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IAS Syllabus For General Studies

UPSC Civil Services Exam popularly known as the IAS Exam is conducted every year for recruitment to the civil services of India. The syllabus covers multiple topics from various subjects. In this article, we will discuss the IAS Exam Syllabus for General Studies.

General Studies has the single biggest share of marks in the IAS exam.

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The UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE):

UPSC conducts the Civil Services Exam in three stages, namely prelims, mains and personality test/interview.

Do you want to see your name in the final merit list of UPSC 2023? Go through the strategy articles mentioned below:

General Studies Syllabus for Civil Services Exam:

Prelims and Mains are the stages which have General Studies papers. In Prelims, the papers are General Studies Paper I and General Studies paper II. We will discuss the General Studies syllabus covered in Prelims and Mains successively in the following paragraphs:

UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

Syllabus for UPSC CSE Prelims General Studies Paper I:

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography
  • Indian Polity and Governance
  • Economic and Social Development
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change ( Covers only general awareness of the issues, no subject specialization required)
  • General Science

Syllabus for UPSC CSE Prelims General Studies Paper II:

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (Class X level)
    • Numbers and their relations,
    • Orders of magnitude, etc.
    • Data interpretation (Class X level)

The Exam Pattern of Prelims is as follows:

Paper Type No. of questions Marks Duration Negative marks
General Studies I Objective 100 200 2 hours Yes
General Studies II (CSAT) Objective 80 200 2 hours Yes

The detailed exam pattern is provided in the IAS Notification, along with other information related to the syllabus and eligibility.

Some Important points to remember about the Prelims Exam:

  • The questions in both prelims papers are of objective type with multiple choice answers.
  • For each incorrect answer, there is negative marking. One by third or 33% marks are deducted for each wrong answer in IAS Prelims. Any questions with multiple answers marked is treated as a wrong answer even if one of the options is marked correctly, so candidates should never mark multiple answers for one question.
  • A question which is not attempted carries no negative marking.
  • General Studies II of prelims is a qualifying paper and candidates need to secure at least 33% to clear it.
  • Candidates who do not appear in any one of the papers are considered disqualified, hence it is mandatory to appear in both the papers.
  • Aspirants should refer to important General Studies books for IAS Prelims exam.

Complement your IAS Prelims preparation with the help of following links:

  1. UPSC Books
  2. NCERT Notes PDF
  3. CSAT
  4. Current Affairs
  5. List of Important Government Schemes

UPSC Mains Syllabus for General Studies:

General Studies is covered more extensively in the IAS Mains exam. Out of a total of 9 papers, 4 are termed General Studies while the Essay paper is loosely related to General studies as topics are selected from random subjects in this paper.

The following is the paper wise syllabus for General Studies in UPSC CSE Mains:

Syllabus for UPSC CSE Mains General Studies I (Mains Paper II):

  • Indian Heritage
  • Indian Culture,
  • History of the World and Society
  • Geography of the World and Society.

Get topic-wise GS 1 questions of UPSC Mains from the linked article.

Syllabus for UPSC CSE Mains General Studies II (Mains Paper III):

  • Governance
  • Constitution
  • Polity
  • Social Justice
  • International relations

Get topic-wise GS 2 questions of UPSC Mains from the linked article.

Syllabus for UPSC CSE Mains General Studies III (Mains Paper IV):

  • Technology
  • Economic Development
  • Bio-diversity
  • Environment
  • Security and Disaster Management

Get topic-wise GS 3 questions of UPSC Mains from the linked article.

Syllabus for UPSC CSE Mains General Studies IV (Mains Paper V):

  • Ethics
  • Integrity
  • Aptitude

Get topic-wise GS 4 questions of UPSC Mains from the linked article.

The exam pattern for mains is as follows:

Paper Subject Duration Total marks
Paper A Compulsory Indian language 3 hours 300
Paper B English 3 hours 300
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250
Paper II General Studies I 3 hours 250
Paper III General Studies II 3 hours 250
Paper IV General Studies III 3 hours 250
Paper V General Studies IV 3 hours 250
Paper VI Optional I 3 hours 250
Paper VII Optional II 3 hours 250

For a more detailed discussion on UPSC Syllabus, check the linked article.

For more information, visit:

Related Links:
UPSC Apply Online UPSC Mains Examination Strategy
IAS Interview IAS Eligibility
UPSC Calendar 2022 UPSC Previous Years’ Papers


  1. IAS ke liye kon sa books or news paper or best youtube channel kon sa hey

  2. Suggest me books for (mains) general studies 1 and general studies 2

  3. Sir,
    what actually is the paper A and paper B in UPSC. are these papers part of optional papers or these papers to be considered seperately.

    • Hi
      Paper A and B are qualifying language papers. Paper A is Indian language paper and B is the English language paper. One has to select one language out of 22 official languages for Paper A while the English language is compulsory in paper B.

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