Syllabus and exam pattern for UPSC IAS Exam 2023

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will post the UPSC IAS 2023 syllabus and notice on its official website, In the official announcement, candidates would have access to the UPSC IAS curriculum for 2023. The preliminary UPSC IAS 2023 examination will be administered on May 28, 2023.  

The UPSC Syllabus 2023 pdf states that there will be two papers in the preliminary round of the UPSC IAS exam and seven papers (eight if you include the optional subject) in the main round. While completing the extensive UPSC IAS application form 2023, candidates will be asked to choose an optional subject area. In addition to studying the UPSC IAS curriculum, a thorough familiarity with the IAS exam pattern is essential. We will go through everything pertaining to the UPSC IAS Exam 2023 curriculum and exam structure. 

Overview of UPSC IAS Syllabus 2023

Name of exam Civil Services Exam (UPSC IAS)
Conducting body Union Public Service Commission
Mode of Exam Offline (UPSC paper pattern for Prelims- MCQ- based) 

(UPSC Paper Pattern for Mains – Descriptive)

(Personality Test – Interview in front of board members)

Number of Stages Prelims, Mains & Interview 
Number of papers in UPSC Exam Prelims: 2

Mains: 7

Time Duration of UPSC CSE exam Prelims: 2 hours (each paper) for a total of 4 hours

Mains: 3 hours (per paper) totaling 27 hours across many days

Type of questions Prelims: Objective type
Mains: Subjective type

UPSC IAS 2023 Preliminary Exam Pattern & Syllabus

The Prelims Exam, which is the first part of the examination, is to narrow down the pool of applicants for the main examination, and it is just a screening test. When determining the final merit, the preliminary exam scores are not taken into consideration. The preliminary examination consists of two exams of an objective nature, each of which carries a maximum score of 400 points. 

The two examinations will each last two hours and consist of objective questions with multiple choices.


Candidates need a 33% or higher on the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination’s General Studies Paper-II to advance to the next round of testing. 

The examination questions will be provided in both Hindi and English.

In objective papers, negative marking of one-third of the marks awarded to a question



UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Pattern 2023


Number of papers GS 1 AND GS 2
Language of paper English
Duration of exam 4 hours (2 hours each)
Number of questions General studies paper 1: 100

General studies paper 2: 80

Maximum marks 400 (200 each)
Qualifying marks 33% for Paper 2


UPSC IAS Mains Exam Pattern 2023


Number of papers 7
Language of paper English
Descriptive paper
Duration of exam 3 hours each
Subjects Compulsory Indian language



  • General Studies I
  • General Studies II
  • General Studies III
  • General Studies IV
  • Optional I
  • Optional II
Number of questions Part A and B: 300 each

General studies and optional paper: 250 each

Maximum marks 1750


General Studies Paper-I Syllabus for prelims exam

The highest possible score is 200, and you have 2 hours to answer 100 questions on the following topics.

  1. National and international newsworthy happenings right now
  2. The Indian national movement and its history
  3. Indian and World Geography covers the physical, social, and economic geography of India and the world.
  4. The Indian Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc. Indian Polity & Governance
  5. Economic and social development—poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives, etc.
  6. Climate change, biodiversity, and environmental ecology are general topics that don’t call for academic specialization.
  7. General knowledge about science


General Studies Paper-II Syllabus for prelims exam


It consists of 80 questions from the following categories, with a total possible score of 200, to be completed in two hours.


  1. Comprehension.
  2. Communication skills are part of interpersonal abilities.
  3. analytical and logical thinking skills.
  4. Making decisions and addressing problems
  5. mental flexibility.
  6. Basic numerical skills (orders of magnitude, relations between numbers, etc. (Class X level).
  7. interpretation of data (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc., at Class X level).


The IAS General Studies Exam II is a qualifying paper, and the minimum passing score is set at 33%.

A candidate is required to participate in both papers of the IAS Prelim Exam in order to be evaluated.

UPSC UPSC IAS Mains 2023 Exam Pattern & Syllabus

There is both a written test and an oral interview for the IAS main exam (personality test). There are two types of papers on the main exam: those that determine eligibility and those that determine merit. 


1.Qualifying Papers (language papers only qualifying).

Paper-A – 200 marks

(One of the Indian languages chosen by the candidate from the languages listed in the Constitution’s Eighth Schedule).

Syllabus :

(i) comprehension of specified texts

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary

(IV) Short Essays

(V) Translations from English to the Indian language and vice versa.


Paper-B – 200 marks (English language)


(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.


The papers on essays, general studies, and optional subjects will only be considered for those candidates who meet the minimum qualifying requirements of 25% in “Indian Language’ and 25% in “English” in these qualifying papers.

2. Mains Papers to be counted for final merit

Paper-I: Essay (250 marks)


Candidates may be expected to write essays on a variety of subjects. They will be required to adhere carefully to the essay’s topic, organize their arguments logically, and write clearly. Effective and accurate expression will be rewarded.


Paper-2 (GS paper – 1) (250 marks)

Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society.

  1. The most important elements of Indian art, literature, and architecture from antiquity to the present will be discussed.
  2. The most important figures, events, and problems in modern Indian history, which spans from the middle of the 18th century to the current day.
  3. The Freedom Struggle—its numerous phases and significant participants/contributions from various regions of the nation.
  4. Consolidation and reorganisation of the nation upon independence.
  5. Events beginning in the 18th century, such as the industrial revolution, global wars, redrawing of state borders, colonialism, decolonization, and the rise and fall of political doctrines like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc., will be covered in this course.
  6. Important characteristics of Indian society, India’s diversity.
  7. The function of women and the organisation of women, population and related concerns, poverty and issues of development, urbanisation, its difficulties, and solutions.
  8. Globalization’s effects on Indian society.
  9. Community building, regionalism, secularism, and social empowerment.
  10. Important aspects of the physical geography of the planet.
  11. Key natural resource distribution around the globe (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); determinants of where primary, secondary, and tertiary sector enterprises are found across the world (including India).
  12. Important geophysical phenomena include flora and fauna, changes in essential geographic features (including water bodies and ice caps), earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, cyclones, and other natural disasters, as well as their location and impact.

Paper-3 (GS paper – 2) (250 marks)

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

  1. The fundamental elements, characteristics, modifications, major clauses, and historical context of the Indian Constitution.
  2. Functions and duties of the Union and the States, problems and difficulties with the federal system, obstacles with the devolution of authority and resources to local levels.
  3. Power separation between multiple departments, conflict resolution procedures, and institutions.
  4. Comparative analysis of the Indian constitution with that of other nations.
  5. Parliament and State legislatures—structure, operation, conduct of business, authorities & privileges, and difficulties deriving from them.
  6. Structure, structure, and operation of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; the function of pressure organizations and formal/informal associations.
  7. Key aspects of the Representation of the People Act.
  8. Appointment to different Constitutional positions, powers, responsibilities, and duties of various Constitutional Bodies.
  9. Statutory, regulatory, and other quasi-judicial organizations.
  10. Government development policies include interventions in numerous areas, as well as challenges emerging from their design and execution.
  11. The involvement of NGOs, SHGs, diverse organizations and associations, funders, charities, and other institutional and non-institutional players in development processes and the development industry.
  12. Welfare programmes for vulnerable sectors of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; processes, laws, institutions, and Bodies established for the protection and improvement of these sections.
  1. Development and administration of the Social Sector/Services pertaining to Health, Education, and Human Resources.
  2. Concerns around poverty and hunger.


  1. Important facets of governance, transparency, and accountability; e-governance applications, models, accomplishments, limits, and possibilities; citizens’ charters, openness & accountability, and institutional and other measurements.
  2. Civil services’ function in a democracy.
  3. India and its connections with its neighbors.
  4. Groupings and agreements at the bilateral, regional, and global levels including India and/or impacting its interests.
  5. Impact of developed and developing country policies and politics on
  6. India’s interests and the Indian diaspora.
  7. Important International organizations, agencies, and forums – their structure and mission.


Paper-4 (GS paper – 3) (250 marks)

Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  1. Indian economy, including planning, resource mobilization, growth, development, and employment difficulties.
  2. inclusive development and the problems it raises.
  3. Budgeting by the government.
  4. Major crops, patterns of cropping in various regions of the nation, various kinds of irrigation and irrigation systems, challenges with storage, transport, and marketing of agricultural products, and associated limitations; use of e-technology by farmers.
  5. issues including minimum support prices, direct and indirect agriculture subsidies; Public Distribution System: goals, operation, restrictions, and redesign; buffer stock and food security concerns; technology missions; animal husbandry economics.
  6. Indian food processing and allied industries: size and importance, geographic distribution, needs upstream and downstream, supply chain management.
  7. Indian land reforms.
  8. Economic impacts of economic liberalization, changes in industrial policy, and how they influence industrial growth
  9. Infrastructure includes things like energy, ports, roads, airports, and railroads.
  10. Investment strategies.
  11. Science and technology breakthroughs, as well as how they are used and impact daily life
  12. Indigenization of technology and the creation of new technology are achievements in science and technology made by Indians.
  13. Awareness of concerns connected to intellectual property rights as well as IT, space, computers, robots, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.
  14. Environmental impact assessment, conservation, and pollution and deterioration of the environment.
  15. Disaster management and disasters.
  16. Links between the growth and dissemination of extremism.
  17. The part played by outside state and non-state entities in posing threats to internal security.
  18. Internal security threats posed by communication networks, the media’s and social networking sites’ contributions to these threats, the fundamentals of cyber security, and money laundering and its prevention.
  19. Organizational crime and terrorism are linked, as are the security concerns and how they are managed in border regions.
  20. The mission of various security units and organizations.

Paper-5 (GS paper – 4) (250 marks)

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

The Paper 5 will examine the candidate’s attitude and approach to issues connected to integrity and probity in public life, as well as his approach to resolving the numerous problems and conflicts he encounters when interacting with society. Case study-based questions may be used to assess these factors. The following general topics will be discussed:

  1. Ethics and the Human Interface: The essence, determinants, and repercussions of ethics in human acts; the aspects of ethics; ethics in private and public interactions. Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators; the role of family, community, and educational institutions in the inculcation of values.
  2. Attitude: substance, structure, function; its effect and relationship with cognition and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social persuasion and influence.
  3. Aptitude and core principles for Civil Service, including honesty, impartiality, and non-partisanship, objectivity, commitment to public service, empathy, tolerance, and sympathy for the weaker parts.
  4. The principles and applications of emotional intelligence in administration and governance.
  5. Contributions of Indian and international moral thinkers and philosophers.
  6. Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and Issues; Ethical Concerns and Dilemmas in Public and Private Institutions; Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance; Accountability and Ethical Governance; Strengthening of Ethical and Moral Values in Governance; Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding; Corporate Governance.
  7. Probity in governance includes the idea of public service, the philosophical underpinnings of governance and probity, information sharing and transparency in government, the right to information, codes of ethics and conduct, citizen’s charters, work cultures, the effectiveness of service delivery, the use of public resources, and issues with corruption.
  8. Case studies addressing the aforementioned concerns.

Paper – 6 and 7 should be selected from optional

Optional Subject Papers I & II


A candidate may choose one Optional Subject from paper 6 (part-1 of the optional paper) and paper 7 (part-2 of the optional paper).

In Alphabetical Order 


(i) Agriculture


(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science


(iii) Anthropology


(iv) Botany


(v) Chemistry


(vi) Civil Engineering


(vii) Commerce and Accountancy


(viii) Economics


(ix) Electrical Engineering


(x) Geography




(xii) History


(xiii) Law


(xiv) Management


(xv) Mathematics


(xvi) Mechanical Engineering


(xvii) Medical Science


(xviii) Philosophy


(xix) Physics


(xx) Political Science and International Relations


(xxi) Psychology


(xxii) Public Administration


(xxiii) Sociology


(xxiv) Statistics


(xxv) Zoology


(xxvi) literature in any of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.


The duration of each paper would be three hours. 

Personality Test

After the main exam, there will be a 275-mark personality test.


So total marks will be computed from paper 1 to paper 7 (250 x 7 = 1750) and 275 for the Personality Test (Interview), resulting in a final list with a total of 1750+275 = 2025 marks.

How to prepare for UPSC IAS 2023

Before you start studying for the UPSC IAS exam in 2023, pick the best books you can find. These books should be based on the most recent UPSC IAS curriculum and test pattern.

  • Preparing for the UPSC IAS in a timely manner is crucial. Review the material and become ready in a timely manner.
  • It is suggested that as many problem papers as possible be solved in order to better understand the questions on the UPSC IAS and know how to answer them.
  • Occasionally, drink water and engage in consistent physical activity. Test-time is a critical time to maintain a healthy routine.
  • Participate in UPSC practice exams.
  • When studying for the UPSC IAS exam, use your time well by focusing on your strengths and avoiding distractions as much as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it crucial to go through the UPSC IAS Exam 2023 syllabus?

 Yes, the UPSC IAS curriculum will help applicants understand which topics and sections are the most important.

  1. Is the UPSC IAS prelims and mains curriculum identical?

No, the syllabuses for the UPSC IAS preliminary exam and the main exam are different, as the article says.

  1. Does UPSC ask questions outside of the syllabus?

The UPSC follows the syllabus to the letter, so knowing the curriculum inside and out will help you a lot with your answers.

  1. What are the three stages of the UPSC IAS Exam 2023?

 The Preliminary Examination, also known as the Objective Test, the Main Examination, often known as the Written Test, and the Personality Test (Interview)  make up the UPSC Civil Services Examination  

  1. Who will publish the UPSC IAS 2023 syllabus? 

The UPSC will publish the IAS 2023 syllabus.

That concludes full information about the syllabus and exam pattern of UPSC IAS 2023. We are sure that you will find the information helpful and use it to your maximum advantage. And we wish you the best of luck in preparing for the UPSC IAS 2023 exam. In the end, we want to convey that if you want general information about the UPSC IAS 2023 Exam, we have a separate page that covers it. Be sure to check that out.


Best wishes