The first stage of the exam is the Preliminary stage. The Civil Services (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 Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Civil Services (Main) Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit
The number of candidates to be admitted to the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this Examination. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Civil Services (Main) Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Civil Services (Main) Examination.
Note II : There will be negative marking for incorrect answers as detailed below :
(i) There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.
(ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question.
(iii) If a question is left blank i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.
The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.
Note: (i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions) and each will be of two hours duration.
(ii) The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
(iii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.