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What is the Syllabus of UPSC Exam 2022?

The UPSC CSE is also popularly known as the IAS exam and is conducted subsequent to the release of the UPSC vacancy memo.

The UPSC exam is no shorter than a marathon I tell you. It has three rounds that you need to clear in order to be selected as an IAS officer. The first round that you’d have to clear is the Prelims, the second round is Mains, and finally, the third round is the personal interviews.

If you are able to make it through as an IAS officer, then you’d be an indispensable part of the bureaucratic setup of our nation. At every level of your posting, you will be making a deep socio-economic impact in the designated territory of work.

Without beating much around the bush let me get straight to the point. The UPSC exam is a 3-phase affair:

  • Phase 1 is the UPSC Preliminary Examination, also called UPSC Prelims. This exam contains questions of the objective type.
  • Phase 2 is the UPSC Mains Examinat1ion, also called UPSC Mains. This exam contains descriptive-type questions.
  • Phase 3 is the Personal Interview round conduct for tes Candidate Personality.

With that being the case, I will now start off with the first part of the article which is the UPSC prelims syllabus.

To give you a brief about the UPSC syllabus, let me tell you, the IAS syllabus comes along with the official notification of UPSC CSE.

The UPSC syllabus is one of the most sought-after documents. While, few describe it as an endless well, it is something that no aspirant can do away with. And getting hold of this is the only task that matters.

More about the IAS syllabus 2022 in the following sections.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Starting with the UPSC Prelims syllabus, it should come as no surprise that the syllabus is quite extensive in and of itself.

The UPSC Prelims examination, on the other hand, is mostly used for screening purposes. As a result, if you pass the Prelims exam, you will be qualified to take the Mains exam.

The UPSC prelims examination comprises 2 papers, namely the General studies paper and the CSAT paper or the Civil Services Aptitude Test.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Paper 1: General Studies (GS)

This GS paper or paper 1 is designed to test your overall knowledge about your surroundings and the world, and also to test how observant you are as a person, by asking questions related to current affairs.

The UPSC 2022 prelims syllabus for the GS paper consists of topics from a wide range of subjects making it extremely difficult to pinpoint the kind of questions that might be asked in the upcoming paper.

Getting back, I have written down the list of major topics from the UPSC Prelims syllabus that you’d need to broadly cover for GS Paper (Paper 1) below:

    • Current events of national and international importance
    • History of India and Indian National Movement
    • Indian & World Geography – Social, Physical, Economic Geography of the World and India.
    • Governance and Polity in India –Rights Issues, Constitution, Public Policy, Political System, Panchayati Raj, etc.
    • General Science
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Paper 2: Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

The CSAT is conducted with the intention to test your reasoning, comprehension, and analytical abilities.

This is because, as a Civil Servant it is of paramount importance that you are able to perceive the world and the problems therein with utmost precision and rationality.

The CSAT paper includes questions from the subjects of Reasoning & Analysis and Reading Comprehension. It also occasionally tests your decision-making skills by asking you questions pertaining to the same.

Rest assured, the decision-making-based questions do not carry negative marking.

    • Comprehension
    • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
    • Analytical ability and Logical Thinking
    • Problem Solving and Decision Making
    • General Mental ability

UPSC Mains Syllabus

The vastness of the IPS/IAS syllabus for the Mains is quite capable of stirring up anxiety-ridden shivers in even the most seasoned aspirants.

The key highlights from the UPSC Mains syllabus for IAS/IPS are provided in the image below:

Mains Syllabus of UPSC CSE

This is because only the candidates that are able to successfully clear Phase 1, or the Prelims, are allowed to appear for the Phase 2 or Mains exam. In other words, only the candidates that are able to score above the UPSC cut offs for the Prelims are then allowed to take the Mains exam.

The Mains exam, fundamentally, is designed to test your understanding of the various subjects falling under the purview of the UPSC 2022 Mains syllabus, and it is designed to make you do so in a time-bound fashion.

An important thing to note is that all the papers except for the 2 language papers included in the UPSC Mains syllabus can be written in any of the languages mentioned in Schedule 8 of the Indian Constitution.

UPSC Syllabus for Language Papers: (Any Indian Language & English)

In these papers there’d be:

    • An essay question of 100 marks where you’d have to select one out of a few given topics.
    • 5-6 questions related to reading comprehension: of a maximum of 60 marks.
    • Precis writing questions worth 60 marks which you’d have to attempt on special answer sheets with grid lines.
    • Translation-based questions: English to the chosen Indian language & vice versa for 20 marks each, totaling 40 marks.
    • Questions based on grammar, synonyms, sentence corrections, and basic language usage, of a total of 40 marks.

So, to fare well in the Language papers especially the English paper, read more books and newspapers.

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Optional subject

For the optional subject papers, you need to choose a subject of which you have an in-depth understanding.

The UPSC allows you to choose one from out of a total of 48 different subjects. There’ll be 2 papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2 of 250 marks each pertaining to the subject that you choose.

My advice is that you should choose the optional subject after very careful consideration.


Q. What are the 9 papers in UPSC Mains?

The 9 papers of UPSC Mains Exam consists of: 

  • 1 Language Paper of your choice 
  • English Language 1 Paper 
  • 1 Essay Paper 
  • 4 General Studies Papers 
  • 2 Optional Subject Papers 

The UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) is conducted every year to recruit candidates to various civil services of the Indian central government such as IAS, IPS, IFS (Foreign), IRS, IP & TAFS, IFoS (Forest), ITS, etc. It is one of the toughest exams in the country. if you want to know more about IAS Exam So click on this link.

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