PREPARATION STRATEGY FOR GENERAL STUDIES
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.
Syllabi of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main)
Examination are given as follows: ‐
(A) -Non-Ranking (and Qualifying) papers on Indian languages and English
PAPER A: Indian language
The pattern of questions in the Indian Language paper would be broadly as
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essay
(v) Translation from English to the Indian language and vice‐versa.
PAPER B: ENGLISH
The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand
serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in
English and Indian Language concerned.
The pattern of questions in the English paper would be broadly as follows: ‐
(i) Comprehension of given passages
(ii) Precis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary
(iv) Short Essay
(I) The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or
equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained
in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
(II) The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers
in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is
(III) The paper on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur,
Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
(B) Ranking Paper -PAPER‐I: ESSAY
Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of
subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of
the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely.
Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
PAPER‐II: GENERAL STUDIES‐ I
Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and
PAPER‐III: GENERAL STUDIES‐ II
Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
PAPER‐IV: GENERAL STUDIES-III
Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security
and Disaster Management
PAPER‐V: GENERAL STUDIES‐ IV
Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
PAPER‐VI and PAPER-VII Optional subjects
NOTE: Paper VI & VII are two papers of any one optional subject that the
candidate may choose from amongst the List of Optional Subjects given by
(C) LIST OF OPTIONAL SUBJECTS FOR MAIN EXAMINATION
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
Commerce and Accountancy
Political Science and International Relations
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
The syllabus of all the optional subjects is available under Section III, ‘Syllabus of Optional subjects.’
(I) Evaluation of the papers, namely, ‘Essay’, ‘All the papers of General Studies’
and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously
along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and
‘English’ but the papers on ‘Essay’, General Studies and Optional Subject of
only such candidates will be taken cognizance of who attain such minimum
standard as may be fixed by Commission at their discretion for the qualifying
papers on ‘Indian Language’ and ‘English’.
(II) Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper I‐VII (namely the ranking
papers as menrioned above) only will be counted for merit ranking. However,
the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of