Latest IAS Syllabus, Pattern, Books & Preparation Tips 2022

September 7, 2022

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Latest IAS Syllabus, Pattern, Books & Preparation Tips 2022

IAS Exam Syllabus & Exam Pattern Latest News

IAS Examination Format for 2022. This examination is known as the Civil Services Examination and is regarded as the most difficult examination in the nation. IAS Exam structure is crucial since the UPSC may at any moment surprise applicants. The test format allows you to efficiently manage your time and prepare for the examination. The ultimate order of the applicants is determined by their results on the Main Exam, Personality Test, and Interview.

Each step of the examination has a distinct weighting of points. The IAS Exam format enables applicants to better prepare for the examination. Candidates may download question papers from prior years to better comprehend the test format. Those with superior scores in these rounds will be recommended for advancement. Therefore, it is essential to fully understand the IAS Exam pattern.

IAS Exam Syllabus for Prelims

For the prelims exam, candidates have to prepare for two subjects. These are General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II. The detailed syllabus is as follows:

  • General Studies Paper-I: It includes topics like international and national importance. It also contains Indian history, the history of Indian national movements, and world geography. Topics like economic and social development are also part. Lastly, there are general issues like environmental ecology, biodiversity, and climate change.
  • General Studies Paper-II: It includes topics like comprehension. Candidates also need to prepare interpersonal and communication skills for this paper. Apart from this, Logical reasoning and analytical ability are also included. Decision-making and problem, general mental ability solving, and numeracy are the other topics in the syllabus of this paper. 

IAS Syllabus for Mains

Here is the subject-wise detailed syllabus for IAS mains 

1) Syllabus for Qualifying papers (Indian Languages and English)

 English Indian Language 
Comprehension of passages Comprehension of passages 
Precis Writing Precis Writing 
Usage and Vocabulary Usage and Vocabulary 
Short Essays Short Essays 
                                 – Translation of Indian Languages to English and vice versa

2) IAS Exam Syllabus for Paper-I: Essays

  • Aspirants have to pen down essays on various topics. 
  • While the essays should be in order and revolve around the theme. 

3) IAS Exam Syllabus for other papers

This includes seven papers. The syllabus for each paper is given below

Detailed IAS Exam Syllabus for Paper-II: General Studies-I

Paper-II includes the heritage and culture of India; the history and geography of the world, and the society 

  • Indian culture. It will cover literature, architecture (ancient to modern times), and all art forms.
  • History. It will include Modern Indian history from the middle of the 18th century until now. Topics related to the struggle for independence, its stages, and contributors are there.
  • Reorganization within the country and post-independence consolidation.
  • Historical world events before the 18th century will be there. It will cover the Industrial revolution, redraw world borders and. World wars. Also, information about decolonization, colonization, political philosophies, and their effect is available.
  • Diversity of India.
  • Salient features of Indian society are also there.
  • Women’s organization, population, role, and associated issues—urbanization and its problems; poverty and developmental issues and their remedies.
  • Impact of globalization on India.
  • History of political philosophies. It includes social empowerment, regionalism, secularism, and communalism.
  • Geography will also include the physical geography of the world and its salient features.
  • Geography also includes the world’s distribution of natural resources. It will also cover the Indian sub-continent and South Asia and geophysical phenomena like tsunamis, Volcanic activity, earthquakes, cyclones, etc.

 IAS Exam Syllabus for Paper-III: General Studies-II

Paper-III includes topics related to the constitution, governance, social justice, polity, and international relations. 

  • Indian Constitution.
  • Responsibilities and functions of the Union and the States. Also, challenges and issues related to the federal structure are there. 
  • Indian constitution and comparison of its scheme with other countries. 
  • Parliament and State legislatures are other important topics
  • Executive and the Judiciary. Its structure, organization, and functioning are also there.
  • Representation of the People’s Act. 
  • Various quasi-judicial bodies (Statutory and regulatory) are of importance.  
  • The role of various groups like NGOs, SHGs, associations, charities, etc., is to be covered. 
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable divisions by the state and centre are there. It includes the mechanism, laws, institutions, and bodies that protect the weaker sections.
  • Poverty and hunger issues. 
  • Democracy and civic services. 
  • India and its relationships with his neighborhood. 
  • Indian diaspora. 
  • Critical International agencies and institutions- their structure and mandate.

IAS Exam Syllabus for Paper-IV: General Studies-III

Paper-IV includes topics related to technology, biodiversity, environment, economic development, security, and disaster management:  

  • Indian economy and its issue
  • Inclusive growth and its issues 
  • Government budgeting. 
  • Cropping patterns across the country. It includes irrigation and irrigation systems storage. Its types; e-technology in aid of farmers. It also includes the scope and importance of food processing industries in India  
  • Indian land reforms.
  • Liberalization and its effect on the economy. Its impact on industrial growth and changes in industrial policy is there. 
  • The infrastructure of roads, railways, ports, etc., coupled with topics like investment models, science, and technology, are also there.
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology
  • Environmental pollution and ecological conservation. It also provides degradation and environmental impact assessments.
  • Disaster and its management. 
  • A detailed account of the development and spread of extremism and its linkage. 
  • Challenges faced via communication networks. It also provides media and social networking sites’ role in internal security.
  • Money-laundering, its prevention, and cybersecurity.
  • Crime with terrorism in border areas is a part of the syllabus. It also includes its security and challenges.
  • A detailed study about the security forces, various agencies, and their mandate.

IAS Exam Syllabus for Paper-V: General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)

Paper- V includes topics like the approach of candidates towards issues like probity in public life and integrity. It also entails a problem-solving approach.  

  • Ethics and the human interface 
  • Aptitude, foundational values, and attitude.  Moreover, philosophers and moral thinkers from around the world and their contributions are also there.  
  • Probity in Governance. Its concept and philosophical basis.
  • The case studies on various issues. 

IAS Exam Syllabus for Paper – VI & VII 

  • It includes optional Subject Papers I & II.  Besides, a candidate may opt for any one Optional Subject (mentioned in the exam section below) 

Know More – IAS Important Date & Notifications

IAS Exam Pattern

Candidates who opt for the UPSC IAS exam must qualify for its three steps.

  • Preliminary examination (IAS prelims)
  • Main’s examination (IAS mains)
  • UPSC personality test or personal interview

IAS Exam (Prelims)

The IAS Prelims Syllabus questions for the IAS preliminary test are multiple-choice, or objective. Examinees are required to complete two distinct papers. Each of these papers is two hours long. However, the exam is administered online.

In reference to the papers, the first paper is General studies. The second question pertains to the Civil Service Aptitude Test. Also referred to as General Studies Papers-II.

The nature of the papers is next. In general, the General Studies Paper-I is based on merit. It is worth 200 points and has 100 questions. In addition, the CSAT exam is qualifying. There are only 80 questions for 200 points.

Calculations of Marks

Both sections of the examination must be taken by all applicants. Being one of the most difficult exams, each incorrect response is penalised. This only occurs at this stage. However, the negative grading for each incorrect response is 0.66 percent of the total marks for the questions assigned.

In addition, the UPSC will not include the marks acquired in this phase towards the overall IAS test result. However, this exam serves as a screening examination to determine whether applicants are qualified to take the IAS exam. In this examination, only those applicants who score over the cutoff qualify for further consideration.

Continuing with another aspect, the UPSC does not discriminate against applicants with impairments. In addition, there is a provision for blind applicants. In order to compete with other candidates, they are given an additional 20 minutes to finish their IAS preliminary test papers.

IAS Mains

Now we are at the second phase of the UPSC IAS exam. Unlike the preliminary stage, this exam is descriptive. Being a written examination, the mode of exam is offline. In this stage, the candidates must appear for nine papers in the exam. Moreover, the exam duration in this stage increases by one hour, meaning each paper is of three-hour duration.

Here is some information about the IAS Mains Syllabus of the IAS mains exam.

  • Paper A: It is qualifying in nature. It is a language paper of 300 marks. Here are a few language papers:  Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sindhi, Persian, Kashmiri, Sanskrit, etc.
  • Paper B: The second one is an English paper. It is also qualifying in nature and again of 300 marks
  • Paper-I: Then comes the Essay writing paper. This one is of merit ranking but only 250 marks
  • Paper-II, III, IV, and V are General Studies papers of 250 marks each. These are also of merit ranking nature.
  • Optional Paper VI and VII: These are the optional papers. This one is the exam of two additional papers. These are also 250 marks. Some optional subjects are agriculture, botany, history, law, mathematics, management, physics, psychology, Urdu, statistics, zoology, etc.

IAS Personality Test/ Personal Interview

This is the last and final stage of the IAS exam. After this stage, UPSC recruits the candidates for different posts. This stage has one this similar to the previous one, i.e., only those candidates appear here who clear the mains exam stage first. Ultimately, UPSC summons the qualified candidates and assesses their personality traits.

To evaluate these candidates for the last stage of the IAS exam, the UPSC questions them on various parameters. These include questions based on general knowledge, candidates’ hobbies, current affairs, and situational questions. The main motive of the board is to find the candidate who fits the position. Moreover, UPSC holds the IAS exams personality test in UPSC Bhavan, New Delhi.

Know More – IAS Admit Card and Interview call letter

IAS Recommended Books 

Here are some of the suggestions: 

  • A book by M. Laxmikanth named Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth on Polity 
  • Nitin Singhania’s book on culture entitled Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania 
  • Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers (Geography)  
  • Book on Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh 
  • India Year Book (Current Affairs)  
  • Book by Rajiv Ahir on Modern India called Brief History of Modern India by  
  • Manual by MHE (CSAT) on General Studies Paper 2  

IAS Preparation Tips

Above all, here are some of the tips for exam preparation: 

  • Start preparing 
  • Always know your syllabus 
  • Prepare your timetable 
  • Select your optional papers (possibly the ones you have some hold upon). 
  • Start reading newspapers 
  • Keep information about current events around the world 
  • Know your local history and geography 
  • Start making notes 
  • Dedicate the most time to your studies 
  • Solve the previous year’s question papers
  • Give mock tests positively 
  • Read relevant magazines  
  • Furthermore, buy recommended books and read them. 
  • Read toppers interviews  
  • Improve your interpersonal and communication skills 

Check Out Other UPSC Exams –

UPSC CSE Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

IPS Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

IRS Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

CSAT Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification


Q.1 What are the subjects in IAS?

Ans. The syllabus for the Indian Administrative Service test is organised into 48 topic categories. The IAS notice offers applicants with information on the elective courses from which they may choose to prepare for the IAS test. Each candidate for a post with the UPSC may choose one of these fields from a list. There are 25 distinct subjects of study open to you, including 23 different literary and linguistic specialities.

Suppose you already have a plan for the rest of your life. In such scenario, the topic you choose for your bachelor’s degree should cover the bulk of the information on the UPSC curriculum, otherwise it might be a feasible option for the Mains examination. History, politics, sociology, and economics are usually stressed while recruiting candidates for the United States Public Service Commission (UPSC). Choose carefully! You have 1750 marks available, and each topic is worth 500 of those total marks.

Q.2 What are the 12 subjects for IAS?

Ans. The course material for the IAS exam has been updated by the UPSC. The material for the course touches on a wide variety of topics. The details are as follows: –

  • In the General Studies paper, I will cover topics from the IAS Syllabus on Hindi, Indian heritage and culture, history, and geography of the world and society.
  • General studies paper II will cover governance, the constitution, polity, social justice, and international relations.
  • Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management are the topics to be covered in the General Studies Paper-III
  • The General Studies Final Exam concerns the questions on Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

Candidates ought to spend as much time as possible getting acquainted with the concepts that will most likely be tested on the examination.

Q.3 How many exams are there in IAS?

Ans. The Indian Administrative Service examination is comprised of three sections: (1) the Preliminary Examination, (2) the Main Examination, and (3) the Interview (Objective Test). Second, the main exam (Written Test). Third, a Character Test (Interview).

Each applicant is expected to complete two papers during the preliminary tests. The Mains examination comprises of nine papers that measure Indian and English language proficiency in the contemporary era. Components of this course include essay writing, completion of General Studies I and II, and work on an optional topic paper. The Preliminary test is intended to be used as a screening instrument for persons who have not studied.

Q.4 What questions come in IAS?

Ans. During an IAS interview, each question is designed to test your critical thinking ability, analytical reasoning, and creative problem-solving. To be ready for the most challenging questions at the IAS interview, you must do it in advance.

A portion of the IAS exam consists of the preliminary, primary, and interview. During the preliminary exam, you will be asked questions about general studies and current events worldwide. The main exam is divided into three parts and has a total point value of 1750. The questions for each phase are different; however, looking back at the questions from the previous year may give you a better idea of the kinds of questions you can expect to see this time around.

Q.5 Which syllabus is best for IAS?

Ans. How to answer this question depends on what the student is interested in and what their situation is. The UPSC exam syllabus can be chosen by the person taking the exam. Aspirants have options in everything from the humanities to the sciences.

Humanities have been considered the most important part of UPSC exams for a long time since they make up a big part of the curriculum. At the moment, Humanities may not be the only subject that guarantees success. Bachelor’s degrees in History, Economics, Politics, and Sociology are best for UPSC because they cover most of the curriculum. These courses are also Mains optional. If you take them in college, you may be able to answer most of the questions in the optional.

As for Science, Engineering, and Medicine, recent data shows that students with backgrounds in Engineering and Medicine do best on the UPSC test. Some students might not choose them because the questions are too technical. Some students may not think science subjects are right for them because they are mostly limited to optional exams and may not help with other parts of the UPSC test.

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