Is Maths Compulsory for UPSC?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Is Maths Compulsory for UPSC? – Maths is compulsory for UPSC Prelims only, covered under the CSAT Exam. In UPSC Mains, if a candidate takes up Maths Optional, it will be compulsory for him/her to study mathematics in depth.

The CSAT portion of the UPSC Prelims includes comprehension, math, and reasoning questions. Even if you just need to get 33% to pass the exam, paper 2 will be an easy piece for you if you are strong in maths and reasoning.

Is Maths Compulsory in UPSC Prelims?

Maths is one of the major topics of the CSAT or Paper 2 of the UPSC Prelims exam. Analyzing the UPSC CSAT Previous Year’s Question Paper, we can conclude that over the years, the questions from the math section have increased and are of moderate to difficult level. Maths is compulsory for UPSC Prelims, and candidates must have a sound understanding of the subject till class 10th level.

The compulsory maths section that should be covered includes topics such as:

  • Geometry, including area, perimeter, etc.
  • Data Interpretation
  • Speed, Time, Distance, and Work
  • Linear Equation
  • Polynomials factorization
  • Number System
  • Averages
  • Percentage
  • Profit loss
  • Simple Interest
  • Compound Interest
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Arithmetic Progression
  • Ratio Proportion Variation

Is Maths Compulsory for UPSC Mains?

The UPSC Mains has 9 descriptive papers, each of different aspects or fields. Maths is not compulsory for UPSC Mains, but if you take math as an optional subject, you need to compulsorily study mathematics.

Read: Indian Mathematicians and their Contributions

The broad topics included in the maths optional are Calculus, Vector Analysis, Linear Algebra, Algebra, Numerical Analysis, Computer programming, etc. Aspirants can refer to the Maths Optional Syllabus for UPSC Mains to understand the subject better.


Is Clearing IAS Without Maths Possible?

Clearing the IAS Exam without Maths is not possible. Maths is compulsory for the CSAT Exam of the Prelims, and candidates need to secure 33% in the paper to qualify for the examination. Maths is not compulsory for the UPSC Mains.

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