UPSC civil services prelims exam 2018

The civil services preliminary exam is just six months away and aspirants must be fully engrossed in covering the vast syllabus of the same. Before moving further, all the aspirants here are recommended to keep the syllabus handy and get a thorough knowledge about what UPSC exactly looks for.


Trend analysis of past 4 years question papers

So if we look at the trend of past 4 years, the maximum number of questions were asked from geography, agriculture and environment, but every question for each topic or subject was directly or indirectly related to current affairs. Therefore, current affairs are extremely important which you cannot at all afford to miss while preparing for prelims. But if you analyze the questions deeply, you will find the elements of core concepts too. So to get clarity, previous year question papers evaluation is advisable.

Along with previous year question papers, enrolling for test series is an important part of the preparation process. Currently almost every IAS academy is offering prelims test series, so choose the best one and enroll yourself.
Now, moving further, let’s discuss some topics which are of immense importance and should not be missed in any case.


Polity is an important topic for all 3 stages of civil services exam. In fact, the importance of the subject increases when one gets into the service. Polity should be covered with a blend of current affairs. Simply put, topics like new schemes initiated by the government, recent changes or developments in constitution, amendments and bills are important for polity which can be covered from current affairs sources.

Apart from this, the other topics which should be covered are:

— Judiciary

— NITI Aayog

— Panchayati Raj and PESA 1996

— Different committees of parliament

— Distribution of powers between union and states

— Indian Membership in Regional Establishments

— Parliament and State Legislature

— President, Prime Minister, Council of Ministers, Speaker, Governor, CAG and attorney general

— Forest Rights ACT 2006

— Passing of bills (ordinary and money)

— Different parliamentary proceedings

— Non-proliferation treaty and MTCR

— Directive principles and fundamental duties


Economic is one of the most dynamic parts of UPSC syllabus and should be covered from the sources of current affairs. The facts and figures change almost every day. First of all, the basic concepts need to be cleared; aspirants must have conceptual clarity as to what matters the most in economics. If we pick up the analysis of past 1 year, lots of economic changes occurred in this past 1 year; so having the knowledge of current affairs is very important to prepare economics part.

Apart from this, the topics which should be covered are:

— Depreciation and appreciation

— Fiscal deficit and upcoming budget

— Taxes and reforms

— National schemes and programmes

— Basic terms like growth rate, national income- GDP, GVA etc.,

— FDI, FII and recent changes in these field

— Question based on economic survey, convertibility of rupee, monetary policy and its measures (CRR/SLR)

— Finance Commission and recent recommendations

— Unemployment and poverty in India

— Supply and demand of money

— Demonetization

— Banking systems and based III

— Inflation rates

— Demographic transition.


Looking at the trend of past few years, the ratio of questions from history portion is sloping downward. But this doesn’t mean that history is an unimportant subject, as UPSC wants candidates to have decent knowledge on the subject. Modern Indian history, culture and medieval periods are important to study.

Apart from this, the other topic which should be covered are:

— Occupational caste

— Tribe and nomad

— Rock-cut monuments

— Governor generals and viceroys

— Medieval dictionary

— Freedom struggle and important movements

— Ancient times taxation and administration

— Land reforms and revenue system

— Important dynasties in medieval India.

— Geography and environment

For the coverage of geography portion, candidates must have a basic clarity about the universe, earth, phenomena, etc. UPSC syllabus covers both Indian and world geography. Along with basic conceptual clarity, candidates also need to stay updated with recent updates; therefore current affairs knowledge again is of utmost importance.

The topics which should be covered are:

— Floods, earthquakes and cyclones

— Temperature and precipitation

— Location of countries between seas

— Ocean currents

— Climatic conditions in different regions

— Westerlies, National highways and other infrastructure

— Different types of soil, their conservation methods

— National parks, wetlands, wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves

— Atmosphere

— Natural vegetation

— Flora and fauna

— Rivers in India and their protection

— Geographical region and regions

— National Green tribunal, La Nina and El Nino

— Environment and Agriculture

Significant number of questions are asked from environment and agriculture in UPSC preliminary exam. Fundamentals concepts of the subject must be cleared in aspirants’ mind. Aspirants must have a fair knowledge about what all initiatives are being taken up globally for the protection, conservation and preservation of the environment; and for this having current affairs knowledge is also requisite.

Besides, the other topics which should be covered are:

— Eco- friendly technologies

— Agriculture, crops, drainage and irrigation

— International treaties, organisation and meeting on environment

— International reports and list

— Recent government reports on environment

— National schemes for agriculture, irrigation


For the coverage of science syllabus, students are not required to get very deep knowledge about the subject, as UPSC only checks the knowledge of candidates on current happenings in the science world. The Hindu and Indian express and some other source of current affairs would suffice the purpose.

Apart from this, the topics which should be covered are:

— Government schemes and initiative related to public health

— Genetics (DNA Stem Cells)

— Medicine and public health

— Food and chemical

— Gravitation

— Plant and animal classification

— Light and matter

— Bt – Crops, nanotechnology, communication technology

— Renewable sources of energy and eco-friendly technology

— Nuclear energy, Work and energy

— Missiles, space crafts and satellites

— ICT, diseases and causes

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