UPSC Prelims Syllabus

The Civil Services Preliminary exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each

  • General Studies Paper I and – which is like the old GS Paper
  • General Studies Paper II). – the new CSAT Paper

UPSC Syllabus for Paper I – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours (Selection for Mains will be decided on the basis of this marks)

  • 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.

UPSC Syllabus for Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours ( Qualifying in nature. You must score minimum 33%marks in this paper)

  • 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).

UPSC Prelims Papers Question Marks and Types:

The questions will be of the form of MCQs – or Multiple Choice Questions choice  type.

Sample Questions:-

Q) Which of the following is the Head of State?

a) Prime Minister

b) President

c) Speaker of Lok Sabha

d) Chairperson of Rajya Sabha


Here, you have to choose one right option amongst the question.

Marking in UPSC Prelims

For each question in GS Paper 1, the below marking is followed :-

Marks for Correct Answer 2
Marks for incorrect Answer -0.67
Marks for questions not attempted 0


For each question in GS Paper 2 (CSAT), the below marking is followed :-

Marks for Correct Answer 2.5
Marks for incorrect Answer -0.83
Marks for questions not attempted 0

Process of evaluation for Prelims:

  1. Your CSAT paper will be evaluated to check if you are meeting the criteria of minimum 33% qualifying marks. That is your score for CSAT should be  67
  2. If you meet the qualifying score of 67 marks in CSAT, a rank list will be prepared on the basis of  GS Paper 1 score.
  3. A cut off will be decided and about 12,000 top rankers (this number is variable every year) will be chosen subject to reservation rules of 50% reservation for OBC, SC & ST candidates.


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