IPS Syllabus: Latest Exam Pattern, Books & Preparation Tips

September 7, 2022

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

The Indian Police Service Exam is one of the most sought-after examinations in the country. The overseeing board is the Union Public Service Commission. Also, the Commission holds the exam in the various states across the country. Candidates can check out the Indian Police Service Syllabus here.

The Exam tests the candidates’ knowledge of a variety of subjects. The candidates will have to pass the interview. The physical screening test requires the candidates to pass through a specified set of chest and height measurements. The candidates should show their physical proficiency. The commission needs the candidate to go through foundational training and other such courses. For instance, the various foundational courses are available in:

  •  LSBNAA or Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration
  •  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy

Indian Police Service Syllabus

The UPSC sees the candidate as qualified to become a full-fledged Indian Police Service officer. But first, the UPSC needs the candidate to go through three initial rounds.

The selection process for Indian Police Service divided into three initial parts:

  • IPS Prelims
  • IPS Mains
  • IPS Interview

Indian Police Service Prelims Examination

There are two papers in the Indian Police Service Prelims. They are Objective-type papers. Moreover, the two papers are of two hours each. Each paper will focus on different subjects. The Prelims are of qualifying nature only. Thus, the Board will not add their marks to the Final Merit List.

Paper I

  • Current Events. Both Indian and International importance.
  • Indian History National Movement.
  • Indian as well as World Geography.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General Science in addition to Environmental Science

Paper II

  • Comprehension
  • Communication skills
  • Logical Reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision making problem-solving
  • General mental Ability
  • Data Interpretations. For example, charts, graphs, tables, etc.
  • Numerical ability (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.)

Indian Police Service Mains Examination

The Indian Police Service process contains the written exam. There is a total of 9 papers. However, two of these papers are qualifying in nature.

The two qualifying papers are:

  1. Indian Language Paper
  2. English Paper

The Compulsory papers are as follows:

  1. Essay paper
  2. General Studies 1 (Indian Heritage/Culture, History and Geography of the World)
  3. General Studies 2 (Governance, Polity, Constitution, Social Justice and International Relations)
  4. General Studies 3 (Bio-diversity, Technology, Environment, Security, Development, Disaster Management)
  5. General Studies 4 (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

Next, the candidates will be able to choose for the following papers:

  1. Optional Subjects – Paper 1
  2. Optional Subjects – Paper 2

Mains Qualifying Papers

The candidate can choose the following languages for the Indian Language Paper

GujaratiKonkaniNepaliSindhiBodo English
HindiMalayalamOdiaTamilDogri –

Whereas, the second Qualifying paper will only be in English.

There are some similarities between the two qualifying Language papers. For example, both papers must include precise writing, comprehension, usage, and vocabulary. However, translation questions will be included in the Indian Language paper.

Mains General Papers

Paper 1

The candidates will have to tackle an Essay paper.

Paper 2

The candidates will have to tackle the General Studies 1 paper, which includes the following topics in it:

  • Indian culture like Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from early ages to present times.
  • Modern Indian history.
  • The Freedom Struggle
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world. This includes the Industrial Revolution, World Wars, Colonization, Decolonization, Political Philosophies like Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, etc.
  • Salient features of Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization,
  • Globalization
  • Social empowerment, regionalism communalism in addition to secularism.
  • World’s physical geography.
  • Natural resources across the world.
  • Important Geophysical phenomena like earthquakes, Tsunami, cyclones, etc.
  • Geographical features and their location – changes in critical geographical features and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
Paper 3

The candidates will have to tackle the General Studies 2 paper having topics:

  • Indian Constitution – Evolution, It’s Features, Amendments, etc.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union as well as the States.
  • Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
  • Separation of powers, dispute redressal mechanisms in addition to institutions.
  • Indian constitution comparison with others.
  • Parliament and State legislatures
  • Executive as well as the Judiciary
  • Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment of Constitutional posts, powers, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Government policies Interventions for development.
  • Development processes (Role of NGOs, SHGs, donors, charities, Welfare schemes by the Center and States).
  • Social Sector, Services Issues to Health, Education, Human Resources issues. 
  • Poverty and hunger issues.
  • Role of civil services in a democratic country.
  • Neighborhood relations.
  • Bilateral, regional, and global groupings in addition to Indian agreements
  • Important international institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
Paper 4

The candidates will have to tackle the General Studies 3 paper includes topic like:

  • Indian Economy planning, mobilization, resources, growth, etc.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crop-cropping patterns in the country different types of irrigation systems, storage, transport, e-technology in the aid of farmers, etc.
  • Direct and indirect farm subsidies in addition to minimum support prices
  • Public Distribution System like buffer stocks and food security issues. Technology missions, economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and other related industries in India
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Liberalization effects on the economy, changes in industrial policy
  • Infrastructure: Roads, Airports, Railways, Energy, Ports, etc.
  • Science and Technology
  • Indian achievements in science in addition to technology
  • Awareness in IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano/Bio-technology, Intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Internal as well as external security challenges.
  • Disaster management.
Paper 5

The candidates will have to tackle the General Studies 4 paper.

  • Candidates’ attitude as well as approach to issues like issues on integrity, probity in public life, problem-solving approach, etc.
  • Ethics and Human Interface.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function. For instance, its influence or relation with thought and behavior, etc.
  • Aptitude foundational values for the Civil Services, integrity, impartiality, dedication, empathy, tolerance, etc.
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • Moral thinkers and philosophers.
  • Probity in Governance Concept of public service and the philosophical basis of governance.
  • Case studies on such issues.
Paper 6 and 7

These two papers are optional. Thus, UPSC has provided a list of optional subjects to choose from.

  • Agriculture, Animal Husbandry Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology 
  • Sociology
  • Botany, Chemistry, Physics and Medical Science
  • Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  • Commerce 
  • Accountancy
  • Economics 
  • Management
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Law
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Political Science and International  Relations Aspects of Public Administration     
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Zoology
  • Literature
  • Philosophy

Know More – IPS Result & Cut off Marks

Indian Police Service Exam Pattern

The exam pattern for the Indian Police Service examination comprises three parts. The initial test starts with an Objective-type Prelims exam. And this examination comprises Multiple Choice Questions. Further, it consists of 200 marks for each of the two Prelims papers. There is negative marketing on the questions which the candidates fail to answer correctly.

The next round consists of the Mains exam. In short, the candidates will go through 9 papers. They are all compulsory papers and the total marks for the Language Assessments papers are 300 marks. Whereas, the remaining papers are 250 marks each.

The next step consists of the Interview or the Personality tes.t The questions are primarily of general interest. As a result, the personality test assesses the candidate’s mental capacity.

Thus, candidates need to successfully pass all three stages for the examination. Subsequently, the UPSC recruits them for the posts in the Indian Police Service.

Information about Prelims

The candidates hoping to clear the Indian Police Service Exam should check out the Prelims exam pattern below:

PaperSubjectsQuestionsMarksDuration of the Examination
Paper ICurrent Events, Geography, History, Polity, Economics, etc.100200120 minutes or 2 hours
Paper IIComprehension, Reasoning, Logic, basic Numerical Ability, etc.100200120 minutes or 2 hours
Total200400240 minutes or 4 hours

Information about Mains

 Candidates should certainly review the Indian Police Service Syllabus for the Mains exam. They should hoping to pass the Indian Police Service Exam should review the Mains exam pattern below:

PaperSubjectsMarksDuration of the Examination
Paper AIndian Language Paper300180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper BEnglish300180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper IEssay250180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper IIGeneral Studies 1250180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper IIIGeneral Studies 2250180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper IVGeneral Studies 3250180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper VGeneral Studies 4250180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper VIOptional Paper 1250180 minutes or 3 hours
Paper VIIOptional Paper 2250180 minutes or 3 hours

The books form an important part of the aspirant’s preparation for the Indian Police Service Examinations. Thus, there are a variety of books available in the market which aspirants can use to prepare for the UPSC examinations. Since the Indian Police Service syllabus is vast, the candidates will need to consult specific books. The candidates should consider using the following books to have a better grasp of the Prelims and Mains.

For instance, this includes:

  • S. Agarwal’s Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Aptitude by Abhijit Guha
  • Logical Reasoning by RS Agarwal
  • Current Affairs by Arihant
  • General Knowledge 2021 by Manohar Pandey
  • Olive board’s Data Interpretation Decoded: DI and Data Sufficiency for Prelims & Mains
  • Pearson’s Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation by N.K. Sinha
  • Pearson’s Indian Culture, Art and Heritage by D. Pattnaik
  • Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity
  • Pearson’s Indian Economy

However, candidates should keep in mind that the subjects are ever-evolving. Thus, they should not consider the above books as an exhaustive list of resources. The books are all available at online stores like Amazon and Flipkart. Besides, they are available in bookstores as well.

Know More – IPS Admit Card and Interview call letter

IPS Preparation Tips

The Indian Police Service Exam tests the mental power of the candidates. Moreover, it also tests their physical abilities later in the training process. Every year, thousands of students sit for the examination for a very limited number of seats. Thus, the candidates should properly prepare for the IPS examination. Because many candidates are not taking it for the first time, it makes the exam more competitive.

Be thorough with the Indian Police Service Syllabus

IPS aspirants should prepare well before appearing for this exam. Because the syllabus for the exam covers a lot of subjects. Thus, one may easily leave a subject out. Candidates are therefore advised to clearly follow the syllabus of the examination and also have a clear idea about the exam pattern.

Practice with the Previous Years’ Questions

The IPS candidates should take note of the previous year’s questions of the examination to have a better idea about the type of questions. The candidates should also ensure that they solve mock tests and previous years’ question papers. This will not only help them to revise but also become more confident in their ability.

Train Yourself to Manage Time

The aspirants should also ensure that they take into account the limited amount of time. They should practice the papers accordingly. In fact, time management is a very important component when it comes to acing this examination. Thus, candidates hoping to clear the exam should set themselves up against a timer. Furthermore, this will train the candidate to focus on what is before them and not on various distractions.

Read More – IPS Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

Keep Yourself Fit

Also, it is a very physically taxing process to qualify for the Indian Police Service. However, with enough dedication, it is possible to qualify for the IPS exam. Thus, try to exercise daily, maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Don’t Get Discouraged

You should keep in mind that you are applying something that requires your service to your country. Besides, even applying for the same indicates a person of tremendous spirit. However, obstacles are inevitable.

So, keep working towards your goal. As a result, you are sure to crack the Indian Police Service exam.

Check Out Other Police Exams – 

IAS Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

UPSC CSE Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

IRS Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

CSAT Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification


Q.1 What are the subjects in IPS?

Ans. The main exam will consist of nine papers. You will be required to complete two 300-point qualifying papers. Marks from qualifying papers will not be considered or counted. Each of the remaining seven subjects will be worth 250 points. Paper I is worth 200 points and takes 2 hours to complete. It covers topics such as World Geography, Environmental Studies, General Science, Indian History and Movements, Polity, Economic and Social Development. Paper II is also 2 hours long and includes MCQs on topics such as passage writing, communication skills, decision making and problem solving, mental ability, and English language.

Q.2 How many subjects are there in IPS?

Ans. Your main exam will be made up of nine papers. You will have two 300-point qualifying papers. Qualifying paper marks will not be considered or counted. The remaining seven subjects will be worth 250 points each.It includes subjects like Indian history, Indian and world geography, economic and social development, environmental ecology, general science, etc. in the paper 1 and in paper 2, it includes comprehension, communication skills, decision making, problem solving, logical reasoning, mental ability, etc.

Q.3 How can I study for IPS?

Ans. You can join the online classes from the different educational sites like Udemy, Unacademy, Gradeup, etc. You can also choose the Commerce or Humanities streams if you want to have a foundation or background for the exam syllabus. These streams allow you to study subjects relevant to the Civil Services exam, such as history, geography, civics, and economics.

Q.4 Which subject is best for IPS?

Ans. You must have a bachelor’s degree in any specialization and pass the UPSC examination to become an IPS officer. You can complete your 10+2 in the Arts stream while also studying civics. A BA in civics, economics, history, or political science is also an option. You can easily pass the exam if you improve your fundamental knowledge in these areas.

Q.5 What is main exam in IPS?

Ans. The UPSC Main Examination is intended to assess a candidate’s academic expertise as well as his or her ability to present knowledge consistently. The UPSC Mains exam is intended to evaluate candidates’ overall intellectual abilities and conceptual understanding. It contains the following papers:

  • 300 marks for Paper I—General English
  • 300 marks for Paper II—General Knowledge
  • Papers III, IV, V, and VI. —Any two subjects chosen from the list of optional subjects set.
  • There will be two papers for each subject. — Each paper is of 200 points.

Q.6 Is math’s necessary for IPS?

Ans. A candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree from a university recognized by the UGC or an equivalent qualification to be eligible for the qualification category for IPS. As a result, mathematics is not required for the IPS Officer examination.

Q.7 Is IPS exam difficult?

Ans. Yes, due to the aforementioned factors, the UPSC exam can be described as difficult, and its difficulty is dependent on the individual’s interests and method of preparation. It is not, however, impenetrable, as previously stated. You can easily pass this exam if you stick to a strategy and prepare in the right way.

Q.8 What is IPS qualification?

Ans. To sit for the UPSC exam, the candidate must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. Candidates who have written the qualifying exam (bachelor’s degree) final year exams and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply. Candidates who pass the final exam are eligible to sit for the UPSC prelims exam. These candidates must provide proof of passing the exam when applying for the IAS mains exam.