When you decide to prepare for UPSC, it is important to know what you want to focus on because different types of exams are conducted for different designations under the UPSC. Hence, you need to get a clear idea of the field you are interested in to make your UPSC preparation easier. In this article, we will see a detailed explanation required for UPSC CAPF preparation and UPSC CSE preparation.


CSE in Union Public Services Commission stands for Civil Services Examination which is also popularly known as the Indian Administrative Services. It is one of the toughest exams in the country and is conducted by UPSC to recruit administrative officers for twenty-four different types of Indian administrative services.


CAPF stands for Central Armed Police Forces with five different types of security forces under its wing. People who want to clear UPSC CAPF are those who aspire to serve the nation as police officers. Their primary role is to defend the nation against internal threats and to guard the borders.

Now, we will see the Syllabus difference between UPSC CAPF vs UPSC CSE for UPSC Prelims.

Syllabus Difference between UPSC CAPF vs UPSC CSE

UPSC CSE Preparation

Civil Services Exam Prelims can be divided into two parts based on the two exams conducted, i.e.,

#1. General Studies Paper I

#2. CSAT or General Studies Paper-II

The first one, General Studies Paper I is conducted for a time period of two hours with a maximum mark limit of 200. The syllabus for this includes subjects like History, Geography, Economics, Politics, Governance, and Political science, and a detailed explanation of the syllabus is as follows:

#1. Current affairs of the India and International level.

#2. India’s History and the Indian National Movement

#3. Geography of India and the world that includes physical, economical, and social geography.

#4. Politics and Governance in India which includes policies, rights, constitution, and different tiers of ruling in the country.

#5. Social and Economic Development.

#6. Issues on the environment, biodiversity, climate change, and others.

#7. General Science.

Famously known as CSAT or the Civil Services Examination Paper-II, this carries a maximum weightage of 200 marks with 2 hours as the duration of the exam. This paper includes the following syllabus.

#1. Comprehension

#2. Interpersonal skills that include communication skills

#3. Logical reasoning and Analytical thinking ability

#4. Decision-making and problem solving

#5. General mental ability

#6. Numbers and their relations

#7. Data interpretation like charts, graphs, tables, and more.

UPSC CAPF Preparation

To qualify for CAPF, an aspirant has to clear three rounds. The first exam is a written test, the second round is a physical ability test and the final round will be an interview round.

The first round popularly known as the UPSC CAPF Prelims consists of two papers.

#1. Paper I: Objective

#2. Paper-II: Descriptive

Paper I

Paper I of CAPF is based on General ability and Intelligence and is conducted in the objective format. The paper consists of 125 questions that carry 250 marks. The paper has to be completed within a time limit of three hours.

This covers the following topics:

#1. General Mental Ability

Questions in this section deal with quantitative aptitude, data interpretation, numerical ability, and logical reasoning.

#2. General Science

This section tests a candidate’s general awareness, observation, and knowledge in important areas like Information Technology, Biotechnology, and Environmental Sciences.

#3. National and International Current Affairs

This section tests a candidate’s awareness of the important happenings at the national and international levels. They can be related to any field, and broadly covers areas like music, literature, culture, arts, sports, social issues, laws, rights, business, industry, globalisation, climate changes, and interplay among nations.

#4. Indian Politics and Economics

This part of the question papers expects to test a candidate’s knowledge about the Indian political system, constitution, administration, social and economic development in the country, human rights, civil laws, regional and international security systems, and issues.

#5. History of India

It mainly includes the study of India’s struggle for independence and the social, economic, and political factors at the time of the freedom movement and the growth of nationalism.

#6. Geography of India and the world

This covers all the social, economic, and physical aspects of the world and India’s geography.


Paper-II of the UPSC CAPF exam is a descriptive type test that carries a total weightage of 200 marks, and is further divided into 2 parts, i.e., Part A and Part B.

Part A: It carries a total weightage of 80 marks and comprises essay-type questions which can be answered in either English or Hindi.

Part B: It is of 120 marks covering questions related to areas like comprehension, precis or letter writing, and communication or language skills.

Comprehension passages, letter writing or precis writing, grammar, developing counter-arguments, and other aspects to test language are also a part of the second section in paper II.

UPSC CAPF Prelims vs UPSC CSE Prelims

After seeing the detailed individual syllabus for both the UPSC tests, we will take a look into the Prelims syllabus of UPSC CSE and UPSC CAPF in a tabular form, which will help us see the differences and similarities better for a much easier UPSC Preparation.

I Current affairs at the national and international level.

India’s history and Indian National Movement at the time of freedom struggle.

Geography of India and the world: Physical, Social, Economic Geography.

Indian Politics and Administration: Constitution, Political System, Public policies, rights, and administrative system and their levels.

Economical and Social Development: Poverty, Social initiatives, Sustainable Development, Inclusion, Demographics, etc.

General topics: Environment, biodiversity, climate change, and ecology.

General Sciences

Mental Ability, Current affairs of National and International interests, General Sciences, Indian Politics and Economics, History of India, Geography of India and the world.

Arithmetical Reasoning, Arithmetic Number Series, Analogies, Arrangements, Visual Memory, Syllogisms, Spatial Orientation, Space Visualization, Decision Making, Analysis, Ranking, Problem Solving, Coding and Decoding, Figural Classification, Statement Conclusion, Arithmetic Number Series, Relationship Concepts, etc.

II Comprehension, communication and language skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem-solving skills, mental ability, basic problems with numbers and their orders, data interpretation with charts, graphs, and tables.


Indian History, Indian Geography, Indian National Movement, National, and International Current Affairs, Eminent Personalities, Cultural Heritage, About India, Environment, General Polity, General Science, Science and Technology, Economy, Indian Constitution, etc.Comprehension, Essay Writing, Precis Writing, Report Writing, Counter Argument, Language and Communication Skills, Grammar, Vocabulary, etc.
Final Words

Hope you have got a clear understanding of the UPSC Prelims syllabus for CSE and CAPF. Observing keenly, most of the syllabus in both the exams are similar excluding a few additional topics in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) recruitment test.

If you are interested in writing both the exams, because of the great similarity in the syllabus you can prepare for both the CAPF and CSE exams simultaneously and clear them at the same time with proper planning, knowledge of the structure of exams, and hard work.

Continue reading our blogs for more UPSC-specific content that will help you ace your preparation. For further assistance, a personal mentor from UPSC Pathshala can solve your doubts, keep track of your progress, help improve and support you in your dream journey. Don’t miss out on our free demo class to know our teaching methodologies before making the next best decision of joining us inside. For more details, visit our website UPSC PATHSHALA now!

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Syllabus for UPSC CAPF and UPSC CSE Prelims: Know the Similarities and Differences
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Syllabus for UPSC CAPF and UPSC CSE Prelims: Know the Similarities and Differences
Know everything about both the UPSC CAPF and UPSC CSE exams from the introduction to the syllabus difference between UPSC CAPF vs UPSC CSE for Prelims preparation.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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