IPS Syllabus

The IPS exam syllabus is subdivided into two separate categories based on the examination stage. A preliminary examination, which is assessed based on multiple-choice questions, is conducted to select candidates for the main examination. The main examination is a written exam based on which candidates are selected for various civil services posts.

Preliminary Syllabus for IPS Exam

The UPSC syllabus for IPS at the prelims level is conducted to filter out eligible candidates who will progress to the mains level. There are two exams at this level, for which the IPS Syllabus is listed below.

Paper I

This is the first exam of general studies conducted for 2 hours and carries a total of 200 marks. Students will be assessed on the following topics:

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and 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 specialization.
  • General Science.


The second exam on general studies is also conducted for 2 hours and carries a total of 200 marks, for which students shall be assessed on the following topics:

  • 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), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level);

Candidates will need to appear for both exams to qualify for the main level. Further, they will be eligible for qualification only if they secure a minimum of 33% marks.

Some important links for UPSC Prelims Preparation are listed below:

Topic-wise UPSC Prelims Questions PDF

NCERT Notes for UPSC

Important Acts of India

International Organizations Reports

UPSC Prelims Subject-wise Weightage

How Difficult is CSAT Exam?

CSAT Questions

Tips to Prepare for CSAT

CSAT: Introduction to Decision-making

CSAT Mock Test

Mains Syllabus For IPS Exam

The main exams are designed to test the skills and knowledge of the candidate. The written exam covers the following papers:

IPS Mains Exam Pattern 2022




Total marks

Paper A

Compulsory Indian language

3 hours

300 (Qualifying)

Paper B


3 hours

300 (Qualifying)

Paper I


3 hours


Paper II

General Studies I – Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society

3 hours


Paper III

General Studies II – Governance, Constitution, Welfare Initiatives, Social Justice & International Relations

3 hours


Paper IV

General Studies III – Technology, Economic Development, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management

3 hours


Paper V

General Studies IV – Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

3 hours


Paper VI

Optional Subject – Paper I

3 hours


Paper VII

Optional Subject – Paper II

3 hours


If you want to download UPSC Mains Syllabus 2022 PDF, please click below:

IPS Mains Syllabus 2022:-Download PDF Here

Paper A

This paper assesses candidates in the area of modern Indian languages and carries 300 marks. Candidates can choose between several regional languages, where they will need to answer questions based on comprehension, usage of language and vocabulary, short essays, and translation.

Paper B

This exam is based on understanding, writing and reading skills in the English language. Candidates are expected to answer questions based on comprehension of passages, short essays, vocabulary and writing in English.

Candidates should note that Paper A and Paper B are not accounted to determine the final ranking and are counted as qualifying papers.

Paper I: Essay

In this exam, candidates will be required to write essays on different topics. The 250 marks exam is based on the ability of the candidate to supply effective and accurate expression while arranging their ideas in the essay.

Paper-II: General Studies I

Candidates will be asked questions from the area of Indian heritage, world history, geography, Indian society, globalisation, freedom struggle and more. Further, the exam shall also cover topics such as the diversity of India, capitalism, post-independence consolidation and more such topics.

Paper III: General Studies II

This main exam shall cover topics related to Governance, Social justice, the Constitution, Polity, International relations, functions and responsibilities of the state and Union, parliament and state legislatures, welfare schemes, important international institutions and more.

Paper IV: General Studies III

In this exam, candidates will be assessed on the topics of economic development, environment, disaster management, technology, security, government budgeting, land reforms in India, major cropping patterns in the country, food processing industries in India, effects of liberalisation, investment models, achievements of India in the field of science and technology, and more.

Paper V: General Studies IV

Candidates will have to answer questions based on ethics, aptitude and values of civil service, emotional intelligence concepts, Probity in governance, public service values and several case studies based on these topics.

Paper VI And VII: Optional Subjects

The two exams will carry an equal weightage of 250 marks each, and the syllabus for the options subjects will be based on the selection of the subject by the candidate. The available subjects for selection range from history, geography, agriculture, sociology, botany, chemistry, electrical engineering, political science, geology, mathematics, physics, law, statistics and more.

Candidates can check the success rate of optional subjects in the linked article.

Aspirants looking for Topper’s excerpts and guidance as to which optional subject to opt for, they can visit the UPSC Toppers’ Optional Subjects page and get the required assistance. They can get the list of subjects opted by top rank holders in the past.

Candidates can download the UPSC exam syllabus PDF right here.

UPSC Syllabus in English:-Download PDF Here

Candidates should ensure wholesome coverage of the IPS syllabus to enhance their chances of succeeding in the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions about IPS Syllabus


Is it compulsory to appear for both exams of the prelims stage?

Yes. The exams held at the prelims stage are used to determine the candidate’s qualification for the mains level, and they must appear in both exams.

More UPSC Preparation Articles:

UPSC Online


IAS Toppers

UPSC Posts

IAS Questions & Answers

IAS Interview Questions

UPSC Cut Off

Public Service Commissions

UPSC Question Papers

UPSC Marksheet


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