UPSC GS Syllabus – Download UPSC General Studies Syllabus PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

UPSC GS Syllabus, defined by the Union Public Service Commission, includes a curated syllabus of GS Paper 1, 2, 3 and 4. Candidates aiming to become future IAS, IPS, IFS, and IRS officers must comprehend the syllabus well. To qualify for the most toughest exams in India, it is important for a candidate to get familiar with the syllabus and the exam pattern. UPSC General Studies Syllabus for Prelims is divided into two – Prelims General Studies Paper I and Prelims General Studies Paper II.

On the contrary, the UPSC Mains is a written examination with nine papers (Out of which 4 papers are from general studies) including various topics from different subjects. In this article, the aspirants will learn about the entire UPSC GS Syllabus for Prelims and Mains Examination.

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus UPSC GS 2 Syllabus
UPSC GS 3 Syllabus UPSC GS 4 Syllabus

UPSC GS Syllabus 2023

General Studies Syllabus holds significant importance in UPSC Prelims and Mains exam. UPSC Syllabus for Prelims is split into two sections, one for each paper. Objective-type questions with multiple choice from the GS syllabus are asked in Prelims Paper I and Paper II with 200 marks each.

UPSC GS Syllabus PDF

In the Mains exam, General Studies is considered a more extensive subject. The Mains exam consists of four General Studies exams. All these exams have different UPSC GS Syllabus. Apart from these 4 exams, General Studies is a significant topic for the Essay paper, where topics are chosen randomly.

UPSC General Studies Syllabus for Prelims

To clear the Prelims Cutoff, which is the first stage of selection, one must prepare the syllabus for Prelims papers I and II thoroughly. Here is the detailed topic-wise UPSC General Studies Syllabus for Prelims:

UPSC GS Syllabus Prelims Paper I

  • General Science
  • General Issues on Climate Change, Bio-diversity, and Environmental Biology
  • Economic and Social development
  • Indian Polity and Governance
  • Indian Geography
  • World Geography
  • Indian History
  • Indian National Movement
  • Current events that have international and national importance

UPSC GS Syllabus Prelims Paper II

  • General mental ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Comprehension
  • Basic numeracy (level-class 10): Data interpretation, Orders of magnitude, Numbers, and their relations.

Exam Pattern of UPSC General Studies

UPSC Exam is conducted in two phases – Prelims and Mains, followed by the UPSC interview. Prelims is an objective type examination wherein questions are asked from the General Studies Syllabus.

You should also be familiar with the exam pattern of General Studies along with the UPSC GS syllabus to prepare yourself for effectively utilizing your time during exams. The exam pattern for the general studies in UPSC Prelims is as follows:

GS Papers in UPSC Paper Type Total Number of questions asked Maximum Marks Negative Marking Medium language Duration of the exam
General Studies I Objective Type 100 200 Yes Hindi and English 2 hours
CSAT- General Studies II Objective Type 80 200 Yes Hindi and English 2 hours

UPSC GS Syllabus for Mains

Candidates can appear for the exam only if they clear the Prelims cut-off. The second stage, which is the Mains exam has a descriptive pattern that judges the professional knowledge of a candidate. The GS Syllabus for UPSC Paper II, III, IV, and V for Mains exams are as follows:

UPSC GS Syllabus for Mains Paper II

  • Geography of the World and Society – This GS subject in UPSC contains topics like Salient features of the world’s physical geography, Important Geophysical phenomena, Distribution of key natural resources, and effects of globalization.
  • History of the World and Society – (Socialism, capitalism, communism), decolonization, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, the industrial revolution, world wars.
  • Indian Culture – Architecture from ancient to modern times, Art Forms, and features of Literature.
  • Indian History – Personalities, issues during the middle of the 18th century till now, significant events, the freedom struggle, Post-independence consolidation, and the Reorganization of India after Independence.

UPSC GS Syllabus for Mains Paper III

UPSC GS Syllabus for Mains Paper IV

UPSC GS Syllabus for Mains Paper V

  • Aptitude
  • Integrity
  • Ethics

Books to Prepare UPSC General Studies Syllabus

There are specific books and UPSC study materials suggested by toppers and experts that aspirants must refer to. Students beginning their UPSC preparation can consider the following sources for studying UPSC GS Syllabus for Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Books for GS syllabus for UPSC – Paper 1

Mentioned is the list of suggested books for studying the GS 1 Syllabus. Additionally, there are some prominent textbooks students generally prefer during UPSC preparation.

Books Recommended Author
Certificate Physical and Human Geography Goh Cheng Leong
History of Modern India Bipan Chandra
Indian Art and Culture Nitin Singhania
India’s Struggle For Independence Bipan Chandra
India After Gandhi Ramchandra Guha (History)
Norman Lowe OR History of Modern World Jain and Mathur (World History)
Social Problems In India Ram Ahuja (Indian Society)
Oxford School Atlas Oxford (Geography)
The Wonder That Was India A.L. Basham (Culture)
Geography of India Majid Husain
India’s Ancient Past R.S. Sharma (Culture)

Study Material and Books for UPSC GS Syllabus – Paper 2

To thoroughly cover the UPSC general studies syllabus, a candidate can assemble the below books, newspapers, and articles.

Tips to Prepare UPSC GS Syllabus

UPSC Prelims and Mains Syllabus for General Studies preparation requires dedication and proper strategy if a candidate wants to ensure the best results. Here are some of the expert tips that can help you in preparing the General Studies Syllabus to clear UPSC:

  • Before starting the preparation for the UPSC GS Syllabus, the candidates must understand the topics required to cover the syllabus.
  • Strategies should be made to plan the preparation of the syllabus as per the understanding.
  • Knowing the Syllabus is not enough to prepare for the exam, one must know the exam pattern as well.
  • The candidates can go through the last 10 years question papers of UPSC to judge the exam pattern. It would also be helpful in learning the kind of questions being asked in the exam.
  • The candidates must start by gaining basic knowledge about the GS subject list and various topics.
  • They can start with NCERT and other UPSC Books. Also, making notes will be a great help while covering the wide GS UPSC syllabus.
  • Practicing the descriptive questions along with the objective type will enhance time management, and they can check their preparation by attempting mock tests.

Points to Remember while Studying UPSC GS Syllabus

While preparing for the UPSC GS Syllabus for the Mains Exam, the candidates must remember certain essential things. It includes:

  • Brief yet relevant details about the General Studies topics
  • Repetitions should be avoided
  • Draw diagrams or tables wherever necessary
  • Never end the answer with a negative note
  • Mention all the important conventions, laws, figures, facts, and articles
  • The handwriting and structure of the article should be clear.
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