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The UPSC has released the official notification regarding the Civil Service Examination 2023 on the official website. The Preliminary exam will be conducted on 28th May 2023. The aspirants must ensure that they prepare very well for the Preliminary and the Mains according to the schedule. This article contains all the information about the UPSC CSE 2023 examination, including the exam pattern, syllabus, interview format, and other important details.

Examination Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Posts Various
Number of Vacancies To be Notified
Level of Exam National Level
Mode of Application Offline
Selection Process Offline Written Examination followed by Interview
Language of the Examination All the 22 languages of the 8th Schedule to the Indian Constitution. 
UPSC CSE Preliminary 2023 28th May 2023-Sunday
UPSC CSE Mains 2023 15th September 2023 onwards (Exams for 5 days)
Official Website

UPSC CSE Important Dates 2023

All the important dates are yet to be released by the examination conducting body for the CSE 2023 but here is a list of available important dates for the candidates to prepare well:

Events Date
Registration Starts on 1st February 2023
Registration Ends on 21st February 2023
UPSC CSE Preliminary Exam Date 28th May 2023
UPSC CSE Mains Exam Date 15th September 2023 Onwards

Eligibility Criteria

There are specific eligibility criteria that the candidates must meet to be eligible for UPSC CSE 2023. There are three important eligibility criteria that a candidate must meet i.e., age, qualification, and Nationality. There is no minimum percentage required to appear for the UPSC CSE 2023. 

Age Limit

The age limit of UPSC CSE 2023 must be calculated as of 1st August 2023: 

Category Minimum Age Maximum  Age
General/UR/Open 21 years 32 years
OBC 21 years 35 years
SC/ST 21 years 37 years

There is age relaxation for various categories in the UPSC CSE 2023. Refer to the table below for a better understanding:

Category Age Relaxation
SC/ST 5 years
OBC 3 years
Defense Service Personnel 3 years
Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs 5 years
The hearing problems, deaf, low vision, ex-servicemen, blindness, muscle deformity 10 years

Educational Qualification

The candidates must have any graduation level degree from any government-recognised university or UGC-accredited university. Graduation could be done in any discipline. Those who are in their final year of graduation are also eligible to apply for UPSC CSE. However, their graduation result should be declared before the final exam of UPSC CSE  2023:


A candidate appearing for UPSC CSE 2023 should be

  • Citizen of India, or
  • Citizen of Nepal, or
  • Citizen of Bhutan, or
  • Any Tibetan refugee (should be settled here before Jan 1st, 1962), or
  • Migrated from Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zaire to permanently settle in India. 

UPSC CSE 2023 Application Process

The entire process of registration is online and here is how you should register yourself. Interested candidates can apply for the UPSC CSE 2023 by following the steps-

  • The candidates have to visit the official website of UPSC or you can directly click on this
  • Click on the UPSC CSE 2023 Notification and download the same.
  • Find the UPSC 2023 Application Form link and click on the Apply button.
  • Enter the basic credentials carefully.
  • Carefully read the details once before submitting the UPSC application form.
  • Upload a scanned copy of your recent passport-size photograph and signature.
  • Read carefully before accepting the Declaration.
  • Once submitted, pay the registration fee.
  • Once the registration fee is successfully paid, download the receipt and keep it safe for future reference.

Exam Pattern of UPSC CSE 2023

The examination pattern is set by the Union Public Service Commission, the exam-conducting body. The exam is conducted annually and the pattern of the exam has not changed since 2013. The exam is officially conducted in two stages, namely Preliminary and Mains. While in practice, there is a third stage as well, the interview. As per the rules of the UPSC CSE Exam pattern, the candidates have to qualify for the Preliminary to be eligible to appear for the Mains, and the candidates who clear the Mains, appear for the interview. 

Preliminary Exam Pattern

The UPSC CSE 2023 exam consists of two papers, both conducted on the same day. Both papers consist of objective-based questions with Multiple Choice Answers (MCQ). The Preliminary is the qualifying exam for the Mains exam. Even though the score doesn’t matter in the final calculation of the merit lists, scoring well is important because the cut-off keeps on fluctuating and depends on the average score every year.

Paper Type No. of Questions Total Marks Duration Negative Marks
General Studies I Objective 100 200 2 hours Yes, 0.66
CSAT/General Studies II Objective 80 200 2 hours Yes, 0.83

The total UPSC CSE 2023 marks for Preliminary is 400, whereas CSAT/General Paper II is qualifying in nature with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

Mains Exam Pattern

The UPSC CSE Mains 2023 consists of 9 exhaustive papers conducted over 5-7 days. Unlike Preliminary, the paper is a descriptive answer type question. Candidates securing a minimum of 33% in CSAT/General PAper II and qualifying for the cut-off in General Paper I are eligible for the Mains. 

Paper Subject Duration Total Marks
Paper A Compulsory English Language 3 hours 300
Paper B English 3 hours 300
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250
Paper II General Studies I 3 hours 250
Paper III General Studies II 3 hours 250
Paper VI General Studies III 3 hours 250
Paper V General Studies VI 3 hours 250
Paper VII Optional Paper I 3 hours 250
Paper VII Optional Paper II 3 hours 250

Language Papers A and B are of a merit-ranking nature. Papers A and B are of qualifying nature and candidates must score at least 25% in each for the marks from their Paper I – Paper VII to be given weightage.

Paper A is not compulsory for candidates from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim as well as candidates with hearing impairment, provided they can prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their concerned board or university. The Indian Language paper covers any of the languages included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.


The interview is the final stage of the UPSC CSE Exam before the final results are declared. Officially it is called the Interview/Personality Test and counted as a part of the Mains Examination for merit ranking purposes. But from the preparation point of view, it is called the third stage. As per the UPSC CSE exam 2023 pattern, this round consists of an interview by the UPSC board to assess the candidates’ suitability for a civil services career and associated responsibilities. The total marks of this stage are 275, thus bringing the total marks for UPSC Mains and Interview for the merit list consideration to 2025.

Syllabus for UPSC CSE 2023

Since there are two parts of exams in UPSC CSE, Preliminary and Mains, the syllabus for both parts are different. 

Preliminary Syllabus

There are two papers in the Preliminary. Paper I is General Studies and Paper II is Civil Services Aptitude Test, also known as CSAT. Each paper is of 200 marks. Both papers are 120 minutes in duration (2 hours) each. The questions are objective-type. Here is a list of topics one needs to know for General Studies 

General Paper Paper I:

  • Current Events of National and International Importance
  • History of India and the Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography–Physical, Social, and 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, Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • General Science

CSAT/General Paper II:

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal Skills including Communication Skills
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Abilities
  • Decision-making and Problem-solving Skills
  • General Mental Ability
  • Basic Numeracy
  • Data Interpretation

Mains Syllabus

The UPSC CSE comprises 9 theory papers and marks in 7 of these papers are taken into consideration for preparing the final merit lists. English and Indian Languages are qualifying in nature, and the candidate has to score 25% or above to be eligible for selection. Also, candidates qualifying for the Preliminary examination can sit for the Mains examination. Unlike Preliminary, the questions are subjective.

Paper Subject Duration Total Marks
Paper A Compulsory English Language 3 hours 300 (Qualifying)
Paper B English 3 hours 300 (Qualifying)
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250
Paper II General Studies I-Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society 3 hours 250
Paper III General Studies II-Governance, Constitution, Welfare Initiatives, Social Justice & International Relations 3 hours 250
Paper IV General Studies III-Technology, Economic Development, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management 3 hours 250
Paper V General Studies IV-Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude 3 hours 250
Paper VI Optional Subject Paper-I 3 hours 250
Paper VII Optional Subject Paper-II 3 hours 250

The candidates have to select the Optional Subject Papers I and II out of a total of 48 papers. Both papers will be 250 marks each. 

Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC?

To make it easier for the candidates to appear for the UPSC CSE Examination 2023, we have created a curated list of books that are some of the best in the market to help the candidates qualify for the examination. Buy these books and begin your preparation from the comfort of your home.

Subject Name of the Books Author/Publisher
History Ancient India RS Sharma
History Modern India Satish Chandra Mittal
History History of Modern India  Bipan Chandra
Polity The Constitution of India PM Bakshi
Ethics Ethics, Aptitude, and Integrity for Civil Services Main Examination Subba Rao and P.N.Roy Chaudhary
Economy Indian Economy Mishra and Puri
Environment Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure Rajagopalan
Science and Technology Science and Technology in India TMH
English High School English Grammar and Composition   Wren and Martin
General Studies IAS Mains Exam General Studies  Ashish Bharti
Geography NCERT VI-XIICertificate Physical Geography: G C LeongWorld AtlasMap of India

Every year lakhs of students appear for UPSC CSE with the dream of clearing the examination and serving the Nation. Clearing UPSC CSE is not child’s play, so work on your strategies, be consistent, keep in mind the pattern of the examination and prepare yourself wisely. 


What is the full form of UPSC CSE?

UPSC CSE stands for Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Examination.

Is there a negative marking in UPSC CSE 2023?

Yes, negative marking is applicable in UPSC CSE 2023. 

How many UPSC CSE attempts are allowed?

Candidates from the General/Ur/Open category can attempt 6 times till the age of 32 years, OBC candidates can attempt 9 times till the age of 35 years and SC/ST candidates can try unlimited times till 37 years of age.  

For similar updates about the UPSC CSE Examination 2023, keep an eye on Leverage Edu, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter

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