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. The IAS syllabus can be found at the UPSC official website or scroll down to download the UPSC syllabus pdf for both Prelims and Mains.
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 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)
Phase 1: UPSC Prelims Exam
The Preliminary Examination is composed of two components:
1) General Studies
|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)|
2) Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)
The two papers of the IAS prelims are discussed in detail below:
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 .
Phase 2: UPSC Mains Exam (1750 Marks)
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 –
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.
|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 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:
|Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science||Assamese (Literature)|
|Civil Engineering||Gujarati (Literature)|
|Commerce & Accountancy||Hindi (Literature)|
|Electrical Engineering||Kashmiri (Literature)|
|Mechanical Engineering||Odia (Literature)|
|Medical Science||Punjabi (Literature)|
|Political Science & International Relations||Sindhi (Literature)|
|Public Administration||Telugu (Literature)|
Phase 3: IAS Interview/UPSC Personality Test (275 Marks)
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