Union Public Service Commission annually conducts the UPSC IAS exams for the recruitment of officers for the All India Administrative Service. UPSC is considered to be one of the hardest competitive exams to crack not only in India but also in the world.  UPSC yearly conducts the UPSC IAS exams under a prescribed syllabus. Having a clear idea of the UPSC Civil Services Syllabus and a proper study methodology would really help the aspirants to fulfill their dream of clearing the IAS Examination. Here is a breakdown of the IAS Syllabus as per UPSC that would help the candidates to understand the syllabus better.

UPSC Syllabus for Prelims

Preliminary exams incorporate two papers and both are mandatory.  Each paper consists of 200 marks and is of two hours duration. Both these papers are objective type and the question paper will be in two sets [English and Hindi].

The two papers are considered as general studies-1 and general studies-2 respectively. It should be duly noted that the General studies paper -2 is only a qualifying paper with minimum qualified marks fixed at 33%

UPSC Prelims Syllabus – Paper 1

  • 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 ClimateChange – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus – Paper 2

  • 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);

UPSC Syllabus for Mains

The marks scored by the candidates in the mains examination and interview session will decide their final rank. The UPSC mains comprises of questions worth 1750 marks and the interview round is of 275 marks. UPSC mains incorporates nine papers out of which seven are considered for final ranking. The other two are language papers in which aspirants should secure minimum marks prescribed by UPSC yearly. But, there is an exception for candidates residing in northeastern states. They only have to attempt one language paper i.e. English.

Qualifying Paper on Indian Language

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian language concerned.

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

  • Comprehension of given passages.
    Precis Writing.
    Usage and Vocabulary.
    Short Essays.

Indian Languages :—

  • comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays.
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.


Paper Content Marks
Paper 1 Essay 250
Paper 2 GS 1-Syllabus: Culture and Indian Heritage, History and Geography of world 250
Paper 3 GS 2-Syllabus Constitution, Governance, polity, social justice and
international relations
Paper 4 GS 3-Syllabus: Economic development, Technology, Environment and
biodiversity, Disaster management and security.
Paper 5 GS 4-Syllabus: Aptitude, integrity and Ethics 250
Paper 6 Optional subject 1 250
Paper 7 Optional subject 2 250


UPSC Civil Services Syllabus PDF

Civil Services Syllabus 2018 is given below.

Download Civil Services Syllabus PDF

  • Click Here to Download Civil Services 2018 Syllabus PDF
  • Click Here to Download Civil Services 2019 Syllabus PDF

Interview or Personality Test

Candidates who clear the Civil Services Main Exam with the set cut-off marks are qualified for the final stage of the exam i.e., the Personality Test or Interview round with the UPSC Board Members. The candidates who qualify to the final stage will be sent an e-summon by the commission for a face to face discussion with the board members. In this round the board assesses the personality traits of the candidates and questions will be asked on their hobbies, current affairs, general knowledge, situation questions and etc.  The final round that is the personality test is held only in the UPSC Bhawan in New Delhi.

UPSC Civil Services

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