UPSC Exam Instructions & Guidelines for Prelims 2022: Shift Timings?, What to Take?, When to Go?

By Sudheer Kumar K|Updated : May 11th, 2022

The UPSC IAS Prelims Exam 2022 will be conducted on Sunday, June 5th, 2022 all over India. Candidates must note the UPSC exam timing and UPSC 2022 schedule for the Prelims exam. In view of this, candidates have to bear in mind all the general instructions and COVID-19 instructions as well. The UPSC Prelims Exam 2022 will be conducted in two shifts. Candidates are advised to reach the examination hall at a given time, with admit cards and require documents.

Below we have mentioned all the detailed instructions for the UPSC Prelims Exam day along with timings and other necessary guidelines. Additionally, we have also added what you need to avoid on the exam date. Make sure you read this post thoroughly for a smooth experience at the exam hall.

UPSC Prelims 2022 Exam Timings

The UPSC Prelims Exam 2022 consists of two papers, which are conducted in two shifts with a gap in between. Check the UPSC exam timing 2022 to ensure that you are on time and can prevent any last-minute complications.


UPSC Prelims Paper 2022

UPSC Prelims Exam Timings 2022

Forenoon Session

Prelims GS Paper 1

9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Afternoon Session

Prelims GS Paper 2: CSAT

2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

UPSC Prelims Admit Card 2022

Make sure you download the UPSC Prelims Admit card 2022 in advance. Refer to the Admit card for detailed instructions including UPSC exam timing and the address of the Examination venue. Do not forget to carry your admit card to the examination hall and keep it safe for future reference.

UPSC Prelims Exam 2022: General Instructions

Candidates must make note of all of the instructions mentioned below for the Prelims 2022 exam day.

UPSC Prelims Exam Timings 2022: The examination venue shall be closed 10 minutes before the scheduled commencement of the Examination i.e. 09:20 am for the forenoon session and 02:20 pm for the afternoon session. No candidate shall be allowed into the examination venue after the closure of the entry.

Things allowed inside the exam venue

  • The candidates shall have to produce the printout of their e-Admit card and their photo ID card (Voter ID, Aadhaar, Passport, etc.) for appearing at each session of the examination. 
  • The candidates are advised to carry a black ballpoint pen for filling the OMR answer sheets and attendance list.
  • Plank or writing pad 
  • In the case of Candidates of the PwDB category, both candidates and their own scribe shall carry admit cards. There is a separate e-Admit Card for own Scribe opted by the PwDB Candidates.
  • Only simple or basic watches are allowed.

Things not allowed during UPSC Prelims Exam 2022

Here is a list of things that are not allowed inside the UPSC Prelims 2022 exam hall. Candidates must not bring any of these items.

  • Smartwatches
  • Mobile phone (even in switched off mode)
  • Pager or any electronic equipment, programmable device
  • Storage media like pen drive, etc.
  • Camera or Bluetooth devices
  • Any other equipment or a communication device capable of working in off-mode or on-mode
  • Calculator
  • Valuable/ costly items and bags

Infringement of any of these instructions shall entail disciplinary action against the concerned candidates including debarment from future examination/selection.

COVID-19 related Instructions for UPSC CSE Prelims Exam 2022

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the Commission has declared some guidelines that need to be followed by the candidates. Below candidates can check out what instructions to be followed for Covid-19.

  • The candidate may carry his/her own hand sanitizer (small size) in a transparent bottle.
  • Wearing a mask/face cover is mandatory for all candidates. Candidates without masks/face cover will not be allowed entry into the venue.
  • Candidates will have to remove their masks for verification, whenever required by the examination functionaries.
  • Candidates shall follow COVID 19 norms of ‘social distancing’ as well as ‘personal hygiene’ inside the examination halls/rooms as well as on the premises of the venue.

How many questions should I Attempt in UPSC Prelims Exam 2022?

There is confusion among students about how many questions they should attempt/answer. This is a dynamic and subjective question that has no one universal answer. How many questions should one attempt to depend on one's level of preparation and the toughness of the exam?

Remember, this is an exam of elimination only, so maintain accuracy rather than attempting more questions. However, it is not suggestible to answer more than 85-90 questions even when the paper is easy. In case of a tough paper, ensure high accuracy and attempt below 75 questions. It is expected that paper would be neither tough nor easy.

UPSC Prelims Exam Day Do’s and Don’ts

Make sure all essentials are kept in your bag a day before the exam day. And on the day of the exam you have to remember and apply the following tips for better performance:

  • Being positive on the exam day will boost your brain functioning.

Filling the OMR Sheet

  • Wait for the direction of the Invigilator to bubble details.
  • Carefully read all the details specified in the OMR sheet
  • Wrong bubbling leads to disqualification.
  • Feel free to ask Invigilators any doubts.

Balance speed with accuracy

For competitive exams time is precious. First, attempt all the easy questions starting from the first question. Don’t count how many questions you have attempted or count marks you may obtain during the exam.

Make the best use of the time available. Sip some water in the mid and then revise and reattempt all the unanswered questions in the first round starting from the first question again. This time apply some logic behind the questions and look for any keywords to find out the answer.

Eat good food – Protein-rich foods and fruits are a must. Have dark chocolate before each exam, as they are believed to be a brain booster. 

Make sure you check the detailed Prelims Exam Analysis 2022 after the exam. The detailed analysis shall include the answer key, question paper, and expected UPSC Cutoff details.

Important UPSC Topics
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UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 Instructions FAQs

  • The UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 will be conducted on 5th June 2022 as per the UPSC notification. The candidates who have successfully completed the application process will be eligible for the Prelims exam.

  • The UPSC Prelims 2022 will be conducted in two sessions- The forenoon session, and the afternoon session. For the forenoon, session timing will be 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM and for the afternoon session it is 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM. examination venue will be closed 10 minutes before the scheduled commencement of the Examination so candidates must reach the location on time.

  • For the UPSC Prelims, exam candidates need to carry the printout of the e-admit card and a valid photo ID card (ID, Aadhaar, Passport, etc.), and a black ballpoint for filling the OMR sheet. Candidates can bring a writing pad, and simple watches as well.

  • There are some items that are prohibited in the Prelims exam hall namely-Smartwatches, Mobile phones, pager or any electronic equipment, programmable device, Storage media like pen drives, etc. Camera or Bluetooth devices, calculator, Valuable/ costly items, and bags.

  • The candidates need to Wear a mask/cover the face and carry their own hand sanitizer, and transparent bottle.. Candidates are required to remove their masks for verification purposes whenever required. Candidates shall follow ‘social distancing’ as well as ‘personal hygiene’ inside the examination halls.

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