Important Topics for UPSC Mains – List of Most Important Topics for UPSC Mains 2023

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Important Topics for UPSC refer to the subjects and topics that hold significant importance in the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. This exam is one of the most prestigious and competitive examinations in India, attracting thousands of aspirants every year who aspire to serve the nation as civil servants. The syllabus covers a vast range of topics, and knowing which ones are essential can make a significant difference in a candidate’s chances of success.

It is essential to know the important topics for UPSC for several reasons. The UPSC exam is known for its unpredictability, and the commission can ask questions about any topic mentioned in the syllabus. Therefore, knowing the critical areas can help aspirants focus on those topics and allocate their time and resources accordingly. Furthermore, the IAS syllabus is vast and can be overwhelming for many candidates. Having a clear understanding of the important topics for UPSC can help them streamline their preparation and avoid wasting time on less important subjects.

Important Topics for UPSC Mains

Knowing the Important topics for UPSC Mains can help candidates develop a better understanding of the exam’s purpose and requirements. The UPSC exam aims to test the candidate’s knowledge, analytical abilities, and decision-making skills, among other attributes.

By focusing on the critical areas, aspirants can develop these competencies and be better prepared to tackle the exam’s challenges. Understanding and focusing on the Important UPSC topics is a key factor in acing the exam and fulfilling one’s aspirations of serving the nation as a civil servant. Candidates can check the list of Important topics for UPSC Mains below.

Important Topics for UPSC Mains 2023 PDF

The important topics are instrumental in the preparation strategy for the exam. You will be able to elevate the level of your preparation and cover the syllabus in an apt way to enhance the probability of getting recruited in the most aspired job profile. The candidates can download the PDF facilitated here to gain complete knowledge of the essential segments of the syllabus.

Important Topics for UPSC PDF

To crack the toughest exam in India, the candidates must be in possession of an apt strategy and utilize their time in an efficient manner. The knowledge of the important topics for UPSC will aid the aspirants in laying forth a methodical approach to prepare for the exam.

List of Most Important Topics for UPSC Mains 2023

The UPSC Mains exam is the second stage of the civil services exam, which tests the candidate’s knowledge and aptitude in various subjects. The exam has nine papers – 2 optional papers, 4 GS papers, 2 language papers, and essay writing. Here’s a detailed list of Important topics for UPSC Mains in each of these papers:

Current Affairs

The current affairs topics for UPSC must be covered effectively by the candidates to be able to answer the related questions. The candidates must refer to the recommended books and magazines for covering this section efficiently.

  • National and International Events
  • Government Schemes, policies, and Programs
  • Economic and Social Issues
  • Scientific and Technological Advancements.

Indian History and Culture

The Indian History and Culture is an eminent part of the syllabus. Hence, it becomes important for the candidates to complete the syllabus effectively for Indian History and Culture.

Important Topics for Indian History and Culture
Revolt of 1857 Partition of Bengal
Home Rule Movement Socio-religious Reforms
Government of India Act, 1919 Charter Act
Land Revenue System Vijayanagar Empire
First Round Conference, 1930 Non-Cooperation Movement
Khilafat Movement Rowlatt Act
Civil Disobedience Movement Gandhi-Irwin Pact
Second Round Conference Nehru Report
Quit India Movement Mountbatten Plan
Indian Independence Act 1947 Government of India Act, 1935

Indian Polity and Governance

Check here the essential topics of Indian Polity and Governance that will help the candidates in curating an effective strategy for the exam. The important topics can be covered priorly as questions are often asked about these topics.

Indian Economy

Indian Economy is an integral part of the IAS syllabus. The Current Affairs and Economy section is linked. There are static and dynamic sections of Indian Economy, it is also an important part of the UPSC Mains.

Important Topics for UPSC Mains – Indian Economy
Reserve Bank of India Monetary Policy
Fiscal Deficit Fiscal Policy
Goods and Services Tax Minimum Support Price
Public Distribution System White Revolution
Pink Revolution Green revolution
Five year plans NITI Aayog
Growth and development Foreign Institutional Investors
Foreign Direct Investment MSME
Finance Commission Money Market and Capital Market

General Science

The General Science syllabus is vast, the candidates need to adapt an apt and accurate strategy to cover the important topics efficiently. Check here the list of the essential topics for the exam.

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Indian Space Research Organisation
  • Gravitational Waves,
  • NASA
  • Space technology
  • Defence technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Malware
  • Blockchain technology
  • Nuclear technology
  • Cellular networks
  • Cloud computing
  • Digital signature
  • Gases causing air and water pollution, etc.


The candidates can check the important sections of the Geography syllabus for UPSC, it comprises numerous topics intersecting with the Environment syllabus as well. This is also an optional subject for UPSC, the aspirants having in-depth knowledge of the topics of Geography can opt for it as the optional subject in the exam.

Important Geography Topic for UPSC
Indian States and Cities Coastal Plains and Islands
Important Rivers in India Location, Longitude, Latitude, Time zone
Himalayas Peninsular Plateau
Hydropower Projects Cyclones
Monsoon in India Indian Desert
Neighboring Countries Important Cities
Minerals and industries Animal husbandry
Transportation Irrigation System
Atmosphere Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
Human geography Power and energy sector
Wind system Landforms
Temperature Volcanoes
Oceanography River System

Environment and Ecology

For preparing the Environment and Ecology effectively the candidates can refer to the recommended books and keep track of the current affairs. The questions from this section can be asked in the UPSC Mains essay writing section as well.


Mathematics is an essential segment of the optional paper of the Mains exam. Check here the list of the important topics that must be studied by the candidates to score well in the exam.

Important Maths Topics for UPSC Mains
Averages Time and work
Ratio Proportion Percentage
Number series Venn Diagram
HCF and LCM Probability
Time, Speed and Distance Mixture and Alligation
Permutation and Combination Geometry
Circular and Linear Arrangement Profit and loss
Problems on age Clocks and calendars
Syllogism Direction
Coding decoding Data Sufficiency
Linear Equations Data Interpretation

Art and Culture

Art and Culture notes for UPSC can be referred by the candidates to prepare efficiently for this exam. Get comprehensive knowledge of the important topics of art and culture.

  • Indian Paintings
  • Indian Dance Forms
  • Important Festivals
  • Indian Literature
  • Indian Architecture and Sculpture
  • Indian Music
  • Indian Handicrafts
  • Indian Theatre Forms
  • Important Temples

International Relations

International Relations is an essential segment of the syllabus. The comprehensive knowledge of the topics will enable the candidates in preparing efficiently for the exam. India’s relations with its neighbors:

Top 10 Important Topics for UPSC Prelims

The UPSC Prelims is a crucial step for those aspiring to work in the civil services of India. The exam is designed to test the candidates’ knowledge, comprehension, reasoning, and analytical ability. It consists of two papers: General Studies Paper 1 and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). Both papers have their own unique set of important topics that are essential for cracking the exam. Candidates can check the top 10 important UPSC topics for the preliminary examination below.

  • Indian Polity and Governance: This includes the Constitution of India, the functioning of the government, and the different branches of the government.
  • Indian Economy: This comprises basic concepts of economics, monetary and fiscal policies, banking systems, and current issues related to the economy.
  • History of India: The main topics are ancient, medieval, and modern Indian history, major events, and important personalities.
  • Geography: This includes physical geography, Indian geography, world geography, and environment-related topics.
  • General Science: The main sections of the General Science syllabus are physics, chemistry, biology, and technology-related topics.
  • Ecology and Biodiversity: This includes environmental issues, conservation, and the impact of climate change.
  • Current Affairs: The main topics are national and international events that have taken place in the recent past.
  • Quantitative Aptitude: This includes numerical ability, basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and data interpretation.
  • Logical Reasoning: This comprises verbal and non-verbal reasoning, critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and analytical ability.
  • Reading Comprehension: This includes reading and understanding passages, vocabulary, grammar, and basic comprehension skills.

Important Topics for UPSC Prelims in Hindi

यूपीएससी के लिए महत्वपूर्ण विषय उम्मीदवारों को परीक्षा के लिए अच्छी तरह से कुशलता से तैयार करने के लिए आवश्यक हैं। यह उम्मीदवारों को सही दिशा में अपनी तैयारी को अनुकूलित करने में मदद करेगा। ये विषय उम्मीदवारों को अपने पाठ्यक्रम को समय पर पूरा करने में मदद करेंगे।

  • भारतीय राजनीति और शासन
  • भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था
  • भारत का इतिहास
  • भूगोल
  • सामान्य विज्ञान
  • पारिस्थितिकी और जैव विविधता
  • करंट अफेयर्स
  • मात्रात्मक योग्यता
  • तार्किक तर्क
  • रीडिंग कॉम्प्रिहेंशन

Tips for Mastering Important Topics in UPSC Mains

The UPSC exam is one of the toughest exams in India and requires a lot of hard work and dedication to crack. To prepare well for the exam, it is important to master the important topics in the UPSC syllabus. It is essential to understand the exam pattern, the syllabus, and the weightage of each topic. Consistent effort and dedication are required to excel in the exam.

  • Make a Study Plan: Understand the UPSC exam pattern and syllabus first, and make a study plan. Divide the syllabus into small, manageable parts, and allocate sufficient time for each part.
  • Read NCERT Books: NCERT books are the foundation of UPSC preparation. Read and understand the concepts given in NCERT books, especially for subjects like History, Geography, and Science.
  • Refer to Current Affairs: Stay updated with current affairs by reading newspapers, magazines, and online news portals. Make a habit of taking notes on important current affairs topics and revise them regularly.
  • Use online resources: The internet is a great source of information. Use online resources like government websites, blogs, and online journals to gather information about important topics.
  • Participate in Lectures and Seminars: Engage in lectures and seminars led by subject matter experts. This opportunity will enhance your comprehension of the topic and provide a platform for addressing any uncertainties.
  • Take Notes: Taking notes is an effective way to remember important points. You can use different colors and symbols to make your notes more organized and easy to understand.
  • Practice Past Exam Papers: Practicing previous exam papers will grant you insights into the exam structure and the kinds of questions typically asked in the exam.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Practice as many mock tests as possible. This will help you understand the time management aspect of the exam and also help you identify your weak areas. The test series for UPSC will enable the candidates in framing an effective strategy for the exam.
UPSC Articles
UPSC Full Form Average Age of UPSC Selected Candidates
Youngest IAS Officer in India Mnemonics for UPSC exam
DAF UPSC Time Table for UPSC Preparation for Working Professionals
UPSC Physical Eligibility for IAS How Much Time is Required to Prepare for UPSC?
Best IPS Officers in India UPSC Calendar
Life of an IAS Officer LBSNAA IAS Training Period
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium