• The Civil Services Examination is widely considered as one of the toughest and the most prestigious examinations conducted in India.

      To understand the exam, one needs to understand the syllabus. This helps 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 UPSC prescribes a common 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

      The UPSC Civil Services 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: Preliminary Examination:

      The Preliminary Examination is composed of two components:

      1) General Studies



      Total Marks



      General Studies (GS)


      2 hours




      2 hours

      2) Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

      • Broadly, the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination consists of two papers of objective type, each of 200 marks (hence totalling 400 marks) and of two hours duration. In order to qualify for the Civil Services Mains, a candidate must attempt both the papers.
      • Further, the General Studies (GS) paper consists of 100 questions, while the CSAT paper consists of 80 questions. Both papers have negative marks for wrong answers marked to the tune of 1/3rd of the total marks assigned to that question.
        • To further illustrate this, each correctly answered GS question will be awarded 2 marks. So, 0.66 marks would be deducted from the total for every question that is wrongly marked.
        • Similarly, in the CSAT paper, since we have 80 questions for 200 marks, correctly answered CSAT question would attract 2.5 marks each, while every wrongly marked question would attract a penalty of 0.833 for each such wrong answer, which will be deducted from the total.
      • Questions that are not attempted will not attract any negative marks.

      Syllabus of Paper 1: General Studies

      1.       Current events of national and international importance

      2.       History of India and Indian National Movement

      3.       Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World

      4.       Indian Polity & Governance -Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

      5.       Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

      6.       General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.

      7.       General Science

      Syllabus of Paper 2: CSAT

      1.       Comprehension

      2.       Interpersonal skills including communication skills

      3.       Logical reasoning and analytical ability

      4.       Decision making and problem solving

      5.       General mental ability

      6.       Elementary Mathematics up to Class X level

      7.       General English up to Class X level

      8.      General Hindi up to Class X level

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