Compulsory Subjects in UPSE CSE exam

How Many Compulsory Subjects Are There in UPSC CSE Exam?

UPSC CSE is one of the most prestigious examinations held in India. The IAS aspirants must hold the graduation degree in any discipline from any recognized university. Since all the graduates from all the university can apply for this examination, the competition gets tougher. Right from Indian history to numerical problems, everything is incorporated in the syllabus.

If we consider seeing the whole syllabus of the IAS examinations, we would see that there are compulsory subjects for the UPSC exam as well as optional ones. You have to prepare the whole syllabus of every paper for clearing the examination. Before you start preparing to achieve the prestigious designation, here is a small discussion covering the compulsory subjects for the UPSC exam that you have to go through.

compulsory Subjects for IAS

Before getting into the main discussion, here the IAS examination selection process is narrated for the better understanding:

  • Preliminary examination
  • Main examination
  • Interview

Firstly, all the IAS aspirants appear for the preliminary examination. The qualified ones proceed to the main examinations. And the selected candidates from the main examinations are called for an interview.

Now, the compulsory subjects for UPSC exam that should be followed thoroughly to clear each step of the whole selection process include:

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary examination includes the primary elimination of the candidates in the first round and the selected ones qualify for the next main examination. The examination’s duration is two hours and carries 200 marks.  The questions are of multiple-choice objective question type carrying 2 marks for each question and 1/3rd of the marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every incorrect answer. The CSAT paper contains 80 questions with 2.5 marks for each question and 1/3rd negative for every incorrect answer.

Compulsory Subjects for Preliminary Examination:

General studies paper–I:
  1. Current events of national and international importance
  2. Syllabus of History of India and Indian national movement
  3. Indian and World Geography- it includes every aspect of geography including physical, social, economic geography across the world
  4. Indian Polity and governance and its history – right from the Indian constitution to our political system that covers the areas of Panchayati raj, public policy, Rights-based issues, etc.
  5. Economic and social development of India as well as the world economy– the economic history of India as well as world history and its interrelations. The important topics that should be highlighted include sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues regarding the current situation of environmental ecology, our bio-diversity and climate change. It does not require subject specialised studies. An overview of the subject and clear concepts can do well.
  7. General Science. 
CSAT Syllabus:
  1. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  2. General mental ability to solve problems
  3. Basic numerical problems that include numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc up to Class X level and Data Interpretation including charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc up to class X level
  4. English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

The questions from English Language Comprehension skills are of Class X level. 80 questions are carrying 200 marks. Each question carries 2.5 marks. There is a penalty of 1/3 of allotted marks for every wrong answer.

The Exam Pattern of Preliminary Examination of the Compulsory Subjects for UPSC Exam:

Name of the paper

Evaluation based on

Question type

Total marks and time duration

General studies –I

Merit ranking

General studies; multiple-choice questions

200 marks

Time duration: two hours

General studies-II

Minimum 33% score

CSAT multiple-choice questions including numerical problems

200 marks
 time duration: two hours

IAS Main Examination:

The candidates who clear the preliminary examination to get the privilege to appear for the main examination. This examination consists of seven papers and the evaluation is based on the writing of subjective type questions. Each of the paper carries 250 marks.

Paper A: (Indian language of choice) (300 marks)

Paper B: English (300 marks)

Paper I: essay writing

Paper-II: general studies regarding Indian and world history, geography, culture and heritage, social issues (250 marks)

Paper III: Indian constitution and its polity, social justice and rights, international relations (250 marks)

Paper IV: Economics, environment study, bio-diversity, security and disaster management, science & technology (250 marks)

Paper V: ethics, integrity, and aptitude (250 marks)

Paper VI: optional subject Paper-I (250 marks)

Paper VII: optional subject Paper-II (250 marks)

After the main exams, the qualified ones are called for an interview that carries 275 marks. It is majorly a personality test rather than a knowledge test and after this medical examination is done of the candidate.

For covering the compulsory subjects for the UPSC exam, seek the right kind of guidance, buy the most recommended books for IAS examination, and make a habit of reading newspapers and magazines regularly. Your continuous efforts and perpetual diligence would pay off.