UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023 with PDF & Prelims Exam Pattern

When you are going to prepare for the UPSC Civil service Exam 2023 – 24 .it is very important to be well aware of the UPSC syllabus and exam pattern. It will be easy for you to understand the syllabus if you have the knowledge of the UPSC CSE exam pattern. This exam is conducted by UPSC every year so that they can recruit the aspirants for All India Services. It is essential for you to understand the UPSC exam pattern clearly.

The pattern of the UPSC Prelims exam has been changed in 2011 although the syllabus has remained the same. In this article, we will discuss the UPSC prelims syllabus in depth. Prelims exam will be held on June 5, 2022, for the upcoming UPSC recruitment. so, aspirants should prepare themselves accordingly. The Prelims exam is just a screening test of the Civil Service exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. This exam is also known as UPSC Prelims, IAS prelims etc. the official notification will be released in February 2020. UPSC prelims syllabus will be mentioned with the notification.

The syllabus of the UPSC Prelims exam can be divided into two parts: General studies paper 1, General Studies paper 2 or CSAT exam.

General studies paper 1General studies paper 1 comprises numerous topics from History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Governance and General Science.

The sub-topics are.

  • 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

Join Our Whatsapp Group For Current Affairs Compilation & Many More Material

Ancient History

  • Prehistoric Times
  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Rig Vedic Period
  • Later Vedic Period
  • Jainism
  • Buddhism
  • Mahajanapadas
  • Mauryan Period
  • Post-Mauryan Period
  • Gupta Period
  • Harshavardhana Period
  • Sangam Period (South-Indian Dynasties)

Medieval History

  • Major Dynasties of Early Medieval India (Pratiharas, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas)
  • Cholas and South-Indian Kingdoms
  • Early Muslim Invasions
  • The Delhi Sultanate
  • Afghans, Rajputs & Mughals
  • Establishment of North-Indian Empire
  • The Mughal Empire
  • Marathas and the Other Indian States
  • The decline of the Mughal Empire
  • Vijaynagar Empire

Modern History

  • Advent of Europeans
  • British Expansion
  • Administration before 1857
  • Economic Policies of the British
  • Impact of British Administration
  • Revolt of 1857
  • Administrative Changes after 1857
  • Development of Civil Services
  • Development of Education
  • Development of Press
  • Socio-Religious Reforms
  • Peasant Movements
  • Revolutionary Nationalism
  • Indian National Movement-I (1905-1918)
  • Indian National Movement-II (1918-1929)
  • Indian National Movement-III (1930-1947)
  • Governors-General and Viceroys of India
  • Constitutional Development of Indian

Art and culture

  • Architecture
  • Sculpture
  • Paintings
  • Pottery Tradition
  • Numismatics
  • Performing Arts
  • Religion and Literature
  • National and Regional Festivals


  • Evolution of the Constitution
  • Salient Features of Indian Constitution
  • Union & Its Territory
  • Citizenship
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Directive Principles of State Policy
  • Fundamental Duties
  • System of Governance
  • Union Executive
  • Union Legislature
  • State Executive
  • State Legislature
  • Local Government
  • UT and Special Areas
  • Judiciary
  • Constitutional & Non-Constitutional Bodies
  • Political Dynamics (Political Parties, Election, Pressure Groups)
  • Governance
  • International Relations


  • General Geography
    • Universe
    • Earth Evolution
  • Geomorphology
    • Earth’s Interior
    • Geology and Rock System
    • Geomorphic Process
    • Earthquakes and Volcanism
    • Distribution of Continents and Oceans
    • Landforms and their evolution
    • Landforms across the world
  • Oceanography
    • Hydrosphere
    • Submarine Relief Features
    • Temperature and Salinity
    • Waves, Oceans, Currents, Tides
    • Marine Resources
    • Ocean, Deposits and Corals
  • Climatology
    • Atmosphere
    • Inversion of Temperature
    • Insolation and Heat Budget
    • Air Mass, Fronts, Cyclones and Jet Streams
    • Wind and Pressure Belts
    • Precipitation
    • Climate Zones of the World
  • Biogeography
    • Soil Characteristics
    • Vegetation Resources
  • Human and Economic Geography
    • Demography and Census
    • Human Development
    • Economic Activities
    • Transport and Communication
    • International Trade
    • Settlement
  • Indian Geography
    • Physiography of India
    • Drainage System
    • Climate
    • Soils in India
    • Natural Vegetation
    • Population
    • Settlements and Urbanization
    • Land Resource
    • Mineral Resource
    • Energy Resource
    • Agriculture and Basic Terminology
    • Recent development in agriculture
    • Productivity of Crops
    • Industry
    • Transport
    • Recent developments in Industry and Transport
  • World Regional Geography
    • Continents, Countries, and Cities
    • Location in News
  • Ecology & Environment
    • Origin of Life Forms
    • Basic Concepts of Ecology
    • Ecosystem Functions
    • Population Ecology
    • Adaptation of Species and Interactions
    • Terrestrial Ecosystem
    • Aquatic Ecosystem
    • Nutrient Cycling
  • Biodiversity
    • Basics of Biodiversity
    • Animal and Plant Diversity
    • Threats to Biodiversity
    • Biodiversity Conservation
    • Estuaries
    • Mangroves
    • Coral Reliefs
    • Wetlands
  • Resource Degradation and Management
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Governance


  • Basic Concepts
    • Macroeconomic Concepts
    • Microeconomic Concepts
  • Economic Measurements
    • National Income & Its Calculation
    • Economic Growth and Development
    • Inflation
  • Money & Banking
    • Money Function & Classification
    • Financial Markets & Its Instruments
    • Banking Structure in India
  • Public Finance in India
    • Budgeting
    • Fiscal Policy
    • Center-state Distribution
    • Tax Structure in India
  • Planning
    • Meaning, Objective & History
    • Planning Institutions
    • Five Year Plans in India
    • NITI Aayog
  • Open Economy
    • Foreign Trade Concepts
    • International Organizations
    • Trade Agreements
    • Recent Development
  • Economic Sectors
    • Poverty
    • Employment and Unemployment
  • Government Schemes and Programmes

General science

  • Science & Technology in India
  • Space
  • IT and Communication
  • Materials, Nanotechnology and Robotics
  • Defense
  • Nuclear Technology
  • Intellectual Property Rights and Other Miscellaneous Issues
  • Biotechnology

General Studies paper 2 General studies is also known as the civil service aptitude test or CSAT exam. This exam is a qualifying exam and you will need 33% marks to qualify. This exam is about checking the analytical skills of the candidates.

  • 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)

A new format for the Civil Service Prelims exam was introduced by UPSC in 2011. CSAT has been included in the form of General Studies paper 2 in the UPSC syllabus in Hindi prelims. This is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%. Therefore, only marks obtained in General Studies paper 1 are counted for the prelims ranking. There is no need to devote much time to the CSAT paper as you need only 33% in this exam. You should take the previous year’s question papers for the CSAT exam. It will help you to understand the demand of the subject and prelims syllabus in Hindi.

After solving the previous year’s question papers, you should take the mock test series of Youth Destination. try to solve the question using logic and also learn the logic that you have used in the question to solve the problems. You should focus on mathematics, English, logical reasoning, General mental ability, data interpretation, decision-making and problem-solving etc. Don’t ignore this paper due to its qualifying nature.

Current affairs

UPSC Prelims and mains exam as well focus on dynamic questions even from the static portion of the syllabus. You will find more questions based on some recent issues in the news. The Economy and Environment portion also focus on current events. Candidates should follow Youth Destination Monthly magazine for Current Affairs Preparation. Apart from this, Yojana magazine, Kurukshetra magazine, The Hindu newspaper, The Indian Express newspaper, economic and political weekly, Press information Bureau release are also important resources for current affairs. You can also go for the gist of Yojana, comprehensive daily news analysis by Youth Destination, video analysis of ‘The Hindu’ etc.

Keep in mind that some topics from the Prelims syllabus in Hindi are also part of the UPSC mains exam syllabus. Therefore, candidates should analyze the topics and exam pattern comprehensively so that they can make their preparation strategy accordingly. The vastness and depth of the UPSC syllabus in Hindi prelims make this exam more challenging.

Prelims exam consists of MCQ type of questions while mains exam is considered tougher than Prelims exam. If you have proper time you should start prelims and mains preparation altogether. You will need a lot of critical thinking and writing skills for the mains exam, while the Prelims exam is only a screening test based on factual knowledge.

If you want to fulfill your dream of becoming a Civil servant then the UPSC Prelims exam is the first stage that you have to clear. Every year lakhs of candidates appear in the Prelims exam but only 3 out of 100 candidates clear the cutoff score. So, you should make a well-planned strategy and dedicated approach to clear this exam. Don’t take this exam lightly.

Go to the previous year’s question papers before starting your prelims preparation. It will give you a clear idea about the nature of the exam and the types of questions asked. Moreover, you should also practice mock test series to recognize strengths and weaknesses. Comprehensive coverage of all subjects mentioned in the prelims syllabus in Hindi, proper time management and having a fixed schedule will help you crack the exam.

Candidates should strengthen their basic knowledge about important subjects like History, Geography, Polity, Economy and also improve their understanding of current affairs.


  1. The level of difficulty for History questions has increased in recent years. The number of questions has also increased from history.
  2. preparation for the History subject is more difficult and time-consuming due to the vastness of the History subject.
  3. Questions are asked from the modern History section especially the period between 1857 to 1947.
  4. Ancient and Medieval History is generally factual while social, economic, conceptual questions are often asked from Modern India.
  5. Covering the complete syllabus of History comprehensively, you should follow NCERT books.
  • History by RBD publication
  • Indian art and culture by Nitin Singhania


The syllabus of Geography for UPSC Prelims syllabus has been divided into Indian Geography, World geography and General Geography. Questions in the Prelims exam are asked from Indian geography about 70%.

Candidates should have a proper understanding of the physical aspects of India and clarity of locations.

You should emphasize conceptual aspects in Physical and General Geography.

Reading newspapers and map reading will help to cover World Geography because it emphasizes more on current affairs.

You can get mastery in this subject with the least effort. NCERT textbooks on Geography from class 6th to 12th are good for Geography preparation. Geography by RBD publication, Geography book by Majid Hussain and GC Leong are very important books.


By analyzing previous year’s question papers of General Studies paper 1, you can easily see the importance of Indian Polity in the UPSC Prelims exam. The questions are frequently being asked from topics such as fundamental rights, fundamental duties, constitutional development, directive principles of State policy, Indian judiciary, Union Government,  list of various amendments in the constitution, structure of India, Election Process, Panchayati Raj.

NCERT books are a good source to cover the basic and static parts of the above-mentioned topics. Moreover,  Polity by RBD publication and polity book by Laxmikant and DD Basu are some good reference books. Newspapers and monthly magazines are important along with good knowledge of provisions of the constitution.


In this section, most of the questions are asked from macroeconomics and you should also have sufficient knowledge about international economics, industry, economics, industry, money and banking, agriculture sector, public finance and reform, Economic, survey and budget,, global economic situation, external sector, important International organizations are significant for the Indian Economy subject.

Many questions of Economics are current affairs based on the latest trend of the UPSC exam. Candidates should have a complete understanding of the NCERT books class 11th on Indian economy for a good understanding of the subject. Youth subject. Youth Destination monthly magazines for current affairs, newspapers are also useful to cover current affairs.


The significance of the environment section has increased in the civil service preliminary exam in recent years and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. This subject plays an important role in clearing prelims exams because approx 15 to 25 questions are asked from this section. Biology NCERT books from class 11th to class 12th are best to clear the basics of Environment and Ecology. Youth Destination environment’s notes, newspaper and monthly magazine are also helpful to cover current affairs for the environment section.

General science and technology

Questions based on basic science are not asked in the Prelims exam in recent trends. T.This topic can be covered from NCERT Science textbooks. NCERTs are important to score good marks in Science and technology topics. Don’t ignore these basic science concepts. Check the previous year’s question papers. It will give you an understanding of the topics and the nature of the questions which are being asked in the last years. Your focus should be mainly on current affairs and the latest basics. Youth destination mock test series monthly magazines and newspapers are also helpful.

Current affairs preparation

Current affairs are highly important at all the three stages of the UPSC exam: preliminary, mains and interview. There are a lot of questions asked directly or indirectly from the current affair with the static part of the Prelims syllabus in Hindi. The current affairs section covers almost around 20 to 30% of the entire paper. so, you should cover this section comprehensively. Important topics from current affairs are events of national and international importance, sports, personalities in various fields, UN and its agency and heads of corporate sectors.

Youth Destination monthly current affairs magazine covers almost all the important topics. Reading newspapers and making daily notes out of them is also helpful.

NCERT books

NCERT books are written in a very simple language therefore they play a crucial role in your prelims preparation. They not only provide a lucid and neutral perspective but also help to understand the concepts clearly. Many questions have been asked directly from NCERT books in the recent trends. Therefore, if you are preparing for the civil service exam, then you should go for standard books after finishing NCERT books.

What to do in the last month for the Prelims exam

  • You should revise the old stuff in the last month after completing the static part. You should focus on revising the current affairs now.
  • Try to solve mock test series as much as possible. It will help to find out your strengths and weaknesses and you can work on your weaknesses after analyzing the test series.
  • Revise the highlighted important points from NCERT books this time.
  • Going through the previous year’s paper gives insight into the pattern of questions being asked.
  • Make notes out of the newspaper that you are following regularly and also read Youth Destination monthly magazine to get additional benefits.
  • Solve at least 25 to 30 mock papers and analyze your performance and improve accordingly.
  • Despite being a qualifying paper, the basic level of preparation is necessary for the CSAT exam. Solving previous year’s papers of CSAT will make you feel confident in this paper.
  • Mock test series help to know your preparation level and refine your strategy so that you can score maximum. Solve mock test series in a time-bound manner and you will realize the weak areas in a particular subject where you need to improve. Try to solve a lot of mock test series to test yourself at regular intervals.

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

UPSC conducts the Civil Service exam to test the academy expertise of a candidate and their ability to present in a coherent manner. Therefore, it is crucial for the candidates to have a comprehensive understanding of the UPSC exam pattern.  A better understanding of the UPSC exam pattern would help the aspirants effectively manage their time and make their preparation more efficient. Furthermore, it will be easier for them to align their preparation with the examination needs.

UPSC exam is conducted in 3 phases Preliminary examination, Mains examination and an interview or personality test. In this article, we are going to cover all these three stages and marking schemes for each round.

IAS exam pattern 2023

Candidates who have applied for the 

UPSC exam 2023, have started preparation for the exam. First of all, they must be familiar with the UPSC exam pattern. The prelims exam is scheduled for the fifth of June 2023, the first round of the IAS exam. Candidates who crack the Prelims exam will be shortlisted for the main exam.

And after qualifying for the main exam they will be called for the interview round.

An in-depth understanding of the exam pattern is essential to shape the preparation in the best possible manner. Aspirants must follow a strategic approach to prepare according to the UPSC exam pattern. Therefore it is suggested to keep a printout of the PDF of the UPSC exam syllabus with them while preparing.

Prelims exam pattern

The Prelims exam is scheduled for 5th June 2023 as per the official notification released by UPSC. Prelims exam consists of two papers namely the general studies one and General Studies 2. 

General Studies 2 is also known as CSAT both the papers are objective type and will be conducted on the same day. 

General studies paper first is the merit ranking while CSAT is only qualifying in nature. Candidates will have to secure at least 33% in this exam to qualify for it.

Hence, understand the syllabus carefully so that you crack the exam for the first time.

Keep in mind that the UPSC Prelims exam is conducted to filter the students for the main exam. Marks obtained in this exam would not be counted in preparing the final merit list. candidates also check the UPSC prelim syllabus along with the exam pattern.

Students will be given 2 hours for each paper as per the Prelims exam pattern. General studies paper 1 is a total of 100 questions while General Studies paper 2carries 80 questions. The total mark for each paper is 200 as per UPSC Prelims marking scheme.

UPSC mains exam pattern

It is good to start your preparation for prelims and mains simultaneously. So it is very important to know the UPSC pattern.

Mains exam will be conducted from 16 September 2022 onwards and the candidates who crack the Prelims exam will be eligible to appear for the main exam. 

Marking scheme of UPSC Prelims exam

Each question of the General Studies paper first carries 2 marks while for the CSAT paper 2.5 marks are allowed per question as per the UPSC exam pattern for the Prelims exam. Moreover, there will be a negative marking of the one-third mark allotted to that particular question.

Some changes in UPSC exam pattern

There have been some major or minor changes in the UPSC exam pattern in the past few years. Let us check the change made in the UPSC exam pattern in that particular year

The first change in the UPSC exam pattern was the introduction of the CSAT paper in 2011.

The commission decided to make the UPSC syllabus generic and introduced a new exam pattern in 2012. Paper first and second optional papers had two sessions, two general studies papers and one essay paper also included in this pattern. Students had to choose two subjects from the optional list.

In 2013 UPSC added another general studies paper called ethics in the UPSC syllabus and also made one optional subject with two papers.

The Civil UPSC exam pattern had a few changes in 2014 that’s the paper of the main exam had two topics from each section but it was changed to one.

Moreover, the number of attempts and age limit for General category students also increased. Now they have six attempts rather than 4 and the upper age limit also increased from 30 to 32. 

UPSC made the CSAT paper qualifying in nature in 2015. Students have to secure at least 33% to crack the CSAT paper and the marks scored in the General Studies paper first were taken into consideration for the final merit list.

UPSC mains exam preparation pattern

Since aspirants start their preparation for prelims and mains altogether. They must know the UPSC Mains exam pattern first. UPSC Mains exam 2023 will be scheduled from 16 September 2012 onwards. Candidates who crack the Prelims exam will be eligible to appear for the UPSC mains exam, they will have to give two types of papers: qualifying papers and merit papers as per the exam pattern for mains.

Two papers will be qualifying in nature out of a total of 9 papers. The rest of the four papers are for General Studies and two papers for the optional subjects. Candidates can choose an optional subject for the main exam and all the papers will be descriptive in nature.

Apart from paper A and paper B, all the papers are merit ranking as per the UPSC exam pattern for mains. Paper A and B are qualifying in nature but candidates need to score at least 25% marks in each paper to be considered for the final merit list.

Each paper carries a total of 250 marks is

Additionally, there will be two optional papers in the UPSC mains exam carrying 250 marks as per the UPSC marking scheme. Aspirants can choose any subject they want from the list of UPSC optional subjects.

Interview or personality test is the final round of the UPSC exam candidates who clear the UPSC mains exam will be called for this final round.

The interview round consists of the questions to check candidates’ suitability for civil services and associated responsibilities. They will observe the candidates’ mental and social traits and logical exposition alertness, the balance of judgement, depth, variety of interest, the ability of social cohesion, leadership and moral integrity by asking some general interest questions.

Register now

Youth Destination Facilities