UPSC Civil Services Syllabus 2018

Updated By Abhinav Chamoli on 13 Feb, 2020 16:08

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UPSC Civil Services Syllabus 2020

The UPSC Civil Services 2020 Syllabus is decided by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) each year. As part of the Prelims syllabus, candidates are evaluated based on their knowledge and aptitude in current affairs. In the Civil Services Mains exam, a candidate is evaluated based on his/her academic expertise in his/her specialised subject. It also looks at an individual's overall intellectual traits and understanding of concepts. Basically, the questions that are asked in the Civil Services examination tests the candidate’s understanding and clarity of concepts related to a variety of subjects, which is relevant for a career in Civil Services.

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam Syllabus

Paper IPaper II
Current events of national and international importanceComprehension
History of India and Indian National MovementInterpersonal skills including communication skills
Indian and World Geography-PhysicalLogical reasoning and analytical ability
Social, Economic Geography of India and the WorldDecision-making and problem-solving
Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.General mental ability
Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level)
General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialisation 
General Science 

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam Syllabus

Qualifying PapersMarks

Paper - A

(One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included

in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution).         

 300 Marks

Paper - B


300 Marks

Papers to be Counted for Merit


Paper - I


250 Marks

Paper - II

General Studies-I

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

250 Marks

Paper - III

General Studies – II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

250 Marks

Paper - IV

General Studies – III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and

Disaster Management)

250 Marks

Paper - V

General Studies – IV
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

250 Marks

Paper - VI

Optional Subject – Paper 1

250 Marks


Optional Subject – Paper 2

250 Marks
Sub Total (Written test)1750 Marks
Personality Test275 Marks
Grand Total2025 Marks

Want to know more about UPSC Civil Services

Related Questions

How Can I be a CID officer?

-Manjeet kumarUpdated on August 17, 2020 08:05 PM
  • 1 Answer
Samiksha Rautela, Student / Alumni

Dear Student,

To become a CID officer, it is of utmost importance to fulfil the basic eligibility criteria or the career path. 

Mentioned below are ways that you can adopt to be a successful CID officer.

  • Join the police force as assistant police or a Hawaldar as per the qualification. Qualify the internal exams as it can help in joining the department of CID.

  • Pass the UPSC exam, after graduation (in any stream) and join the team of CID as an Assistant sub-inspector.

  • Clear the Graduation in criminology and qualify the UPSC exam. It also helps in joining the CID ...


What are the best books to prepare for UPSC CDS? What are the best coaching centers for UPSC CDS?

-SairamgorantlaUpdated on July 15, 2020 01:47 PM
  • 1 Answer
Jayita Ekka, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

Here are some of the best books to prepare for the Union Public Service Commission Combined Defence Services (UPSC CDS) exam:

  • NCERT Books - For History and Geography
  • High School English Grammar by Wren and Martin and Word Power Made Easy - For English
  • Pathfinder for CDS by Arihant
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Agarwal

Apart from that, keep yourself updated with the latest GK and current affairs by regularly reading the newspaper. Reading the Pratiyogita Darpan magazine is also highly recommended for UPSC CDS aspirants.

You can also refer to our UPSC CDS exam preparation tips ...


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