What is the UPSC CSE / IAS Exam Syllabus & Booklist for Prelims Examination

UPSC CIVIL SERVICE EXAM has an extensive syllabus and to cover the same many aspirants refer different sources and hence get confused .UPSC doesn’t demand subject specialization but general knowledge for the same . Adhering to the syllabus becomes the focal point as it saturates the preparation  topic wise. Aspirants should however, refer the books which he/she finds easy to understand and the objective of Preparation is met.  There are two papers in Prelims (GS 1 and CSAT) both are objective type with negative marking. NCERT forms the basic foundation for further understanding the advance books of any phase of the exam in UPSC whether it could be Prelims or Mains. Student should finish their NCERT subjects for the basic conceptual clarity and then jump to Advance/reference books. However before referring to the sources of booklist it is expected for an aspirant to understand the syllabus of the UPSC Exam to further have thorough clarity on what is expected from an aspirant from exam point of view. Here is the Syllabus of the UPSC Prelims Exam: Syllabus is the most important aspect of the UPSC preparation. To saturate books topic wise syllabus should be revised and followed sincerely.



IAS Prelims Syllabus  – General Studies Paper I

  1. Current events of national and international importance.
  2. History of India and Indian National Movement.
  3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  7. General science


IAS Prelims Syllabus – General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)

    1. Comprehension
    2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
    3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
    4. Decision making and problem-solving
    5. General mental ability
    6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.)(Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. — Class X level)


Booklist can be followed for Prelims Preparation:

History1.    India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra

2.    Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

3.    NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)

4.    NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)

Geography1.    Certificate Physical Geography – G C Leong

2.    NCERT VI – X (Old Syllabus)

3.    NCERT XI, XII (New Syllabus)

4.    World Atlas (Orient Black Swan)

Indian Polity1.    Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth


Economics1.    Indian Economy by Nitin Singhania

2.    Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain & Ohri

3.    NCERT XI

International Relations1.    NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)

2.    Current Affairs

CSAT1.    Previous Year Question Papers Compilation Book

2.    Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R S Aggarwal

Solved Papers1.    IAS General Studies Prelims Solved Papers – Vishal Publications
Ravinder Singal
Ravinder Singal
Quitters Don’t Win and Winners Don’t Quit. Ironman | Deccan Cliffhanger | Comrade Legend Finisher | Motivational Speaker | Writer | Endurance Athlete


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