IPS Subjects

The Union Public Service Commission sets the IPS subject list for the exam. The UPSC exam is conducted every year, and the IPS officers and recruited annually by conducting the Civil Service Exam. Deputy Superintendent of Police is the entry-level post for the IPS (Indian Police Service) officers.

The IPS exam is broadly divided into three stages: the Preliminary Exam, Main Exam, and the Interview. The candidates qualifying in each stage will go to the next stage. Pattern and syllabus for each stage are different. The candidate can also know the IPS subjects from the official website https://www.upsc.gov.in/. While every year exam norms change, the syllabus remains almost the same.

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

Kickstart your UPSC 2023 preparation today!

Complement your IPS Preparation by solving the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers!! Also, refer to the links below:

IPS Syllabus for Prelims

The Preliminary exam for IPS will consist of multiple-choice and objective-type questions. The candidates who qualify for this exam will be called for the Mains. For that, they need to cover the following IPS exam subjects.

Subjects of Paper I (General Studies– I)

  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • General issues on Biodiversity, Environmental Ecology, and Climate Change
  • Indian Governance and Polity and Governance
  • Current events of national and international importance
  • World and Indian and World Geography
  • Social and Economic and Development

Subjects for Paper-II (CSAT/General Studies– II)

  • Comprehension
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • Basic Mathematics
  • Interpersonal skills, including communication skills
  • General mental ability
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability

Both these compulsory papers will contain 200 marks each, and candidates will have 2 hours to complete them.

Refer to the links below that shall help you with the preparation for the IPS Prelims exam:

Current Affairs NCERT Notes for UPSC
Subject-wise UPSC Notes PDF Topic-wise IAS Prelims Question and Answers
History Syllabus for IAS Prelims Polity Syllabus for IAS Prelims
Syllabus Of Geography For IAS Prelims Constitution of India – An Overview

IPS Syllabus for Mains

The UPSC Mains examination is a written test, and it checks candidates’ knowledge of current affairs and academic expertise. It is designed to test the clarity of concepts and knowledge of the candidate.

The UPSC Mains exam will have the following IPS syllabus subjects:

Paper A – Indian Languages (300 Marks)

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

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

Candidates can visit the linked article and get the Tips To Tackle the Indian Language Paper in the mains examination. Since the paper is only qualifying in nature, candidates need to follow a strategic plan to score the minimum required marks.

Paper B – English (300 Marks)

This paper is to test the ability of the candidate to read and understand prose and express clear and correct ideas about it in English. The following parameters will be tested through this paper.

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

The candidates need to answer English both the papers, except where the translation is involved.

The table below has the breakdown of the papers and the marks, along with topics of the IPS subjects in the Mains exam. The marks for all the papers (Paper I-VII) will be 250 each.

Paper Subjects
Paper I – Essay: Candidates will be required to write two essays from a list of topics Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics.
Paper II – General Studies I
  • Indian Heritage and Culture
  • World History
  • World and Indian Geography
  • Social Issues
Paper III – General Studies – II
  • Governance
  • Constitution
  • Political System
  • Social Justice
  • International Relations
Paper IV – General Studies – III
  • Technology
  • Indian Economy
  • Biodiversity
  • Environment
  • Security
Paper V – General Studies – IV
  • Ethics
  • Integrity
  • Administrative Aptitude
Paper VI – Optional Paper – I Candidate’s selection
Paper VII – Optional Paper – II Candidate’s selection

The total marks of all these papers will be 1750.

Refer to the links below that shall help you with the preparation for the IPS Mains exam:

UPSC Mains GS-I Strategy, Structure & Syllabus UPSC Mains GS-II Strategy, Structure & Syllabus
UPSC Mains GS-III Strategy, Structure & Syllabus UPSC Mains GS-IV Strategy, Structure & Syllabus

The candidates have to choose their optional subjects in the Mains exam. The available optional subjects are:

List of Optional Subjects for IPS Mains
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
Statistics 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, check the linked article.

IPS Interview

  • The interview will contain 275 marks.
  • UPSC Board will have the candidate’s DAF Form with them.
  • The interview will analyse the candidate’s intellectual qualities and social traits.
  • The candidate’s critical power to understand, mental alertness, leadership, etc., will be observed.

At all levels, the IPS exam maintains a certain level of difficulty. To overcome those, candidates need to concentrate on their studies and prepare well with complete sincerity.

Frequently Asked Questions on IPS Subjects


For IPS which subjects required the highest importance?

The IPS exam is one of the most competitive exams. It is recommended that candidates have in-depth knowledge about all the subjects of the syllabus. Skipping any of them and giving importance to some specific ones might cause a problem in the exam.


In what language should I read the IPS subjects?

Candidates will have the questions in English and their chosen Indian modern language. So, they are advised to prepare for the exam in English and their respective Indian language.


Will the syllabus for IPS Prelims and Mains remain the same?

Yes, the syllabus of both levels is the same. The level of difficulties will differ from one level to another.

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 Cut-off
IPS Salary UPSC Online Application
UPSC 2023 Calendar GK and Current Affairs Quiz


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