Are you aspiring to crack the IAS exam? Wondering where to start from? Don’t worry, here is a detailed syllabus for UPSC 2021. Read this article till the end to know all about it, so you can plan your studies accordingly.

UPSC Syllabus

Before knowing the UPSC IAS syllabus, let us first understand the paper pattern of the IAS exam.

The Civil Services exam takes place in three stages:

  1.       Prelims (Questions type: MCQs)
  2.       Mains (Questions type: Descriptive)
  3.       Personal Interview

Prelims Syllabus:

This exam takes place in two stages. The questions are multiple-choice.

  • Paper-I:- General Studies (200 Marks)
  • Paper-II:- CSAT (200 Marks)

Paper-1: General Studies

In paper-I, every correct answer will be awarded 2 marks and for every incorrect answer, 0.66 will be deducted.

The subjects for General Studies are:-

  • History of India and Indian national movement,

This subject can be divided into three phases:

  1. Ancient History
  2. Medieval History
  3. Modern History
  • Indian and World Geography,

The Indian Geography consists of:

  1. Basics of India
  2. Physical Features of India
  3. River System of India
  4. Climate of India
  5. Mineral and Industries in India
  6. Agriculture in India
  7. Natural Vegetation and fauna in India
  8. Economic Infrastructure in India
  9. Human Geography in India
  •  World Geography
  1. Regional geography of developed countries
  2. Regional geography of developing countries
  3. Major Natural Regions

Paper-I: Syllabus for Economics, Indian Polity and More:

  •  Economics

It consists of micro-economics as well as macro-economics. But UPSC mainly focuses on micro-economics. The syllabus contents are:

  1. Economics Growth and Development
  2. Poverty
  3. Inclusion
  4. Demographics
  5. Fiscal policy
  6. Social Issues

Other than the above-listed topics questions related to government schemes and policies to boost the economy of our country will also be asked. For eg: Questions on Make in India, NITI Ayougya etc. will also be asked.

  •  Indian polity and Governess
  1. Constitution of India
  2. Fundamental Rights
  3. Constitutional & Non-Constitutional bodies
  4. Union Executive
  5. Political System
  6. Public Policy
  7. Union Legislature’
  8.  State Executive
  9. Governess
  10. System of Governess
  • Environment Studies
  1. Ecology,
  2. Biodiversity
  3. Climate change
  4. Sustainable Developments
  5.  UNESCO
  6. Laws, Acts, Schemes related to Environment protection
  •  General Science

General  Science can be divided into four subsections

  1. Physics
  2. Chemistry
  3. Biology
  4. Recent developments and discoveries  in Science

You can study NCERT from standard five to ten for General Science

  • Current Affairs

Read newspapers consistently. Make notes and mark the important points.

Paper-II: Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

This consist of three subjects:

  1. English Comprehension,
  2. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation,
  3. Quantitative Analysis

Also Read : IAS Syllabus for Prelims and Mains 2021. Find Out the Minimum Marks to Qualify the Mains.

UPSC Mains Syllabus

Civil Services Exam syllabus for 2021 Mains is the same as that of Prelims. Therefore many IAS exam candidates prefer to start their preparation by studying for Mains and then for Prelims. The descriptive pattern of the paper makes it more difficult for candidates to answer. This is another reason why aspirants prepare and practice for Mains 1st.

The exam is conducted in the following order:

  • Paper I: Essay writing (On given topic mainly related to current affairs)
  • Paper-II: General Studies I – History and Geography
  • Paper III: General Studies II – Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and international relations.
  • Paper IV: General Studies III- Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security, and disaster management.
  • Paper V: General Studies IV – Ethics, Integrity, and aptitude.
  • Paper VI: Indian Language
  • Paper VII: English Language
  • Paper VIII: Optional Subject Paper I
  • Paper XI: Optional Subject Paper II

UPSC 2021 Exam Dates:

  • UPSC prelims date:
Exam Dates
Paper-I (General Studies) 27th June 2021
Paper-II (CSAT) 27th June 2021
  • UPSC Mains date
Exam Dates
UPSC Mains 17th September onwards ( 5 Days)

Tips to Prepare for UPSC Exam

  • As explained above, start your preparation for prelims three-four months prior to the exam. Till that time focus completely on writing your long answers in Mains.
  • Make a habit of reading newspapers. Make proper notes of important points and revise them from time to time.
  • Choose an optional subject in which you are comfortable and can be done with minimum efforts.
  • Don’t do detailed study for each and every topic.
  • Every examiner in your descriptive answer in looking for optimism. Therefore, learn and write positive words in the conclusion of your answers.

Also Read: Month-Wise Study Plan for UPSC Mains. An effective  Post Prelims strategy 

Some Don’t & Do’s While your Preparation:

  • Don’t keep on postponing your mock test. Remember practice makes men perfect. So the more mock tests you give, the more it will benefit you.
  • It is no secret that you will have to make sacrifices to crack the exam of such difficulty. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your good night sleep. If you don’t get a sleep of seven to eight hours then you will not be able to register whatever you are studying.
  • Do not refer to sources that are not trustable. Also, refer to a limited number of sources.
  • Don’t join coaching classes. They are not good. If you live in an area where there are no good classes then join UPSC online coaching classes.

How to Prepare for Civil Services Exam Interview

  • Firstly, develop your self-confidence. Remember being self-confident does not mean you are arrogant. There is a huge difference between the two.
  • Work on your communication skills. Don’t fumble while talking to the interviewee.
  • Interviews are there to test your personality and how you present yourself in front of others. So learn to be presentable.
  • Have a positive body language. We all love a person who gives us positive vibes. Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewee and think about what kind of person you will select or reject.
  • There are lots of videos online related to UPSC interviews. Watch and learn from them. You will get an idea of what types of questions are asked in the interview.
  • Give as many mock interviews as you can before the actual one. There are many coaching classes which give training for the UPSC interview.

Also Read: An One-Year Study Plan to Prepare for UPSC 2021


The UPSC exam syllabus is very vast. You need a proper organization and guidance to study strategically.  The exam is conducted in three phases. Due to descriptive types of questions in Mains. The aspirants prefer to study for Prelims after they are done with Mains.

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UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus 2021: An In-depth Explanation of UPSC IAS Syllabus
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UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus 2021: An In-depth Explanation of UPSC IAS Syllabus
Preparing for the IAS exam? Here is a detailed list of the syllabus for UPSC 2021. Covering from prelims syllabus to UPSC Mains syllabus. Click here to know it all.
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