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IAS Exam – Subjects & Syllabus

The UPSC Syllabus is divided into three sections:

  • UPSC Prelims Syllabus for IAS Exam
  • UPSC Mains Syllabus for IAS Exam
  • UPSC Personality Test (Interview)

Preliminary Syllabus

It is designed to evaluate a persons’ understanding of current affairs and tests their ability in a short duration of time. The preliminary paper is a compulsory and qualifying paper. Aspirants must clear the prelims exam to qualify for the next stage of the exam called the Mains Exam. The prelims exam has two papers General Studies Paper I and General Studies (CSAT) Paper-II (qualifying in nature) carrying a maximum of 400 marks.

UPSC Subjects for Prelims

  1. History
  2. Geography
  3. Political Science / Civics
  4. Economics
  5. General Science – Physics, Chemistry & Biology
  6. Environmental Science
  7. Sociology

Mains Syllabus

The mains syllabus for optional papers is generally of the honors degree level that is between the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. It contains 9 papers, where there are two qualifying papers and seven papers counted for ranking, and the syllabus is framed according to the subjects with a total of 1750 marks.

Interview (Personality Test)

The UPSC Interview/personality test has no prescribed syllabus. The candidates will be interviewed by a Board of competent and unbiased members and will be questioned on matters of general interest and the candidate will be evaluated not only based on their intellectual qualities but also on social traits, interest in current affairs, mental alertness, critical power of adaptation, rational exposition, the balance of judgment, variety, and depth of interest, ability for social interconnection and leadership, logical and moral uprightness.

Compulsory subjects for UPSC exam

  • General Studies – 4 Papers of 250 marks each
  • Essay – 250 marks, any language as a medium
  • English – Qualifying 300 marks
  • Indian Languages – 300 marks, qualifying

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