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Most Common Doubts Regarding UPSC Exam


When is the Examination Notice Issued?

  • UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the Rules of Examinations notified by the Government. Examination Notices of all the 14 Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website around 3 months before the date of examination. Examination Notices for direct recruitment examinations are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar. The tentative dates of notification of Examinations for a year are also made available on UPSC’s website in July of the previous year.

What is UPSC’s annual calendar?

  • UPSC publishes an Annual Calendar of all the Structured Examinations conducted by it at least 6 months in advance. The date of issue of Examination Notice is also mentioned in the Annual Calendar.

How to apply for Examinations conducted by UPSC?

  • Candidates can apply online for UPSC conducted Examinations by accessing the online portal hosted on the UPSC’s website.

How much time is given to the candidates for applying online?

  • A candidate gets 3 weeks to 1 month time to apply online and can fill up the online application by following the instructions provided on the website for filling up online applications.

What happens if a candidate submits multiple online applications?

  • While a candidate should avoid submitting more than one online application, in case of doing so, the data provided in the last application that is successfully submitted online is accepted by the Commission. All previous applications are ignored.

When should I apply if I choose to pay by Bank Challan?

  • The closing date of submission of online application is clearly mentioned in the Examination Notice. Candidates who make payments through Bank Challan are required to submit online application at least a day
    before the notified closing date so that they can make the payment required, if any, on time.

Who can be exempted from payment of Examination fee?

  • For all the examinations conducted by the Commission, Female candidates, candidates with Disabilities and candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories are exempted from payment of Examination fee.

What is ‘Fictitious Payment’?

  • Those payments mentioned by the candidates in their online application, which are not authenticated by the State Bank of India, i.e. the designated bank managing the entire payment module (including managing the payment gateway), are called fictitious payments.

How does the Commission resolve fictitious payments made by me?

  • The applicants, whose payments are marked fictitious, are intimated through e-mail to submit physical proof of payment to the Commission. These applicants are required to submit the proof within 10 days, from the date of such communication, either by hand or by speed post to the Commission. In case, no response is received from the applicants, their applications are summarily rejected and no further correspondence is entertained in this regard.

What precautions must be taken by me for claiming community reservation or reservation for Physically Handicapped?

  • Candidates seeking reservation/ relaxation benefits available for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes/ Other Backward Classes/Physically Handicapped/Ex-servicemen must ensure that they are entitled to such
    reservation/ relaxation in accordance with the eligibility prescribed in the Rules/Notice. They should also be in possession of all the requisite certificates in the prescribed format in support of their claims for availing reservation before applying for the examination, and in any case, not later than the closing date for receipt of applications for the examination.

Can I change my Community Status?

  • A candidate is eligible to get the benefit of community reservation if his/her caste/tribe is included in the reserved community as may be determined by the Central Government. The Commission does not entertain a request for change of community from unreserved to reserved category once the examination process is initiated. However, in some exceptional cases where a particular caste/tribe is included in the list of reserved community within 2-3 months from the date of submission of application, the Commission may consider a request of change of community as a special case.

  • If a candidate unfortunately becomes physically challenged during the course of the examination process, his/her request for moving from physically able to physically disabled category can be considered by the Commission as a special dispensation based on a proper certificate furnished by the candidate.

Can a candidate change the Date of Birth from what he/she has submitted in the online application?

  • The Commission does not allow change of Date of Birth that has been furnished by a candidate and recorded by the Commission on any ground whatsoever.

What action is taken by the Commission in case of submission of false information by the candidates?

  • A candidate found to be furnishing false information to the Commission or suppressing information, adopting various unfair means in the examination like impersonation, etc., is liable to be disqualified or debarred
    from writing UPSC Examinations as decided by the Commission. A detailed stipulation in this regard is incorporated in the Rules of Examination/ Examination Notices.

Procedure of UPSC e-Admit Card


When are the e-Admit cards issued?

  • The eligible candidates shall be issued an e-Admission Certificate around three weeks to four weeks before the commencement of the examination. The e-Admission Certificate will be made available on the UPSC website [www.upsc.gov.in] for downloading by candidates. Admission Certificate will not be sent by post.

  • If a candidate does not receive his/her e-Admission Certificate or any other communication regarding his/her candidature for the examination around three weeks before the commencement of the examination, he/she should immediately contact the Commission. Information in this regard can also be obtained from the Facilitation Counter located in the Commission’s Office either in person or over Phone Numbers - 011-23381125/011- 23385271/011- 23098543.

What is the procedure adopted for allotment of Roll Number, Centre and Venue to the candidates?

  • Allotment of Roll number and Venue to the eligible candidates is carried out in a random manner without manual intervention. The Commission makes all efforts to allot the candidate the Centre of his/her choice; however, the Centre may be changed at the discretion of the Commission. Further, the allotment of Centres will be on the “first-apply-first allot” basis, and once the capacity of a particular Centre is exhausted, the same will be frozen. Applicants, who cannot get a Centre of their choice due to ceiling, will be required to choose one of the remaining Centres. Applicants are, thus, advised to apply early so that they get the Centre of their choice.

Are requests for change of Centre/ Venue accepted?

  • The candidates should note that no request for change of Centre / Venue will be granted. While filling in his/her Application Form, the candidate should carefully decide about his/her choice of centre for the Examination. If any candidate appears at a Centre other than the one indicated by the Commission in his/her Admission Certificate, the papers of such a candidate will not be evaluated and his/her candidature will be liable for cancellation.

What are the precautions to be taken while uploading candidates’ photographs and signatures?

  • Before filling up the Online Application, a candidate must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the “JPG” format in such a manner that each file should not exceed 40 KB and must not be less than 3 KB in size for the photograph and 1 KB for the signature. The photograph and signature must be clearly discernable.

  • Candidates should take due care while uploading their photograph since no changes are allowed once the photograph is uploaded and online application is submitted. Uploading of wrong photograph is the sole responsibility of the candidate and in such a case his/her candidature is liable to be cancelled for false identity. Please check the e-Admit Card carefully and discrepancies/ errors, if any, should be brought to the notice of UPSC immediately.

What items are banned at the Examination Venues?

(a) Mobile phones, bluetooth, pagers or any other communication devices and IT gadgets are banned items and are therefore not allowed inside the premises where the examination is being conducted. Any infringement of these instructions shall entail disciplinary action including ban from future examinations.

(b) Candidates are advised in their own interest not to bring any of the banned items including mobile phones/bluetooth/pagers to the venue of the examination.

(c) Candidates are also advised not to bring any valuable/costly items to the Examination Halls, as safety of such items cannot be assured. Commission will not be responsible for any loss in this regard.

Why UPSC Rejects Online Applications?


What precautions should be taken while filling up the Online Application Form?

  • Please read the instructions carefully before filling up the Online Application Form.

What is RID?

  • RID is Registration ID, which is generated by the system when the applicant completes PART-I registration of his/her application.

What is TID?

  • TID is Transaction ID, which is given by the Bank official when the applicant deposits his/her fee in cash. It is automatically generated when Internet Banking or credit/debit card mode is used for making the fee payment.

What is meant by Part I and Part II of the Application Form?

  • Online Application Form consists of Two parts i.e. Part I and Part II. Candidate should place the curser over the ‘Examination’ menu. The link would display a set of two options namely "PART-I Registration" and "PART-II" Registration Once PART-I of the Online Application procedure is completed, the candidate has to complete the PART-II Registration for successful submission of the Online Application.

Non-filling up of Part II/No submission of fee.

  • If only PART-I of the application is submitted without submitting PART-II, the application remains incomplete and candidature cannot be registered. The application is incomplete even in cases where the applicant has submitted PART-I and paid fee as well, but has not completed PART-II (i.e., failed to submit photograph and signature).

Not following all the steps of PART-II registration

  • Part II registration comprises of following important steps:
    1. Uploading of photograph
    2. Uploading of signature
    3. Fee payment
    4. Choosing of the Examination centre from the available drop down menu.

Not selecting and submitting the choice of Centre

  • Not submitting the choice of Centre is treated as non submission of Part II and leads to rejection of the Application. Therefore, Candidates are advised to click on the “submit” button after selecting the Examination Centre.

Non Payment of Fee

  • Submission of multiple applications, followed by either non-payment of fee particulars OR fee particulars (TID) of one application (RID) being mentioned against another application with a different RID leads to rejection of the online applications.
  • The applicants who are submitting multiple applications should note that only the applications with higher Registration ID (RID) number shall be entertained by the Commission and fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID number.

Not uploading Photograph/ Not uploading signatures

  • Poor quality of uploaded photograph / signature / submission of photograph only, i.e., no signature submitted or photograph submitted at the place of signature may also lead to the rejection of the online applications.

.Q 28. Entering wrong TID in case of payment through Bank Challan

  • It is seen that some candidates who are submitting their fee through the bank challan either enter the wrong challan number OR submit challan number against the old RID. It is to be noted that in case of multiple
    submission of online applications by the candidate, only the last RID is considered and all other applications are rejected through the automated system. Therefore, the candidate should ensure that he/ she submits the fee
    against the last online application.

Information & Process of Civil Services Exam


What is the structure of the Civil Service Examination?

  • The Civil Services Examination (CSE) comprises of two successive stages: the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (CSP) and the Civil Services (Main) Examination (written and interview).

Information & Process of Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam


What is the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

  • UPSC conducts Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and other Central Services and posts in accordance with the Rules published by the Department of Personnel & Training in the Gazette of India Extraordinary. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible to appear in the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination

Is an attempt at the Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination (CSP) counted as an attempt at the Civil Service Examination (CSE) ?

(i) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the Civil Services Examination.
(ii) If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he/she shall be
deemed to have made an attempt at the Examination.
(iii) Notwithstanding the disqualification/ cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.

If a candidate has applied for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination but has not appeared at any paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will it be counted as an attempt?

  • No, an attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.

What is the scheme of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

  • The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.
    (i) Both the question papers will be of objective type (multiple choice questions).
    (ii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
    (iii) Details of the syllabi will be provided in the Examination Notice and Gazette Notification published by the Government.
    (iv) Each paper will be of two hours duration.

Is there negative marking at Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

  • Candidates should note that there will be penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Objective Type Question Papers. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. (i) For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty. (ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question. (iii) If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

What are the minimum educational qualifications prescribed?

  • The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or any other educational institution established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

What is the eligibility for availing reservation by the Physically Disabled Persons?

  • The eligibility for availing reservation against the vacancies reserved for the physically disabled persons shall be the same as prescribed in “The Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.”

What are the eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/ functional classification required for a Service/ Post?

  • The physically disabled candidates shall also be required to meet special eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/functional classification (abilities/disabilities) consistent with requirements of the identified
    Service/Post as may be prescribed by its Cadre Controlling Authorities. The details of physical requirement and functional classification are given in the Rules of Examination.

Q 38. What information should be given by persons already in Government Service to their Head of Office?

  • Persons already in Government Service, whether in a permanent or temporary capacity or as work charged employees other than casual or daily rated employees or those serving under the Public Sector Enterprises are required to submit an undertaking that they have informed their Head of Office/Department, in writing, that they have applied for the Examination. Candidates should note that in case a communication is received from their employer, by the Commission, withholding permission to the candidates applying for/appearing in the examination, their application will be liable to be rejected/candidature will be liable to be cancelled.

What are the provisions regarding community reservation and change of community?

  • A candidate will be eligible to get the benefit of community reservation only in case the particular community/ caste / tribe to which the candidates belong is included in the list of reserved communities issued by the Central Government. If a candidate indicates in his/her application form for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination that he/she belongs to General category but subsequently writes to the Commission to change his/her
    category to a reserved one, such request shall not be entertained by the Commission. Similar principle will also be followed for physically disabled categories.

What are the provisions for reservation for SC, ST, OBC and Physically Disabled candidates?

  • Reservation will be made for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Physically Disabled Categories in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government.

Information & Process of Civil Service (Main) Exam


Can a candidate choose an optional subject, which he has not studied at graduate/post graduate level?

  • Yes.

Which is the language / medium of question papers?

  • The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) are set in bilingual i.e. Hindi and English only.

Can a candidate write different papers of Civil Service (Main) Examination in different languages?

  • No, the Candidates have the option to write their answers either in English or in any one of the Eighth Schedule languages except the Qualifying Language papers Paper-A and Paper-B, which they have indicated at the time of filling up of their online application form for Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination.

How are the Question Papers for the Civil Services (Main) Examination structured? What is the duration of each paper?

  • The question papers for the examination are of conventional (essay) type. Each paper are of three hours duration.

Can a candidate write the Civil Service (Main) Examination in English and take the interview in Hindi or any other Indian language?

  • The candidates, opting for Indian Language medium for the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination may choose either the same Indian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview.
    The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English, may choose either English or Hindi or any other Indian Language opted by them for the compulsory Indian Language Paper in the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, as the medium for interview. The candidate has to indicate the language medium of their interview at the time of filling up of the Detailed Application Form (DAF) However, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview of Personality Test.

What are the Cut-off Marks for the compulsory language Papers?

  • The minimum qualifying standards in each of the two Qualifying Papers i.e. English and Indian Languages is 25%.

Is the Indian language Paper compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim?

  • The paper on Indian Language (Paper A) will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.

What marks are reckoned for merit ranking in the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination?

  • Marks obtained by the candidates for the Papers I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking (of those candidates who obtain the specified minimum marks in the qualifying papers). However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.


Original Source & Courtesy: WWW.UPSC.GOV.IN
For UPSC's Official Website Click Here


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