  • Mysore
  • Nagpur
  • Navi Mumbai
  • Gautam Buddha Nagar
  • Panaji (Goa)
  • Patna
  • Port Blair
  • Puducherry
  • Pune
  • Raipur
  • Rajkot
  • Ranchi
  • Sambalpur
  • Shillong
  • Shimla
  • Siligudi
  • Srinagar
  • Thane
  • Thiruvananthapuram
  • Tiruchirappalli
  • Tirupati
  • Udaipur
  • Varanasi
  • Vellore
  • Vijayawada
  • Vishakhapatnam
  • Warangal

Civil Services Preliminary Examination Eligibility Criteria

The minimum and mandatory eligibility criteria to appear for Civil Services Preliminary Examination is given below
The candidates applying for  UPSC Civil Services Exam must be either:
(a) a citizen of India, or
(b) a subject of Bhutan, or
(c) a subject of Nepal, or
(d) a Tibetan refugee who has come to India before January 1st, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
(e) if he/she is a person of Indian origin and has migrated from Vietnam, Zaire and Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, East African countries of Kenya, Sri Lanka, Burma or from Pakistan, with the motive to permanently settling down in India.
All candidates those who belong to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) mentioned above would require a certificate of eligibility that shall be issued by the Government of India. Thus the appointment letter to those candidates will only be given after the Government of India issues the necessary eligibility certificate.
Age:  Minimum age to appear for the Civil Services Examination is 21 years, while upper age limit is 32 years. Relaxation in age criteria is available to candidates belonging to reserved categories as per government schedule.
Educational Qualification: A candidate must have passed bachelor’s degree  examination or appearing for final year / final semester of from any recognized university.

Civil Services Preliminary Examination Fees

Candidates are required to pay Rs. 100 towards examination fee.  Application process is completely online. While writing CSP application a candidate can chose to pay online using Net Banking or Visa Card / Master Card / Credit Card / Debit Card etc or he / she can chose to Pay in Slip at SBI Bank counter. In the later case an e-Challan will be generated which a candidate will present at SBI Fees Payment Counter while remitting the fees.
Female/SC/ST/PwD category candidates are not required to pay any fees.

How to apply for Civil Services Preliminary Examination

The application procedure for Civil Services Preliminary Examination is completely online. Candidates need to register with UPSC website to write the application form. On the application website stepwise registration guide is made available. Candidates are required to read the application submission instructions carefully and follow the steps in a definite manner. Any deviation from instructions may result in a rejected application.

Register for Civil Services Preliminary Examination

Civil Services Preliminary Examination Admit Card

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) uploads Civil Services Preliminary Examination Admit Card on official portal. All candidates require to log on to official website and download and print CSP Test admit card. This card will serve as Hall Ticket during exam day and further all communication regarding this examination.  The notification regarding availability of candidates are sent to the registered email id and mobile no of candidates. A detailed notification is also published on official website.

Civil Services Preliminary Examination Result

The Civil Services Preliminary Examination Result is expected to be announced in August and published on

For latest updates about CSE Preliminary Examination visit EducationNews.Shiksha

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