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What is the full form of CSE?

CSE: Civil Services Examination

CSE full form

The full form of CSE in UPSC exam is Civil Services Examination. It is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment to the various civil services of the Government of India such as Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS).

It is conducted in three phases – a preliminary examination consisting of two objective type papers (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II also known as Civil Services Aptitude Test or CSAT), and a main exam consisting of nine papers in the traditional essay type, with two qualifying papers and only seven Marks are counted after the personality test.

Qualification for CSE Exam

The eligibility for the exam is as follows:


  • For Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service, the candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For other services, the candidate must be one of the following:
    1. Citizen of India
    2. Citizen of Nepal
    3. A Tibetan refugee who settled permanently in India before January 1, 1962.
    4. A person of Indian origin person who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Educational Qualification

All candidates must possess as a minimum one of the following educational qualifications:

  • Degree from a Central, State or Deemed University
  • A degree obtained through distance learning
  • A degree from an Open University
  • A qualification recognized by the Government of India as equivalent to one of the above

The following candidates are also eligible but they have to produce the proof of eligibility from the competent authority in their Institute/University at the time of Main Examination, failing which they will not be allowed to appear in the examination.

  • Candidates who have appeared in an examination, the passing of which will qualify them as educationally qualified to satisfy one of the above points.
  • Candidates who have passed
    • MBBS degree final examination but not completed internship yet.
    • Degree from a private university.
    • Degree from any foreign university recognized by Association of Indian Universities .


  • The minimum age for general category is 21 years and maximum age is 32 years.
  • OBC Minimum age is 21 and maximum age is 35 years.
  • SC/ST Minimum age is 21 and maximum age is 37 years.
  • Personnel disabled in operations during hostilities for the Defense Services, the maximum limit is 40 years.

Number of attempts

The number of times a candidate can appear for the examination is given below:

  • General Category Candidates = 6
  • OBC Category Candidates = 9
  • SC / ST Candidates = Unlimited Attempts up to 32 Years of Age

Appeals to attempt one paper in the Preliminary Examination are counted as one attempt, which will involve disqualification/cancellation of the candidature. However, applying to appear for the examination but failing to appear does not count as an attempt.

UPSC CSE Exam Syllabus

  • Preliminary stage has two papers.
    • 1. General studies (objective)
    • 2. C.S.A.T. (objective)
  • Mains Stage has 9 Papers (all Subjective).
    • 3. Compulsory [English]
    • 4. Indian Language
    • 5. General Studies-I
    • 6. General Studies-II
    • 7. General Studies-III
    • 8. General Studies-IV
    • 9. Optional Paper-I
    • 10. Optional Paper-II
    • 11. Essay
  • Personal Interview is Third and Last stage.

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