Important Tips to Tackle the Compulsory Indian Language Paper in UPSC Main

List of language papers for IAS, UPSC examination  

The mains stage of the UPSC examination consists of 9 papers. 2 out of these papers are language papers, and the marks obtained in these papers are not included in the candidate's final score.

Candidates can choose any language from the 22 languages mentioned in Schedule eighth of the constitution as the first language paper. While the other language paper is English. Both the papers are qualifying in nature. A candidate needs 25% marks or 75 marks out of 300 to qualify these papers.  

Since these papers' difficulty level is equivalent to the Matriculation level, candidates are not expected to prepare extensively for these papers

List of 22 Indian languages for the IAS Paper A examination : 

Language and their scripts - 

  1. Assamese - Assamese  
  2. Bengali - Bengali 
  3. Gujarati - Gujarati 
  4. Hindi - Devanagiri
  5. Kannada - Kannada
  6. Kashmiri - Persian 
  7. Konkani - Devnagari 
  8. Malayalam - Malayalam
  9. Manipuri - Bengali 
  10. Marathi - Devnagari
  11. Nepali - Devnagari 
  12. Odia - Odia
  13. Punjabi - Gurmukhi
  14. Sanskrit - Devanagari
  15. Sindhi  - Devnagari or Arabic
  16. Tamil - Tamil 
  17. Telugu - Telugu
  18. Urdu - Persian 
  19.  Bodo - Devnagari 
  20. Dogri - Devnagari
  21. Maithili - Devnagari 
  22. Santhali - Devnagari or Olchiki

For Candidates who appear for the examination in the Santhali language, their paper is printed in the Devnagari Script. But, they are free to write the paper in any of the scripts between Devnagari and Olchiki 

Question paper for the examination - Conventional

Total marks of the paper - 300

Number of Hours - 3 Hours. 

Paper A Pattern in UPSC examination - 

  • Comprehension of the Passages - 60 Marks
  • Precise Writing - 60 Marks
  • Usage of Grammar 40 marks
  • Short Essays - 100 Marks
  • Translation from Indian language to English and English to Indian language 20 + 20 = 40 marks

Tips for Writing Paper A of the IAS examination - 

  • Go through the past 5 years' question papers to understand the nature of the questions asked.
  • Focus on Important topics. 
  • Go through the Question paper properly before starting writing the exam.
  • Firstly solve that type of question you are clear, comfortable, sure, and confident about. 
  • This is a language paper; make sure that your grammar skills don’t let you down. Because here you have to write essays, passages, translation, and precise writing, where your grammar will be noticed. 
  • If your grammar isn’t your strength, then don’t go for this in the first place. Firstly, write a comprehension passage. 
  • Write an essay in the end with a free mind in simple but effective language. 
  • Avoid Grammatical and spelling mistakes in your paper.

For the detailed syllabus of the respective language papers, please refer to the official notification of the UPSC https://www.upsc.gov.in/sites/default/files/Notif-CSP-22-engl-020222F.pdf