UPSC CSE Exam Syllabus – Prelims, Mains & Interview

syllabus for UPSC CSE exam

UPSC CSE Exam Syllabus – Prelims, Mains & Interview

The UPSC CSE (Civil Services Examination) is a comprehensive examination conducted in three stages: Prelims, Mains, and the Interview. In this article, we will delve into the detailed syllabus and pattern of the UPSC CSE exam.


Preliminary Exam

The Prelims is the first stage of the UPSC exam, and it consists of two compulsory papers: General Studies Paper 1 and General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT). These are objective-type exams with negative marking for incorrect answers. The marks obtained in the Prelims are not carried forward to the final score; they are solely meant to filter serious candidates for the Mains exam.


UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

– General Studies Paper 1: This paper assesses your knowledge of topics such as world and national current events, Indian history, world geography, Indian geography, Indian polity and governance, economic and social development, social demographics, environmental events, climate change, and general science.

General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT): Also known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), this paper tests your aptitude, analytical skills, reasoning, comprehension, and interpersonal skills. It has a minimum qualifying mark of 33%.


UPSC Prelims Syllabus

As of the 2023 syllabus for UPSC exam, the Prelims syllabus includes:


GS Paper 1

– World and national current events.
– Indian History
– World Geography
– Indian Geography
– Indian Polity and Governance
– Economic, Social, and Sustainable Development
– Social Demographics
– Environmental Events and Climate Change
– General Science


GS Paper 2

– Class 10 level mathematics
– Logical reasoning
– General Mental Maths
– Data Interpretation – graphs, maps, and tables
– Comprehension



Mains Exam

The Mains exam comprises 7 papers, including a language paper, four general studies papers, and two optional subject papers chosen from a list of 48 subjects. Each paper carries 250 marks, making the Mains Examination total marks 1750.


UPSC Mains Exam Pattern

  1. – Language Paper: This paper evaluates your command over your preferred language.
  2. – General Studies Papers (GS Papers 1-4):

1. GS Paper 1: Topics related to Indian Heritage, History, Geography, and Societies.
2. GS Paper 2: Topics related to Polity, Governance, Constitution, and International Relations.
3. GS Paper 3: Topics related to Science and Technology, Environmental, Social, and Economic Development, including Disaster Management.
4. GS Paper 4: Focuses on Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude.

3- Optional Papers (Two Papers):
– These papers are based on your chosen optional subject.


UPSC Mains Syllabus

The Mains syllabus includes the following:

1 – Essay
2 – GS Paper 1
3 – GS Paper 2
4 – GS Paper 3
5 – GS Paper 4
6- Optional subject

Candidates should prepare to write on a variety of topics and formats, including comprehension, short writings, short essays, and vocabulary. The syllabus covers a wide range of subjects, such as World History, Modern Indian History, Indian freedom struggle, role of women, developmental challenges, world geography, Indian constitution, international relations, Indian economy, ethics, integrity, and more.

For the specific syllabus of optional subjects, please refer to the official UPSC website.


Interview Assessment

During the interview phase, candidates will face a panel of experts from their respective fields. The primary aim of this interview is to assess the candidate’s suitability for the position in terms of their personality and ability to perform under pressure. The interviewers evaluate various qualities, including:

1. Mental Acuity: The candidate’s mental sharpness and agility.

2. Knowledge of Topics: Their depth of understanding of relevant subjects.

3. Critical Thinking: The ability to analyze situations critically.

4. Judgment Balance: Assessing their capability to make balanced judgments.

5. Leadership Skills: Evaluating their potential for leadership roles.

6. Moral Integrity: Ensuring a strong sense of ethics and integrity.

7. Logical Reasoning: Testing their logical and rational thinking.

The interview questions are designed to be clear and straightforward, with the intention of uncovering any biases and assessing the candidate’s decision-making abilities. It’s important to note that this assessment doesn’t primarily focus on general knowledge but rather on the candidate’s awareness of societal issues and their capacity to make informed decisions based on available information.


How To Cover The Syllabus For UPSC CSE Exam With Yojna IAS?

Yojna IAS is a leading IAS coaching center with branches across India, boasting over 20 years of experience in preparing candidates for the UPSC CSE exam. Renowned UPSC teachers like Prateek Tripathi, Sanjeev Kumar, and Kanhaiya Jha, who have academic expertise from top institutions like IIT, BHU, JNU, and DU, Yojna IAS ensures top-quality guidance. They even have prior experience in the UPSC CSE exam.

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The UPSC CSE syllabus may seem overwhelming, but with the right guidance and resources from institutions like Yojna IAS, candidates can effectively cover the syllabus and excel in this prestigious examination. We are the best IAS coaching institute in India, with more than 20 years of experience in coaching aspirants for the UPSC CSE exam. Yojna IAS provides flexible course structures to cater to the needs of aspirants.

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