IAS Exam: Final Marks made public
Following a direction from the Central Information Commission (CIC), Union Public
Service Commission (UPSC) has made public the final marks of all successful candidates in
the civil services examination 2012 result of which was announces in the first week of May.
This is the first time in the history of the elite civil services examination, that UPSC make
the marks of all candidates public.
Interestingly, only four of them, including two women, obtained more than 50% marks in
the exam which is considered one of the toughest in the country. Three of the four are from
Earlier, UPSC used to send the marks to all candidates individually. The absence of final
marks of successful candidates in the public domain had seen a number of people moving
the CIC, seeking a direction to the UPSC.
The list for this year shows that the topper, Haritha V Kumar, a woman engineer from
Kerala, scored 53% marks (1193 out of 2250).
It also shows that 'general' category candidates who got between 48% and 50% marks got
selected for the top three services - IAS, IFS and IPS — indicating that it is tough to score
high marks for even those candidates who opt for science or engineering subjects.
In the 'general' category, the minimum cut-off was 42% while in other categories, it went as
low as 35%. However, a number of SC, ST and OBC candidates scored much higher marks
which put them in the bracket of toppers along with 'general' category candidates.
The marks of successful candidates, which were a closely guarded secret for long, also
brought into the open the scores in the interview (personality test), which carried 250 marks
and which used to play a key role in deciding the future of aspirants.
An official said making marks of all successful candidates public would not only spare the
commission of thousands of RTI requests every year, it would also bring transparency to the
civil services examination which is conducted in three stages - preliminary test, mains
examination and personality test.
Though there has been a long pending demand to make answer sheets of all candidates who
appear in the mains examination public, UPSC is not in favour of this. The matter is
currently pending in courts where the commission has vehemently opposed the move to
share answer sheets with either the candidates or third parties.
IAS Interview: What UPSC is looking for?
The IAS interview conducted by the UPSC is not just another interview. It is considered as one
of the toughest and most professional interviews in India . Scoring well in the IAS interview
requires a combination of knowledge, smartness, alertness, and other qualities that are detailed in
this complete guide to the IAS interview.
All the members of the IAS interview boards are experts in the art of interviewing. Every day
they interview many candidates and most of the members can evaluate a candidate, on the very
same moment when the candidate enter the interview room.
Although the number of members is not fixed, generally the interview is conducted by a board
consisting of 6 members including the board chairperson, who is a UPSC member and the rest
are invited to conduct the interview.
These members are from different fields, including subject matter experts, psychologists,
bureaucrats, educationists etc. All of them are highly experienced and ask searching questions to
It is worth knowing that the UPSC chairman does not sit in any interview board but oversees the
interview process. It’s the UPSC members who chair the interview board. Typically each board
member chairs one board so the number of IAS interview boards is equal to the number of the
UPSC members, but there are exceptions as well.
The newer members may sit on other member’s board in their first year as UPSC member to gain
some experience of conducting the interview to this premier service.
The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of your career.
You will be asked questions on matters of general interest. While preparing for the civil services
IAS interview, there are some core areas that you should focus on.
Birthplace and State
Job experience (if any) and particularly, government job
Extra curricular activities
Educational institutions attended
The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in
public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the
mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his/her
intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some of the
qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical
exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and
leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though
directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the
The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of
the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are
expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study
but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state
or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse
the curiosity of well-educated youth.
IAS- Mother of all Exams
IAS Exam conducted by the UPSC is considered as the mother of all exams, because of its
difficult test patterns and the prestige attached to the cadres for which this exam is being
conducted. The Civil Services Exam comprises two successive stages: First, it is the Preliminary
Examinations (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and next the Civil
Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various
services and posts.
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; 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 in the various Services and Posts. Only those
candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the
year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise
eligible for admission to the Main Examination.
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 interview for a
Personality Test . Marks obtained in the papers will be counted for ranking. The number of candidates to
be summoned for interview will be about thrice the number of vacancies to be filled.
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
The written examination according to the changes introduced on 23 March 2013 will consist of
the following papers:
One paper on English and One paper on Regional language for 300 mark each. This will be
qualifying in nature. That means marks obtaining for these 2 papers will not be counted
NOTE: English Comprehension and precis was
included in the new pattern, but dropped on 21 March
2013. And marks for this paper has been revised and
the new marks is 250
General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and
Culture, History and Geography of the World
General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution,
Polity, Social Justice and
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 Optional Subject – Paper 1 250 Marks
Paper-VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250 Marks
Sub Total (Written test)
Personality Test 275 Marks.
Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given in below
(i) Agriculture (ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science (iii) Anthropology (iv) Botany
(v) Chemistry (vi) Civil Engineering (vii) Commerce and Accountancy (viii) Economics
(ix) Electrical Engineering (x) Geography (xi) Geology (xii) History (xiii) Law
(xiv) Management (xv) Mathematics (xvi) Mechanical Engineering (xvii) Medical Science
(xviii) Philosophy (xix) Physics (xx) Political Science and International Relations
(xxi) Psychology (xxii) Public Administration (xxiii) Sociology (xxiv) Statistics (xxv) Zoology
Optional Subjects: Literature
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, English.