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What is UPSC Civil Services 2013 finally decided Exam Pattern?

UPSC Civil Services New Exam PatternDebates and worries about changes in the exam pattern of Civil Services exams has come to a stop and finally the civil mains exam pattern has been confirmed. So now it is time to plan for preparation according to the changes made in Civil Services Exam. But before that you should clear all your doubts about the changes made in UPSC exam pattern and have an overall understanding about the exam for better preparation.

Why syllabus has been changed suddenly for Civil Services?

The syllabus has not been changed overnight as there is lot of discussions about changing the syllabus from the last few years. There has also been done some exercise regarding that and the students had information that a change is inevitable but they didn’t have clarity on what the changes would be about.

Major changes in Civil Services:

Previously there is more weightage given to the optional. So, candidates appearing for civil services used to choose subjects like public administration, anthropology, Literature etc. as optional to get more marks. Those who have got very less marks in general studies used to cover the gap with their marks in optional subjects. So to bring a change in this, UPSC has increased general studies marks and has reduced the number of papers for optional subjects to one.

New areas covered in general studies in Civil Services?

Previously there used to be only two papers on general studies and now that has been increased to four papers in Civil Services new exam pattern.

Civil Services Paper I: Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society:

This paper has increased the importance for history and related topics. Previously history used to be considered as modern Indian history. This used to be about getting independence right from 1857 revolt to getting independence in 1947. But now though the syllabus starts from 1857 it ends up covering up to the year 2000. Many incidents and changes that have happened after independence are also covered under this paper. World history is also clubbed to the Indian history. Indian society and different dimensions about it have also been added.  World geography is also a new topic added in Civil Services 2013.

Civil Services Paper II: Indian politics

This is a traditional paper that has been made more relevant to the present conditions with applied topics. Comparing old paper weightage, the importance for international relations has been reduced. Justice for society is a new angle added to the paper.

Civil Services Paper III: Technology, biodiversity, economic development, environment, security and disaster management:

The previous science and technology paper has been changed with more inclination towards environment and adding relevant topics. Similarly without including basics about economic science they have added the current economic issues.

Civil Services Paper IV: Ethics integrity and aptitude:

Based on lot of scams that have rocked the nation maybe the Indian government has thought of introducing a paper on justice and ethics to test the candidates in this angle.  This is a totally new paper and unless one paper comes out no one is clear about the questions or pattern of the exam paper.

Civil Services New Exam Pattern

UPSC Civil Services New Exam Pattern
Preliminary (Objective Type)

General Studies -1
General Studies -2
UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam (Descriptive Type)
English (Qualifying Exam – 10th Standard)
Indian Languages (Qualifying Exam – 10th Standard)
Indian Heritage, Culture, Geography of the world and society
Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, International Relations
Technology, Economic Development, Bio-Diversity, Environment, Security, Disaster Management
Ethics, Integrity, Aptitude
Optional Subject Paper-1
Optional Subject Paper-2
Written Test Total Papers
Personality Test (Interview)

All Total


Impact of Civil Services new syllabus on the candidates:

Civil Services General studies have been elaborated covering the present current issues. Similarly syllabus has been designed covering main subjects like history, politics, public administration, geography, sociology, philosophy and to some extent psychology. But academic knowledge on these subjects is not at all sufficient. Practical knowledge is only important. Becoming expert on all these subjects is not possible to anyone except a superman. Hence no candidate should try to master all these subjects as it is literally not possible.

The general knowledge paper has been set in such a way that no candidate can gain marks more than 50%. So as scoring in this paper is difficult and again the optional papers become key scoring subjects. As general knowledge syllabus is vast it is better to choose optional subjects that cover major topics in that for scoring more marks. 

What the candidates need to do for Civil Services?

Those who are attempting their last chance in Civil Services:
They should continue the optional which is convenient for them and score good marks. According to the syllabus- one should allot major time for general studies preparation. Unless the candidates are becoming age barred they should not postpone their attempts for civil services.

Candidates writing the exam:

As the syllabus is vast those who are attempting this exam should build good foundation on the basics. They should start their preparation from degree second year itself. They should also follow the current affairs and the changes taking place in the present scenario.

What should be read and listened in order to prepare for the Indian Civil Services?

According to changes in syllabus there are some books and magazines which should be read compulsory. Debates on different issues telecasted by the all India radio also help one to expand their knowledge base.

NCERT books and general studies topics in them have to be read.

National and international affairs have to be followed regularly in newspapers and magazines.

One can take membership for Yogana magazine and read it regularly. Poverty, development, population- One has to focus on the problems related to these issues.

Indian year book” by Publication division can be used to cover topics like development programs, health, education and human resources etc.

Goh che leong is very useful to understand the world environment and geographical conditions.  
For present world history one can depend on the 12th standard NCERT book.

Social justice- Indian society and socialism can be covered by reading the NCERT 11th and 12th class books.

To have more knowledge regarding security related topics, one can follow the debates telecasted on the all India radio.

Optional should be related to the syllabus

Scoring for optional subjects has been reduced in the new exam pattern however new syllabus seems to be helpful for optional subjects like public administration, sociology, anthropology, psychology and history subjects.

So for choosing an optional subject one should give priority to those subjects which are related to the syllabus and gives advantage in preparation for the exam. However students should see that they are comfortable choosing that subject.

If public administration is chosen as optional, topics like administration, constitution, political science, integrity and aptitude become easy for preparation.

If sociology or anthropology is chosen, Indian society, social justice, caste system, role of women becomes easy.

If history is chosen as optional, Indian culture, modern Indian history, world history etc shall become easy.

If geography is chosen as an optional then world geographical conditions, physical conditions of earth, distribution of natural resources etc. become easy to prepare.

If psychology is chosen as an optional then emotional intelligence and attitude related subjects shall become easy.

Links to follow for UPSC Civil Services 2013 articles

Click here for Who Can aim for UPSC Civil Services
Click here for UPSC Civil Services common doubts
Click here for UPSC Civil Services winners formula
Click here for UPSC Civil Services Latest News

Civil Services New Exam Pattern published by Employment News Today

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