The Prelims consists of two objective type papers: General Studies and Civil Services Aptitude Test (each carries 200 marks).
The Mains comprises 9 subjective papers (2 papers carrying 300 each; and 7 others carrying 250 marks each).The final phase is the Personality Test/Interview (275 marks).
CSE Preliminary Exam is qualifying in nature
Both the papers of the CSE Preliminary Examination are objective in nature, which means they consist of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Also, the Preliminary exam is only qualifying in nature. The marks obtained in the Prelims will not be considered for deciding the candidate's merit.
The Civil Services for which UPSC CSE is conducted
The UPSC conducts CSE for appointment of candidates to the Civil Services assigned under Article 320.
Also, the selection of candidates for the Indian Forest Service (IFoS) Main Exam would be done through CSE Prelims.
Here are some important dates of CSE 2020 examination
As mentioned earlier, the official notification for the 2020 CSE and IFoS Examination would be released by UPSC on February 12, 2020. The last date to apply would be March 3.
The 2020 CSE Prelims/IFoS Prelims would be conducted on May 31 and CSE Mains would be held from September 18. The IFoS 2020 Mains would be held from November 22.
Application forms for CSE will be available on UPSC's website
The application forms and other important details regarding the UPSC CSE will be available on the official UPSC website.
Notably, the CSE Prelims is being held early in 2020 by the UPSC. It will be conducted in May itself, which is earlier than usual. However, over the last few years, the Preliminary Exam was held in July or August.