UPSC CSE Selection Process 2024, Prelims, Main, Interview

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UPSC CSE Selection Process 2024

The UPSC CSE Selection Process 2024 is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This recruitment process comprises of three different stages of exam. First stage is preliminary, in which multiple choice questions are there. Second stage is main, followed by Interview or Personality Test.

The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) CSE exam is commonly known as the IAS exam because of the popularity of this elite post. This civil service exam is considered as one of the toughest exams to crack in India. UPSC CSE Selection Process in conducted every year by UPSC. In this article, we will give the complete explanation of the selection procedure of the UPSC CSE.

UPSC CSE Selection Process 2024 – Overview

The conducting body UPSC has released the date of UPSC CSE Exam 2024. The calendar was released on 10th May 2023. Some known important dates are mentioned below: –

ActivityImportant Dates
UPSC CSE Notification 202414th February 2024
UPSC CSE 2024 Form filling start date14th February 2024
UPSC CSE 2024 Form filling last date5th March 2024
UPSC CSE Prelims 202426th May 2024(Postponed)
16th June 2024
UPSC CSE Mains 202420th September 2024
UPSC CSE Interview Date*To be announced
Final Results for UPSC CSE 2024*To be announced

UPSC CSE Selection Process

The IAS Selection process consists of three stages. Each stages holds different process. The processes are as follows: –

  1. Preliminary Examination (Objective Type)
  2. Main Examination (Descriptive Type)
  3. Interview (Personality Test)

UPSC CSE Selection Process – Preliminary 2024

The first stage of IAS Selection Process is Preliminary Exam. Every candidate who applies for the UPSC CSE exam, are called for this exam. This stage is very important as lakhs of students apply for this exam, from which only few are selected for further stages.

Preliminary stage comprises two papers: 

1General Studies (GS)200
2Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)200

Points to be noted:

  • Both papers of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) prelims are objective, meaning they have multiple-choice questions.
  • For each wrong answer, there is a negative marking of 0.33 marks.
  • Each paper lasts for 2 hours and is held on the same day.
  • The exam covers multiple choice questions.
  • The minimum score required to pass Paper I is determined by the conducting body’s cut-off, while for the General Studies (GS) Paper, a minimum of 33% is required.

The IAS prelims results are announced by the UPSC, generally within 60 days of the exam. The UPSC releases the list of candidates who clear the preliminary stage and qualify for the main exam.

UPSC CSE Selection Process – Main 2024

UPSC CSE Main is the second stage of the IAS Selection Process which is the crucial stage. For this stage of the selection process, number of students selected are only 10 to 12 times of the vacancy. This stage evaluates candidates’ in-depth understanding, critical analysis, and effective communication skills.

Main stage comprises nine papers in which 2 papers are qualifying and 7 papers are counted for merits. This step is descriptive in nature.

Qualifying Papers:

No.SubjectMaximum Marks
1Indian Language300
2English Language300

Papers to be counted for merit:

No.SubjectMaximum Marks
1General Studies Paper I250
2General Studies Paper II250
3General Studies Paper III250
4General Studies Paper IV250
6Optional Paper I250
7Optional Paper II250

Before the mains exam, candidates have to give their preference of cadre and service. The cadre indicates the place of the work. Based on the vacancies in each cadre for all the categories, and the rank obtained, candidates will be allocated the cadre and service after the final result.

There is limit for the maximum number of attempts to give exam. The limit differs category-wise.

CategoryNo. of Attempts
PwBD (all category)9

UPSC CSE Selection Process – Personality Test

Candidates who clear main examination, they qualify for personality test or interview. this is the final stage of the IAS Selection process. This stage holds considerable weightage in the final selection, as it provides a holistic assessment of the candidate’s potential. Candidates called for this stage are 2 times of the vacancy. Personality test accounts for 275 marks.

In this phase, candidates are assessed on various parameters by the interview panel of the UPSC board. This phase is not only the assessment of candidate’s intellectual qualities but also meant to evaluate the mental ability of the candidate such as presence of mind, ability to handle pressure, depth of interest, flexibility in traits etc. The interview technique does not involve strict cross-examination but entails a natural, directed, and purposeful conversation aimed at revealing the candidate’s mental qualities.

UPSC announces the final result a few days after the personality test. The final result is prepared by UPSC based on the total score of the candidates.

After that, a medical test is conducted. Candidates have to pass the medical standard test as well.

 Significance of The UPSC Selection Process

The IAS recruitment process by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is important because of the given reasons: –

  • Candidates are selected based on their merits and abilities.
  • The process is completely transparent, reducing the chances of favoritism or biases.
  • This process evaluates candidates’ suitability for various government roles, considering their intellectual abilities and personality traits.
  • Multiple stages of examinations ensure that candidates possess the necessary knowledge and competence.
  • The UPSC maintains high standards of integrity and professionalism in the selection process.
  • The selection process identifies and nurtures future leaders who will serve as administrators and policymakers.


Before starting the preparation for UPSC CSE, it will be wise step to understand the selection process and take the further step accordingly. This step gives a right path in achieving the end goal. UPSC IAS selection process ensures a fair and competent evaluation of candidates throughout the process.  

Important LinksImportant Links
UPSC CSE 2024 Apply Online UPSC CSE 2024 Notification
UPSC CSE Eligibility CriteriaUPSC CSE Syllabus
UPSC CSE Exam PatternUPSC CSE Selection Process

UPSC CSE Selection Process 2024: FAQ

1. What is UPSC CSE Selection process?

UPSC CSE Selection process involves three stages:
Preliminary Test
Main Test

2. Is UPSC CSE Interview difficult?

UPSC CSE Interview or personality test is not that difficult. One can score good marks if he/she answers accurately and innocently. In Interview, the panel evaluates the mental ability and flexibility of the candidate. With a proper strategy, 150 out of 275 can be scored and it is considered as good.

3. Will attempt of preliminary be counted as an attempt?

Yes, if any candidate appears in preliminary test, it will be counted as an attempt. So, it will be better not to attempt prelims if any candidate is not prepared.

4. What is UPSC CSE Medical test?

In the medical test, basic tests such as Blood Test, Urine Test, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, X-Ray, Diabetes Test, Eye-sight Test, Hearing Ability, Standard Height and weight etc. are done.

5. Is there any exam attempt limit of UPSC civil service exam?

Yes, there is limit for the number of attempts. The maximum attempt can be 6 for general, 9 for )BS, 9 for PwBD of all categories.


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