UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus & Resources: General Studies Paper I & II

UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus & Resources

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) notification for the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2018 is expected to be out soon. This notification will announce the dates for the Prelims and the Main exam.

The Syllabus for the exam is vast. Therefore, we’re going to break it down and provide the syllabus in the order of the exams, for your 2018 Civil Services Exam Preparation. The following article contains the syllabus of the General Studies Paper I of the 2018 UPSC CSE Prelims Exam and resources for preparation.

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First, let’s have a look at the UPSC CSE Prelims Exam Pattern:


Paper Evaluation Question type Marks/duration
General Studies Paper I Selection based on cut offs General Studies Marks: 200
Duration: 2 Hours
General Studies Paper II Qualifying paper (33% min) Aptitude Test (CSAT) Marks: 200
Duration: 2 Hours

The Question papers will be set both in Hindi & English.

The Prelims Exam comprises of two compulsory Objective Type papers of 200 marks each. The General Studies Paper II is qualifying in nature with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

General Studies Paper I Detailed Syllabus

Total Marks: 200

Total Duration: 2 Hours


1. Current Events of National and International Importance


  • Newspapers & Magazines like Yojana/ Kurukshetra
  • (Press Information Bureau releases)
  • Websites of different Ministries of India

2. History of India and Indian National Movement


  • All new NCERT books- Class 6thto 12th
  • History of Modern India: Bipin Chandra
  • Tamil Nadu NCERT- Class 11thand 12th
  • CCRT website for Art and Culture
  • An Introduction to Indian Art (Part-1)- Class 11thNCERT
  • Craft Tradition of India- Class 12thNCERT

3. Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World


  • All new NCERT books- Class 6thto 12th
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography- G.C. Leong
  • Any good school Atlas

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4. Indian Polity and Governance Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Right Issues, etc


  • Indian Polity: M. Laxmikanth
  • NCERT Books: Class 11thand 12th for Political Science and Sociology

5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc


  • NCERT Books: Class 11thand 12th
  • Budget and Economic Survey
  • India Year Book 2017 for Schemes launched by Government

6. General Issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate change


  • India Year Book 2017- Chapters on Environment
  • Topics in news in last one year related to environment such as conventions, treaties, organizations, IUCN Red list species etc.
  • NCERT- Biology Class 12th– Unit 9 and 10 (Biotechnology and Ecology Chapters)

7. General Science


  • NCERT books- Class 7thto 10th
  • Topics in news related to Science and Technology

The GS Paper II, like GS Paper I is for 200 marks and a duration of 2 hours. However, this paper is qualifying in nature. The candidates are required to secure 33% minimum to qualify in this. The paper will be of multiple choice, objective type.

General Studies Paper II Syllabus and Resources


 1. Comprehension, Interpersonal & Communication Skills


Read a variety of text. Newspapers, Novels and Magazines.

Previous year UPSC CSE Prelims Question Papers (From 2011 to 2017)

2. Logical reasoning and analytical ability


Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey (BSC Publication)

A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning by R. S. Aggarwal

A New Approach to Reasoning (Verbal, Nonverbal and Analytical) by B. S. Sijwalii

Previous year UPSC CSE Prelims Question Papers (From 2011 to 2017)

3. Decision making and problem solving

(very few questions asked from this section from 2013)


Previous year UPSC CSE Prelims Question Papers (From 2011 to 2017)

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Frequently Asked Questions

4. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X Level).


NCERT Class VII to XI Mathematics Textbook

Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma

Previous year UPSC CSE Prelims Question Papers (From 2011 to 2017)

We hope the above helps you with your UPSC CSE Prelims Exam Preparation. Stay tuned for more articles on the UPSC CSE 2017 Exam.

About the author:


Abhishek Patil





Abhishek Patil,

CEO & Co-founder at Oliveboard

Abhishek Patil is the CEO & Co-founder at Oliveboard, a leading online preparation portal for MBA, Banking and Government exams like CAT, SBI, RBI, IBPS, UPSC etc.

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