We shall start with mains exams since the pre is in transition stage from 2011..
IAS mains exams:
Only those who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in a year, are eligible for the Main examination of that year, provided they are otherwise eligible for the Main Examination.
Civil Services Main examination has two optional subjects (two papers each carries 300 marks),
one General Studies (two papers each carries 300 marks), one essay (carries 200 marks) - total 2000 marks.
Other than this, there are two language papers one in Indian language and one in General English at the level of 10th standard. This is to test the ability of the candidate's proficiency in his mother tongue / Indian language and English. Total nine papers. These two papers carry 300 marks each but it will not be considered for the ranking. It is must to clear these two papers. If a candidate fails to clear these papers, his other papers will not be evaluated.
The Main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and the depth of understanding of the candidates, rather than merely the range of their information and memory. Sufficient choice of questions is allowed in the question papers.
Optional Subjects for the Main Examination:
- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science,
- Botany, Chemistry,
- Civil Engineering,
- Commerce and Accountancy,
- Electrical Engineering,
- Mechanical Engineering,
- Medical Science,
- Political Science and International Relations,
- Public Administration,
- Political Science & International Relations and Public Administration
- Commerce and Management
- Anthropology and Sociology
- Maths and Statistics
- Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
- Management and Public Administration
- Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science and Medical Science Any
- two branches of engineering.Combination of two literatures in the above list.