UPSC Prelims topic-wise Syllabus, you have to be aware of each and everything happening around you. However, there are certain topics which must be prepared thoroughly as they hold high weightage in the paper. The syllabus of General Studies is as follows:


1. History

History is a vast subject which is divided into different sub-sections for simplification, but the number of questions coming from this subject is marginally low in comparison to its mammoth syllabus. History is divided into three sections which are as follows:
a) Ancient History
b) Medieval History
c) Modern History
d) Art and Culture

Study NCERT history books from 6th to 12th class to go through the above-mentioned topics. Also, one can refer Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania for Ancient history and reference books by Spectrum for Medieval and Modern history for thorough preparation.

2. Geography

It is generally a static subject with a particular set of topics coming under it nonetheless one must link the syllabus with the current affairs to prepare better. Some of the general topics which the candidates must prepare are climatology, oceanography, human geography, economic geography, political geography, etc. To prepare this section, refer to the 6th to 12th class NCERT books and books by Mazid Hussain.

3. Economics

Macro and micro-economics are two sections of this particular subject, but in general, it is very dynamic and the questions asked are mostly related to current affairs. Along with clearing concepts by studying the NCERT books and reference books by Ramesh Singh, the aspirants must read The Economic Times, The Hindu and The Indian Express to keep a tab on the latest topics and developments.

4. Polity

The general topics covered under this subject are political issues, constitutional articles, constitutional amendments, constitutional history, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc. To prepare this subject, follow the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha channels, read newspaper and study reference books by Laxmikanth and DD Basu.

5. Environmental Studies

Questions related to climate change, various species of flora and fauna, etc. come under this section, however, it is a very general topic and one must have clarity of the subject by studying 11th and 12th standard NCERT books. Approximately 7 to 8 questions come from this section, thus it holds a high value in Prelims.

6. Science and Technology

The NCERT books from 6th to 12th class are sufficient to cover the basics of biology, physics and chemistry. Furthermore, for the technology section, one must check out the latest techniques being developed and research work being done around the world. This subject also holds high weightage and you can expect around 7 to 8 questions from this section in the test.

7. Current Affairs

In recent years the importance of current affairs has proportionally increased with the analytical trend of questions as well as with the enhanced weightage of environment and science. There is no particular trend in which UPSC has asked questions from current events. It is unpredictable in nature, which can be sensed from last the year’s paper where many direct questions from current events were picked.

It covers a wide range of topics which overlap with the CORE subjects like Geography, Polity, Economics, History and Dynamic subjects like environment, science and technology. Henceforth, it is hard to classify questions under a specific heading/topic named Current Affairs.

PAPER 2 - Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

This exam is often known as the General studies II paper for UPSC Prelims. It is a qualifying exam and the candidate is required to score just 33% in this. For this test, Class X syllabus is to be covered and the candidates can devote a part of their preparation time to this portion, depending upon their clarity of concepts, basics and how much they are scoring in the mock tests. GS-II topics are as follows: 1. Comprehension 2. Basic numeracy 3. General mental ability 4. Logical reasoning and analytical ability 5. Decision-making and problem-solving 6. Interpersonal skills including communication skills

It has various sections and the questions are not uniformly distributed among those, so to check the latest trends, a candidate must check previous year’s paper. GS Manual Paper-II by TMH, Concise CSAT by Madhukar Bhagat – TMH Publications, Cracking the CSAT Paper 2 – Arihant Publications and Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis are some of the books which can be referred by the aspirants.