UPSC Syllabus 2018: Papers, Subjects, Questions, Marks

UPSC Civil Services Exam is recognized as IAS worldwide acquired by UPSC in India.

Every year there are just around 5 lakh students opting for prelims, 15000 are suitable for mains, and lastly, 1000 aspirants are able to clear extremely distinguished civil services exam.

This figure rationalizes the initial report of this article, you will get all the details in connection with UPSC Syllabus 2018, for Prelims and Mains. overall, the UPSC is conducted in three stages- preliminary, mains and interview.

UPSC 2018 Syllabus 

Paper Subjects Questions Total marks Duration
I General studies
(this is the qualifying paper for mains examination)
100 200 2 hours
II Aptitude skills
(this paper is also qualifying but the person has to score at least 33% marks)
80 200 2 hours


  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 General Science


  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)

UPSC Syllabus 2018 PHASE II: MAINS EXAMINATION (1750 marks) 

The phase II examination facilitates the student’s skill to signify the details in a comprehensible way. The UPSC mains Examination focuses on complete logical skills and extent of interpretation than merely then facts and recollection.

The IAS exam will have 9 papers of which 2 papers of 300 marks are presented as qualifying and marks are not the way to final

  • Any Indian language
  • English


Paper – A
Language -300 Marks
(Candidate can take any Modern Indian language but this paper is of qualifying nature)
Paper – B
English -300 Marks
(This paper is of qualifying nature)
Paper – I
Essay – 250 Marks
(Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice)
General Studies-I 250 Marks
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)
General Studies -II: 250 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
General Studies -III 250 Marks
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
General Studies -IV 250 Marks
(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)
Marks carried by General Studies papers are 4X 250=1000
Optional Subject – Paper 1 -250 Marks
Optional Subject – Paper II -250 Marks
(Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject “without the condition of having it at the graduation level.”)
Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks
Marks of English and Language will not be counted in the total tally of marks for the written exam. So the total of the Mains exam will be 1750 Marks Only.

PAPER 1: ESSAY (250) 

Essay writing is the most crucial section of UPSC Syllabus 2018 for mains exam. In this section. Students must prepare an essay on the topic.


  • In UPSC Syllabus 2018 mains, General Studies is the very important part. Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society form the key aspects of it.
  • Indian culture will provide the facts on Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes