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.  Upsc syllabus is given in this page below brief description of the exam pattern.

Firstly, we will see about paper pattern of the particular phase of exam and then its details with upsc syllabus and booklist.  If you are preparing for any exam and want to be thorough with aptitude then please visit our Aptitude / CSAT section.

( 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.


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

C. PERSONALITY TEST      275 Marks

Grand Total   =   2025 Marks

Rank is allotted from above grand total of 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.


Upsc Syllabus for Prelims and Mains is given below:

A. Syllabus of Preliminary Examination :

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);


1] History – 6th – 12th NCERT & Bipin Chandra or Spectrum for Morden India, For old history RS Sharma.

2]Art & Culture – Nitin Singhania

3] Geography – 6th – 12th NCERT & For physical and human geography GC Leong.

4] Polity & Governance – 6th – 12th NCERT & Lakshmikant.

5] Economy – 9th – 12th NCERT & Sanjeev Verma, Budget and economic survey latest year.

6] Environment – Shankar IAS

7] Science – 6th – 12th NCERT

8] Ethics – Lexicon

9] Current affairs – The Hindu, Times of India, PIB, Yojana Magazine, Kurukshetra Magazine.

Tips- Current affairs is very important for all these subjects of prelims as well as mains Perspective; For interlinking General Studies and current affairs you will get perfect Strategy for your IAS Preparation in an EasyWay.

For Mains Syllabus of UPSC, Please visit UPSC Mains Syllabus.

For more details about how to prepare for above subjects and their preparation strategy keep visiting our Tips and Strategy Section.

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