Are you embarking on the journey to crack the Civil Services Exam? Great! We at Apti Plus  are here to support you every step of the way. Being the best UPSC coaching in India, we  offer comprehensive courses and mocks to help aspirants clear the UPSC exam and achieve  their dreams. We offer magnitude etc class, data sufficiency etc class, and more.  

However, before you start preparing for the exam, it’s necessary to know all about the UPSC  syllabus. You’re in the right place to learn all about the UPSC Prelims syllabus and UPSC  Mains syllabus.  

Read on for UPSC syllabus PDF download, and let’s dissect this roadmap to success together!

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IAS Syllabus - The Prelims

The IAS Prelims serves as the initial phase of the Civil Services Examination. It is the first  stage you’ll have to cross to achieve your dream of becoming a civil servant. The Prelims is  an easy paper compared to the Mains; it is of a qualifying nature. So, keep that in mind when  you start your studies.  

Understanding the Prelims UPSC CSE syllabus is crucial for preparing for the UPSC exam. It  acts as a screening test determining a candidate’s qualification for the next stage – the Mains.  

Now, let’s have a look at UPSC exam syllabus for the Prelims: 

The UPSC Prelims is divided into two sections: the General Studies (GS) Paper-I and the  General Studies (GS) Paper II, also known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

The GS Paper – I include 100 questions and is worth 200 marks. On the other hand, the CSAT  has 80 questions and carries 200 marks. You will get two hours for each paper. Candidates  should also remember that there is a negative marking. For every wrong answer, one-third of  the total marks allocated to the question will be deducted. 

Now, coming to the syllabus, here’s what you should know: 

GS Paper-I includes Indian Polity, Geography, History, Economy, Science & Technology,  Environment, and International Relations. It’s a comprehensive test that covers a wide range  of knowledge. While your scores in this paper won’t be added to the final merit list, you must  perform well in this exam.  

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is usually held between 2:30 PM and 04:30 PM.  The UPSC CSAT syllabus is designed to evaluate the candidate’s aptitude in solving  ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions. It also checks their ability in ‘Reading Comprehension’  and occasionally ‘Decision Making’. It’s worth noting that the ‘Decision Making’ questions  typically do not carry negative marks. 

CSAT also includes questions related to Data Interpretation and Orders of Magnitude. They  include data interpretation charts graphs tables data sufficiency, etc. 

What is the Syllabus of UPSC Exam - Mains

The Mains examination is the second phase of the Civil Services Examination. Candidates  can only take the IAS Mains if they have successfully passed the prelims exam. This exam  assesses the candidate’s academic abilities and skill to express their understanding of the  subject matter within a specific time limit.  The UPSC Mains exam includes nine papers, and two of them are qualifying papers worth  300 marks each. The two qualifying papers are:   
  1. Any Indian Language Paper 
  2. English Language Paper 
For evaluation, only the papers on Essay, General Studies, and Optional Subject of candidates  who achieve a minimum qualifying standard of 25% marks in both language papers will be  considered.  UPSC Mains Syllabus includes the following:  
  • Paper – I: Essay Paper worth 250 marks. When writing essays, candidates might  need to cover various topics. It’s important to stay focused on the subject, organize  ideas systematically, and write in a concise manner. 
  • Paper-II: General Studies – I— 250 marks. It includes Indian Heritage and Culture  and History and Geography of the world. It includes topics like the freedom struggle, post-independence consolidation, great leaders reformers and administrators, lives and  teachings of great leaders, etc.  
  • Paper-III: General Studies – II— This is also worth 250 marks. You can expect  topics like the Constitution, Governance, International Relations, Institutional and  other Stakeholders, Polity, and more.  
  • Paper IV: General Studies-III – This paper is also worth 250 marks. It includes  subjects like Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment,  Security, and Disaster Management. 
  • Paper-V: General Studies – IV—250 marks. The syllabus for this includes Ethics,  Integrity & Aptitude. In this paper, you will get questions related to attitude and  approach when it comes to integrity, probity in public life, and problem-solving skills.  These questions aim to understand how they deal with different issues and conflicts  that arise in their interactions with society. 
  • Paper-VI & VII: Optional Subject Papers—250 marks each for your chosen  optional subjects. Once you have cleared the Mains, you will have to take a Personality Test or Interview.  Candidates who qualify for the interview will get their names on the final merit list

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Are you preparing for the UPSC exam next year? If yes, consider starting your preparation in  February. That’s the perfect time to hit the books, dissect case studies, and decode those data 

sufficiency challenges. With a solid year at your disposal, you have plenty of time to hone  those concepts and attempt plenty of mock tests!  

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the subjects in UPSC syllabus?

The UPSC syllabus covers a wide range of subjects. Key areas include:

      – General Studies (Prelims and Mains)

      – Optional Subjects (Mains)

      – Essay Writing (Mains)

      – Indian Language and English (Qualifying Papers)

      – Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude (Mains)

      – Optional Papers (Mains)

   – Begin by thoroughly understanding the UPSC syllabus and exam pattern.

   – Devise a well-organized study plan, allocating time for each subject.

   – Utilize standard reference books, study materials, and online resources.

   – Regularly practice with UPSC previous year question papers and mock tests.

   – Focus on current affairs and stay updated with national and international news.

   – Develop a habit of effective note-taking for revision purposes.

The UPSC mains examination consists of nine papers:

      – Paper-A (Indian Language)

      – Paper-B (English)

      – Essay

      – General Studies I

      – General Studies II (CSAT)

      – General Studies III

      – General Studies IV

      – Optional Paper I

      – Optional Paper II

The importance of topics varies, but focus on:

      – Current Affairs (national and international)

      – Indian Polity and Governance

      – Indian Economy

      – History and Culture of India

      – Geography (Physical, Human, and World)

      – Environment and Ecology

      – Science and Technology

      – Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

      – Optional Subject Topics (Mains)