UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Salary 

The Civil Services Examination is a nationwide competitive examination in India held by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Police Service.

UPSC posts for 24 different Civil Services are filled through the Union Public Service Commission's Civil Service Examination (CSE). Only a few thousand students out of lakhs of applicants will be able to pass this exam. Among the 23 Civil Services, the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Revenue Services (IRS), and Indian Foreign Services (IFS) are the most popular. The distribution of services to successful candidates is determined by their exam scores. After being selected for service, a candidate is assigned to various posts (over the course of his career) within that service, with the exception of some cases where he or she may be delegated to another service's department.

UPSC Exam Overview

  • Exam Name - UPSC Civil Services

  • Registration Date - 2 Feb 2022 to 22 Feb 2022

  • Exam Date - Prelims : 5 Jun 2022

  • Vacancy - 1011

  • Eligibility - Graduation 

  • Salary - Rs. 56,100 to Rs. 2,50,000

UPSC Exam Pattern

The UPSC exam will be divided into three stages: preliminary examination, main examination, and personal interview. In order to be considered qualified, candidates must complete all three stages. Each stage of the examination carries a different weighting of marks. Candidates will benefit from having an understanding of the UPSC exam pattern when practicing mock tests or series.

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

There will be two papers in the UPSC prelims exam. Both papers will consist of multiple choice questions with an objective format. There will be two papers in this stage of the exam: Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (Applied Studies) (Aptitude Test). Candidates who pass this stage will be considered for the next round, which is the mains examination. The UPSC prelims exam pattern is detailed in the table below.

UPSC Prelim exam pattern.jpg

Marking Scheme for UPSC Prelims Exam

  • The prelims exam will consist of two papers: General Studies and Aptitude Test.

  • In the exam, Paper I and Paper II will each be worth 200 marks.

  • Each question in Paper I (General Studies) is worth two marks.

  • Each question in paper II (Aptitude Test) is worth 2.5 marks.

  • Both papers will take two hours to complete.

  • The exam will be conducted entirely in English.

  • Paper-II (Aptitude Test) will be a qualifying paper, with candidates needing a score of at least 33% to advance to the next stage of the examination.

Negative Marking Scheme in UPSC Prelims Exam

  • There will be a negative marking of ⅓ for every incorrect answers.

  • If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as wrong even if one of the given answers is correct. The penalty will be the same as above.

  • In the UPSC Exam, a candidate can receive negative marks if he or she answers three questions incorrectly.

  • There will be no penalty if a question is left unanswered.

UPSC Mains Exam Pattern

A compulsory Indian language paper, an English paper, an essay, four general papers, and two optional subjects will be included in the UPSC Mains exam. We can now look at the UPSC Mains exam pattern in detail.

UPSC mains Exam Pattern.jpg

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Exam Prelims, Mains and Interview

What are the subjects that should be studied for the Civil Services Exam – Prelims, Mains, and Interview? UPSC Syllabus (IAS Exam Syllabus): What are the subjects that should be studied for the Civil Services Exam – Prelims, Mains, and Interview?

This page contains the UPSC Civil Service Exam (CSE) Syllabus, which can be accessed and downloaded. Aspirants can save this page to refer to the most recent syllabus for the Civil Services Exam, also known as the 'IAS exam.'

UPSC Prelims Exam Syllabus

Civil Service  The preliminary exam consists of two compulsory 200 marks papers (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper-II). The questions will be objective and multiple-choice. Preliminary exam scores will not be used to determine final rankings; instead, they will be used to determine whether or not you are eligible to take the main exam.

The Commission will create a list of qualified candidates for the Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the criterion of a minimum qualifying score of 33 percent in Civil Service PaperII's General Studies (Preliminary) Civil Services General Studies Paper-I examination and total qualifying marks (Preliminary) The Commission may decide to conduct an examination.

UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper-I – 200 marks

The time limit for this objective paper is two hours. A total of 100 questions will be asked. Only this paper's marks are used to determine the preliminary exam's top scorers. The following is the GS 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, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.

  • General Science.

UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper- II – 200 marks

The time limit for this objective paper is two hours. A total of 80 questions will be asked. The top scorers in the preliminary exam are determined by the marks earned on this paper. The purpose of this paper is only to qualify. All that is required of aspirants is that they achieve a score of at least 33% on this paper. The following is the GS Paper 2 (CSAT) syllabus.

  • Comprehension.

  • 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).

UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus

Only the marks obtained in the Main and Interview determine a candidate's rank in the UPSC Civil Service Exam. The main exam is worth 1750 points, while the interview is worth 275.

The written examination (main) will have nine papers, but only seven of them will be counted in the final merit ranking. For the remaining two papers, the candidate must score at least the minimum marks set by UPSC each year.

Paper‐I (Essay) – 250 Marks

Candidates may be asked to write essays on a variety of topics in the Essay Paper. They will be expected to stick to the essay's topic, organise their thoughts in a logical manner, and write concisely. Effective and precise expression will be rewarded.

Paper‐2 (General Studies 1) – 250 Marks.

UPSC Civil Services Mains General Studies 1 Paper Syllabus The exam covers the following major topics: Indian Heritage and Culture, World History and Geography, and Society. The following is a detailed syllabus:

General Studies 1 Paper Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Mains

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

  • History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars,

  • redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism,

  • capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

  •  Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and

  • developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

  • Effects of globalization on Indian society

  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography.

  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent);

  • factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in

  • various parts of the world (including India)

  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.,

  • geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

Paper‐3 (General Studies 2) – 250 Marks.

The UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam General Studies 2 Paper Syllabus covers the following major topics: governance, constitution, politics, social justice, and international relations. The following is a detailed syllabus:

General Studies 2 Paper Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Mains

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

  • Separation of powers between various organs; dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

  • Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

  • Role of civil services in a democracy.

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.

  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Paper‐ 4 (General Studies 3) – 250 Marks.

UPSC Civil Services Mains General Studies 3 Paper Syllabus Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management are the major areas covered in the exam. The UPSC has provided the following detailed syllabus:

General Studies 3 Paper Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Mains

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

  • Government Budgeting.

  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

  • Land reforms in India.

  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

  • Investment models.

  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

  • Disaster and disaster management.

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Paper‐ 5 (General Studies 4) – 250 Marks.

The following major areas are covered in the UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam General Studies 4 Paper Syllabus: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. The syllabus, as provided by UPSC, is as follows: This paper will include questions designed to assess the candidates' attitudes and approaches to issues of integrity, probity in public life, and his problem-solving approach to a variety of issues and conflicts that he may face in dealing with society. To determine these aspects, questions may use a case study approach. The following topics will be covered in broad strokes:

General Studies 4 Paper Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Mains

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.

  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

  • Case Studies on the above issues.

Paper‐ 6 (Optional Subject Paper 1) – 250 Marks.

Paper‐ 7 (Optional Subject Paper 2) – 250 Marks.