UPSC Syllabus | IAS Prelims & Mains

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Preliminary Exam

Civil Services Preliminary exam comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II). The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type. The marks in prelims will not be counted for final ranking, but just for qualification for main exam.

The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies PaperII of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper-I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission.

UPSC Syllabus for Paper I – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours (Counted for the merit rank in the Prelims)

  • 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.

UPSC Syllabus for Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours (Not counted for the merit rank in Prelims but a qualifying Paper; just needs 33% marks)

  • 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).


As we all know, the cut-offs for IAS Prelims have been on the rise for the last 2-3 years. Irrespective of the unpredictable UPSC’s paper setting, we have seen a consistent rise in the cut off levels. What does it mean? Sincere students are not taking their IAS Prelims for granted. As a sincere student at Civilsdaily, you should not too.

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For FAQs around the Test Series – Click and read FAQs for IAS Prelims 2017

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Mains Exam

A candidate’s rank in Civil Service Exam depends only on the mark scored in Main and Interview. The main exam has 1750 marks while interview has 275 marks.

The written examination (main) will consist of the following nine papers, but only 7 papers will be counted for final merit ranking. For the rest two papers, the candidate should secure minimum marks prescribed by UPSC each year.

Qualifying Papers – Not counted for final ranking:

  • Paper ‐ A – Indian Language. (One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. This paper will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.) 300 Marks.
  • Paper‐ B – English Language. 300 Marks.

Papers to be counted for merit ranking:

  1. Paper‐I Essay. 250 Marks.
  2. Paper‐II General Studies – I – Syllabus. 250Marks. (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society).
  3. Paper‐III General Studies –II – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations).
  4. Paper‐IV General Studies –III – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management).
  5. Paper‐V General Studies –IV – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude).
  6. Paper‐VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 – 250 Marks.
  7. Paper‐VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 – 250 Marks.

Questions, Tips?

  1. Profile photo of geetha malla geetha malla

    Hi.. myself opted for commerce and accounts​ as optional subject.. I’m an accounts background student.. bt aftr reading many reviews I’m regretting for opting dis sub as it is vast in syllabus and low chances of clearing 😑 Is it true?? Plzz do anybody help me

    1. Profile photo of Jaggu Jaggu

      Hi friend I’m not a good practicd person but I can tell u 1 thing.being large n time consuming please don’t risk Ur life with accounts.instead choose a subject like geography or sociality or other relevant themes for ga.

      Just remember

      Optional is the 1st best winning shot don’t let the shot wasted

      U have every right not to follow my idea but choose wise

      Wanna consult me mail me at

      I do whatever I can

      Thank u

  2. Profile photo of Jaggu Jaggu

    civil engineering as optional. is it good or not plz friends give me reply

  3. Profile photo of Manish Kumar Manish Kumar

    Can we have such detailed infographic syllabus for geography optional???

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