At BYJU’S, you will find the complete UPSC Syllabus for the Civil Services Examination (CSE). Most commonly referred to as, IAS Syllabus, it comprises CSE Prelims and Main syllabus.
Every year Union Public Service Commission releases a complete IAS Syllabus along with its official notification in the month of February. UPSC Syllabus 2021 was released on 4th March 2021. The syllabus is similar to UPSC Civil Service Exam 2020 syllabus.
To understand the UPSC exam, one needs to understand the IAS syllabus. This helps to eliminate wasteful efforts like reading unnecessary topics leading to a loss of time and keeps one strictly aligned to the expectations of the UPSC from day one.
Download the UPSC Syllabus PDF in English and Hindi languages from the links provided in this article.
Table of Content for Syllabus of UPSC:
|IAS Syllabus for Prelims|
|IAS Syllabus of Mains|
|Syllabus for UPSC Optionals|
|Is there any syllabus for UPSC Interview?|
|FAQs on UPSC IAS Syllabus|
There is a common UPSC syllabus pattern for services such as the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) to name a few. However, different stages of the IAS exam have different syllabi. The UPSC Prelims syllabus focuses on general and societal awareness which is tested by objective-type (MCQ) questions. The UPSC Mains syllabus is much more comprehensive as this stage comprises nine theory papers.
The Civil services exam is conducted in three phases:
Phase 1: Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type)
Phase 2: Civil Services (Mains) Examination (Descriptive Type)
Phase 3: Personal Interview (Personality Test)
Check the UPSC Calendar 2021 at the linked article.
UPSC Syllabus for Prelims
IAS Prelims Exam Pattern
The UPSC Civil Services Prelims Examination is composed of two components:
|I||General Studies (GS)||200||2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)|
|II||CSAT||200||2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)|
The two papers of the IAS prelims are discussed in detail below:
- General Studies
- The General Studies test is the first paper of the preliminary examination.
- This test is intended to test the general awareness of a candidate in a wide range of subjects that include: Indian Polity, Geography, History, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations and associated UPSC current affairs.
- Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) (Generally conducted between 2:30 PM and 04:30 PM)
- This UPSC Prelims syllabus for CSAT intends to assess the aptitude of the candidate in solving ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions, apart from ‘Reading Comprehension’ and the occasionally asked ‘Decision Making’ questions.
- The ‘Decision Making’ based questions are generally exempt from negative marks.
To be noted:
- The preliminary examination is only meant for screening a candidate for the subsequent stages of the exam.
- The marks obtained in the Prelims will not be added up while arriving at the final rank list.
UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper (Prelims Paper I)
- 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, Biodiversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation.
- General Science
UPSC Syllabus for CSAT Paper (Prelims Paper-II)
- 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)
Get in touch with previous years’ questions asked in prelims from the UPSC syllabus. The compilation of topic-wise UPSC Prelims Questions PDF can be downloaded from the linked article.
UPSC Syllabus for Mains
IAS Mains Exam Pattern
|Paper-I||Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)||250|
|Paper-II||General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)||250|
|Paper-III||General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)||250|
|Paper-IV||General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)||250|
|Paper-V||General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)||250|
|Paper-VI||Optional Subject – Paper I||250|
|Paper-VII||Optional Subject – Paper II||250|
- The Mains examination constitutes the 2nd phase of the Civil Services Examination. Only after successfully qualifying in the prelims exam would the candidates be allowed to write the IAS Mains.
- The Mains exam tests the candidate’s academic talent in depth and his/her ability to present his/her understanding according to the requirements of the question in a time-bound manner.
- The UPSC Mains exam consists of 9 papers, out of which two are qualifying papers of 300 marks each.
- The two qualifying papers are:
- Any Indian Language Paper
- English Language Paper
The papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates who attain 25% marks in both the language papers as a minimum qualifying standard in these qualifying papers, will be taken cognizance of, for evaluation.
In case a candidate does not qualify in these language papers, then the marks obtained by such candidates will not be considered or counted.
Structure of the language papers:
The types of questions asked are –
- Essay – 100 marks
- Reading comprehension – 60 marks
- Precis Writing – 60 marks
- English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks
- Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
- Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks
The rest of the seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India or in English.
|Practise answer-writing with BYJU’S UPSC Mains Answer Writing 2021-22 Initiative. It covers expert questions from GS 1 to GS 4. Categorized into sub-topics, this answer-writing would help you understand the demand of different subjects included in the IAS Syllabus.|
Please download the detailed UPSC Mains General Studies Syllabus from the linked article.
UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects
The UPSC Mains syllabus gives a list of 48 Optional Subjects which include Literature of different languages. Candidates need to choose any one of the ‘Optional Subjects’ from the list of subjects given below:
Candidates can check the success rate of optional subjects in the linked article.
UPSC Syllabus for IAS Interview
Known as Personality Test, UPSC Interview is the last stage of the examination. There is no defined UPSC syllabus for the interview. Questions are asked from wide-ranging issues.
- Candidates who qualify the UPSC Mains Exam will be called for the ‘Personality Test/Interview’. These candidates will be interviewed by a Board appointed by the UPSC.
- The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in civil services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
- The interview is more of a purposive conversation intended to explore the mental qualities and analytical ability of the candidate.
- The Interview test will be 275 marks and the total marks for the written examination is 1750. This sums up to a Grand Total of 2025 Marks, based on which the final merit list will be prepared.
Candidates should note that there are no changes in UPSC Syllabus 2021 in comparison to UPSC Syllabus 2019 and UPSC Syllabus 2020.