UPSC Exams – Overview

UPSC – Civil Service Examination.

The UPSC has been revising its syllabus periodically, here is the latest list of subjects which would be comprising in the Civil Service Examination. People are more familiar with the Acronym IAS – Indian Administrative Service, one of the posting in UPSC CSE.

UPSC CSE is the considered as one of the trickiest and admired exam in the world, which gives a chance to work in the most prominent Departments offered by Govt. of India.

There are almost 28 post for which UPSC will Recruit under one head i.e., UPSC.

Phase 1: Preliminary Examination – CSAT Syllabus:

In UPSC – CSE, this test is interested to test the Aptitude of the Examinees by Solving the “Reasoning and Analytical Question”.


This Phase 1 Exam is means for the Screening the candidates and the marks obtained by a candidate in the preliminary exam who qualifies for the main exams. This mark will not taken in to account for the final merit.

Syllabus for Phase 1: Paper 1

  • Current events – (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 specialisation
  • General Science

 Syllabus Phase – 1: Paper 2

  • 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)


This phase is to test the candidates in depth Knowledge (academic talent ) and his / her understanding about the topics. This is designed to analyse the comprehensive intellectual quality and the understanding of the candidates rather than just determining their information and memory.

Main exam consists of 7 papers (2050 marks)

    1. Paper on Indian languages : Scheduled Languages250 marks : This is a Qualifying Paper.
    2. English – 300 marks
    3. General Studies I – 250 marks : Indian heritage and culture, History and Geography of the world, and Society
    4. General Studies II – 250 marks : (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
    5. General Studies III – 250 marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
    6. General Studies IV – 250 marks  (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
    7. Optional subject I – 250 marks*
    8. Optional subject II – 250 marks*

*The Candidate can choose the optional papers from the list given by UPSC. Here is the list of the Optional Papers.

Optional Subjects Literature Subjects
Agriculture Assamese
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Arabic
Anthropology Bengali
Botany Bodo
Chemistry Dogri
Civil Engineering French
Commerce and Accountancy German
Economics Gujarati
Electrical Engineering Hindi
Geography Kannada
Geology Kashmiri
History Konkani
Law Maithili
Management Malayalam
Mathematics Manipuri
Mechanical Engineering Marathi
Medical Science Nepali
Philosophy Oriya
Physics Persian
Political Science and International Relations Punjabi
Psychology Russian
Public Administration Sanskrit
Sociology Santhali
Statistics Sindhi
Zoology Tamil


Candidate who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the UPSC Main Examination fixed by the UPSC at their discretion enters the next and final phase that is the ‘Personality Test’ @ ‘Interview Test’


Sample Notification of the UPSC

Alternate Download Link: Engl_CSP_2017