Syllabus for Civil Services Examination

Syllabus for Civil Services Preliminary Examination

To attain the pinnacle of success in life and to make a prosperous career, one needs to study wholeheartedly for the civil services examination. The syllabus for this examination is meticulously set and designed by the UPSC every year. With some significant changes, now the preliminary examination is better known as the CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test). Through this test, the best candidates are shortlisted for the main examination. The preliminary exams are generally held in the month of May or June and the results are declared in the first or second week of August. The main examination is conducted in the month of October or November and the results are out in the month of March. Further, the most important test i.e. the Interview, is held every year in the month of April or May.

Based on the revised pattern and syllabus of UPSC, the prelims examination has been sectioned into two papers. Each paper contains 200 marks questions that need to be completed within the time period of two hours. Questions on Indian and World Geography (Social, Economic and Physical Geography of India and the World), current National and International Issues, History of India & The Indian National Movement are generally asked in paper 1. It also covers questions on Economic and Social Development (Poverty, Social Sector Initiatives, Inclusion, Sustainable Development, Demographics, etc.), India Polity and Governance (Political System, Rights Issues, Constitution, Public Policy, Panchayati Raj and many more). The questions on General Science and General Issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-Diversity and Climate Change are also asked in the first prelim paper.

The second paper of the CSAT includes 200 mark questions on Comprehension, Logical Reasoning & Analytical Ability, Interpersonal Skill as well as Communication Skills. Questions based on Decision Making & Problem Solving, Basic Numeracy (Numbers and their Relations, Orders of Magnitude, etc. upto class 10th level), General Mental Ability, Data Interpretation (Charts, Tables, Data Sufficiency, Graphs, etc. upto class 10th level) and English Language Comprehension are also asked in paper 2 of the prelims. The duration of paper 2 is also two hours. Both the papers are bilingual (English and Hindi language) and are objective type.

Civil Services Main Examination

An aspirant is directly entitled for the civil services main examination after qualifying for the preliminary paper. For the main examination, a candidate needs to put an enormous effort so as to achieve the goal of clearing the exam. The civil services main examination syllabus includes nine papers, which has to be elaborately explained by the candidates. With this test format, the candidate's overall knowledge, academic skills and writing style are being scrutinized by the examiner.
The entire written examination is for 2000 marks. Paper 1 allows an aspirant to choose one Indian language out of 22 languages, and the paper is for i 300 marks.  Paper 2 again includes 300 marks questions based on the English language and paper 3 contains 200 marks questions based on an essay. The questions for paper 4 and 5  are based on general studies for which each paper is  for 300 marks. In the 6, 7, 8 and 9 papers, the questions are generally asked on two optional subjects and each paper contains 300 marks questions which  means that the total questions are for  1200 marks. The candidate can select two optional subjects in accordance with their interest. Further, the final round is the interview test for 300 marks in which questions are often asked on current affairs, personal interests, on-going events, etc.

Syllabus for Indian Languages and English Qualifying

These two papers are written by candidates either in the English language or their respective language

Paper-1 (Maximum Marks 300) and Paper -2 (Maximum Marks 300)

  1. Comprehension passage: The candidate needs to read the whole passage thoroughly and mark out the correct answer.
  2. Short Essay: Limited word with correct message is the essence of the short essay. It identifies the writing style, grammar usage and vocabulary of the candidate.
  3. Precis Writing: A careful reading is must in précis writing in order to meet the expectations of the examiner.
  4. Translation from English to  Indian language and vice versa: The translation if from one Indian language to another, to test the knowledge and proficiency of aspirants in a particular language.
  5. Grammar usage and Vocabulary: The applicants should emphasize on the appropriate usage of grammar while writing and also acquire immense knowledge on synonyms and antonyms of difficult words. 

Syllabus for Essay

Paper-3 (Maximum Marks 200)

The essay on a particular topic has to be written in a descriptive form. With this writing style, candidates have the opportunity to pen down their thoughts, feeling and views on a given topic. Well written and expressive essays generally grab the attention of the examiner and helps the aspirant to score good marks. More importantly, the right selection of the topic and a precise writing style is the best way of staying ahead from your competitors. It is often considered that topics related to current events or some important issues are ideal for essay writing.

Syllabus for General Studies (Paper 4 and 5)

These papers are designed with an aim to test the overall knowledge of the candidate in various subjects as well as current issues. With these papers, an aspirant's views regarding the country’s economic status, social factors, future objectives and demands are also analyzed.

Paper-4 (Maximum Marks 300)

  1. Geography of India: This paper includes topic related to the physical, social and economic geography of India.
  2. History of Modern India and Indian Culture: This paper covers all  important events of ancient and modern periods. Question based on famous personalities (who fought for the country’s freedom and development) are  often asked in the exam. Indian literature, culture, art & architecture are also a few topics that have to be taken into consideration while preparing for general studies.
  3. Constitution of India and Indian Polity:  On-going issues of the constitution and the administrative system of the country and other legal matters are some important topics, which should be thoroughly revised by the candidate to score maximum marks.
  4. Current National Concerns and Topics of Social Importance: Questions based on topics like employment, utilization of resources, growth & development of the country, environmental & health issues, human rights, law and enforcement, etc. are generally asked in the civil service main examination.

Paper-5 (Maximum Marks 300)

  1. India and the World: This paper covers the topic of India’s relationship with its neighboring counties. Questions based on foreign affairs, the nuclear deal, conflicts & issues and security & defence matters are also asked in the exam. Besides this, the candidate should read topics related to Indian migration and their contribution to India and its neighboring countries.
  2. International Affairs and Institutions: Questions on the world’s main events as well as on international institutions are  asked in the general studies paper.
  3. India’s Economic Interaction with the World: Candidate needs to keep an eye on topics related to economic and trade issues, which includes foreign investment & trade, issues related to oil, gas and energy flow, roles and responsibilities of Word Bank, W.T.O,  I.M.F, etc.
  4. Developments in the Field of Science & Technology, IT and Space: This paper encompasses topics like science & technology, biotechnology, information technology, robotics, space, etc.
  5. Statistical analysis, graphs and diagrams: The knowledge of candidates on statistics and their proficiency on graphical and diagrammatical representation are examined through this paper.



Civil Services Syllabus by Subject

  • Civil Services Math Syllabus

      In the civil services main examination, the candidate is allowed to take two optional subjects out of 55 subjects. Every subject paper is divided into two parts that are part I and part II and each part consist of 300 marks questions.   Syllabus for Mathematics Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Linear Algebra: This paper includes Vector spaces over R and C, linea...Read More

  • Civil Services Sociology Syllabus

    Paper 1 (Maximum Marks 300) Fundamentals of Sociology 1. Sociology - The Discipline: Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology. Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences. Sociology and common sense. 2. Sociology as Science: Science, scientific method and critique. Major theore...Read More

  • Civil Services Physics Syllabus

    Syllabus for Physics Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Classical Mechanics Mechanics of Particles: Kepler’s laws, Fields and potentials, Laws of motion, conservation of energy and momentum, applications to rotating frames, centripetal and coriolis forces, motion under a central force, conservation of angular momentum, gravitational field and potential d...Read More

  • Civil Services Political Science Syllabus

    Part I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Political Theory and Indian Politics: Political theory meaning and approaches. Theories of the state: Liberal, neoliberal, marxist, pluralist, post-colonial and feminist. Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques. Equality: S...Read More

  • Civil Services Economics Syllabus

    Syllabus for Economics Part I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Advanced Micro Economics: Marshallian and Walrasiam Approaches to Price determination. Alternative Distribution Theories: Ricardo, Kaldor, Kaleeki Markets Structure: Monopolistic Competition, Duopoly, Oligopoly. Modern Welfare Criteria: Pareto Hicks & Scitovsky, Arrow’s I...Read More

  • Civil Services Geography Syllabus

    Part I (Maximum Marks 300) Principles of Geography 1. Physical Geography: a. Geomorphology : Factors controlling landform development, endogenetic and exogenetic forces, Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust, Fundamentals of geomagnetism; Physical conditions of the earth’s interior; Geosynclines; Continental drift, Isostasy, Plate tectonics, Recent...Read More

  • Civil Services Chemistry Syllabus

    Syllabus for Chemistry Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Atomic Structure: Shapes of s, p and d orbitals, hydrogen atom wave functions, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Schrodinger wave equation (time independent) and interpretation of wave function, particle in one-dimensional box and quantum numbers. 2. Chemical Bonding: Molecular orbital theory (LCAO me...Read More

  • Civil Services History Syllabus

    Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Sources: Archaeological Sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy numismatics, monuments. Literary Sources. Indigenous: Primary and Secondary: Poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages and religious literature. Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers. 2. ...Read More

  • Civil Services Zoology Syllabus

    Syllabus for Zoology Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Non-Chordata and Chordata: Classification and relationship of various phyla up to subclasses: Acoelomate and coelomate, protostomes and deuterostomes, bilateria and radiate, status of protista, parazoa, onychophora and hemichordate, symmetry. Protozoa: Locomotion, nutrition, reproduction, se...Read More

  • Civil Services Botany Syllabus

    Syllabus for Botany Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Microbiology and Plant Pathology: Structure and reproduction/multiplication of viruses, viroids, bacteria, fungi and mycoplasma, applications of microbiology in agriculture, industry, medicine and in control of soil and water pollution, Prion and Prion hypothesis. Important crop diseases caused by viruses, bact...Read More

  • Civil Services Anthropology Syllabus

    Syllabus for Anthropology Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1.1 Meaning, scope and development of anthropology. 1.2 Relationships with other disciplines: social sciences, behavioral sciences, life sciences, medical sciences, earth sciences and humanities. 1.3 Main branches of Anthropology, their scope and relevance: Social- cultural Anthropology....Read More

  • Civil Services Statistics Syllabus

    Syllabus for Statistics Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Probability: Probability measure and probability space, probability mass function, probability density function, sample space and events, random variable as a measurable function, distribution function of a random variable, discrete and continuous-type random variable, vector-valued random var...Read More

  • Civil Services Commerce Syllabus

    Syllabus for Commerce Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Accounting and Finance Accounting, Taxation & Auditing: Financial Accounting: Accounting as a Financial Information System -Impact of Behavioural Sciences. Accounting Standards e.g., Accounting for Depreciation, Inventories, Research and Development Costs, Long-term Construction Contracts, Reve...Read More

  • Civil Services Management Syllabus

    Syllabus for Management Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Managerial Function: Concept and foundations of management, evolution of management thoughts, managerial functions – planning, organizing, controlling, decision making, role of manager, managerial skills, entrepreneurship, management of innovation, managing in a global environment, flexible systems ...Read More

  • Civil Services Public Administration Syllabus

    Paper I (Maximum Marks 300) 1. Administrative Theory a. Introduction: Meaning, scope and significance of public administration, Wilson’s vision of public administration, evolution of the discipline and its present status, new public administration, public choice approach, challenges of liberalization, privatization, globalization, good governan...Read More

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