IAS (Indian Administrative Service) or the civil services exam is conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) to recruit the candidates for Implementation of the government policies in India. Every year more than five lakh candidates appear for the UPSC IAS Exam but everyone is not able to clear the exam due to the lack of proper IAS syllabus knowledge and practice. UPSC exam can only be cleared with a proper understanding of the IAS exam pattern and preparation.

Candidates can download the UPSC IAS Syllabus PDF for previous year paper to have a proper understanding of the IAS exam syllabus. There are three stages included in the UPSC IAS exam that are listed below

  1. Prelims: - This is the objective type of exam that helps in the selection of the candidates for the main exam. Candidates who qualify the Prelims are eligible for the mains.
  2. Main Examination: - This is the objective type of examination for the selection of the candidate for the next stage.
  3. Interview: - This is the interview round or personality test for the selected student after the Prelims and Mains exam.

IAS Exam Pattern 2020

  • IAS Prelims exam is of objective type paper which is of 400 marks
  • It is qualifying in nature.
  • Negative marking is there for the IAS prelims exam.
  • IAS Prelims exam consists of two papers
    • Paper-I  - GAT – 200 marks
    • Paper-II – CSAT – 200 marks

UPSC IAS Exam Syllabus 2020

Candidates appearing for UPSC IAS Exam 2020 can check the detailed syllabus below. We have provided the pattern and syllabus separately for Prelims & Mains. 

IAS Syllabus for Prelims Exam

Paper- I (GAT) - General Ability Test

  • Duration – 2 hour
  • Marks – 200
  • Marks obtained in GAT will be counted for the merit rank.
IAS Prelims – Paper I - GAT
General Science
Current Events of National and International Importance
Indian Polity and Governance Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy and Right Issues
Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the world.
History of India and Indian National Movement.
Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives and General Issues on Environmental ecology.
Biodiversity and Climate Change.

Paper- II (CSAT) - Civil Service Aptitude Test

  • Duration – 2 hour
  • Marks – 200
  • Marks obtained in CSAT will not be counted for the merit rank.
IAS Prelims – Paper II - CSAT
Comprehension, Interpersonal Skills, and Communication Skills.
Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability.
Decision Making and Problem Solving.
General Mental Ability.
Basic Numeracy.
Data Interpretation.

IAS Mains Exam Pattern 2020

  • IAS main exam is conducted to test the academic ability of the candidate.
  • IAS main is descriptive in nature.
  • IAS main exam consists of nine papers
    • Two qualifying papers of 300 mark each.
      • Indian Language
      • English Language
Name of the Paper Marks
Paper A 300
Paper B 300
Essay Paper 250
General Studies I 250
General Studies II 250
General Studies III 250
General Studies IV 250
Optional Subject Paper I 250
Optional Subject Paper II 250

IAS Syllabus for Main Exam

  • IAS Main Language Papers (Paper A and Paper B)
    • Candidates have to score more than or equal to 25 % in both the language papers.
    • Language paper is qualifying in nature.
    • Both the Language paper follows the same exam pattern.

 IAS Main Exam Language papers consist

  • One essay question – 100 marks
  • Grammar and Basic Language – 40 marks
  • Translation from chosen language to English  - 20 marks
  • Translation from English to chosen language – 20 marks
  • Reading comprehension  - 60 marks
  • Precise writing – 60 marks

IAS Mains Essay Paper

  • IAS Main Essay paper doesn’t have any specified syllabus.
  • Two essays should be attempted by the candidates for a total of 250 marks.

IAS Syllabus for Main General Studies – I (GS Paper - I)

Modern Indian History - Different stages and important contributors and contributions from various parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’. - Post Independence consolidation and reorganization within the country. - Significant events, issues, personalities during the middle of the eighteenth century until the present.
History of the World
Society - Indian society and diversity. - Role of women and women's organizations, population and associated issues. - Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism, and secularism. - Effects of globalization on Indian Society.
Events, forms and Effect on Society since the 18th century - world wars, the Industrial revolution, colonization, decolonization, socialism, etc.
Geography - Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, etc. - Distribution of key natural resources across the world. - Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors industries in various parts of the world including India. - Salient features of the world's physical geography.

IAS Syllabus for Main General Studies – II (GS Paper - II)

Parliament and State Legislatures - Structure and Functioning. - Conduct of business - Powers and Privileges.
Indian Constitution - Evolution and Features. - Amendments. - Comparison of the Indian Constitutional scheme with that of other countries. - Historical underpinnings.
International Relations - India and Its neighborhood. - Bilateral, regional and global groupings. - Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests. - Important International institutions, agencies, their structure, and mandates.
Other Topics - Issues relating to poverty and hunger. - Role of civil services in a democracy. - Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector relating to Health, Education and Human Resources. - Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, limitations and transparency and accountability and institutional and other measures. - Development processes and the development industry. - Statuary, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. - Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act. - Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. - Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and the States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

IAS Syllabus for Main General Studies – III (GS Paper - III)

Economy - Indian Economy and issues relating to the planning of resources, growth, and development. - Effects of liberalization on the economy. - Government Budgeting. - Investments models.
Science and Technology - Recent developments and their applications. - Indigenization of technology and developing new technology. - General awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, and Robotics.
Environment - Conservation - Environmental pollution, degradation and impact assessment.
Disaster Management - Disaster Management laws and acts.
Security - Challenges to internal security. - Linkages between development and spread of extremism. - Security challenges and their management.

IAS Syllabus for Main General Studies – IV (GS Paper - IV)

Ethics and Human Interface - The essence of Ethics and Consequences of Ethics in Human Interaction. - Ethics in private and public relationships. - Human Values. - Role of family, society and educational institutions.
Attitude - Content, Structure, and function of attitude. - Relation of attitude to thought and behavior. - Moral and Political attitudes.
Emotional Intelligence - Concepts of emotional intelligence. - Utility and application of emotional intelligence in administration and governance.
Probity in Governance - Information Sharing and transparency in government. - Right to information. - Codes of Conduct. - Citizen’s Charters - Quality of service delivery.
Aptitude - Dedication to public service. - Integrity. - Impartiality and non – partisanship. - Objectivity.

IAS Mains Optional Subject (Two Papers)

  • The optional subject for the IAS mains exam has two papers total of 500 marks.
  • Candidate can choose one optional subject out of the total 48 options.

These are the important topics from the IAS Syllabus that the candidate must cover for IAS exam preparation.

PSPCL Exam Dates


How many sections are there in UPSC IAS Prelims Exam 2020?

There are two papers i.e., GAT & CSAT included in UPSC IAS Prelims Exam 2020.

For how many marks is IAS Prelims Exam conducted?

The IAS Prelims Exam is conducted for 400 marks.

How many sections are there in UPSC IAS Mains Exam 2020?

There are a total of 9 papers in UPSC IAS Mains Exam 2020. 

For how many marks is IAS Mains Exam conducted?

The UPSC IAS Mains is conducted for a total of 900 marks.

When is the UPSC IAS 2020 Exam conducted?

The UPSC IAS 2020 Exam is on May 31st, 2020.