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UPSC Exam Pattern: Prelims, Mains Exam & Interview

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UPSC Exam Pattern

To ace the UPSC exams also, knowing the UPSC exam pattern is of utmost importance.
Everything that you’ll ever learn and prepare for during your IAS preparations 
will have to ultimately be calibrated to the IAS exam pattern.That’s how important
the topic of the UPSC exam pattern is. 

So, to get to the real thing the UPSC Exam is comprised of 3 stages. The first 

stage is the Prelims round, which is essentially an elimination round designed to
filter out a majority of unsuitable candidates.  

Then comes the second phase or the Mains round, which is basically the core of the
UPSC exams and the most important step of selection.  

Lastly, comes the third stage, or the Personal interview round which is designed 
to test your personality and your acumen as a bureaucrat. We’ll go through each stage in detail. 

IAS Exam Pattern for UPSC Prelims
The Prelims stage IAS exam pattern basically consists of 2 papers, both conducted
on the same day. The question type in both papers is objective with one right 
answer out of several multiple choices.

The prelims paper, as I have mentioned before is essentially a qualifying stage 
designed to filter out the unsuitable candidates from the exam process.  

The remaining candidates get to appear for the Mains exam. Also, important to
note down is that the marks secured in the prelims paper will not be counted when 
the final merit list of successful candidates is prepared. 

The IAS exam pattern for prelims in a tabular manner is given below:

Assuming that the table given above is able to sufficiently inform you about 
the total marks and time duration of the 2 papers of the Prelims exams, there are
some important points that I’d like to add: 

1. Paper 1 or the GS paper contains 100 questions with negative marking. Every right
answer will fetch you 2 marks and every wrong one will cost you 1/3rd of that or 
.66 marks. Questions that you choose to leave unanswered will not fetch you or 
cost you any mark.  

2. Paper 2 or the CSAT paper contains 80 questions, most of them with negative 
marking.  Every right answer will fetch you 2.5 marks, and wrongly answering a 
question with negative marking will cost you 1/3rd of that or .83 marks. Certain 
questions designed to test your decision-making skills will not cost you any marks
if answered wrongly. Also, questions left unanswered will not fetch or cost you 
any marks.             

Get More Information About UPSC Eligibility Criteria.



posted Jun 28 by anonymous

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The National Testing Agency, NTA has released the final UGC NET Answer Key 2020 for all the exams conducted from 24 September to 13 November 2020. This key has been made available on the official website. Students can download and compare their response sheet with the final answer key.

The candidates who had challenged the UGC NET 2020 Answer Key can also check if their claim has been accepted or not.

But if you are a student who is preparing for upcoming exam, then you can also check the answers of previous year papers available at Eduncle, this will help you boost your preparation.


How to check UGC NET 2020 final answer keys:

In order to check the UGC NET answer keys, all the candidates need to follow the below mentioned steps:

  • Go to the official site of UGC NET at
  • On the homepage, click on "Answer Keys UGC-NET June 2020"
  • Final Answer Key on which result compiled on 30.11.2020 will be displayed
  • Check it carefully
  • Download it for future reference.



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UGC NET Admit Card 2021: The National Testing Agency may soon announce the new date of UGC NET Exam December 2020 and the date of issue of admit card. Candidates are advised to keep an eye on the official website of UGC for the latest updates.

The new date for the UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) December 2020 exam is likely to be announced soon by the National Testing Agency (NTA). It is to be noted that this exam is conducted for the eligibility for the post of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellowship in various Indian Universities, Colleges and Institutes recognized by the UGC.

UGC NET Prelims Exam Date Check here

Soon the date of issue of admit card will also be announced

Let us inform that the UGC National Eligibility Test was earlier scheduled from May 2 to May 17, 2021 in 81 subjects at various centers across the country. On the other hand, according to media reports, the government can soon make an important announcement regarding the UGC NET exam 2021. Apart from the new date of examination, the tentative date related to download the UGC NET admit card can also be announced.

Download admit card from official website

Let us inform you that in view of the terrible pace of corona infection, the UGC examination was postponed. Candidates keep checking the official website for the latest updates related to the exam. Keep in mind that the admit cards will be issued only after the new date of UGC NET December 2020 exam is announced. Candidates will be able to download the admit card from the official website.

Candidates download their admit card like this:

1- Visit the official website of UGC NTA,
2- Click on the link containing the admit card
3- After this a new page will open in front of you, Registered candidate sign in.
4- Enter the application number and date of birth and captcha code and enter.
5- As soon as this is done, the admit card of the candidate will appear on the screen.
6- Candidates should download their admit card and also take a printout

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UGC NET Exam: The National Testing Agency UGC NET may give an update about the May 2021 exam soon. According to media reports, the dates of the examination and the release of the admit card can be announced.

Lots of candidates are waiting for the UGC NET exam postponed due to the Corona epidemic. The UGC NET exam for December 2020 cycle was to be conducted from May 2 to May 17 by the National Testing Agency. But it had to be postponed due to the epidemic. Now it is being said in various media reports that the new date for the examination of UGC NET can be announced soon. With the new date, it is possible to announce the possible dates for downloading the admit card.

Earlier, on 20 April 2021, the NTA had postponed the proposed UGC NET exam for December 2020 cycle in May 2021 by issuing a notification. The reason for postponing the examination was stated to be a rising outbreak of Corona epidemic.

Helpline for UGC NET May 2021

NTA has released a helpline number to answer the questions of the candidates regarding the UGC NET exam. You can get information related to NET exam and admit card etc. by calling the agency’s helpline on 011–4075900 or by emailing email id

UGC NET Examination is conducted to recruit for the posts of Assistant Professor and to determine eligibility for Junior Research Fellowship in Universities and their affiliated colleges across the country. The UGC NET exam is conducted in Computer-Based Testing (CBT) mode for a total of 81 subjects.

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The National Eligibility Test (NET), also known as UGC NET or NTA NET, is a test to determine eligibility for college and university level lecturership and for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) for Indian nationals.

It aims to ensure minimum standards for the entrants in teaching professions and research. On behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the National Testing Agency (NTA) holds the test for determining the eligibility of Indian nationals for the Eligibility for Assistant Professor only or Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Assistant Professor both in Indian universities and colleges.

You must be a Post-Graduate or in the Final year of your Post-Graduation in a relevant subject to apply for UGC NET Examination. The exam is conducted twice in a year, generally in the month of June and December.

The examination comprises of 2 Papes-

  • Paper 1
  • Paper 2

Paper 1 is a General Paper comprising of Teaching Aptitude, Research Aptitude,, Logical Reasoning, English and so on.

Paper 2 comprises of the specialized subject in which you have done in your Post-Graduation (it is preferred to give Paper 2 in your Post-Graduation Subject but you can choose another subject also). For example, if you have done MBA then the subject would be Management and if you have done MCom then the subject would be Commerce.

The questions that would be asked would comprise of all the subjects that you have read in your Graduation and Post-Graduation. So, you just need to brush up all those topics from the books. It would be wise if you use the same books that you have used in your Graduation and Post-Graduation.

Approximately there are 10 subjects in Paper 1 as well as in Paper 2. So, for Paper 1 you can pick up any good book of Trueman or Arihant and you can practice the specific topics and questions related to them.

For Paper 2, you can refer to your textbooks or main course books of your Graduation and Post-Graduation.

The time sufficient to prepare for UGC NET examination is 1 Month. So, if you dedicatedly give 1 Month for both Paper 1 and Paper 2 with 1 Month to Past Year Papers. It is advisable to solve at least 10 Years of UGC NET Past Years Paper from the examination point of view. If you follow this properly, then you can definitely clear UGC NET Examination.

All the Best!!


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Books are extremely important when it comes to NABARD Grade A exams, but not just books, but the right books are what you need to make it in the exam. Also, the utility of books is doubled if they contain questions from previous year question papers, and mocks.

However, only the mock test books and previous years’ paper compilations won’t be enough. You’d need several other books pertaining to the various subjects of the NABARD Grade A syllabus to prepare for the exam properly. To know more about the names of the NABARD Grade A books you can read about them in my blog on the same topic.

Best Books for NABARD Grade A – General Awareness

  • Spotlight
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  • Monthly Magazines like Banking Services Chronicles


NABARD Grade A Preparation Books – Computer Knowledge

  • Computer Awareness – Arihant Publication
  • Objective Computer Knowledge and Literacy – Kiran Publication

Best NABARD Grade A Books – Economic and Social Issues (ESI)

  • Indian Economy NCERT 11th
  • Macroeconomics NCERT 12th
  • Ramesh Singh- Indian economy
  • Indian Economy- Uma Kapila (Performance and policies)
  • Social problems in India- Ram Ahuja
  • Indian Polity- Laxmikanth
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  • NITI Aayog recent reports – selective

The NABARD Grade A Preparation Books I have mentioned above for ESI comprise of sources for both Phase 1 as well as Phase 2.

Best NABARD Grade A Books 2020 – Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD)

  • Objective Agriculture – S.R. Kantwa – New Vishal Publications
  • For Agricultural Field Officer IBPS-SO Book – Read more