The UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination consists of 9 papers conducted over a period of 5 days. Out of these, the first two papers in IAS Exam-English and compulsory Indian language, are qualifying in nature. Candidates have to secure at least 25% marks in these two to be eligible for merit ranking, based on the rest of the UPSC Mains papers and the interview.
Check the table below to understand the scheme and subjects of IAS examination:
UPSC IAS Exam
Pattern of IAS Exam
This article focuses on the structure of the General Studies Paper IV and the topics that it covers.
IAS Mains General Studies-IV
The General Studies Paper IV covers the following subjects:
This paper tests the candidate’s approach to the issues of integrity and probity while dealing with public life. It also tests the candidate’s approach to problem-solving and conflict resolution.
This paper may have a slight overlap of topics with Governance and Social Justice Subjects from General Studies II in the Civil Service Examination mains papers but is largely independent of the syllabus of other GS papers.
Structure of UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-I for IAS
The following are the important features of the General Studies IV paper:
- The paper consists of twelve questions with these divided into two sections. Before 2018, there were fourteen questions, though now the complexity has been increased and the number of questions has been reduced.
- All the questions are compulsory.
- The questions are of 10 marks and 20 marks depending on the length of the answer required. The 10 marks questions need answers within 150 words while the 20 marks questions need answers within 250 words.
- The total marks allotted to this paper are 250 marks.
- The questions are of two types:
- Direct concept related questions which test the candidate’s understanding of ethical issues and concepts related to integrity and aptitude (125 marks)
- Case studies which test the candidate’s application of those concepts to situations involving the candidate and other stakeholders such as politicians, pressure groups, the public and other people (125 marks)
- This paper is the most variable of the four General Studies Papers and the nature of questions differ widely from year to year. Candidates should familiarise themselves with the syllabus, and the last few year’s patterns as well.
The key takeaway from this paper is that it tests the candidate’s honesty and integrity along with their problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
Candidates targeting UPSC 2020 may check the linked article to prepare well in advance and align their preparation accordingly.
Syllabus of UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-IV for IAS
The following is the detailed Syllabus for General Studies IV Paper in the UPSC Mains Examination:
|Ethics and Human Interface||
|Contributions of Thinkers and Philosophers||
|Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration||
|Probity in Governance||
After knowing the GS-IV syllabus for civil services examination, candidates must also know the UPSC GS-IV Strategy which they may check in the linked article.
This paper relies heavily on case studies which are the most scoring parts of the paper. The candidates should be able to analyse their own reactions to various situations and apply concepts dealt with in this paper on their actions and reactions to various situations while dealing with their social circle.
For detailed analysis and insights on the Mains General Studies papers, you may also like to refer to articles given in the table below: