Civil Services Examination comprises two successive stages namely,
The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only and 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.
The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in a year will be eligibe for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination
The Main Examination will consist of a written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type in the subjects. (Language [both vernacular and English], General studies and Two Optional subjects)
Candidates, who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test.
However, the papers on Indian Languages and English will be of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 300 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).
Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and posts.