UPSC Syllabus 2021 – Prelims, Mains and Interview
Management of studies during UPSC the Civil Services Examination is very critical. To properly plan and manage the studies it is essential to understand the syllabus. The Syllabus is the gateway to UPSC Prelims and Mains examinations. Syllabus provides the aspirant with the scope of the topics to be covered. The aspirants should channelize all their endeavors well to satisfies the needs of the examination. In such a scenario, the Syllabus copy guides the aspirants to follow the correct and required path.
Benefits of Understanding the syllabus: -
- When the aspirants analyse syllabus, they get know the common topics to be covered for Prelims and Mains Examinations. These points can be studied integrating the Prelims and Mains scope.
- This not only eases the preparation but also saves valuable time.
- If an aspirant keeps study without analysing the syllabus, he may end up studying relevant and useless material. In this process the aspirants will lose their most valuable time.
- To avoid this analysing the UPSC Prelims and Mains syllabus before starting the preparation is crucial.
PRELIMS SYLLABUS: -
- Among the three stages of the UPSC exam, the first stage is the Preliminary Exam.
- It comprises two papers of 200 marks each containing objective-type multiple-choice questions.
- The time allotted to attempt each exam is 2 hours which needs to be mandatorily attempted by the candidates.
- The candidates need to score qualifying marks to clear the cut-off.
- The Prelims consists of two papers of 200 marks each.
- Paper 1 consists of the General studies syllabus.
- Paper-2 (CSAT) in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
- The question papers will be set in both Hindi and English.
The IAS Prelims exam details:
No. of questions
Required marks to qualify
Marks counted for ranking
Cut-off prescribed by UPSC
General Studies Paper-1 Syllabus:
- Current events 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 Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
- General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change- that do not require subject specialization.
- General Science.
General Studies Paper-2 (CSAT) Syllabus:
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning 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).
- English language comprehension skills – Class X level.
MAINS SYLLABUS: -
- Candidates who qualify Preliminary exam are called for the Main exam.
- The UPSC mains exam is conducted in 2 parts: - qualifying papers and merit exams.
- There are a total of 9 papers in the Mains exam. Every paper is of 3 hours and extra 30 minutes extra is given to blind students.
- Paper A and Paper B are 300 marks each and the remaining papers are 250 marks each.
- The questions in Mains are of the subjective type and can be written in either Hindi or English language.
Exam pattern: -
Compulsory Indian language
General Studies I
General Studies II
General Studies III
General Studies IV
Exam Syllabus: -
General Studies Paper – I
General Studies Paper – II
General Studies Paper – III
General Studies Paper – IV
How to analyse the UPSC Syllabus?
- Download the Prelims and Mains syllabus from UPSC website upsc.gov.in. Besides it can be easily obtained from any IAS institutes websites.
- Understand the UPSC Prelims and Mains Syllabus separately. Find out the topics from each subject which are common for prelims as well as mains.
- Start with Mains topics from General studies (GS1, GS2, GS3, GS4) Syllabus. Pick a topic from each of the General studies Papers of UPSC. Then check the Previous Year questions of Prelims and Mains asked on the particular topic. Aspirants should check the previous year’s questions from 2013 to 2020.
- After analysing each topic, the you can prepare a comprehensive note considering the Prelims and Mains coverage. Also keep adding the relevant points from current news to make your notes more valuable.
- The aspirants should read the relevant NCERTs and revise their notes multiple times. Particularly, a quick revision of the relevant books of history, polity, geography, and macroeconomics is a must. Revise your own notes, subject-wise. Complete their revision at least two to three times in these three months.
For the Mains phase of the IAS exam, an aspirant need to pick an Optional subject of their choice. UPSC provides a list of 48 optional subjects. Among the 48 subjects one subject have to be selected as Optional. The total marks allocated for the optional subject is 500 which can make a huge difference in the overall result of the aspirant. In order to study well and secure good marks in Mains exam and to get a good rank, the UPSC aspirants should carefully analyse and choose their Optional Subject. With well-planned strategies, you can easily score well in the Bengali literature. Interest should be the prime criteria for choosing any optional.
Optional exam Pattern
- The aspirants have to appear for two optional papers of same subject which they have selected for IAS (UPSC CSE) Main Exam.
- Each paper is of 250 marks, making a total of 500 marks.
- Duration for each Optional mains paper is 3 hours.
Factors to be considered while choosing an optional Subject for UPSC Mains Exam: -
- Syllabus Coverage: The aspirants should analyse the syllabus of the optional subject, to be chosen, in details. Considering the length of the Optional subjects and the General studies subjects to be covered.
- Familiarity with Subject: - Different aspirants come from different graduation streams. Choosing an optional which is completely out of familiarity will left the aspirants frustrated. The aspirants should consider their subjects of graduation and then decide the Optional subject.
- Availability of Resources: - Preparing for an Optional subject of 500 marks require a good amount resources for every topic. Besides the aspirants also needs to value – add content in the material. The aspirants should take into the consideration that how easily good study material is available for an optional subject on internet and offline mode.
- Level of Competition :- A few applicants feel a decent UPSC Optional subject is the one that has a high achievement ratio as far as various aspirants are appearing. Nonetheless, it is just incompletely evident. More than all the other things, your answer copy will be assessed based only on your answer's understandability. Thus, pick a subject that you're OK with.
Overlapping Syllabus: - An aspirant should consider the same topics that are to be covered from the Optional Syllabus and the General studies syllabus. The aspirants should choose the subject which have more overlapping topics. This will reduce the time to read the same topic and enhance the writing capability of the aspirant.
Civil Services Exam Syllabus For IAS Mains Optional Subjects Table