The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Syllabus consists of two compulsory papers, each carrying 200 marks, namely General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II. These papers comprise multiple-choice, objective-type questions. It’s important to note that the marks obtained in the preliminary examination will not be considered for the final ranking; their purpose is to qualify candidates for the main examination.
The UPSC releases the Syllabus every year, along with the UPSC Notification for the upcoming exam, such as the UPSC Notification 2024 PDF which will be made available soon for the UPSC Exam 2024. The UPSC Syllabus serves as a comprehensive document that outlines the coverage areas and topics for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE).
Candidates preparing for the UPSC CSE should refer to the official syllabus released by the UPSC to better understand the subjects, areas of focus, and specific topics they need to prepare for the examination. Familiarity with the syllabus is essential for effective and targeted preparation to succeed in this highly competitive examination.
The official UPSC Syllabus PDF will be released on the official website upsc.gov.in. Familiarity with the UPSC IAS syllabus is crucial for success in the civil service exams. All successful IAS exam toppers have one thing in common: they take the syllabus seriously. The UPSC IAS examination syllabus varies at different stages. The UPSC examines various qualities and aspects of the candidates to select the right candidates from the large pool of applicants for the prestigious services
The UPSC CSE Prelims is divided into two papers: General Studies I and CSAT. The CSAT paper is of a qualifying nature, meaning you need to secure the minimum passing marks to move on to the next stage. However, your score in the General Studies Paper I will be crucial as it determines whether you qualify for the UPSC Mains.
UPSC Syllabus and Exam Pattern for Prelims
|Two Compulsory Papers||General Studies Paper-I|
|General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)|
|Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I||100 Questions|
|Number of Questions asked in CSAT||80 Questions and is Qualifying in nature|
|Total Number of Marks||GS Paper-I – 200 Marks
CSAT – 200 Marks
|Negative Marking||1/3 of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer|
|Time Allotted||Two hours each;
GS Paper-I – 2 Hours (9:30 AM -11:30 AM)
CSAT – 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)
The UPSC Prelims Syllabus consists of two compulsory papers, General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II, each carrying 200 marks. These papers include multiple-choice, objective-type questions. However, the marks obtained in the prelims will not be considered for the final ranking. Their purpose is to qualify candidates for the main exam.
The General Studies 1 of the UPSC Prelims Syllabus covers various important subjects such as History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology, General Science, and Current Affairs-based events. The UPSC has categorized the syllabus for the General Studies Prelims Paper 1 into specific broad categories.
General Studies 2 of the UPSC CSE is commonly known as the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Paper. It became a mandatory qualifying paper for all candidates starting in 2011. This paper is a crucial part of the UPSC CSE Prelims exam and aims to evaluate the candidate’s aptitude, analytical skills, and reasoning ability. To pass this paper, every candidate must obtain at least 33% of the total marks (66 marks out of 200).
The UPSC Mains Syllabus comprises nine papers, but only seven of them are considered for the final merit ranking. For the remaining two papers, candidates must secure the minimum marks specified by the UPSC each year to be eligible for the final ranking.
In the UPSC Civil Service Exam, a candidate’s rank is determined solely by the marks obtained in the Main Exam and the Interview. The Main Exam carries a total of 1750 marks, while the Interview holds 275 marks.
The UPSC Essay Paper is divided into two sections, each containing four topics. For each essay written, candidates can earn a score out of 125, with a total of 250 marks available for both sections combined.
In the UPSC Civil Service Exam, candidates will be required to write essays on a variety of topics. The essays should be concise and directly address the given topic. Candidates should also organize their thoughts effectively. The essay paper offers an opportunity for candidates to score well and boost their overall rank with careful preparation.
Once candidates clear the UPSC prelims, they become eligible to appear for the mains examination. These four papers cover a wide range of topics, including History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment, Science, and Current Affairs, among others. It is essential for candidates to thoroughly prepare for these papers to improve their chances of success in the UPSC CSE.
To gain a better understanding of the General Studies paper for the mains, refer to the table below.
UPSC General Studies Mains Syllabus
|General Studies Paper||Topics Covered|
|Paper 2 – General Studies I||General Studies Paper I consists mainly of History and Geography of the World and Society, Indian Heritage and Culture. This paper mainly revolves around History, Geography and Society.|
|Paper 3 – General Studies II||General Studies Paper II consists mainly of Polity, Constitution, Governance, Social Justice and International relations.|
|Paper 4 – General Studies III||General Studies Paper III consists mainly of Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Biodiversity, Security and Disaster Management.|
|Paper 5 – General Studies IV||General Studies Paper IV consists mainly of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.|
The UPSC General Studies Paper I Syllabus deals with important subjects such as History, Heritage, Geography, and the Culture of the World and Society. This paper is designed to assess candidates’ knowledge and understanding of these diverse topics.
The UPSC Mains Syllabus for General Studies II Paper includes essential subjects like Polity, Governance, Constitution, Social Justice, and Interrelations. This paper is designed to evaluate candidates’ understanding of these significant topics.
Governance, Polity, Constitution, Social Justice and International Relations:
The UPSC Mains General Studies III Syllabus covers a wide range of subjects, including Science, Technology, Economics, Defense, Disaster Management, and Nature. In the Science and Technology segment, candidates are expected to have knowledge of recent advancements, innovations, and their impact on society.
Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Bio-diversity, Security and Disaster Management:
The UPSC Mains Syllabus For GS Paper 4 includes topics Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude paper in UPSC Mains aims to evaluate the candidate’s values, ethical standards, and problem-solving abilities in various situations. It focuses on assessing how candidates handle integrity and probity in public life and deal with challenges and disputes in society. The paper often uses a case study approach to test these elements comprehensively.
The aim of these papers is to assess a candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and to express ideas clearly and precisely in both Indian and English languages. However, the marks obtained in these papers will not be considered for ranking. These papers are of a qualifying nature, meaning candidates need to secure a minimum of 25% marks in each paper to pass.
The UPSC Mains Indian Language Paper covers various important topics, including:
Candidates have the option to choose any of the Indian Languages listed in the provided table for this paper. The paper assesses their language skills, comprehension, and ability to express ideas effectively in the chosen Indian language.
UPSC Syllabus For Indian Language
|Sindhi||Devanagari or Arabic|
|Santhali||Devanagari or Olchiki*|
|Note: The question paper for the Santhali language will be printed in Devanagari script, however, candidates are free to answer in Olchiki or Devanagari.|
The UPSC Mains English Paper serves as a qualifying paper that includes the following main components:
Candidates must clear this paper to meet the qualifying criteria. It assesses their language comprehension, writing skills, and vocabulary usage in English. However, the marks obtained in this paper do not contribute to the final ranking; its purpose is to ensure candidates have a satisfactory command of the English language.
Also Check: SSC MTS Result 2023
UPSC Syllabus Optional Subjects List: In the UPSC Syllabus, Papers 6 and 7 consist of optional subject papers, and these are compulsory for candidates. These papers offer an opportunity for candidates to score well, as they usually cover subjects that align with their graduation or areas of interest.
Each optional subject has its own detailed syllabus, which candidates should carefully review before making their selection. Several factors, like the subject’s syllabus, available resources for preparation, and the time required for studying, should be considered when choosing the best optional subject for the UPSC Mains exam.
UPSC Optional Subjects List
|UPSC Agriculture Syllabus||UPSC Law Syllabus|
|UPSC Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus||UPSC Management Syllabus|
|UPSC Anthropology Syllabus||UPSC Mathematics Syllabus|
|UPSC Botany Syllabus||UPSC Mechanical Engineering Syllabus|
|UPSC Chemistry Syllabus||UPSC Medical Science Syllabus|
|UPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus||UPSC Philosophy Syllabus|
|UPSC Commerce and Accountancy Syllabus||UPSC Physics Syllabus|
|UPSC Economics Syllabus||UPSC PSIR Syllabus|
|UPSC Electrical Engineering Syllabus||UPSC Psychology Syllabus|
|UPSC Geography Syllabus||UPSC Public Administration Syllabus|
|UPSC Geology Syllabus||UPSC Sociology Syllabus|
|UPSC History Syllabus||UPSC Statistics Syllabus|
|UPSC Zoology Syllabus|
Literature of any one of the Following Languages
|Assamese Literature Syllabus||Marathi Literature Syllabus|
|Bodo Literature Syllabus||Odia Literature Syllabus|
|Bengali Literature Syllabus||Nepali Literature Syllabus|
|Dogri Literature Syllabus||Sanskrit Literature Syllabus|
|Gujarati Literature Syllabus||Punjabi Literature Syllabus|
|Hindi Literature Syllabus||Sindhi Literature Syllabus|
|Kashmiri Literature Syllabus||Santhali Literature Syllabus|
|Kannada Literature Syllabus||Tamil Literature Syllabus|
|Malayalam Literature Syllabus||Telugu Literature Syllabus|
|Konkani Literature Syllabus||English Literature Syllabus|
|Manipuri Literature Syllabus||Urdu Literature Syllabus|
|Maithili Literature Syllabus|
The UPSC Interview, also known as the Personality Test, is the final stage of the examination. Unlike the earlier stages, there is no specific syllabus for the interview. The questions asked cover a wide range of issues.
Candidates who pass the UPSC Mains Exam will be called for the Personality Test or interview, conducted by a board appointed by the UPSC. The main objective of this interview is to assess the candidate’s suitability for a career in civil services, and it is conducted by a group of unbiased observers.
The interview is more like a purposeful conversation designed to explore the candidate’s mental qualities and analytical abilities. It is not a standard question-answer session but a chance to understand the candidate’s overall personality.
The Interview test carries 275 marks, while the total marks for the written examination are 1750, making the Grand Total of 2025 Marks. This total determines the final merit list.
Candidates should note that the UPSC Syllabus for 2023 remains the same as that of 2022 and 2021; there are no changes in the syllabus.
The UPSC CSE exam covers several main subjects, such as History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology, and Current Affairs.
The UPSC Mains syllabus includes nine papers - Essay, General Studies I to IV, Optional Paper I and II, and two language papers (English and Indian Language). The General Studies papers cover topics such as Indian heritage and culture, governance, international relations, social justice, technology, and economic development. The Optional Paper covers a subject of the candidate's choice, and the Essay paper evaluates the candidate's writing skills.
To prepare for the UPSC interview, candidates should be well-versed with current affairs, both national and international. They should also have a good understanding of government policies and programs, and their implications on various sectors. Candidates should also be familiar with India's social, economic, and political issues and be able to express their opinions clearly and coherently. Candidates can also practice mock interviews and seek guidance from experienced civil servants.
Yes, there is a negative marking scheme in the UPSC exam. For every incorrect answer, one-third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as a penalty. However, there is no negative marking for unanswered questions.
The UPSC CSE mains exam consists of 7 papers that contribute to the final merit. These include the Essay paper, General Studies papers I, II, III, IV, and Optional papers 1 and 2.
To be eligible for this opportunity, candidates should be at least 21 years old and younger than 32 years old by August 1, 2024.
Yes, NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) books are essential but not sufficient to crack the UPSC exam. While they provide a solid foundation, aspirants should also refer to additional study materials, current affairs, standard reference books, and practice mock tests for comprehensive preparation to excel in the UPSC exam.