Subject-Wise Break up of IAS Preliminary Examination (GS Paper - I)

(IAS Preliminary Examination) Subject-Wise Break up of GS Paper - I

The UPSC notification of 2015 for the Civil Services preliminary examination has been published.

Since UPSC fixed qualifying of 33% fixed for GS Paper II (CSAT), so the marks and hard work you perform GS Paper I will decide your success in Civil Services Preliminary.

The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers of objective type (multiple-choice questions) carrying a maximum of 200 marks each. There are 100 questions for the Paper I and 80 questions for Paper II.

There are 100 questions to be answered in two hours, each question carries two marks. It means there is about 80 seconds to answer each question.

Speed and accuracy is essential to tackle this examination. While the correct answer will fetch 2 marks, a wrong answer means a loss of 0.66 marks.

The 100 questions can be grouped into three categories:

  • Multiple Choice Questions - Single response correct
  • Multiple Choice Questions - Multiple response correct
  • Multiple Choice Questions - Matching type

(1) Polity

In polity, there are chapters from which questions are frequently being asked. These are the Constitutional Developments, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles of State Policy, Union Government, Judiciary, Constitutional Amendments, Local Governments, Federalism , Electoral process and Parliamentary Procedures.

  • Outstanding features of the Indian Constitution
  • Preamble
  • Union and its Territory
  • Citizenship in India
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Fundamental Duties
  • Directive Principles of State Policy
  • Constitution Amendment
  • Emergency Provisions
  • President of India
  • Vice-President
  • Attorney General of India
  • Parliament of India
  • Office of Profit
  • The Judiciary
  • Lokpal and LokAyukta
  • Federal System
  • Governor
  • Anti—defection law
  • Inter State Council
  • Electoral System in India
  • Panchayati raj Institutions
  • Nagarapalikas
  • Delegated Legislation
  • Public Service Commission
  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India
  • Delimitation of Constituencies
  • River Water Disputes of India
  • Right to Information
  • Good Governance
  • Seventh Schedule and Taxation Powers
  • Professional Tax
  • Order of Precedence
  • Delhi Government
  • Article 371
  • Fifth and Sixth Schedules
  • Current Affairs: Polity updates

(2) General Science

  • It can be divided into 4 parts—Science and Technology, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Basic understanding of Science, especially a thorough understanding of NCERTs, can solve most of the questions.

Science and Technology

Questions are mainly from the developments in India. Give special attention on Computers and Information Technology.

  • India’s Nuclear Programme
  • India’s Defence Programme
  • India’s Space Programme
  • Science and Technological Development in India


General Science covers general appreciation and understanding of day-to-day science. So, observing and experiencing everyday science could be handy.

From Botany, particularly from agriculture, biological diversity and plant system.

In Zoology, most of the questions are related to human system and diseases. Communicable diseases and nutrition have always been significant.

  • Tissue
  • Muscular and Skeletal System
  • The Nervous System
  • The Endocrine System
  • Lymphatic System and Immunity
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Circulatory System
  • The Reproductive System
  • The Digestive System
  • The Excretory System
  • Photosynthesis
  • Digestion in Plants
  • Plant Reproduction
  • Diversity in Living Organisms
  • The Animal Kingdom


Application part of chemistry is more important in the exam.

  • The states of matter
  • The physical and chemical changes
  • Oxidation and Reduction
  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Atom
  • Catalysts
  • Petroleum and Fertilizer
  • General Procedure of Preparation - Soap, comb, ink, cement, paint, match box, gun powder and alum etc.


Questions are frequently asked from the chapters like

  • Mechanics,
  • Optics,
  • Heat and Thermodynamics,
  • Electricity,
  • Nuclear Physics,
  • Modern Physics,
  • Sound
  • Universe.

(3) Economy

In Economy, even though most of the questions are from Indian Economy, one has to keep abreast of International Economics that has its impact on India.

In Indian Economy, now-a-days, most of the questions are asked from National Income and International Economic Forums, Industry, Agricultural production, Exim Policy, Money and Banking, Public Finance and Reforms and Different programmes announced in the previous and the current fiscal year.

Combine the reading of Economy book with the Economic Survey by Government of India.

  • Economic Planning in India
  • Fiscal System
  • Monetary and Credit Policy
  • Money Market and Capital Market in India
  • Stock Markets in India
  • Taxation System in India: Concepts and Policies
  • Inflation: Concepts, Facts and Policy
  • Public Sector
  • Banking System in India
  • Poverty and Inequality Concepts, Data Policy and Analysis
  • Unemployment
  • Agriculture
  • Important Indices
  • Bretton Woods Institutions and Others
  • GATT and WTO
  • Foreign Trade
  • External Sector
  • Economy Updates

(4) Geography

In ‘Indian Geography’ a thorough understanding of physical aspects of India with a proper clarity of locations, is the minimum requirement. This will help in the economic as well as the human aspects of Indian Geography.

In General Geography, the emphasis is on conceptual aspects.

In World Geography, the emphasis is more on current developments, which can be covered by map reading while going through the newspaper. Also keep the habit of reading geography with help of any reliable Map.


  • North America
  • Middle America
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Australia
  • Asia
  • Antartica
  • Climatic Regions


  • Lithosphere
  • Atmosphere
  • World Climatic Type


  • India Physical


  • Land and the People
  • States and Union Territories
  • Non-Conventional Energy
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Conventional Energy in India
  • Electricity in India

(5) History

In ‘Indian History’, maximum number of questions have been asked from the Modern History.

In Ancient India, the Vedic Age, Mauryan Period and the Gupta Period are dominating every year.

Sultanate and Mughal periods , Marathas, Vijaynagar and Bahmani kingdoms are the most important areas in the Medieval India.

The period between 1857 to 1947, i.e. the 1857 uprising, social reform movements, British reforms in civil administration and in the other fields, Governor Generals and Nationalist Movement under the Congress are the important areas of Modern India.


  • Sources of Indian History
  • The Harappan Civilization
  • The Vedic
  • The Mauryan
  • Post-Mauryan period(200BC-300AD)
  • Gupta &Post-Gupta period


  • Chronology of Events in Medieval India
  • North India between 750-1200
  • The Sultans of Delhi
  • The Mughals
  • The Marathas
  • Vijayanagar Empire


  • Indian in the Eighteenth Century
  • Rise of the Regional Powers
  • Economic Impact of The British
  • Indian Renaissance and Reform Movement
  • Early Uprisings Against The British
  • The Revolt of 1857
  • Nature and Causes For The Rise of National Movement
  • The Rise of Neo-Nationalists or Extremists
  • The Beginning of the Gandhian Era
  • The National Movements in 1940s
  • Chronology of The National Movement

(6) Environment

The environment section under it carries environmental concept, bio-diversity, pollution and environmental movement.


  • Organisms and the Environment
  • Environment, Habitat and Niche
  • Environmental Factors
  • Ecological Adaptations
  • Population, Biotic Community and Succession
  • Ecosystem: Structure and Function
  • Natural Resources and their Conservation
  • Biodiversity
  • Pollution and Global Environmental Change
  • United Nations Conference on the Human Environment(1972)
  • Brutland Commission(1983)
  • The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development(1992)


  • Biosphere
  • Conservation
  • Commission on sustainable Development(1992)
  • Nagoya Protocol
  • National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai
  • Project Tiger(1973)
  • The Biological Diversity Act 2002 and Rules 2004
  • Concerns & Issues
  • The Biological Diversity Act 2002
  • Biological Diversity Rules2004
  • Biodiversity Act/Rules and Intellectual Property Rights
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD)
  • The International Year of Biodiversity(IYB)
  • United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
  • Top10 Famous Bird Sanctuaries of India
  • Types of Biodiversity
  • Genetic Diversity
  • Species Diversity
  • Ecosystem
  • Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management(CBIPM)
  • Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS)

(7) Current Affairs

Current Affairs is a vast area comprising of events of national and international affairs, bilateral developments, sports and personalities in various fields along with prizes and honours of highest accolade.

  • National Affairs
  • International Affairs
  • Business and Economy
  • Persons and Places in News
  • Awards and Honours
  • Sports

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