What is UPSC CSE 2022: Syllabus, Exam form, Date, Results,

What is UPSC CSE?

UPSC CSE is the Civil Services Examination (CSE) is an Indian Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)-conducted worldwide competitive examination for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) (IPS). Informally known as the UPSC exam.

This examination is divided into three phases: the UPSC Preliminary Examination, the UPSC Main Examination, and the UPSC Personality Test or Interview.

There are many notable civil services in India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and the Indian Police Services (IPS). Despite the fact that the IAS examination is often considered to be one of the most difficult in the country, a candidate who follows the appropriate approach and plan can pass the examination in the first attempt.

What is UPSC?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the primary recruitment agency for the Indian government. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is in charge of recruiting people for the All India Services, Central Services, and Cadres, as well as the Armed Forces of the Union of India (AFI).

The United States Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts a national-level examination for 24 federal and state government jobs.

The Indian Constitution mandates the UPSC to make appointments to the All India Services and the Central Services Group A and B, as well as to create and improve testing techniques for these recruitments with input from other departments.

Other than promotion and transfer of personnel issues, the UPSC is also consulted on disciplinary problems affecting civil servants serving in the public sector.

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Exams conducted by UPSC

  • Civil Services Examination (CSE)
  • Engineering Services Examination (ESE).
  • Indian Forestry Services Examination (IFoS).
  • Central Armed Police Forces Examination (CAPF).
  • Indian Economic Service and Indian Statistical Service (IES/ISS).
  • Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination.
  • Combined Medical Services (CMS).
  • Special Class Railway Apprentices Exam (SCRA).
  • Limited Departmental Competitive Examination for selection of Assistant Commandant. (Executive) in CISF.

What is CSE?

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the most prestigious tests in the country and is administered by the United States Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The Civil Services test is held to recruit officers for positions in three categories: All India Services, Group A Civil Services, and Group B Civil Services. The Civil Services exam is held to recruit officers for positions in three categories: All India Services, Group A Civil Services, and Group B Civil Services. 

What is Civil service?

The country’s administration is carried out by the country’s permanent structure, the Civil Service. In accordance with the laws and principles, this service is operated by ‘chosen representatives’ of the people. Civil service in India is the backbone of the country’s administrative apparatus, serving as the country’s executive branch. The principal purpose of the Civil Service is to carry out policies and provide services to the public.

Group A Civil Services includes: 

Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS)
Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS),
Indian Information Service (IIS) Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) Indian Communication Finance Services (ICFS)
Indian Postal Service (IPOS) Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Indian Trade Service (ITS)
Railway Protection Force (RPF). Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service 

Group B Civil Services includes: 

Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS)
Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS) Pondicherry Civil Service; and Pondicherry Police Service (PONDICS)

UPSC Exam Pattern

The Civil Services Examination is based on the Imperial Civil Service exams administered during the British era, as well as civil service tests administered by ancient Indian civilizations such as the Mauryan Empire and the Mughal Empire.

The exam pattern is highly intricate, and a typical examination cycle lasts about a year, beginning with the preliminary exam and concluding with the announcement of the final results. It’s one of the toughest exams to get through in India.

It can require two years of preparation for a single attempt – one year prior to the preliminary examinations and another year from preliminary examinations to the interview stage.

This Civil services examination is officially divided into three phases: 

  • The UPSC Preliminary Examination, 
  • The UPSC Main Examination,
  • The personality Test or UPSC Interview.

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UPSC Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary stage of the UPSC exam comprises two papers, both of which are held on the same day. Objective type questions with multiple choice answers are included in both of the examination papers. Preliminary exams are used to narrow down the field of applicants for the final exam. Candidates should prepare hard for this exam because cut-offs are variable and depend on the average score from year to year. Although the marks earned at this stage are not used in the final merit list, candidates should do their best to achieve a high score.

Preliminary exams are designed to test an applicant’s analytical and comprehension skills rather than memorization abilities.

For the Preliminary Exam, there are two mandatory papers: Paper I (General Studies), and Paper II (Analytical Reasoning). The two-hour IAS preliminary test carries a total of 200 points for each paper. Preliminary exams for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) are administered in both English and Hindi.

The new format includes two two-hour papers, each worth 200 points, with a total of 400 marks. Only multiple choice objective type questions are included in both papers. According to the following, they are:

Paper I

Candidates are tested on current events, history of India and Indian national struggle, India and world geography, Indian polity panchayti Raj system and governance, economic and social development, environmental ecology and biodiversity and climate change and general science as well as the history of Indian art and culture.

Paper II

It is (also known as CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test): A candidate’s understanding, interpersonal skills, communication, logical thinking, analytical ability, decision making, problem solving and basic numeracy are tested through it.

It’s a qualifying exam, therefore the scores you get there don’t contribute toward your overall score. To qualify for the Preliminary exam, a candidate must score at least 33% on this paper.

The details for the preliminary examination are as follows:

Duration of the examination (for each exam): 2 hours or 120 minutes (Extra of 20% for Blind candidates)
Total number of questions: Paper-I: 100 questions, Paper-II – 80 questions
Total marks: 400
Type of Questions: Objective Type Multiple Choice Questions
Marking scheme: Paper I- 200 marks Paper II- 200 marks
Negative marking: 1/3rd of the marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer
Mode of examination: Hindi and English

UPSC Mains Examination

The Civil Services Main written examination consists of nine papers, two of which are qualifying and the other seven of which are ranking. It can range from one mark to sixty marks, and twenty words to 600 words. Each paper lasts for three hours. Qualifying papers are ordered according to marks, and the Commission selects a few candidates for an interview or a personality test.

All of the questions in the UPSC Mains exam are of the descriptive answer variety. It’s a gruelling and time-consuming phase, and the total marks in UPSC mains directly determine your final grades. Consequently, the UPSC exam results for the mains phase play a critical role in determining the final merit list.

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CSE Mains Exam Pattern
Paper Subject IAS Total marks Duration
Paper A Compulsory Indian language 300 3 hours
Paper B English 300 3 hours
Paper I Essay 250 3 hours
Paper II General Studies I 250 3 hours
Paper III General Studies II 250 3 hours
Paper IV General Studies III 250 3 hours
Paper V General Studies IV 250 3 hours
Paper VI Optional I 250 3 hours
Paper VII Optional II 250 3 hours


  • A merit ranking system is used for all papers in the mains except the language papers A and B. Paper A and B are both qualifying papers, and candidates must achieve at least 25% in each to have their scores from Paper I – Paper VII count.
  • Examiners may waive Paper A for candidates who can show proof of exemption from the requirement to take a second or third language course from their respective board or university, including those from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim. Indian Language Paper includes any language in the Constitution’s 8th Schedule.

The Examination is available in many languages which are as follows:

Assamese Manipuri
Bengali Marathi
Bodo Nepali
Dogri Odia
English Punjabi
Gujarati Sanskrit
Hindi Santhali
Kannada Sindhi
Kashmiri Tamil
Konkani Telugu
Maithili Urdu

Personality Test

This is the last part of the IAS Exam before the final results are announced. The Interview/Personality Test is officially referred to as the Mains Examination’s “Interview/Personality Test” and is used for merit ranking purposes. It is regarded as the third level in terms of preparation because the tactics for preparing for the written and interview stages are rather different from one another.

The UPSC board conducts an interview to determine whether or not a candidate is suitable for a career in the civil service and the responsibilities that go along with it, according to the IAS test pattern. The selection committee is made up of experienced and neutral individuals with knowledge of the candidates’ past work histories. Candidates’ mental and social qualities will be evaluated by the board by asking general questions.

It’s important to have a variety of interests and the capacity to work well with others. It’s also important to have intellectual and moral integrity. These are some of the attributes that the board looks for in applicants.

UPSC Eligibility Criteria

Candidates should verify their eligibility for the UPSC Exam before submitting an application. In order to be eligible to take the exam, candidates must meet the following requirements. Candidate’s Eligibility Criteria contains five sections: Educational Qualifications, Age Limit, Nationality, Physical Standard, and Number of Attempts.


Candidate must be either:-

  • A citizen of India, or
  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A subject of Bhutan, or
  • A Tibetan refugee who arrived in India prior to January 1, 1962, with the intention of establishing a permanent home in India, or
  • An Indian person of Indian origin (PIO) who has moved to India from countries like Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. They want to live there permanently.

Age Limit

Age is a critical factor in the selection process for the IAS exam, and candidates must meet the UPSC Age Limit as outlined below in order to apply.

Candidates must be under the age of 32 and at least 21 years old by August 2022 in order to be considered. In the table below, you can see the age limits for each category.

Category Minimum Age Limit Maximum Age Limit
General 21 32
EWS 21 32
SC/ST 21 37
OBC 21 35

Educational Qualification

In order to apply for the IAS exam, individuals must meet the educational requirements stipulated by the government. The educational requirements for the IAS Exam 2022 are stated below:

  • This exam requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree from a government-recognized university or an equivalent degree
  • Preliminary examinations for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) are open to students in their final year of study or those awaiting the outcome of final exams taken earlier
  • Qualified candidates with technical and professional credentials recognised by the government as equal to professional and technical degrees

Number of attempts allowed

The number of times a candidate has attempted the IAS exam is also a significant factor in determining their eligibility. The following table provides a breakdown of the list by category:


Category Number of Attempts
General 6
SC/ST Unlimited (Upto Age Limit)

Applicants can have to know about UR category how it affects the student’s life.

UPSC Preliminary Syllabus

General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

It has 100 questions broadly covering the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

  • Current events of National & International importance.
  • History of India & Indian National Movement.
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialisation.
  • General Science.

General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

It comprises 80 questions from the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability.
  • Decision making & problem solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

UPSC Mains Syllabus


Paper Subject
Paper A Compulsory Indian language
Paper B English
Paper I Essay
Paper II General Studies I – Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society
Paper III General Studies II – Governance, Constitution, Welfare Initiatives, Social Justice & International Relations
Paper IV General Studies III – Technology, Economic Development, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management
Paper V General Studies IV – Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude
Paper VI Optional Subject – Paper I
Paper VII Optional Subject – Paper II

Language Papers (Indian language and English)

Candidates should not be complacent despite the fact that both of these papers are just qualifying in nature. If they fail to score below 25% in either of them, their remaining answer sheets will not even be assessed. The questions in both papers follow a similar format given as follows:

Candidates should not be complacent despite the fact that both of these papers are just qualifying in nature, as if they fail to score below 25% in either of them, their remaining answer sheets will not be reviewed. The questions on both exams have the same format, as you can see in the list below. 

  • 100-mark essay question — candidates must choose from a list of pre-selected subjects.
  • Reading comprehension and five-six relevant questions for a total of 60 marks are included.
  • Precis writing for 60 marks – there will be a different grid structure on the response sheet where this will have to be written.
  • Translation from English to the chosen language for 20 points.
  • Translating from the chosen language to English for a total of 20 points
  • There are a total of 40 marks for grammar and simple language usage, such as synonyms and sentence corrections,


The essay paper does not have a prescribed syllabus in the UPSC mains syllabus.

Candidates are expected to submit two essays from a list of topics that have been provided for a total of 250 marks.

GS Paper I

  • Indian Culture: Art forms, literature, and architecture from ancient times to today.
  • Modern Indian History: 
      • Events, problems, and people of note from around the middle of the 18th century (1750s) to the current day.
      • The ‘Freedom Struggle’ went through numerous periods, with significant contributors and contributions from different sections of the country making contributions.
      • Consolidation and reorganisation of the country after independence
    • The world’s history
    • History since the 18th century in terms of events, forms, and impact on society (world wars, industrial revolution, colonisation, redrawal of national boundaries, decolonisation, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.)
  • Society:
      • Aspects of Indian society and diversity.
      • The role of women and women’s organisations, population and related issues, poverty and development difficulties, and urbanisation, its problems and solutions
      • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism, and secularism are all concepts that have been discussed recently.
      • Globalisation’s impact on Indian society
  • Geography:
    • Factors influencing the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world, including India; distribution of significant natural resources throughout the world, including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
    • Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, cyclones, and other important geophysical events
    • Changes in essential geographical characteristics (such as waterbodies and polar ice caps) and in flora and fauna, as well as the impact of such changes
    • Physical geography of the world’s most notable features.

GS Paper II

Indian Constitution

    • Historic foundations, evolution and aspects
    • Important provisions and revisions
    • The basic structure of doctrine
    • Comparison of the Indian system of government with that of other countries
  • Separation of powers among distinct organs, as well as processes for resolving disputes and institutions
  • The Executive and Judiciary’s structure, organisation, and operation
  • State legislatures and Parliament
    • Structure and operation
    • Business conduct
    • Powers and privileges, as well as difficulties that arise from them
  • Government Ministries and Departments; pressure organisations and formal/informal associations; and their roles in politics.
  • Characteristics of the People’s Representation Act
  • Appointment to various Constitutional roles, as well as the powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Various quasi-judicial, statutory, and regulatory entities.
  • Issues emerging from the creation and implementation of government policies and initiatives targeted at development in many sectors.
  • The role of NGOs, Self-Help Groups, diverse groups and associations, institutions and other stakeholders in development processes and the development industry
  • Welfare programmes for vulnerable sectors of the population implemented by the Centre and States
  • Issues pertaining to the development and management of the social sector/health, education, and human resources services
  • Poverty and hunger-related issues
  • Citizens charters, transparency and accountability
  • Role of civil service in a democratic country
  • International relations
  • Bilateral, regional, and global agreements affecting or including India
  • The impact of established and developing country policies and politics on India’s interests, as well as the Indian diaspora.
  • The structure and missions of important international institutions and agencies

GS Paper III


    • The Indian economy, including topics such as planning, resource mobilisation, growth, development, and employment.
    • Budgeting by the government.
    • Growth that is inclusive and the issues/challenges that come with it
    • Reforms in industrial policy and their consequences on industrial growth, as well as the effects of liberalisation on the economy (post-1991 changes).
    • Infrastructure includes energy, ports, roads, airports, and railways, among other things.
    • Models of investment (PPP etc)


    • Major cultivation patterns across the country, diverse irrigation methods, storage, transport, and marketing challenges and limits; Farmers can benefit from e-technology.
    • Animal husbandry economics.
    • The extent and significance of the food processing and related sectors in India, as well as their location, upstream and downstream requirements, and supply chain management.
    • Direct and indirect farm subsidies, as well as minimum support prices; aims, functioning, limitations, and upgrading of the Public Distribution System; buffer stocks and food security; Missions in technology
    • India’s land reforms.

Technology and Science

    • Recent discoveries, as well as their applications and consequences in daily life
    • Indian achievements in science and technology
    • Technology indigenization and new technology development
    • General knowledge of information technology, space, computers, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology
    • Intellectual-property-rights-related issues


    • Conservation,
    • Pollution and destruction of the environment
    • Assessment of the environmental impact
    • Management of Natural Disasters (Laws, Acts etc.)


    • Internal security challenges (external state and non-state actors)
    • Relationships between extremism’s spread and its growth
    • Internal security threats posed by communication networks, the role of the media and social networking sites in internal security threat
    • The fundamentals of cyber security; money laundering and how to avoid it
    • Border security concerns and their management; links between organised crime and terrorism

GS Paper IV

The UPSC mains syllabus includes questions to assess candidates’ attitudes and approaches to issues of public integrity and probity, as well as their problem-solving approach to a variety of societal concerns. To determine these elements, questions may use a case study method, and the exam covers the areas listed in the curriculum below:

Human Interaction and Ethics

    • Ethics’ Essence, Determinants, and Consequences in Human Interaction
    • Ethics in Different Dimensions
    • Relationship ethics, both in private and in public
    • Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators on human values
    • Family, culture, and educational institutions all play a role in instilling moral and ethical beliefs.


    • Attitude’s content, structure, and function
    • Attitude and thought influence behaviour
    • The relationship between attitude and cognition and behaviour
    • Attitudes toward morality and politics
    • Persuasion and social influence


    • Civil Service aptitude and fundamental values
    • Integrity
    • Nonpartisanship and impartiality
    • Objectivity
    • commitment to public service
    • Empathy, tolerance, and compassion for those who are marginalised in society
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
    • Emotional intelligence concepts
    • Emotional intelligence’s use and application in administration and governance
  • Contributions of Philosophers and Thinkers
    • Moral philosophers and thinkers from India and around the world have contributed to the concepts of morality.
  • Values and Ethics in Public Administration in the Public Sector/Civil Service
    • Situation and related issues
    • In both government and private entities, ethical challenges and dilemmas exist.
    • As sources of ethical instruction, laws, rules, and regulations, as well as conscience
    • Enhancement of governance’s ethical and moral principles
    • International Relations and Funding Ethical Issues
    • Governance in the workplace
    • Governance with Integrity
    • The idea of public service
  • Governance and probity philosophical foundation
  • Government openness and information sharing
  • Informational Right
  • Codes of conduct
  • Codes of Ethics
  • Charters of Citizenship
  • Workplace atmosphere
  • Service delivery quality
  • Making use of public funds
  • Corruption’s Challenges

Optional Subjects (Two Papers)

A candidate must select one of the optional subjects (out of a total of 48 options). There will be two papers for a total of 500 points. Choosing the finest UPSC mains optional subject requires thought and consideration. 

List of Optional subjects is shared below:

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Bengali
Anthropology Bodo
Botany Dogri
Chemistry Gujarati
Civil Engineering Hindi
Commerce & Accountancy Kannada
Economics Kashmiri
Electrical Engineering Konkani
Geography Maithili
Geology Malayalam
History Manipuri
Law Marathi
Management Nepali
Mathematics Oriya
Mechanical Engineering Punjabi
Medical Science Sanskrit
Philosophy Santhali
Physics Sindhi
Political Science & International Relations Tamil
Psychology Telugu
Public Administration Urdu
Sociology English


Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) 

1. Is one year sufficient for UPSC mains?

Ans: It is true. No matter how challenging the UPSC exam is, one year is enough to pass the IAS exam if it is prepared with complete dedication. The UPSC conducts an annual government exam known as the IAS exam, often known as the civil services exam.

2. Is it possible for a 29-year-old to begin UPSC preparation?

Ans: There is no specified age limit for beginning IAS preparation. However, most IAS hopefuls begin studying for the exam after graduation, when they are 21 or 22 years old. Many aspirants, however, initially try to join any other service and then begin preparing for UPSC after they reach the age of 26 or 28.

3. What is the pay of an IAS officer?

Ans: According to the 7th Pay Commission, an IAS officer’s basic salary is Rs 56,100. An IAS officer receives many allowances in addition to his or her salary, including Travel Allowance and Dearness Allowance.

4. Is the UPSC exam held online or in person?

Ans: The prelims and mains exams are both conducted on a computer-based platform.

5. Do you have access to previous year’s question papers?

Ans: There are free PDFs of previous year’s question papers published for candidates to access on the official website and other internet resources.

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