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What is the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and Eligibility Criteria for IAS

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The Union Public Service Commission, every year, conducts a national level exam to find candidates to fill some of the most prestigious public sector positions in the government. These positions include the IAS, IPS, and IFS amongst others. The UPSC, quite famously, is also one of the country’s most difficult exams to crack. Since the prize is so highly coveted, thousands throng to prove their mettle in this battle of knowledge. This is a long and arduous journey, which begins with crossing the first barrier- the UPSC Prelims Syllabus.


Before applying for the UPSC CSE Exam, applicant must check the UPSC Age Limit to avoid laster stage disqualification. Once you fill the form, download the UPSC syllabus for prelims and mains and get the preparation started.  


What is the UPSC Age Limit?

Each candidate must be over 21 years of age but should not have attained the age of 32. 

Based on different categories, the UPSC age limit varies as per relaxations, and the maximum attempts allowed are given below-

  • General Category & EWS: 32 years; 6 attempts.
  • OBC : 32 years + 3 years; 9 attempts.
  • SC/ST: 32 years + 5 years; unlimited attempts.
  • Physically Disabled: 32 years + 10 years; Gen/OBC/Person with Benchmark Disability(EWS category)- 9 attempts & SC/ST unlimited attempts.
  • Jammu & Kashmir Domicile: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST); Number of attempts depends on the reserved category.
  • Disabled and discharged Defense Services Personnel: 32 years + 3 years + (3 years, if Gen/OBC OR 5 years, if SC/ST)
  • Ex-Servicemen Commission Officer: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST)

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

With that having been clarified, let us jump in to know more about your very first hurdle- the prelims. The UPSC Prelims syllabus consist of General Studies paper 1 and 2

    • General Studies Paper 1 consists of Current Affairs- Domestic and Global; the Indian National Movement and the history of India; Global Geography- Physical, Social, and Economic; Indian Governance and Polity- Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, the Constitution, etc.; Social and Economic Development- Sustainable Development, Inclusion, Social Initiatives, etc and General topics that relate to Climate Change, Biodiversity, etc and General Science. 
  • General Studies Paper 2 or the CSAT: This exam consists of Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Comprehension, Analytical Ability, Logical Reasoning, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Mental Ability, Numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) – Class X level), Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level).


Tips to prepare for UPSC Prelims


While preparing for the UPSC prelims you will have already covered a very major chunk of information that will be extremely useful to you when attempting the mains. The important thing is to not get flustered by the vast syllabus that this exam entails. There are already thousands that are working as hard, or even harder than you. What will make you shine is how smart you work. 

See Also : Best UPSC Coaching Course after Class 12 for IAS



  1. You should stay up-to-date with the latest news through newspapers or the internet, whichever is comfortable. There are also many resources available both online and offline from where you can actually find compiled lists of current affairs. 
  2. Work on your language proficiency. Practice talking and writing every day. Full immersion is the only real way to truly learn and employ a language. 
  3. Practice Numerical and reasoning ability questions. You can do this by solving mock tests and previous year’s papers.
  4. Leverage your strengths. Choose the subjects that are your strength and make them stronger. You will be able to score better that way. 


The above are just a few tips to help you prepare for the prelims. The journey to the coveted UPSC position is difficult, but not one that is yet to be traversed. It has been done before and it will be done again. Let’s make sure that it is done by you. 



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