The UPSC syllabus for the Civil services exam holds many secret clues for you, the aspirant.

In this post, I will uncover the clues and hidden messages in the UPSC syllabus, which can make or break your dream of joining the civil services.

The IAS exam is known as one of the World’s toughest exams.

A single attempt takes more than a year to complete- one year before the prelims and one year from prelims to interview.

I have cleared this examination thrice in a row, and it was the First and Only competitive examination I ever undertook. This is NOT because I had some unique qualities or Intelligence. In fact, I was always an average student and Never enjoyed academics. Believe me, and I did not enjoy studies or books ever in my life.

I did this by using some tricks and techniques which you can use too. This examination is not really as hard as it seems.

You can clear it easily.

The Union Public Service Commission, in its notification (External Link), publishes the detailed scheme of the annual examination, including the syllabus for the IAS examination.

The civil services exam is considered to be the most demanding competitive examination in India.

But really, the difficulty is partly because of the vastness of the UPSC syllabus.

The UPSC notification is not just a formal document that inertly dispenses information about the examination.

It is also a guide. (UPSC syllabus)


The IAS syllabus includes everything under the sun from Indian polity science, Indian history, World History, governance constitution political system, Mathematical ability, Logical reasoning, Essay writing, Ethics, to human geography.

It seems as vast as the ocean, and one gets the feeling of drowning in it.


But don’t worry.

NO ONE has all the knowledge which is listed in the syllabus.

After many years of school, all the NCERTs have been forgotten. In fact, the NCERT books may change entirely since the time you passed out of school.

And even if you remember them, you will not have studied everything in school or college.

If you chose to study science in Senior secondary school (after 10 th), you would not have considered the subjects of humanities like Indian Polity, governance, or Economics.

Just like Someone who chooses commerce will not study much of Science or Psychology.

And virtually no one has ever studied Ethics, which is the WHOLE of General Studies Paper 4.

The UPSC syllabus is vast because it is testing your ability to navigate through an enormous amount of information and to filter the important from the unimportant.

It is challenging for you to adapt to a new situation where you will be forced to learn about many new topics.

But How you approach this learning is up to you.

If you approach it with genuine curiosity, then the ocean will become your playground, and you will surf on it instead of sink in it.

upsc sayllabus


This one is not even hidden.  In fact, It is staring you in the face.

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  1. Sir i am preparing from three months for upsc, but i don’t know how to tackle the problem that I face. I have not a mantor who guide me . Thank you sir to guide us and telling us the way to reach our destiny.
    Thank you sir

  2. Hello Sir,

    I have been working with MNC since 2 years and when I Confessed that I would want to appear for UPSC all I got is demotivation. And being a working professional it is very difficult to manage the time.

    I just request if you could guide us how to keep time in mind and keep the concentration level high even after work.

  3. I took coaching in vajiram 2019batch.but, I’m confused whether I should read only class notes n ncert Or should I read advance book also. And I’m not maintaining consistency which is delaying my studies..

  4. Thank you so much sir for your guidance your assignments and way of understanding things are remarkable. Sir, keep guiding us with your blogs.
    ( please help me In finding what subject to choose for optional and if chosen how to study that particular subject?)
    Thank you again sir for guiding!

  5. I will not shy away from accepting this fact that preparing for 3rd year in a row i never got such an insight about UPSC , summed up so well . Seeing thousand of topper’s talk and UPSC pep talks , never got so much clarity about the most neglected part of preparation .

  6. Hello sir! I am new to this site. But read most of your articles today. Its very useful and now i am feeling that it will be easy to crack that hard nut. I am preparing for upsc from May end only. I don’t buy any materials yet. Just reading each topic in Google only. And watching current affairs. Please help me to prepare effectively. Which books to buy. What are the topics to be given much importance and less importance. Current affairs in which website.please help me

  7. This article was an eye opener for me…. Thank you for decoding such huge syllabus of upsc cse.. Can you make such for prelim syllabus too.. As it is very short n I don’t know what all things hidden in that

  8. Sir, I am waiting for your next blogs regarding book list and how to manage preparation along with full time job.

    • Hi Vishakha,
      I have started work on this. It seems to to be a huge problem being faced by a LOT of people.

      Will you do me a favor and tell me in detail what problems you face while preparing for the exam.

      Include everything from energy levels to your daily schedule. pls email these at youbecomingias@gmail.com

      Thanks! 🙂

  9. Heartful gratitude sir,for helping aspirants with your experience and mindful thoughts,for a fresher like me it’s really nice to tee this blog where I could find answers for my questions,As you mentioned in this article I couldn’t find the answer link where you mentioned about curiosity and how to develop it sir,If you find time please reply for my query and wish me good luck sir!

    • Thanks for flagging it, Keerthi!

      A dedicated blog post on this is coming soon.

      In the meantime, I want you to check out RICHARD FEYNMAN on youtube. He was like the god of curiosity and he might infect you with the bug, like he infected me.

  10. Hello sir,
    I am doing a software job in an MNC as of now, My aim is to become an IAS officer. Few people advised me to crack few Government exams and then try to give attempt to UPSC CSE. Is it necessary to do so? And please suggest me are there any possibilities to crack UPSC CSE while continuing my job as I am able to prepare only for 4 hours a day or do I need to quit my job and prepare?

    Thanks and Regards,

  11. Dear sir, Kindly guide me how to prepare for current affairs

    Is it enough to study monthly current affairs from some sites like Iasbaba and Insights IAS

    Or it is better if we study newspaper and makes notes of it

    • Hi Gokul.

      Your source of preparation depends on how much time you can devote per day And which year you plan on giving the exam.
      Because whats happening now will not be current in the next year.

      Yours is a question which will take me a few blog posts to cover. I will write one on covering current affairs soon and will e-mail you the update.

      Thanks and Best

  12. I am very interested in social science ..as I am in 12 th .my fellowmates suggest that having interest in ncerts doesn’t mean that you are interested in social science so far… I really enjoy to help people … I love to narrate constitution to my villagers in a easy language and I am interested in politics too .and I am also a part of youth parliament in my 10 class. Pls help…

    • Dear Abhishek.
      Dont take the advice of your fellow-mates because they are the same age and can’t know any better than you. Obviously.
      Also, no one can tell you what you are interested in or not.
      If you are interested, you will be wanting to know about something automatically.
      Just follow that curiosity.
      Keep doing what youre doing . It looks like you’re doing great.

  13. Sir,I want to become an ias officer.but I am confused where to start what to read and what not to read.please help me

    • Hi Chaitanya,
      i understand. Your confusion is natural. It can be really overwhelming.
      Here’s what I want you to do-
      I want you to read the UPSC syllabus very very carefully.
      Google each and every WORD one by one in the syllabus and just read the basic stuff about it.
      For example- when you see Indian national Movement in the syllabus, just google it and go through the wikipedia page.
      Do the same thing when you see the word Economic Development etc.

      Dont read any books at the moment.

      Once you have done this, we can go on to the next stage.

      All the best

    • Hi Rajat. Youve come to the right page. This blog is dedicated to making your goal as easy as possible. I suggest that you go through the other articles in this blog, assess your situation and email me about what you need help with. Ill be happy to guide you along.
      Thanks for reading! tc

      • Thank you so much sir for this guidance.
        I want to became an IRS officer Income Tax.
        Is IRS is a good job?

        • Hi akshay
          It’s a good job if you are the right fit for it.
          you will be a right for it if your reasons align with the work culture in the job.
          So i suppose the question is- What according to you is a ‘good job’ ?
          you might want to check out- https://becomingias.com/4-signs-that-you-will-make-a-good-ias-officer/
          generally speaking,IMHO, it is a better job than most private jobs but it depends on a lot of factors. Most of which
          I plan to cover in one of the blog posts.
          Thanks for reading 🙂

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