UPSC-CSE Syllabus and Booklist

UPSC conducts the exam in three phases: Preliminary, Main and Personality Test also called as Interview. At first we’ll learn about preliminary exam then about mains and finally about the Interview.

A. PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION:
( i ) This phase will have two compulsory Objective type Papers of 200 marks each, Paper-I (General Studies) as well as Paper-II (CSAT).
( ii ) It is only for the selection of the candidate for Main exam.
( iii ) Cut off will be on the basis of Paper-I and Paper-II will be only qualifying with 33% marks.
( iv ) Paper-II is equally important as Paper-I because your paper-I will not be checked if you fail in Paper-II with less than 33% marks in it.

B. MAIN EXAMINATION:
The written examination will consist of the following papers :—

Qualifying Papers :

1. Paper-A
(One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the
Eighth Schedule to the Constitution, list is given below). 300 Marks
2. Paper-B
English 300 Marks


Papers to be counted for merit

3. Paper-I
Essay 250 Marks
4. Paper-II
General Studies-I 250 Marks
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and
Geography of the World and Society)
5. Paper-III
General Studies -II 250 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity,
Social Justice and International relations)
6. Paper-IV
General Studies -III 250 Marks
(Technology, Economic Development,
Bio-diversity, Environment, Security
and Disaster Management)
7. Paper-V
General Studies -IV 250 Marks
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
8. Paper-VI ( List for optional subjects is given below )
Optional Subject – Paper 1 250 Marks
9. Paper-VII
Optional Subject – Paper 2 250 Marks
Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks

Personality Test 275 Marks
Grand Total = 2025 Marks

This is list of language that can be used for paper-A


It’ll be in Language-Script (letters) form:
Assamese – Assamese,
Bengali – Bengali,
Gujarati – Gujarati,
Hindi – Devanagari,
Kannada – Kannada,
Kashmiri – Persian,
Konkani – Devanagari,
Malayalam – Malayalam,
Manipuri – Bengali,
Marathi – Devanagari,
Nepali – Devanagari,
Odia – Odia,
Punjabi – Gurumukhi,
Sanskrit – Devanagari,
Sindhi – Devanagari or Arabic,
Tamil – Tamil,
Telugu – Telugu,
Urdu – Persian,
Bodo – Devanagari,
Dogri – Devanagari,
Maithilli – Devanagari,
Santhali – Devanagari or Olchiki.

Syllabus for Prelims and Mains is given below:

Paper I – ( Marks: 200 Duration: Two hours )

  • 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 specialization.
  • General Science.

Paper II – ( Marks: 200 Duration: Two hours )

  • 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);

B. MAIN EXAMINATION:
The Main Examination will assess your intellectual traits as well as depth of the understanding rather than just information and memory. Marks in MAIN Examination and Personality Test ( Interview ) will be considered for final selection and ranking.

UPSC Says “The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study.” It means, you don’t have to be a genius in those subjects but you should be thorough with the syllabus that UPSC has provided ( given below ).

The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree 1evel i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree.

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