UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus

UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam Syllabus

Table of contents

The Preliminary stage of the UPSC Civil Services Exam is made up of 2 papers. Here's the detailed syllabus for each paper as given in the official notification for UPSC CSE.

Paper I - (200 marks)

Duration: Two hours

  • 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.

Paper II-(200 marks)

Duration : Two hours

  • 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);


  • Note 1 : Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
  • Note 3 : It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

Prelims 360 + Mentorship

The course includes

  • GS 360 - GS live lectures for all Prelims subjects.
  • CSAT 360 - CSAT Lectures for maths, logical reasoning and comprehension.
  • Prelims Test Series - 21 tests (16 GS + 5 CSAT)
  • Current affairs lectures - weekly lectures with MCQ live practice.
  • Mentorship - to help you course correct when you hit a wall.


The Mains or written exam consists of the following papers

Qualifying Papers

(One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the
Eighth Schedule to the Constitution).

Papers to be counted for merit

Detailed Syllabus

General Studies-I
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
GS 1 Detailed Syllabus

General Studies -II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
GS 2 Detailed Syllabus

General Studies -III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
GS 3 Detailed Syllabus

General Studies -IV
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
GS 4 Detailed Syllabus

Optional Subject - Paper 1
Optional Subject - Paper 2


  1. The papers on Indian languages and English (Paper A and paper B) will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
  2. Evaluation of the papers, namely, 'Essay', 'General Studies' and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on Éssay', General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language’ and 25% in English as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers.
  3. The paper A on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
  4. The paper A on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for Candidates belonging to Persons with Benchmark Disability (only Hearing Impairment sub-category) provided that they have been granted such exemption from 2nd or 3rd language courses by the concerned education Board/University. The candidate needs to provide an undertaking/self declaration in this regard in order to claim such an exemption to the Commission.
  5. Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.
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