UPSC Syllabus 2024: Comprehensive Guide for Civil Services Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts one of India’s most prestigious examinations, the Civil Services Examination (CSE). The CSE assesses a candidate’s knowledge, aptitude, and analytical abilities across a wide range of subjects. To help candidates prepare effectively, we present a detailed guide on the UPSC Syllabus 2024 for both the Prelims and Mains examinations.

Understanding the UPSC Exam Structure

The UPSC examination consists of three stages:

  • Preliminary Examination (Prelims)
  • Main Examination (Mains)
  • Personality Test (Interview)

The Preliminary Examination serves as a screening test, while the Main Examination and the Personality Test determine the final selection. It’s crucial to understand the UPSC Syllabus for each phase to prepare effectively.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024

The Preliminary Examination consists of two objective-type papers: General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II, also known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). These papers cover a variety of subjects, including history, geography, economics, politics, environment, science, and current affairs.

General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

This paper covers a wide range of topics:

  • Current events of National & International importance.
  • History of India & Indian National Movement.
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

General Studies Paper-II Syllabus (CSAT)

This paper assesses a candidate’s aptitude and covers topics such as:

  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability.
  • Decision making & problem solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

UPSC Mains Syllabus 2024

The Main Examination is more comprehensive and includes nine papers, including one essay paper, four General Studies papers, two optional subject papers, and two language papers (both qualifying in nature).

Qualifying Papers

The qualifying papers in the Mains Examination include one paper in an Indian language selected by the candidate and one paper in English. These papers are matriculation level and aim to assess the candidate’s proficiency in the chosen languages. Although these papers are qualifying, a candidate must score at least 25% in each to have their other papers evaluated.

Essay Paper

The essay paper tests the candidate’s ability to articulate their thoughts coherently and succinctly. Candidates may be asked to write essays on multiple topics.

General Studies Papers

The General Studies papers cover a wide range of topics:

  • GS Paper-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
  • GS Paper-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
  • GS Paper-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
  • GS Paper-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

Optional Subject Papers

Candidates have the flexibility to choose any one optional subject for the examination. The choice of the optional subject can significantly impact a candidate’s overall score.

UPSC Interview Syllabus 2024

The final stage of the UPSC examination is the Personality Test or Interview. This stage doesn’t have a prescribed syllabus. The interview assesses a candidate’s personal suitability for a career in public service. The testers evaluate the mental and social traits of the candidate, including mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion, and leadership.

UPSC Syllabus 2024: Final Thoughts

The UPSC syllabus is extensive and requires thorough preparation. Understanding the syllabus is the first step towards a structured and focused preparation. Candidates should align their preparation with the syllabus and regularly revise the topics to ensure a good performance in the examination.

Remember, the UPSC examination is not merely a test of knowledge. It assesses a candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. Therefore, develop an in-depth understanding of each topic and stay updated with current affairs to enhance your chances of success.

Best of luck with your preparation!

Download the UPSC Syllabus 2024 PDF here.

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