UPSC Syllabus & UPSC Previous Year Question Papers


Are you preparing for the UPSC CSE? If yes then you need to stop wasting time digging the internet for relevant CSE information. As you have arrived where you will get all possible details related to the Civil Services Examination. As an aspirant beginning to prepare for UPSC Civil Services Examination, the two things that you would need to know foremost is the UPSC syllabus and the exam pattern. Once you know both then you must figure out how to prepare. The best way to prepare for UPSC CSE is to go through the UPSC CSE previous year’s papers. Through this article, you will also learn the benefits of UPSC’s previous year’s papers. Therefore, make sure that you read the article thoroughly.




The UPSC CSE Syllabus & The Exam Pattern 

From the points below let’s understand the UPSC syllabus and the exam pattern to better comprehend the exam process.

  • Known as one of the toughest examinations in the country, CSE has a comprehensive syllabus. 
  • The UPSC syllabus is created in a way to test understanding, not in one but in multiple scopes of interest. 
  • Given the size and extent of the IAS syllabus, it is usually assumed to be on the difficult end. 
  • There are three stages in the UPSC CSE. The steps of the civil services examination are as follows.
    1. Preliminary Stage
    2. Mains Stage
    3. Personality Test & Interview 


  • The UPSC CSE preliminary exam consists of two papers, conducted on one day with 2 hours for each paper.
  • In both, the paper’s questions are objective-type questions with multiple-choice answers. 
  • The two papers are General Studies 1 and 2. The GS 2 is also known as 
  • Civil Services Aptitude Test or CSAT.
  • There will be 100 questions in paper 1 and 80 in paper 2.
  • Each paper will be 200 marks making the total score of the UPSC CSE prelims 400.
  • While the GS 1 score will be considered for the cutoff of the prelims stage, the GS 2 is kept qualifying in nature and the minimum qualifying mark is 66 out of 200 total marks.
  • One must be careful as there is a negative marking of 1/3rd for every incorrect answer in both papers.
  • The entire preliminary stage is qualifying in nature and the marks scored are not counted in the final merit list.
  • The GS is intended to test the general awareness of Indian Polity, Geography, History, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations, and associated UPSC current affairs.
  • CSAT intends to assess the aptitude in solving ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions, apart from ‘Reading Comprehension and the occasionally asked ‘Decision Making’ questions.
  • The ‘Decision Making’ based questions are exempt from negative marking.
  • The Mains examination has 9 papers in total and is descriptive. The 9 papers involve 2 papers which are language papers and are qualifying in nature, 2 are optional subject papers, 1 is an essay paper and the further four are general studies papers. 




Benefits Of UPSC Previous Year Papers While Preparing

Let’s find out the benefits of solving the previous year’s questions while preparing for the UPSC CSE.

  • The UPSC previous year’s papers will enable you to understand the nature of questions in the UPSC Preliminary and Mains Examination. Once you get the context you can cover the topic from various preferred sources accordingly.
  • You can limit the source material along with the time required to be given to a particular topic. 
  • With the exact understanding of the question, you can easily prepare your notes which will be helpful for revisions.


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