1. Preliminary Examination: The first stage of the selection process is the Preliminary Examination. It is a screening test that consists of two objective type papers (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II) and is conducted in offline mode. Candidates who clear the Preliminary Examination are eligible to appear for the Main Examination.
2. Main Examination: The second stage of the selection process is the Main Examination. It consists of nine papers, of which two papers are qualifying in nature, and seven papers are counted for merit. The Main Examination is also conducted in offline mode. Candidates who clear the Main Examination are shortlisted for the next stage of the selection process.
3. Personality Test: The third and final stage of the selection process is the Personality Test (Interview). Candidates who clear the Main Examination are called for a personal interview with a panel of experts. The objective of the Personality Test is to assess the candidate's overall personality, mental alertness, social traits, and intellectual curiosity.
4. Final Selection: The final selection of candidates is based on their performance in the Main Examination and the Personality Test. The final selection list is prepared based on the candidate's total marks obtained in the Main Examination (excluding the marks of the qualifying papers) and the marks obtained in the Personality Test.
The UPSC selection process is highly competitive, and candidates are selected based on their performance in all stages of the examination.