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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.

Qualifying papers on Indian languages and English

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :-
  • Comprehension of given passages

  • Precise Writing

  • Usage and Vocabulary

Short Essays Indian Languages :-
  • Comprehension of given passages

  • Precise Writing

  • Usage and Vocabulary

  • Short Essays

  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.