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UPSC Syllabus 2023, UPSC Syllabus PDF For Civil Services Examination (CSE)

UPSC Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus

The UPSC Syllabus is released by the Union Public Service Commission every year along with the UPSC notification PDF which will be released on 1st February 2023 for UPSC CSE 2023 exam. UPSC Syllabus is a comprehensive document to better understand the coverage area and topics of the UPSC CSE examination. 

With the help of a detailed syllabus of the UPSC CSE, candidates can easily rectify which news articles, information, and current affairs are required to read. Read the complete article for a detailed UPSC Syllabus 2023.

Read More: UPSC Syllabus in Hindi

UPSC Syllabus For Prelims

UPSC Syllabus for Prelims Exam is divided into two papers i.e., General Studies Paper 1 and General Studies Paper 2. UPSC CSE 2023 Prelims exam will be held on 28th May 2023.  For a detailed Prelims UPSC Syllabus, refer to the table given below.

UPSC Syllabus General Studies 1 (GS-1)

General Studies 1 of UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus mainly consists of History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology, General Science and Current Affairs based events. UPSC categorizes the General Studies Prelims Paper 1 Syllabus into the following broad categories: 

General Studies 1 Syllabus

Max. Marks: 200 Marks

Duration: Two Hours

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

Read more: UPSC CSE 2023 Notification

CSAT UPSC Syllabus (GS-2)

General Studies 2 of UPSC CSE is also known as the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Paper. This paper was first introduced in 2011 as a compulsory qualifying paper for every candidate. This is a part of the UPSC CSE Prelims examination in order to assess the aptitude, analytical skills, and reasoning ability of the candidate. To qualify for this paper, a minimum of 33% (66 marks) is required for every candidate. 

UPSC categorizes the CSAT UPSC Syllabus into the following broad categories: 

General Studies 2 (CSAT) Syllabus

Max. Marks: 200 Marks

Duration: Two Hours

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)

Read more: UPSC Calendar 2023

UPSC Syllabus 2023 Mains Exam

UPSC Mains Syllabus consisted of 9 conventional/theoretical papers. Every paper has its own significance. UPSC CSE 2023 Mains examination will be held on 15th September 2023 and will be conducted in 5 days by the commission. The UPSC CSE Mains Examination’s objective is to assess the overall intellectual abilities and level of understanding of candidates instead of just testing candidates’ knowledge and memory. The UPSC Syllabus for Mains Examination is described below in detail.

UPSC Syllabus PDF Mains Language Paper

The purpose of these papers is to evaluate a candidate’s aptitude for reading and comprehending serious discursive prose as well as for expressing ideas in the relevant Indian and English languages in a clear and precise manner. The marks obtained in these papers would not be used to determine to rank. These papers are of qualifying nature only (minimum 25% marks in each paper).

Read about: UPSC CSE 2023 Exam Pattern

UPSC Syllabus Mains Indian Language

In this UPSC Mains Indian Language Paper, major topics are covered:

  • Comprehension of given passages. 
  • Precis Writing. 
  • Usage and Vocabulary. 
  • Short Essays.
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

The candidate can choose any of the following Indian Languages from the given table.

Language Script
Assamese Assamese
Bengali Bengali
Gujarati Gujarati
Hindi Devanagari
Kannada Kannada
Kashmiri Persian
Konkani Devanagari
Malayalam Malayalam
Manipuri Bengali
Marathi Devanagari
Nepali Devanagari
Odia Odia
Punjabi Gurmukhi
Sanskrit Devanagari
Sindhi Devanagari or Arabic
Tamil Tamil
Telugu Telugu
Urdu Persian
Bodo Devanagari
Dogri Devanagari
Maithili Devanagari
Santhali Devanagari or Olchiki*
Note: The question paper for the Santhali language will be printed in Devanagari script, however, candidates are free to answer in Olchiki or Devanagari.

Read about: UPSC ESE 2023 Notification

UPSC Syllabus Mains English Paper

UPSC Syllabus Mains English Paper: The English paper is also a qualifying paper which consists mainly of the Comprehension of given passages, Precis Writing, Usage and Vocabulary and Short Essays.

UPSC Syllabus PDF: Mains Essay Paper

Essays on a wide range of topics will be asked from the candidates. They will be expected to write concisely and to stick strictly to the essay’s topic. They will also be expected to organize their thoughts. An essay is one of those papers where candidates can score better and improve their rank meticulously. The essay paper is divided into two sections and each section contains 4 topics. Each essay you write obtains a score out of 125, for a total of 250 marks.

Read More: UPSC Syllabus 2023

UPSC Syllabus: Mains General Studies

Paper 2 – General Studies I General Studies Paper I consists mainly of History and Geography of the World and Society, Indian Heritage and Culture. This paper mainly revolves around History, Geography and Society.
Paper 3 – General Studies II General Studies Paper II consists mainly of Polity, Constitution, Governance, Social Justice and International relations.
Paper 4 – General Studies  III General Studies Paper III consists mainly of Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Biodiversity, Security and Disaster Management.
Paper 5 – General Studies  IV General Studies Paper IV consists mainly of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.

UPSC Optional Subjects List

UPSC Syllabus Optional Subjects: Paper 6 and paper 7 are the optional subject papers which are compulsory papers. These papers are one of those papers in which candidates can get good marks because in most cases these subjects are either a graduation subject or interest area subject of the candidates. 

Every optional subject has its own comprehensive syllabus which the candidate must read carefully once before deciding the optional subject. There are several factors and parameters to decide the best optional subject for the UPSC mains exam such as syllabus, resources available for that subject, the time required for preparation etc.

Candidates may select any one of the optional subjects from the  UPSC Optional Subjects List given below.

List of Optional Subjects for UPSC 2023 Mains Exam

Agriculture Law
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Management
Anthropology  Mathematics
Botany  Mechanical Engineering
Chemistry  Medical Science
Civil Engineering  Philosophy
Commerce and Accountancy  Physics
Economics  Political Science and International Relations (PSIR)
Electrical Engineering  Psychology
Geography Public Administration
Geology Sociology
History Statistics
Zoology Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

Read more: NDA 1 2023 Notification

UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects

Candidates can check the UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects as discussed in the official PDF, the links of which is given below.

Optional Subject UPSC Syllabus 
Sociology UPSC Sociology Syllabus
Geography UPSC Geography Syllabus
Economics UPSC Economics Syllabus
Anthropology UPSC Anthropology Syllabus
Agriculture UPSC Agriculture Syllabus
Animal Husbandry UPSC Animal Husbandary Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus PDF

For better understanding, check the complete UPSC Syllabus PDF

UPSC Syllabus 2023 FAQs

Q. What are the subjects for UPSC CSE?

Ans. The main subjects of the UPSC CSE exam are History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology and Current Affairs.

Q. Is UPSC CSE easy to crack?

Ans. Without a doubt, UPSC CSE is a tough exam. To crack this exam, candidates need proper planning, preparation and perseverance along with the proper guidance and strategy.

Q. What are the 7 papers in UPSC?

Ans. In the UPSC CSE mains exam, there are 7 papers which are counted for merit namely Essay paper, General Studies Paper I, II, III, IV and Optional papers 1 and 2.

Q. What are the compulsory subjects in UPSC?

Ans. Except for Indian Language and English papers, all other 7 papers out of 9 are compulsory papers in the UPSC CSE mains exam and compulsory subjects are History, Polity, Geography, Economy, Environment and Science and Tech.

Q. Can a weak student crack IAS?

Ans. UPSC demands a basic educational qualification to appear in the UPSC CSE exam. This exam required only dedication and proper planning according to the syllabus, exam pattern and level of examination. So, there is no harm if you are weak.

Other UPSC 2023 Related Links