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UPSC Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus
UPSC Syllabus
UPSC Syllabus

The complete list of subjects for IAS or UPSC exams as per the UPSC Syllabus is discussed over here. The civil service exam conducted by UPSC in India for recruitment of various designated posts .i.e. IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), IRS (Indian Revenue Service). IAS Exam, also called Indian Administrative Services Exam is one of the civil services among others and is considered toughest and prestigious exam conducted in India.

UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three phases:

Phase 1: Preliminary Examination or CSAT (Objective Section)
Phase 2: Main Examination (Subjective Section)
Phase 3: Interview (Vocal Section)
Phase 1: Preliminary Examination Syllabus

Phase 1: Preliminary Examination – CSAT Syllabus:

CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test is the first phase of preliminary examination of UPSC. This test is intended to assess the aptitude of examinees in solving the ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions.

IAS prelims exam consists of two papers of objective type, each of 200 marks (total of 400 marks) and two hours of duration and candidates must take both the papers.
Syllabus of Paper-I:

The preliminary examination is meant for screening the candidate and the marks obtained by a candidate in the prelims who qualifies to the mains exam will not be be taken in account to determine their final merit.
  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialisation General Science

IAS Preliminary Exam:
  Paper   Subjects   Total Marks   Duration
  I   General Studies   200 marks   2 hours  
  II   Aptitude Skills   200 marks   2 hours
Syllabus of Paper-II:
  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level)
Phase 2: Main Examination Syllabus (1750 Marks)

This is phase 2 which tests candidate academic dept and his ability how he/she face matters practically. This exam not merely tests the memory/range of a candidate but also test the intelligence quotient. To clear mains exams aspirant are advised to have long term strategy. A passionate and focus mind for learning and reading s a basic trait of all successful candidates.

The UPSC mains exam consists of 9 papers, in which two are qualifying papers of 300 marks each:
I. Any Indian Language
II. English

These two papers just need to qualify which is compulsory and marks obtained will not be considered or counted. And the rest of seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned as in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or in English. Below given the remaining seven papers:
  Paper   Subject   Marks
  Paper - I
  Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice
  Paper-II   General Studies- I
  (Indian Heritage and Culture,
  History and Geography of the World and Society)
  Paper-III   General Studies- II
  (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 
  Paper-IV   General Studies- III
  (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
  Paper-V   General Studies- IV
  (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
  (Marks carried by General Studies was 4X250=1000)
  Optional Subject - Paper 1    250
  Paper-VII   Optional Subject - Paper II
  (Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject " and candidate need not to be a graduate in that language’s literature.)
Candidates may choose any one of the ‘Optional Subjects’ from the list of subjects given below:
  Optional Subjects  Literature Language 
  Agriculture   Assamese
  Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science    Arabic
  Anthropology   Bengali
  Botany    Bodo
  Chemistry    Dogri
  Civil Engineering    French
  Commerce and Accountancy    German
  Economics    Gujarati
  Electrical Engineering    Hindi
  Geography    Kannada
  Geology    Kashmiri
  History    Konkani
  Law    Maithili
  Management    Malayalam
  Mathematics    Manipuri
  Mechanical Engineering    Marathi
  Medical Science   Nepali
  Philosophy   Oriya
  Physics   Persian
  Political Science and International Relations                Punjabi
  Psychology   Russian
  Public Administration   Sanskrit
  Sociology   Santhali
  Statistics   Sindhi
  Zoology   Tamil
  -   Telugu
  -   Urdu
  -   English

 b) Main Exam:
  Papers   Topics   Total Marks
  I   One Of The Indian Languages Chosen From The Prescribed List   300
  II   English   300
  III   Essay   250
  IV/V/VI/VII   General Studies (250 Marks For Each Paper)   1000
  VIII & IX   Optional Subject 1   500
Total Marks For Written Examination   1750

Candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the UPSC Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion enters the next and final phase that is the ‘personality test’ or ‘Interview’ round.


Phase 3: Interview/Personality Test (275 Marks)
  • Candidates who qualify the UPSC Mains Exam will move to the next and final phase called ‘Personality Test/Interview’ who will be interviewed by a Board who will have candidates resume. The interview round is held by a Board of competent and unbiased intended to assess social traits and his interest in current affairs and analyze the personal aptness of the candidate for a career in public service. Some of the qualities evaluated during the personality test are mental alertness, clear and logical exposition, critical powers of assimilation, variety and depth of interest, balance of judgement, intellectual and moral integrity ability for social cohesion and leadership,.
  • The interview is more of purposive conversation intended to divulge the mental qualities of the candidate.
  • Candidate can give interview in their preferred language as UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.
Interview Test:
The Interview test will be of 275 marks.
The total mark of the written examination is 1750 Marks.
The Interview/Personality Test will be of 275 marks.
The Grand Total 2025 Marks

Unpacking the UPSC Syllabus: Everything You Need to Know in 7 Steps

Step 1: Understand the Exam Structure - The UPSC exam consists of three stages: Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Interview.

Step 2: Preliminary Examination Syllabus - The prelims have two papers: General Studies (GS) and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). The GS paper covers subjects like history, geography, polity, economics, science, and current affairs. The CSAT paper tests analytical and logical reasoning skills.

Step 3: Main Examination Syllabus - The main exam comprises nine papers, including one essay paper, four General Studies papers, two optional subject papers, one English language paper, and one regional language paper.

Step 4: General Studies Papers - The GS papers cover a wide range of topics, including Indian heritage and culture, governance, social justice, international relations, ethics, technology, economic development, and environmental issues.

Step 5: Optional Subject Papers - Candidates can choose one optional subject from a list provided by the UPSC. The syllabus for optional subjects can vary, covering subjects like history, geography, political science, sociology, economics, etc.

Step 6: Essay Paper - The essay paper tests candidates' ability to express their thoughts coherently on a given topic. It covers a broad range of subjects and requires good analytical and writing skills.

Step 7: Interview - The final stage is the interview or personality test. It assesses candidates' knowledge, communication skills, and overall personality.

Note: It's essential to refer to the official UPSC syllabus and regularly update yourself with any changes or updates made by the UPSC.

Why Understanding the UPSC Syllabus is Crucial to Crack India’s Toughest Exam

Understanding the UPSC syllabus is crucial for cracking India's toughest exam due to the following reasons:
  1. Clarity of Exam Structure: The UPSC syllabus provides a clear outline of the exam structure, including the number of stages, papers, and subjects involved. By understanding the syllabus, you gain insight into the overall framework of the exam.

  2. Targeted Preparation: The syllabus acts as a roadmap for your preparation. It helps you identify the specific areas and topics that you need to focus on. Instead of studying aimlessly, you can direct your efforts towards the subjects and topics outlined in the syllabus.

  3. Comprehensive Coverage: The UPSC syllabus covers a vast range of subjects, from history and geography to economics and current affairs. By understanding the syllabus, you ensure that you cover all the essential areas required for the exam.

  4. Effective Time Management: The syllabus helps you allocate your time and resources effectively. With a clear understanding of the subjects and topics, you can plan your study schedule, giving more time to challenging areas and allocating adequate time to cover the entire syllabus.

  5. Avoiding Irrelevant Information: The UPSC syllabus acts as a filter, helping you avoid studying irrelevant or extraneous information. It ensures that you focus only on the topics that are directly related to the exam and eliminates the need to study unnecessary details.

  6. Answer Writing Strategy: Understanding the syllabus allows you to develop an effective answer writing strategy. You can align your knowledge and understanding of the subjects with the requirements of the exam. This enables you to structure your answers in a manner that meets the UPSC's expectations.

  7. Confidence and Clarity: Having a clear understanding of the syllabus boosts your confidence as you approach the exam. It provides a sense of direction and clarity, reducing anxiety and allowing you to approach the exam with a focused mindset.

In summary, understanding the UPSC syllabus is crucial as it provides you with a roadmap for your preparation, helps you allocate time effectively, ensures comprehensive coverage of the required subjects, and enables you to develop a targeted approach to crack India's toughest exam.

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