The first day is allocated for the General Ability (GA) paper. This exam is of 2 hours duration. On the first day there is just one exam. This exam consists of General English and General Studies. Paper is maximum of 200 marks.
The second day is allocated for the Objective Technical Papers (II & III). There is one objective exam for each paper separately and each being of 2 hours in duration. Each paper is maximum of 200 marks.
The third day is allocated for the Conventional Technical Papers (IV & V). There is one subjective exam for each paper separately and each being of 3 hours in duration. Each Paper is maximum of 200 marks.
The conventional answer sheets of a candidate are evaluated only when he / she qualifies the objective examination.
This is the fourth and final stage; candidates who qualify the written exam are called for the interview. Interview carries 200 marks. Officially called "Personality Test", the object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.
These four stages ensure that the candidates selected, are best suited to handle the responsibilities which will be entrusted to them. The selected candidates then undergo training at the academies / institutes of their respective cadres that makes them acquainted with the area of work, the cadre / service is engaged in.