Jul 03, 2012 at 03:47pm IST

UPSC Syllabus: Prelims exam (GS, Civil Services Aptitude Test)

The Government of India announced a new pattern of examination in 2011 to sort out candidates for the Indian Civil Services main examination. The new pattern, to be called the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), consists of two papers. Both the papers will be of objective type and will focus on the aptitude test

for the civil services and the ethical and moral dimensions of decision-making.

In preliminary examination, one paper is common for all the examinee while the second paper is optional where they can choose any one of the given 23 subjects. Expert committees and panels who had submitted their reports regarding the introduction of CSAT have laid more emphasis on the candidate’s aptitude. They believe that one need not to be a subject specialist to become a good civil servant.

In preliminary examination, one paper is common for all the examinee while the second paper is optional.

The Civil Services examination is carried out by the UPSC in three stages. The first stage will comprise of CSAT while the second and third stage will remain unchanged. Experts are also reviewing the second and third stages of the examination.

The Preliminary Examination shall now comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each and of two hours duration each. Detailed below is the new syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination, which is brought to the notice of the prospective candidates intending to appear at the Civil Services Examination (CSE):

Paper I (200 marks), Duration: Two hours

Current events of national and international importance

History of India and Indian National Movement

Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.

Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization

General Science

Paper II- (200 marks), Duration: Two hours


Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

Logical reasoning and analytical ability

Decision making and problem solving

General mental ability

Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.Class X level)

English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type.