IPS Syllabus - UPSC Prelims & Mains

The IPS Syllabus is set by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The UPSC recruits IPS officers via the annually conducted Civil Services Exam.

The full form of IPS is the Indian Police Service. The Indian Police Service is one among the three All India Services. The entry-level post of IPS officers is the Deputy Superintendent of Police.

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The Civil Services Exam or the IPS Exam is a comprehensive exam comprising three stages which are spread over a year.

To know in detail about the IPS Exam, aspirants can check the linked article.

Kickstart your UPSC 2023 preparation today!

IPS Syllabus

The IPS Syllabus is broadly divided into two categories. They are as follows:

(i) Preliminary Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination

(ii) Main Examination (Written) for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts.

Candidates can also download the IPS Syllabus PDF for quick reference.

IPS Syllabus :-Download PDF Here

IPS Syllabus for Prelims

Under the umbrella of the UPSC, the Preliminary Examination for IPS recruitment is also known as CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test. The CSAT is actually the second paper of General Studies that was introduced in 2011.

The preliminary examination of UPSC is for screening purposes only. The marks obtained in the UPSC Prelims exam will be determinant in qualifying for the UPSC Mains examination and will not be counted towards the candidate’s final order of merit.

The IPS Syllabus for Civil Services Prelims Exam is as follows:

Syllabus of Paper I (General Studies – I)

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and The 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

Syllabus for Paper II (CSAT/General Studies – II)

  • 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) and data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)

*Note 1: The CSAT aptitude test or Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to sit for the UPSC Mains exam.

*Note 2: The questions in both Paper-I (current affairs) and Paper-II (aptitude test) will be of multiple-choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours

*Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelims) examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of the (Prelims) exam.

IPS Syllabus for Mains

The Mains examination of UPSC is designed to test a candidate’s academic expertise and his/her ability to present knowledge in a clear and concise manner. The Mains exam is designed to assess the overall intellectual ability and test the understanding of certain key concepts of the candidates.

This examination will be a written test and will consist of the following papers:

Paper A – Modern Indian Languages – 300 Marks

The candidates will be tested on the following parameters:

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precise Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay
  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa

The below table lists out the modern Indian languages that can be selected for this paper:

Assamese Telugu Sindhi
Marathi Bengali Urdu
Gujarati Dogri Bodo
Kashmiri Hindi Kannada
Malayalam Konkani Maithili
Nepali Manipuri Tamil
Punjabi Oriya
Santali Sanskrit

Paper B – English – 300 Marks

This paper is designed to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and to express his/her ideas clearly and correctly, in English.

The candidates will be tested on the following parameters:

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precise Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay

*Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted towards the final ranking.

*Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where the translation is involved).

The following table gives a breakdown of the papers that will be counted for merit and thus affect the final ranking of the candidate.

S. No Paper Marks Topic
1 Paper I – Essay: Candidates will be required to write two essays from a list of topics 250 The topics will be given, which will be in accordance with the subject matter at hand.

Candidates are advised to arrange their ideas in a concise and orderly manner.

2 Paper II – General Studies 250
  1. Indian Heritage and Culture
  2. World History
  3. World and Indian Geography
  4. Social Issues
3 Paper III – General Studies – II 250
  1. Governance
  2. Constitution
  3. Political System
  4. Social Justice
  5. International Relations
4. Paper IV – General Studies – III 250
  1. Technology
  2. Indian Economy
  3. Biodiversity
  4. Environment
  5. Security
5. Paper V – General Studies – IV 250
  1. Ethics
  2. Integrity
  3. Administrative Aptitude
6. Paper VI – Optional Paper – I 250 Topics will be decided according to the optional subject chosen
7. Paper VII – Optional Paper – II 250 Topics will be decided according to the optional subject chosen

Total marks: 1750

For the Mains exam, candidates are free to choose out of the following optional subjects listed in the table below:

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
Anthropology Chemistry
Botany Commerce and Accountancy
Civil Engineering Electrical Engineering
Economics Geology
Geography Law
History Mathematics
Management Medical Science
Mechanical Engineering Physics
Philosophy Psychology
Political Science Sociology
Public Administration Zoology

Candidates also choose literature of one of the following languages as the optional subject:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

To know more about the syllabus of the UPSC optional subjects, visit the link

IPS Interview

The final stage of the IPS recruitment Process is the interview. Only those candidates who pass both the Prelims and the Mains will be allowed to attend the final interview.

Guidelines to be kept in mind for the interview are as follows:

  • The Interview will be of 275 marks
  • The candidate will be interviewed by the UPSC Board who will have the candidate’s DAF Form before them. He/she will be subjected to questions on matters of general interest.
  • This test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In actuality, this is an assessment of his/her intellectual qualities along with social traits and interest in current affairs.
  • Qualities sought after are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

For more IPS related queries visit the links in the table given below:

NCERT Notes Free Study Material UPSC Current Affairs
UPSC Notification UPSC Magazines UPSC Online Application
UPSC Cut- off IPS Salary UPSC 2023 Calendar

Government Exam 2023


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  1. It was very useful

  2. After plus 2 can i apply for civil service exam ?

  3. Hey Mentor,
    I wanted to know what was the SPECIFIC criteria for being a Deputy Inspector of General (DIG). Please answer my question ASAP

  4. hey, to became a step closer to IPS what qualifications are needed

  5. Syllabus for ips and ias main examination is same or different? I am so much confused

  6. after BCA can I apply for civil service exam

  7. after BSc. can i apply for (IPS) civil service exam.

  8. Can you tell me about the books
    Required to prepare ips civil service examination

  9. hi sir
    syllabus for ips and ias prelimanary examination is same or different?

  10. Are the exams and batch same for ips ias or other civil services

  11. After HOTEL MANAGEMENT can I apply for
    UPSC Examination

  12. After diploma,can I apply for (IPS) civil service exam?