The UPSC examination is the most trustworthy and reputable examination conducted in India to assess the capabilities and skills of the candidates. If a person holds a graduation degree, he/she can apply this test with exponential knowledge and passion to serve the country.

The competition for the exam is very tough. One of the reasons for the question paper’s rigidity is that all the graduates across the nation can take part in the paper. This makes you more sincere about your dream because you must make sure that you work hard for the UPSC preparation. After all, there is the least chance for luck and a high chance for knowledge and skills.

If you are preparing for the UPSC exam, you need to go through this article till the end because this article has complete information about compulsory subjects for UPSC exam prelims along with the best optional subject for UPSC. The aspirants can make their minds to go with a particular subject after going through the loss of optional subjects given here.

So, begin with the most incredible information for your exam and ace the paper by choosing the right subject for yourself and by preparing perfectly for the compulsory subjects.

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Compulsory Subjects for UPSC Exam Prelims

The Prelims exam is the first step of the UPSC CSE examination. If you crack this paper, you get the chance to sit in the main examination and then the other steps. To ensure your victory in this paper, you need to focus on the compulsory subjects for UPSC exam prelims. The major questions coming in this section are from general knowledge and current affairs.

So, you must fetch the current affairs knowledge if you aim to crack this exam. The list of the compulsory subjects is given below. Have a look at the subject and their topics to prepare properly and excel in the paper.

General Studies Paper–I

#. Current events of national and international importance

#. Syllabus of History of India and Indian national movement

#. Indian and World Geography- it includes every aspect of geography including physical, social, economic geography across the world

#. Indian Polity and governance and its history – right from the Indian constitution to our political system that covers the areas of Panchayati raj, public policy, Rights-based issues, etc.

#. Economic and social development of India as well as the world economy– the economic history of India as well as world history and its interrelations. The important topics that should be highlighted include sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives, etc.

#. General issues regarding the current situation of environmental ecology, our biodiversity, and climate change. It does not require specialized studies. An overview of the subject and clear concepts can do well.

#. General Science.

Also Read: IAS Prelims Books Suggested by Toppers: Know the Right Materials and Tips to Ace UPSC

CSAT Syllabus

#. Logical reasoning and analytical ability

#. General mental ability to solve problems

#. Basic numerical problems that include numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc up to Class X level and Data Interpretation including charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc up to class X level

#. English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

Prelims Pattern for UPSC Exam

If you have read the above paragraph, you must have understood the subjects and topics covered in the UPSC prelims paper. We hope that you have clarified your doubts related to the subjects.

Now, it’s time to acknowledge and understand the UPSC preliminary round exam pattern. If you understand the pattern well, you tend to answer more precisely and correctly.

The given table has every information that you would be seeking for clarification of the pattern of the paper. You need to go thoroughly through the pattern and ensure your great performance in the paper.

Name of the paper Evaluation based on Question type Total marks and time duration
General studies –I Merit ranking General studies; multiple-choice questions 200 marks

Time duration: two hours

General studies-II Minimum 33% score CSAT multiple-choice questions including numerical problems 200 marks

time duration: two hours

Also Read: How to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC? Which Monthly Magazine is Best for UPSC?

How to Choose the Best UPSC Optional Subject?

The optional subject is the main component of the UPSC CSE Mains examination. The candidates get stressed about choosing the optional subject because their scores depend largely on the subject they choose.

The union public service commission offers a 48 subjects list for the candidates from which they can choose their choice of subject. The candidates must choose a subject in which they have interest and some prior knowledge. If you don’t have any idea about the topics of the subject that you have chosen, it becomes quite tough for you to prepare from scratch and get high scores on the paper.

So, it’s better to select a subject with fundamental knowledge in it. The list of the optional subjects is given below. Let’s check it out to ace the paper with quality knowledge.

List of UPSC Optional Subjects

#1. Agriculture

#2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

#3. Anthropology

#4. Botany

#5. Chemistry

#6. Civil Engineering

#7. Commerce & Accountancy

#8. Economics

#9. Electrical Engineering

#10. Geography

#11. Geology

#12. History

#13. Law

#14. Management

#15. Mathematics

#16. Mechanical Engineering

#17. Medical Science

#18. Philosophy

#19. Physics

#20. Political Science & International Relations

#21. Psychology

#22. Public Administration

#23. Sociology

#24. Statistics

#25. Zoology

Also Read: Online Test Series for UPSC 2022: Which Test Series is Best for UPSC?


The preparation of this paper is quite tough and complex because of the competition. This paper is the dream maker of the aspirants. The candidates apply for the paper because they have the passion and ambition to serve their country.

The subjects are the foundation of this test and the applicants must know all the compulsory as well as the optional subjects in the examination. You can get the complete syllabus of the subjects on the online platforms. You can make your dreams achievable by working on them consistently.

Also Read: How to Prepare for Civil Services Interview 2022? The Best Tips to Prepare for UPSC Interview


We hope that this article has helped and supported you enormously to get the information regarding the UPSC prelims exam pattern along with the compulsory subjects.

The UPSC aspirants are the biggest epitome of hard work and determination because they put their best efforts to gain maximum knowledge related to all the spheres and subjects to excel in the UPSC exam to serve the motherland.

The UPSC preparation is the toughest phase for the participants because they have to gain all the information about different subjects, concepts, and fields at that particular time.

If you are preparing for this examination, you must have required some expert guidance to understand a few concepts or to acknowledge the most important areas to focus on. If this is true, you must move your head towards UPSC Pathshala.

Hopefully, this prelims material has been helpful in your UPSC preparation and you will get more articles and information by visiting the website. The best advice for the candidates is that they must do their best to keep up with current events and facts to answer questions correctly in the examination which can be achieved by meeting the experts and visiting the website.

This is the best time for you to seek out the most reliable sources of information if you are preparing for the exam. To serve your nation with integrity and honesty, you must make the most of your UPSC preparation phase and learn about all of the programs and activities through our website.

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Shruti Rag

Shruti is a creative and enthusiastic content writer along with being a budding journalist. She is a genuine-hearted and exploring girl with a dash of millennial approach. Her love for speaking and writing has made her pursue her bachelor's in journalism and mass communication. She believes in the quote, "if you will never fail in life, you will never rise like a phoenix from its ashes''. She gives strengthening and positive paths to the students by her content. Her interest lies in reading, traveling, and singing. Innovations and realism let you discover your identity. She has faith in wisdom and determination to touch the skies.

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