UPSC Exam Pattern and Syllabus for civil service exam -2020

Knowledge of the UPSC exam pattern is the best way to start your preparation for UPSC CSE (Union public service commission Civil Services Examination) exam. The value of popularity it's also called IAS Exam Pattern.
The UPSC exam pattern is composed by experts for Indian administrative services with perfectness.  According to the UPSC, there are three stages of UPSC Civil Services Examination. The detail information about the UPSC exam pattern is given below with easy steps.

UPSC Exam Pattern and Syllabus for civil service exam
UPSC Exam Pattern and Syllabus for civil service exam

Stage - 1 Preliminary Test -Commonly known as PT exam, in which objective types questions are asked. This exam is just a screening test, after passing it, you get a chance to appear in the next stage of the exam. 
Stage - 2 Main Examination - Students who pass the PT exam have appeared in the main examination. This examination is written which includes both qualifying and result oriented papers.
Stage - 3 Personality Test - This is the last test for the civil service exam. Generally known as Interview. 

UPSC Exam Pattern For  Preliminary Test

This is the first stage exam which aims to shortlist candidates for the second stage exam. The marks obtained in this examination do not contribute to the final result. 

The preliminary exam consists of two multiple choice objective type questions paper. First Paper is GS - I and Second  GS -II (CSAT - Civil service aptitude test ). 400 marks are prescribed for both papers, ie 200 marks for each paper and 2 hours for each paper. Visually handicap students are given 20 minutes of additional time.

In this exam GS - II (CSAT) is only qualifying paper, Which is compulsory 33% marks. The marks of this paper are not added to make the merit of the PT exam. The merit of PT Exam is made only based on GS-I. For which cut-off is determined by UPSC.
The number of questions in GS Paper-I is 100 and the number of questions in GS Paper- II is 80. Both papers are available in Hindi and English language. In the PT exam, negative marking is one - third. It means one correct answer is deducted on every for wrong answers.

UPSC Exam pattern For mains 

After passing the preliminary examination you appear in the main exam. It is the second stage. In this stage, UPSC conducts a written exam for the total number of 1750. There are two types of papers in the written exam. First is Qualifying papers and Second is that which creates merit.
The total number of papers in the main exam is 9, in which two papers are Qualifying with 33% Marks and the marks obtained in 7 papers are counted for merits. In all nine papers, questions and their answers are like short and long essay types.

Qualifying papers

Paper - A 
One of the Indian language exams is described in Schedule 8 of the Indian Constitution. Candidates can choose the language of their choice. 300 marks for this paper.
Paper - B
This paper consists of an English test, which is aimed at the candidates to understand the understanding of the English language. 300 marks are also prescribed for this paper. 

The level of questions asked in paper A and paper-B are of matriculation or its equivalent. Both papers are of qualifying nature, but a minimum of 25% marks is mandatory in each paper. For each paper, 3 hours is fixed

NoteStudents who belong to Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim, for them Paper-A is not compulsory. As well as candidates with hearing impairment provided they can prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their concerned board or university.  

7 Merit oriented papers for Mains

These 7 papers which make merit in the main examination, divided into three parts. All details of the above are given below-
  • Essay (1 paper)
  • General Studies (GS)(4 papers)
  • Optional subject (2 papers )

       Paper - I
250 Marks
3 Hours
General Studies - I
(Indian Heritage and Culture, Salient feature of Indian society, Indian and World History, Geography of India & World.)

250 Marks

3 Hours
      Paper - III
General Studies - II
( Constitution, Governance, Polity, International relations, and Social Justice.)

250 Marks

3 Hours
      Paper - IV
General Studies - III
(Science &Tech, Economy development, Environment,
Biodiversity, Disaster Management, and security.)

250 Marks

3 Hours
      Paper - V
General Studies - IV
(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude.)
250 Marks

3 Hours
  Paper - VI
Optional Subject 
paper - I
250 Marks
3 Hours
    Paper - VII
Optional Subject 
paper - II
250 Marks
3 Hours

UPSC optional subjects for mains

Animal husbandry and veterinary science
Mechanical Engineering
Medical Science
Civil Engineering
Commerce and Accountancy
Political science and International relationship
Electric engineering
Public Administration
Literature (anyone in 23 languages) List is below 
       Literature Subjects
Assamese, Bangali, Dongri, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannad, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Uriya, Panjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telgu and Urdu.

Interview or personality Test

This is the last and final round for the UPSC civil service exam. The interview is apart of the mains exam, But it is considered different due to having an oral test. For this, 275 marks are fixed while the time limit is not fixed. The time can be 10 minutes or even 30 minutes, which is not guaranteed. Your interview marks are added to merit.
After passing the main examination UPSC called for Interview. In this stage, UPSC wants to know your talking and Quek decision skills. For this reason, it is also called a psychological test. In this, the attitude and nature of the candidates are also examined. 

UPSC Syllabus for CSE Exam.

UPSC civil service exam syllabus for preliminary and mains exam are different from each other. Here some topics are similar but patterns of both are different. Preliminary is Objective type exam while mains are Descriptive (written) types. The syllabus for both the exams is given below separately.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

There are two Objective types of questions paper in the preliminary exam. 200 Marks and 2 hours times for each paper. Negative marking is one third.

Paper - I (General Studies)

  • National and International current events.
  • History of India and Indian national movement.
  • Geography of India and World.     Physical and Human Geography, Map Studies, etc.
  • Indian Polity, Indian Constitution and Governance. Panchayati Raj, Important Articles, Rights, political system, etc.
  • Social and Economic development, Sustainable development, Poverty, Unemployment, Inclusion, Demography, Social sector initiatives, etc.
  • Issues on Environments, Ecology, Biodiversity, pollution, etc.
  • General Science (10th Levels)
  • Science and technology

Paper-II ( CSAT )

  • Hindi and English Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills with Communication skills. Decision making
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Abilities, Mental Abilities.
  • Mathematics and Statistics (graphs, Chart, Tables, Data sufficiency, etc.) Class 10th Levels.
  • Decision making and Problem-solving.

The main exam consists of nine papers in total. All are descriptive type written test. All the papers have included topics related to different fields, whose detailed information is given below. In this exam, candidates can choose Hindi or English as the medium for writing.

                                      Paper - A

Paper -A is Indian languages, 300Marks,      Qualifying Nature
In this paper, candidates choose a modern Indian language, according to your wish. In this, questions are related to 10th level Grammar. The topics are following
  •  Comprehension and related questions
  • Prices writing
  • Translation, English to Hindi or other Indian languages.
  • Vocabulary and usages
Short Essay

                                      Paper - B

Paper -B is English, 300Marks, Qualifying Nature.

The purpose of this paper is to test the candidate's understanding of reading and writing in the English language. Whose standard is of the 10th level. In this paper, questions are asked from Grammar. The topics are given below-
  • Comprehension and related questions
  • Prices writing
  • Translation, English to Hindi or other Indian languages.
  • Vocabulary and usages
  • Short Essay

                                    Paper - I

                        Essay, 250 Marks,
In this paper, candidates are given the option of some specific subjects like economic, social, technology, current issues, etc. of which it is mandatory to write an essay on one of them. In this paper, I expected to candidate to write a pithy article keeping his views on the relevant subject close. Candidates can write in their preferred medium or language. There is no compulsion of word limit. Effective and factual answers are given more importance.


                         GS - I, 250 Marks
For this paper following topics to be covered -
  • Indian Heritage and Culture -                           India's Heritage, Art, Literature, and    Architecture aspects from ancient times till now.
  •  Indian and World History - Modern History of India - 
  •  Important events, personalities, and issues from the mid 18th century to the present.
  • Indian freedom struggle - various stages and contributions or contributors in different regions of the country.
  • Consolidation and reorganization of native states after independence.
  • World History - Important events of world history that took place in the 18th century such as industrial revolution, world war, the development of national boundaries, colonialism, Dissolution.Political philosophy like capitalism, socialism, communism, etc. and its impact and form on society
  •  Geography of India & World - 
  • Physical geography and their characteristics of India and the world.
  • Major natural resources and their distribution in India and the world(Including South Asia)
  • Important geophysical phenomena, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, etc.
  • Geographical characteristics and their locations -  
  • Topography created by Maru, River, Glacier, etc.
  • Changes in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

  • The salient feature of Indian society -
  • The verses of India and the characteristics of Indian society like social, cultural, ethnic, tribal community, etc.
  • Women and their organizations
  • Population and its related Issues
  • Poverty and development issues
  • Urbanization, problem, and treatment
  • Impact of Globalization on Indian Society
  • Social empowerment, regionalism, communalism, and secularism.
  • Factors responsible for the localization of primary, secondary and third sector industries in different parts of India and the world.

                                  Paper - III

                           GS - II, 250 Marks
  • Indian Constitution & Indian Polity -
  • Historical development basis and characteristics of the Indian Constitution.
  • Constitution amendments, important provisions and basic structures.
  • Union and state functions, issues and challenges related to a federal structure, decentralization of powers, Local financial system and their challenges.
  • Separation of powers between different bodies, settlement of disputes of institutions
  • Comparison of constitutional schemes with different countries.
  • Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies - Structure, functioning, powers, privileges and issues arising.
  • The structure, organization, and functions of the government's executive and Judiciary departments and the ministry, Pressure groups and their roles in formal or informal unions and regimes.
  • Key features of the Representation of the People Act.
  • Appointment of various constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities.
  •  Governance - 
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Interventions for issues arising out of government policies and development in various areas, design, and implementation of plans.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable groups of the population by the Central and State Government
  • Mechanisms, institutions, laws, and bodies constituted for the betterment of vulnerable groups.
  • Development processes, industry, NGOs, SHGs, various associations and groups, donors, charities, institutional and role of other stakeholders.
  • International relations - 
  • Relations with India and their neighbouring countries.
  • Regional, bilateral and global agreements, Deemed to affect the interests of India.
  • Impact of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on Indian migrants.
  • Important International institutions, agencies, and their structure and mandate.
  • Social Justice - 
  • Governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance - models, applications, successes, capabilities and Important aspects of boundaries; Citizens, Charter, Accountability and Transparency and other measures. Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • Health, Education, Issues related to development and management of social services related to human resources, Issues related to poverty and hunger, etc.

                                  Paper - IV

                      GS - III, 250 Marks
  • Economic & development -
  • Planning and related issues of the Indian economy, resources, employment, and development.
  • Inclusive development and related issues.
  • Government Budget and related topics.
  • Different types of crops, irrigation sources, irrigation systems, agricultural produce, and related issues in different parts of the country.
  • Major commercial crops for transportation and marketing E-Technology to help farmers.
  • Agricultural subsidies (direct and indirect), MSP (minimum support prices) and related issues.
  • Objectives, Functions, and Reforms of  PDS (Public Distribution System). Subjects related to buffer stock and food security, animal husbandry, etc.
  • Food Processing and Related Industries in India - Need, Scope, and Importance. Supply chain management.
  • Land Reforms and Related Work in India.
  • Impact of liberalization on the Indian economy, new industrial policy and changes in it and its effect on industrial development.
  • Infrastructure: Road, Energy, Ports, Airports, Railways, etc.
  • Investment Model of India.
  • Science & Tech -
  • Developments in everyday life and their applications and influence Indian achievements in science and technology; Indigenize technology and develop new technology.
  •  Indigenization of technology and development of new technologies.
  • Awareness in the field of issues related to space, computers, robotics, IT, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and intellectual property rights.
  •  Environment  -
  • Biodiversity, Environmental pollution, degradation and protection, environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster Management - 
  • Various natural and human disasters and disaster management.
  • Security -
  •  Relationship between the development of extremism and their spread.
  •  Role of external state and non-state actors in internal security and creating challenges.
  •  Cybersecurity and internal security challenges through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; Money-laundering and its use.
  •  Security challenges and their management in border areas; Organized crime relationship with terrorism.
  •  Various security forces, agencies, and their mandates.

                                  Paper - V

                         GS - IV, 250 Marks
This question paper contains questions that will reveal the candidates' loyalty to public life, their aptitude and their attitude towards honest matters, and the will of the society will be tested on the various issues of behaviour and solutions to the problems faced. Question papers to test include a case study of a case. The following topics will be covered mainly in this paper.
  • Ethics and Human Interrelationship:
  • The essence of ethics in human activity, its determinants, and consequences, the dimension of ethics, ethics in private and public relations.
  • Human Values ​​- Education from the life and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators.
  • Role of family, society and educational institutions in developing values. 
  • Expression :
  • Its influence and relationship in the context of content structure, work, thought, and behaviour.
  • Cultivating moral and political interest, influence and consent.
  • Interest and basic values ​​for civil service, integrity, impartiality.
  • May you surrender to public service.
  • Support, tolerance, and compassion for the weaker sections.
  • Emotional intelligence :
  • Concepts and dimensions, their utility and use in governance.
  • Contribution of various moral thinkers and philosophers of India and the world.
  • Public or civil service values ​​and ethics in public administration:
  • Situation and problems, ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions, 
  • Law, rules, regulation, and accountability as sources of ethical guidance.
  • Strengthening moral values ​​in governance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Integrity in governance:
  • Public service concept
  • The philosophical basis of governance and honesty
  • Information Exchange and Transparency in Government, Right to Information (RTI)
  • Ethics Code of Conduct
  • Challenges of corruption, etc.

                                Paper - VI

                    Optional subject paper - I

                                Paper -VII

                  Optional subject paper - II
Note:- Candidates may choose any one Optional subjects from amongst the list of optional subjects are given above. There will be two papers of the chosen subject which have to be given as Paper VI and Paper VII.

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Disclaimer - All the information which has been maintained above is taken from various sources and information released by UPSC. I tried to write the given information without error. However, you can comment on information about any improvement.

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