UPSC Preliminary Exam Syllabus (Prelims)

UPSC Prelims is the first step in the journey to become an IAS officer or join other services like IPS and IFS. It is very important to understand the syllabus to prepare effectively and cover all the necessary topics. Here, we will guide you and break down the syllabus for both General Studies Paper I and Paper II, helping you focus on what is important.

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Syllabus for Civil Services Exam

Comment: Candidates are advised to study the syllabus published in this section for Preliminary Exam and Main Exam as the syllabus in many subjects has been revised from time to time.

Part A—Preliminary Examination

general Studies Paper I – (200 marks)

Duration: Two hours

Current Affairs 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 Politics and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues

● Economic and Social Development – ​​Sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives, etc.

● General issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity and climate change – which do not require subject specialization

● General Science

General Studies Paper II – (200 Marks)

Duration: Two hours

● Understanding

● Interpersonal skills, including communication skills;

● Logical thinking 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)

note 1Paper II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

note 2The questions will be multiple choice, objective type.

note 3It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.


questions to ask: UPSC Preliminary Exam Syllabus

What is the structure of the UPSC preliminary exam?

The UPSC preliminary exam consists of two papers: General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II (CSAT). Both papers are objective type (multiple choice questions) and each carries 200 marks.

How many questions are there in each paper of Preliminary Exam?

General Studies Paper I usually consists of 100 questions, while General Studies Paper II (CSAT) consists of 80 questions.

Is there negative marking in UPSC preliminary exam?

Yes, there is negative marking for wrong answers in both the papers. One-third of the marks allotted to a question will be deducted for each wrong answer.

What are the topics covered in General Studies Paper I?

General Studies Paper I covers a wide range of topics including Current Affairs, History of India, Indian and World Geography, Indian Polity and Governance, Economic and Social Development, Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and General Science.

What is the focus of General Studies Paper II (CSAT)?

CSAT focuses on comprehension, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning, analytical ability, decision making, problem solving, basic numeracy and data interpretation.

How should I prioritise subjects while preparing for the preliminary exam?

Focus on understanding the basics of each topic, then move on to more detailed study. Prioritize current events, politics, and history, as these often have significant weight in the exam.

What are the recommended resources for preparing the Prelims exam syllabus?

Standard NCERT textbooks, reference books like ‘Indian Polity’ by M. Lakshmikanthan, ‘India’s Struggle for Independence’ by Bipan Chandra and monthly current affairs magazines are highly recommended. Additionally, practice from previous years’ question papers and mock tests.

How important is the current affairs section in the preliminary exam?

Current affairs are very important for both General Studies Paper I and Paper II. It is necessary to read newspapers regularly and follow reliable news sources to stay updated with current events.

Is there any specific strategy for time management during the preliminary exam?

Practice with mock tests to get an idea of ​​the time. Divide your time wisely during the exam and don’t spend too much time on a single question.

How many times should I revise the topics for Prelims exam?

Regular revision is very important to remember the information. Set aside time for revision every week and revise more frequently as the exam date approaches.

Can I get previous years question papers for Preliminary exam online?

Yes, previous years question papers are available on the official UPSC website and various educational platforms. Practising these papers can give you a good understanding of the exam pattern.

How can I stay updated with current affairs for Prelims exam?

Stay updated by reading newspapers, magazines and reliable online sources. Keep track of current events, government policies and major national and international developments.

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