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Exam Pattern & Syllabus for UPSC Prelims Exam

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    Exam Pattern & Syllabus
  • Published
    9th Jul, 2021

Prelims Exam Pattern:

The exam pattern for the Preliminary stage of Civil Services Exam comprise two papers, conducted on single day. Both the papers in IAS Prelims consist of objective-type questions with multiple choice of answers. The candidates are filtered for the mains exam through this stage. However the marks obtained at this stage are not counted towards the final merit list, though candidates have to prepare well for this exam as cut-offs are unpredictable and depend on the average score every year. The details of UPSC Prelims Exam are as follows:

Paper Type No. of Questions Marks Duration Negative Marking
General Studies I Objective 100 200 2 hours Yes
General Studies II (CSAT) Objective 80 200 2 hours yes

Prelims Exam 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.


  • 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).

For holistic coverage of syllabus, Click Here for Micro listing of topics to cover a wide area of the UPSC syllabus which will provide aspirants to cover each and every topic in detail.


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