Every year Union Public Service Commission conducted Civil Service Examination for prestigious job profiles in the Indian Government like IAS, IRS, IPS, IFS, etc. To get recruited for these posts the candidates have to go through three stages- Prelims, Mains, and Interview Round. The initial stage, i.e. UPSC Prelims Exam is divided into two papers- General Studies & CSAT. Though the marks scored in UPSC Prelims 2024 will not be counted in the merit list but to get shortlisted for Mains Exam, the candidates have to qualify for the 1st stage with flying colours. 

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024

To help you prepare in a coordinating way, we have discussed the complete UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024 in this article. If a candidate is well aware of the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the Prelims exam, then it helps in boosting confidence and makes it easy for the aspirant to plan a strategy for cracking the UPSC CSE Prelims exam. The UPSC CSE prelims exam 2024 is to be conducted on 16th June 2024, therefore without wasting any time buckle up your preparation from today itself. 

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024- Overview

UPSC Syllabus 2024- Overview
Exam Date16th June 2024 (Sunday)
No. of PapersTwo (General Studies & CSAT)
Types of QuestionsObjective Type
Duration of Exam2 hours each
Total Marks400
Medium of ExamEnglish & Hindi
Negative Marking ⅓rd mark
Marks Counted in MeritNo

UPSC Exam Date 2024 Out for 1206 Vacancies- Click to Check

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern 2024

Before going to the UPSC Syllabus 2024, candidates should well-understand the exam pattern of the UPSC CSE (Civil Service Examination) exam. The UPSC prelims exam is divided into two papers. The first paper for the UPSC prelims exam is General Studies (GS) and the second paper is CSAT. The CSAT is known as Civil Services Aptitude Test.

UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Pattern 2024
PaperSubjectsMarksNo. of QuestionDuration
IGeneral Studies (GS)2001002 hours
IICSAT200802 hours 

1. There is a negative marking of 1/3 marks for each wrong answer marked and no mark will be deducted for unanswered questions.

2. In General Studies (Paper I) candidates will be awarded 2 marks for correct answers and 0.66 will be deducted for each wrong answer.

3. In CSAT (Paper-II) candidates will be awarded 2.5 marks for each correct answer and 0.833 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer marked by the candidates.

4. The marks of the Prelims exam will not be included in the final result (merit list).

5. Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

6. The General Studies exam is conducted in the morning shift and CSAT in the evening shift on the same day. 

UPSC Exam Pattern 2023 [Prelims +Mains]- Click to Check

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus 2024

In this section, we have provided the detailed UPSC syllabus 2024 for the Prelims Exam. The candidates can check the General Studies (Paper I) syllabus of the Prelims examination and begin with their preparation for UPSC CSE 2024.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Studies (GS)

The first paper of the UPSC prelims exam is General Studies (GS). UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024 for General Studies can be categorised into the following sections. 

1. Current Affairs (Events) of national and international importance.

2. History of India and Indian National Movement.

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

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

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

6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change: that do not require subject specialization.

7. General Science

The subject-wise topics that could be commonly asked in UPSC Prelims Exam has been discussed in the below section. If you are planning to prepare for UPSC 2024 exam, then you must not skip any topic from the below section as every topic holds its own importance. 


General Geography

  1. Universe
  2. Earth Evolution


  1. Earth’s Interior
  2. Geology and Rock System
  3. Geomorphic Process
  4. Earthquakes and Volcanism
  5. Distribution of Continents and Oceans
  6. Landforms and their evolution
  7. Landforms across the world


  1. Hydrosphere
  2. Submarine Relief Features
  3. Temperature and Salinity
  4. Waves, Oceans, Currents, Tides
  5. Marine Resources
  6. Ocean, Deposits and Corals


  1. Atmosphere
  2. Inversion of Temperature
  3. Insolation and Heat Budget
  4. Air Mass, Fronts, Cyclones and Jet Streams
  5. Wind and Pressure Belts
  6. Precipitation
  7. Climate Zones of the World

Bio Geography

  1. Soil Characteristics
  2. Vegetation Resources

Human and Economic Geography

  1. Demography and Census
  2. Human Development
  3. Economic Activities
  4. Transport and Communication
  5. International Trade
  6. Settlement

Indian Geography

  1. Physiography of India
  2. Drainage System
  3. Climate
  4. Soils in India
  5. Natural Vegetation
  6. Population
  7. Settlements and Urbanization
  8. Land Resource
  9. Mineral Resource
  10. Energy Resource
  11. Agriculture and Basic Terminology
  12. Recent development in agriculture
  13. Productivity of Crops
  14. Industry
  15. Transport
  16. Recent developments in Industry and Transport

World Regional Geography

  1. Continents, Countries, and Cities
  2. Location in News

Ecology & Environment

  1. Origin of Life Forms
  2. Basic Concepts of Ecology
  3. Ecosystem Functions
  4. Population Ecology
  5. Adaptation of Species and Interactions
  6. Terrestrial Ecosystem
  7. Aquatic Ecosystem
  8. Nutrient Cycling


  1. Basics of Bio-Diversity
  2. Animal and Plant Diversity
  3. Threats to Biodiversity
  4. Biodiversity Conservation
  5. Estuaries
  6. Mangroves
  7. Coral Reliefs
  8. Wetlands
  9. Resource Degradation and Management
  10. Environmental Pollution
  11. Climate Change
  12. Environmental Governance


Ancient History

  1. Pre-Historic Times
  2. Indus Valley Civilization
  3. Rig Vedic Period
  4. Later Vedic Period
  5. Jainism
  6. Buddhism
  7. Mahajanpadas
  8. Mauryan Period
  9. Post-Mauryan Period
  10. Gupta Period
  11. Harshwardhana Period
  12. Sangam Period (South-Indian Dynasties)

Medieval History

  1. Major Dynasties of Early Medieval India (Pratiharas, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas)
  2. Cholas and South-Indian Kingdoms
  3. Early Muslim Invasions
  4. The Delhi Sultanate
  5. Afghans, Rajputs & Mughals
  6. Establishment of North-Indian Empire
  7. The Mughal Empire
  8. Marathas and the Other Indian States
  9. The decline of the Mughal Empire
  10. Vijaynagar Empire

Modern History

  1. Advent of Europeans
  2. British Expansion
  3. Administration before 1857
  4. Economic Policies of the British
  5. Impact of British Administration
  6. Revolt of 1857
  7. Administrative Changes after 1857
  8. Development of Civil Services
  9. Development of Education
  10. Development of Press
  11. Socio-Religious Reforms
  12. Peasant Movements
  13. Revolutionary Nationalism
  14. Indian National Movement-I (1905-1918)
  15. Indian National Movement-II (1918-1929)
  16. Indian National Movement-III (1930-1947)
  17. Governors-General and Viceroys of India
  18. Constitutional Development of Indian

Art & Culture

  1. Architecture
  2. Sculpture
  3. Paintings
  4. Pottery Tradition
  5. Numismatics
  6. Performing Arts
  7. Religion and Literature
  8. National and Regional Festivals


  1. Evolution of the Consitution
  2. Salient Features of Indian Constitution
  3. Union & Its Territory
  4. Citizenship
  5. Fundamental Rights
  6. Directive Principles of State Policy
  7. Fundamental Duties
  8. System of Governance
  9. Union Executive
  10. Union Legislature
  11. State Executive
  12. State Legislature
  13. Local Government
  14. UT and Special Areas
  15. Judiciary
  16. Constitutional & Non-Constitutional Bodies
  17. Political Dynamics (Political Parties, Election, Pressure Groups)
  18. Governance
  19. International Relations


Basic Concepts

  1. Macroeconomic Concepts
  2. Microeconomic Concepts

Economic Measurements

  1. National Income & Its Calculation
  2. Economic Growth and Development
  3. Inflation

Money & Banking

  1. Money Function & Classification
  2. Financial Markets & Its Instruments
  3. Banking Structure in India

Public Finance in India

  1. Budgeting
  2. Fiscal Policy
  3. Centre-state Distribution
  4. Tax Structure in India


  1. Meaning, Objective & History
  2. Planning Institutions
  3. Five Year Plans in India
  4. NITI Aayog

Open Economy

  1. Foreign Trade Concepts
  2. International Organizations
  3. Trade Agreements
  4. Recent Development

Economic Sectors

  1. Poverty
  2. Employment and Unemployment
  3. Government Schemes and Programmes

General Science

  1. Science & Technology in India
  2. Space
  3. IT and Communication
  4. Materials, Nano Technology and Robotics
  5. Defence
  6. Nuclear Technology
  7. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Miscellaneous Issues
  8. Biotechnology

UPSC Prelims CSAT Syllabus 2024

The UPSC CSAT Exam syllabus as prescribed by the UPSC in their notification consists of the following broad categories:

1. Comprehension

2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills

3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability

4. Decision-making and problem-solving

5. General mental ability

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

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024 PDF- Click to Download

Subject-Wise Weightage and Marks Distribution

Here we have listed the previous 7 years’ subject-wise weightage for the number of questions in UPSC IAS Prelims Paper 1 (GS). Most of the questions are asked about the history and current affairs section in UPSC CSE prelims general studies paper.

UPSC Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Marks Distribution and Weightage
YearHistoryGeographyCurrent AffairsPolityScience and TechnologyEnvironmentEconomics

Click to Check UPSC Mains Syllabus 2024

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UPSC Books List for Prelims Exam- Check Here

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024: FAQs

Ans. There is a negative marking of ⅓ of total marks per question.

Ans. UPSC Prelims is of Objective Type.

Ans. Yes, UPSC CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) paper is qualifying in nature.

Ans. UPSC Prelims Syllabus covers General Studies (GS) and CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test).

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