Civil Services Syllabus 2021

Civil Services Syllabus 2021

Civil Services Syllabus 2020

Candidates are advised to go through the Syllabus published below for the
Preliminary Examination 2020 and the Main Examination 2021, as periodic revision of syllabus has been done
in several subjects.

The Civil services exam is conducted in three phases:

Part A: Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type)

Part B: Civil Services (Mains) Examination (Descriptive Type)

Part C: Personal Interview (Personality Test)

Part A: UPSC Preliminary Examination (400 Marks)

The Preliminary Examination is composed of two components:

Paper Subjects Total Marks Duration
I General Studies (GS) 200 2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
II CSAT 200 2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)
  • Syllabus for GS Paper (Prelims Paper I)

    • 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 specialisation.
    • General Science
  • Syllabus for CSAT Paper (Prelims Paper II)

    • 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.

Part B: UPSC Mains Examination (1750 Marks)

The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of
understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will
be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study.
The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which
will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s
basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting
socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and
succinct answers.
The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the
examination is broadly of the honours degree 1evel i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree
and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level
corresponds to the bachelors’ degree.

Syllabi of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination are given as
follows :

  • The UPSC Mains exam consists of 9 papers, out of which two are qualifying papers of 300 marks each.
  • The two qualifying papers are:
    • Any Indian Language
    • English Language Paper
  • The rest of the seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India or in English.

UPSC Mains Syllabus

Paper Subject Marks
Paper – I Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice) 250
Paper – II General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society) 250
Paper – III General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations) 250
Paper – IV General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management) 250
Paper – V General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude) 250
Paper – VI Optional Subject – Paper I 250
Paper – VII Optional Subject – Paper II 250


The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious
discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian language
The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Précis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.
Indian Languages:—
(i) comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Précis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.
(v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.
Note 1: The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent
standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be
counted for ranking.
Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English
and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).


Safi Ahmed Choudhury

Safi Ahmed Choudhury

Safi is the founder and chief editor of ZoomTutorials Blog, a leading tutorials and technology blogging site specializing in DevOps, SysAdmin and Cloud Technologies to help IT professionals in their day to day work. He is a Senior Cloud and DevOps Solutions Engineer at a leading eCommerce development Company and has more than 8 years of SysAdmin experience working with Fortune 500 companies to solve their most important IT backbones. Safi lives in Hyderabad with his wife and a son.

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