UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Exam (CSE) Prelims, Mains and Interview

UPSC Syllabus consists of two parts – The preliminary exams and the main exams. Syllabus for individual subjects in IAS mains (including optional subject) are provided in the corresponding links. The candidates can access the UPSC Syllabus from this page.

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Exam (CSE) Prelims, Mains and Interview

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three phases:

Civil Services Preliminary Exam – CSAT Syllabus

CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test is the first phase of preliminary examination of UPSC. The Civil Services Preliminary exam comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II – CSAT). The preliminary examinations are just for qualifications, the marks will not be counted in the final ranking. The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type. In the CSAT Paper 2 of Civil Services preliminary Exam, the candidates will have to score a minimum 33 percent of marks, whereas, the marks of General Studies Paper-I will be taken into account for ranking in the prelims based on which the candidates will qualify in UPSC Mains Exam (written).

The CSAT Paper-II covers the analytical or as commonly known as an aptitude test. In this paper, candidates have to score at least 33 percent to qualify for the Civil Services Mains Exam.

Candidates who qualify the preliminary exams should appear for mains exams in the same year.

Paper I Syllabus

  • 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

Paper II Syllabus

  • 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)

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Mains Exam (Phase 2)

The final ranking of UPSC Civil Service Exam is prepared based on marks obtained in the Main exams and the Interview. The main exam has 1750 marks while interview has 275 marks.

The written examination (main) will consist of the following nine papers, but only 7 papers will be counted for final merit ranking. For the rest two papers, the candidate should secure minimum marks prescribed by UPSC each year for qualification.

It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

Qualifying Papers: Not counted for final ranking:

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian language concerned.

  • Paper – A Indian Language Syllabus. (One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. This paper will no be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.) 300 Marks.
  • Paper ‐ B: English Language Syllabus 300 Marks.

Papers to be counted for merit ranking:

  1. Paper‐I Essay – Syllabus 200 Marks
  2. Paper‐II General Studies – I Syllabus 300 Marks. (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society).
  3. Paper‐III General Studies – II Syllabus.300 Marks. (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations).
  4. Paper‐IV General Studies – III Syllabus 300 Marks. (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management).
  5. Paper‐V General Studies – IV Syllabus 300 Marks. (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude).
  6. Paper‐VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 – 300 Marks.
  7. Paper‐VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 – 300 Marks.

Syllabi for Optional Subjects:

Candidates may choose any one of the ‘Optional Subjects’ from the list of subjects given below:

  1. History Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam
  2. Geography Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam
  3. Economics Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam
  4. Sociology Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam .
  5. Public Administration Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  6. Philosophy Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  7. Psychology Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam
  8. Political Science Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  9. Agriculture Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  10. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  11. Anthropology Syllabus – Civil Services Mains Exam UPSC.
  12. Botany Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam .
  13. Chemistry Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  14. Civil Engineering Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  15. Commerce & Accountancy Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  16. Electrical Engineering Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  17. Geology Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  18. Law Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  19. Mathematics Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam .
  20. Management Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam UPSC.
  21. Mechanical Engineering Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam .
  22. Medical Science Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  23. Physics Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  24. Statistics Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  25. Zoology Syllabus, UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  26. Literature of any one of the following languages:
    Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali , Oriya, Punjabi , Sanskrit , Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu , Urdu, Bodo , Dogri, Maithilli, Santhali and English

The Main Exam

Papers

Topics

Total Marks

I

One Of The Indian Languages Chosen From The Prescribed List from the 18 languages included in the VIIIth Schedule to the Constitution (Qualifying Paper)

300

II

English

300

III

Essay

200

IV & V

General Studies (300 Marks For Each Paper)

600

Papers VI, VII, VIII & IX

Any two subjects (each having 2 papers) to be selected from the prescribed optional subjects (300 marks for each paper)1200
Total Marks For Written Examination2000
Total Marks For Interview Test300
Total Marks For Written Examination2300

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 III: Civil Services Interview (Vocal Section)

The candidate who successfully clear the UPSC CSE Mains Exam will have to appear for Personality Test (also known as “Interview”). The candidates will be interview by the Board who will have candidates resume. 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, etc. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. Candidate can give interview in their preferred language as UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purpose conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The Interview test will be of 300 marks. The total mark of the written examination is 2000 Marks.

Thus, the Grand Total 2300 Marks.