UPSC Syllabus 2021

Understanding of UPSC Syllabus 2021 will give candidates an insight into the topics they have to prepare for the entire recruitment process of the exam. If you are a Civil Service Aspirant, a thorough knowledge of IAS Exam Pattern and IAS Syllabus will give you an edge in your preparation. 

Civil Services Examination is widely known as one of the most difficult and coveted examinations in India. To understand the 3 distinctive stages in which the examination is conducted, it is important for the aspirants to understand the syllabus thoroughly.

Union Public Service Commission which conducts the Civil Services Exam every year follows a standard exam pattern for the 3 stages, viz, Prelims, Mains, and Interview; after completion of which the board selects the candidates based on their marks and ranks for the various services like, Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Foreign Services (IFS) and other services categories in Group A and Group B.

However, different stages of the IAS exam have different syllabus. The UPSC Prelims syllabus focuses on general and societal awareness which is tested by objective-type (MCQ) questions. The UPSC Mains syllabus is much more comprehensive as this stage comprises nine theory papers, and the final interview stages tests the overall personality of the candidate by the competent board members.

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Syllabus of UPSC CSE Prelims Exam

IAS Prelims exam consist of 2 papers, both of which are of objective type. Paper-I General Studies & Paper-II CSAT are the two papers conducted in the Preliminary phase of UPSC CSE.

Paper-I 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.

Check Detailed IAS Prelims Syllabus

Syllabus of UPSC CSE Mains Exam

IAS Mains exam consist of 9 papers. 2 of them are qualifying papers, the marks of which are not counted in merit, but UPSC board checks the further papers only if the candidate qualifies these 2 papers –

Paper A and Paper B

  • Paper A- Modern Indian Language

  • Paper B- English Language

Both consist of 300 marks each

Papers to be counted in the merit list:



All the 7 papers consists of 250 marks each and makes the total 1750 marks

Unlike Prelims examination, IAS Mains is more focused on writing, thinking, and analytical skills. Know more about UPSC Mains Test Series and solve as many as you can to enhance your writing skills and get a fair idea on exam pattern and probable questions, covering both the static and dynamic part of the syllabus

Check Detailed IAS Mains Syllabus (Button) | link to Mains Syllabus

Check Detailed IAS Mains Syllabus

Personality Test

In the last stage of Civil Services Examination, the candidates are interviewed by the board of competent and unbiased observers, who tests the overall personality of the candidates based on the Detailed Application form (DAF), which every candidate has to fill before the Mains Examination.

  • The objective of this Personality test is to judge the candidates personal suitability for the various positions allowed.

  • This is not an assessment of intellectual abilities, but the overall personality of the candidate, viz, his social traits, confidence, empathy, personal interest, critical power of assimilation, logical reasoning, balance of judgement, leadership traits, general intellect and moral integrity. 

  • The test consists of total 250 marks

Know about Chanakya’s Mock interview here and watch videos of previously held mock interviews to understand the actual UPSC Interview atmosphere

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