UPSC Prelims Syllabus & Structure 2018

UPSC Civil Services Exam which is also known as Indian Administrative Services (IAS) exam, is one of the toughest and prestigious exams conducted in the country by Union Public Service Commission. Around 5 lakh aspirants appear for the preliminary exam every year, out of which only 15 thousand candidates qualify for the mains exam and at the end, only 1 thousand candidates are able to crack the highly prestigious civil service exam.

Before appearing for any competitive exam, the first thing that a candidate needs to know is the exam structure and syllabus of the examination. UPSC conducts the CSE every year across the country which is a nationwide examination with success rate of only 0.1% to 0.3%. Mainly UPSC Exam is conducted in three phases.

  • Preliminary Exam
  • Mains Exam
  • Personality Test (Interview)


UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern 2018

The UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern for 2018 is provided in the below-mentioned table.

UPSC Prelims Exam Papers No. of Questions Time Duration Marks
Paper-I: General Studies: It is the qualifying paper to write the mains examination. 100 2 Hours 200
Paper-II: Aptitude or CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test): Aspirants must score at least 33% marks in this paper. Marks of this paper are not counted for appearing in the mains exam. 80 2 Hours 200
Total Marks 400


UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2018

There are two papers in the UPSC preliminary examination:

  • General Studies
  • Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)


General Studies Syllabus

The UPSC Syllabus for general studies is given below.


  • Current affair of international and national importance
  • Indian National Movement and History of India
  • Indian and World Geography- Economic, Social, Physical Geography
  • Indian Polity – Political system, Constitution, Public Policy, Panchayati Raj, Rights issues, etc.
  • Social and Economic development – demographics, poverty, sustainable development, social sector initiatives, inclusion, etc.
  • General science
  • General issues on environmental ecology


Aptitude Syllabus

The UPSC Syllabus for Aptitude is given below.


  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical ability and Logical reasoning
  • Problem solving and Decision making
  • Basic numeracy and Data Interpretation
  • General mental ability


The questions in both Paper-I and Paper-II will be of multiple choice, objective type. Subscribe to Byju’s YouTube Channel to prepare for various UPSC topics in a more interactive way with the help of engaging video lessons.

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