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UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024

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The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Preliminary Examination is the starting and first stage of the Civil Service Examination. To clear the UPSC Examination aspirants must have a deep understanding of the syllabus of UPSC Prelims. The UPSC Preliminary Syllabus Examination consists of two papers General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper- II( CSAT). In this article, we will understand the syllabus of UPSC Prelims, providing a proper overview of the subjects and topics to be covered. Candidates need to clear this stage of UPSC Prelims as this stage is a screening test that qualifies aspirants for the UPSC Mains exams which is the second stage of the Exam.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Service Examination (CSE) to select candidates for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and other civil services. The CSE consists of three stages: Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Personality Test.

The Preliminary Examination is the first stage of the CSE. It consists of two compulsory papers: General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II (CSAT).

Exam Pattern & Syllabus For UPSC Prelims
Two Compulsory Papers General Studies Paper – I & General Studies Paper – II(CSAT)

Number of Questions (GS Paper – I)


Number of Question(CSAT)


Total Number of Marks

Total – 400

  • GS Paper – I- 200 Marks
  • CSAT – 200 Marks

Negative Marking

1/3 of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer

Time Allotted Two hours for each exam: GS Paper – I- 2hrs CSAT – 2hrs

UPSC Prelims Syllabus: General Studies Paper – I

The General Studies Paper – I of UPSC Prelims covers a wide range of subjects that aim to get the knowledge and understanding of candidates in various aspects.

Topic Subtopics
History Ancient Indian History, Medieval Indian History, Modern Indian History, Indian National Movement, World History
Geography Physical Geography, Human Geography, Economic Geography, Environment and Ecology
Polity and Governance Indian Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
Economics and Social Development Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
General Science Science, Technology, and Social Science
Current Affairs National and International Current Affairs

The Syllabus for General Studies Paper – I Covers the following given topics:

  1. Current events of national and international importance: It is important to mainly focus on events of significance from a social, economic, political, and environmental standpoint. Candidates must stay updated with the latest happenings at the international and national levels.
  2. History of India and the Indian National Movement: understanding Indian history, including ancient, medieval, and modern periods, is important. Aspirants should also be well-versed in the Indian freedom struggle and the contributions of various leaders.
  3. Indian and World Geography – Indian and World Geography generally covers the physical, social, and economic geography of India and the world. The main topics that are included are the physical features of India, climate, urbanization, resources, population, global geography, transportation, and regional geography.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance – Candidates should have a deep knowledge of the Indian Constitution, governance structures, political systems, and public policies. Having an understanding of topics like Panchayati Raj, political ideologies, and rights issues is essential.
  5. Economic and Social Development – This segment focuses on India’s economic development, social issues, and government initiatives for inclusive growth. Topics include sustainable development, poverty, demographic trends, social sector schemes, and economic planning.
  6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – Topics that come under this are environmental concepts, biodiversity conservation, ecological balance, climate change, and related national and international initiatives. Candidate must have a better understanding of these topics accordingly.
  7. General Science – This particular section covers basic scientific concepts, recent developments in science and technology, and their uses in everyday life. Aspirants should be familiar with topics from biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science.

Aspirants preparing for General Studies Paper – I should learn and understand every topic of these subjects. It is also important for them to solve previous year’s question papers that enhance their time management and familiarity with exam patterns. Candidates need to keep themselves updated with the latest development by reading newspapers, going through online resources, reading magazines, and other reliable news outlets.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus: General Studies Paper – II (CSAT)

The General Studies Paper-II is also known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). General Studies Paper- II is developed to check the aptitude and reasoning ability of the candidate.

Topic Subtopics
Comprehension Reading Comprehension, Para Jumbles, Sentence Completion, etc.
Interpersonal Skills Communication Skills, Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability, Decision Making and Problem Solving, General Mental Ability

The syllabus for CSAT includes the following topics:

  • Comprehension: The reading and Comprehension skills of the aspirants will be tested through passages and questions based will be based on them. It shows their ability to analyze and understand their written information.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills: In this section, one must evaluate aspirants’ communication abilities, both verbal and non-verbal, and their knowledge of effective interpersonal skills.
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability: Aspirants thinking ability and analytical abilities will be tested through various questions, including syllogisms, analogies, logical deductions, and data interpretation.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving: Questions are framed in this section to evaluate their approach to critical situations and their ability to find effective solutions. This particular section checks the candidate’s problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • General mental ability: Candidates’ general mental ability, including logical, numerical, and verbal reasoning, will be tested in this section. Topics that are included in this General mental ability are series, coding-decoding, direction sense, blood relations, etc.
  • Basic numeracy: Candidates should have a good grasp of basic numerical concepts, such as numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, and data interpretation using charts, graphs, tables, and data sufficiency. Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.)

Candidates Preparing for General Studies Paper – II(CSAT) should enhance their Comprehension, Decision-making, and problem-solving skills and Basic numeracy ability. Regular practice and solving previous question papers will help candidates to excel in exams.


Preparing with a correct strategy a having a proper roadmap will help candidates to excel in examinations. Candidates must stay updated with the latest news and development all around the world. Furthermore, there are certain topics from prelims that are part of the UPSC Syllabus for the main examination. Aspirants must analyze the proper topic and prepare properly with the help of previous papers and mock interviews.

FAQs on UPSC Prelims Syllabus

1. Can I appear for UPSC Prelims multiple times?

Answer: Yes,One can appear for UPSC Prelims multiple times, there is no limitation for applying for the examination. However, there is a certain age limit and certain restrictions on different categories on the number of attempts as mentioned by UPSC.

2. What is the duration of the General Studies (CSAT) paper?

Answer: Candidates are required to complete their examination of the CSAT (General Studies) paper is generally Two hours (120 minutes).

3. Is UPSC Prelims bilingual?

Answer: Yes, Candidates can choose the medium in which they wish to attempt the exam.UPSC Prelims question papers are provided in both Hindi and English Language.

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Last Updated : 11 Sep, 2023
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