Knowing the UPSC paper pattern 2022 is an important part of the UPSC preparation. By knowing this you can make your preparation strategies accordingly. Cracking the UPSC exam with a top 1000 rank is not an easy job.

You will need a lot of dedication and hard work along with your brains. Read on to learn about UPSC paper pattern 2022, syllabus, optional subjects and more.

UPSC Paper Pattern 2022 Overview

Check out the table below to get the key details regarding the UPSC paper pattern:

Name of the exam Civil Services Exam- IAS
Conducting authority Union Public Service Commission
Mode of Exam Offline
Number of Stages Prelims exam

Mains exam


Number of papers Prelims: 2

Mains: 9

Prelims marking scheme Paper 1: +2 marks

Paper 2: +2.5 marks

Negative marking: One-third of marks

Duration Prelims: 2 hours (Each paper)
Mains: 3 hours (Each paper)
Type of questions Prelims: Objective type
Mains: Subjective type
Post 861

Also Read : 5 Non-Fiction Books to Read Before You Even Think of UPSC: Click Here to Know it All

IAS Exam Pattern 2022 Prelims

Find the UPSC paper pattern for IAS Prelims in the table below:

UPSC Subject Exam Type No. of Questions Marks Exam Duration
Paper I – General Studies Objective 100 200 2 Hours
Paper II – Aptitude Test (CSAT) Objective 80 200 2 Hours

IAS Exam Pattern 2022 Mains

Find the UPSC exam pattern for IAS Mains in the table below:

Paper UPSC Subject Duration Total marks Time Allotted Nature of paper
Paper A Compulsory Indian language 3 hours 300 3 hours Qualifying
Paper B English 3 hours 300 3 hours Qualifying
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit
Paper-II General Studies I 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit
Paper III General Studies II 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit
Paper IV General Studies III 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit
Paper V General Studies IV 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit
Paper VI Optional I 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit
Paper VII Optional II 3 hours 250 3 hours Merit

Optional Subjects for UPSC Mains

UPSC Subject Name
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary
Civil Engineering
Commerce & Accountancy
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Optional Subjects for UPSC Mains Indian Languages

S.No Language Script
1 Assamese Assamese
2 Bengali Bengali
3 Gujarati Gujarati
4 Hindi Devanagari
5 Kannada Kannada
6 Kashmiri Persian
7 Konkani Devanagari
8 Malayalam Malayalam
9 Manipuri Bengali
10 Marathi Devanagari
11 Nepali Devanagari
12 Oriya Oriya
13 Punjabi Gurumukhi
14 Sanskrit Devanagari
15 Sindhi Devanagari or Arabic
16 Tamil Tamil
17 Telugu Telugu
18 Urdu Persian
19 Bodo Devanagari
20 Dogri Devanagari
21 Maithilli Devanagari
22 Santhali Devanagari or Olchiki

Also Read : How to Study for UPSC: Prepare for IAS Exam with These Tips and Strategies

UPSC Exam Syllabus for Prelims

General Studies Paper-I

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, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization General Science

General Studies Paper-II


Interpersonal skills including communication skills

Logica l 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)

UPSC Exam Syllabus for Mains


Aspirants for UPSC 2022 may be required to prepare essays on a variety of topics, similar to prior year exams. They will be asked to organise their thoughts in an organised manner and to write concisely. Points will be given for precise and effective presentation.

PAPER-II General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature & Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

History of the World will include events from the 18th century, such as the Industrial Revolution, World Wars, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc., – their forms and effects on the society.

Part 2

Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Role of women and women’s organizations, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Effects of globalization on Indian society – Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

Salient features of the world’s physical geography.

Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India); Important Geophysical phenomena, such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic activity, cyclones, etc., geographical features and their location – changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

PAPER-III General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations.

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.

Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries, Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary, Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Part 2

Development processes and the development industry – the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Center and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Issues related to development and management of Social Sector/Services in the field of Health, Education, Human Resources.

Issues related to poverty and hunger.

Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance – applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Role of Civil Services in a democracy.

India and its neighbourhood – relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

PAPER-IV General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Government Budgeting. Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints;

E-technology in the aid of farmers Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices;

Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

Land reforms in India. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Part 2

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

PAPER-V General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.

Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

Part 2

Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity;

Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on the above issues.

Paper-VI and VII: Optional Paper-I and Optional Paper-II

Optional Subject -Paper I and Paper-II (250 Marks Each)


Remember that there is no replacement for hard work and continuous progress. Having a Personal Mentor to help you prepare for UPSC is the most effective strategy to assure continuous development. UPSC Pathshala‘s personal mentors are UPSC professionals with extensive expertise. They clear up doubts, maintain track of progress, and aid in the improvement of weak areas. Continue reading our blogs for additional UPSC-related material.

Also Read : International Relations and Affair of India for UPSC: Notes and h3 Strategy to Ace IAS Exam

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Madhurjya Chowdhury, a web content writer in Ufaber EduTech has a very strong passion for writing and alluring the readers. You can find him writing articles for the betterment of exam aspirants and children. With immense interest in research-based content writing and copywriting, he likes to reach out to more and more people with his creative writing style. On the other side, he is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from LPU, Jalandhar. In his leisure time, he likes to play badminton or read about space discoveries. Apart from this, he is a pro gamer on PC, PS and Mobile gaming platforms.

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