What Is the Main Difference Between UPSC Mains Syllabus and UPSC Prelims Syllabus?

The civil service examination is the most prestigious and competitive exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. In the government, it is for the various Group A and Group B posts. On the road to clearing the UPSC exam, a proper understanding of the syllabus is necessary. For the recruitment of various designated posts, which includes various services like foreign service, administrative service etc., UPSC conducts the civil service exam.

UPSC IAS exam is very tough, and for preparing and passing the exam, the candidate must know the syllabus in detail. You must check out BYJU’S Exam Prep to get preparation tips and guidelines.  Also, the syllabus for the prelims and mains is not very different from each other, but there are slight differences present in it. So to prepare this syllabus, candidates must download the main topics included in the syllabus and read them. The differences between the UPSC Mains Syllabus and UPSC Prelims Syllabus are mentioned below, which will help the aspirants plan their preparations accordingly.

Difference Between UPSC Prelims & Mains Syllabus

  1. The first stage of the UPSC exam is the Prelims, while the second stage of the UPSC exam is the Mains exam.
  2. Objective type pattern is followed in the Prelims exam of UPSC, and in an OMR sheet, answers must be marked while the descriptive pattern is followed in the Mains exam of the UPSC. In the answer booklet, the answers to the questions should be handwritten.
  3. For the UPSC Civil Service Mains Exam, Prelims is the qualifying stage, whereas only candidates who clear the Prelims Exam are eligible to appear.
  4. GS 1 and GS 2/CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test) are the two General Studies Papers in the UPSC Prelims Syllabus. In comparison, out of 9 papers, only 7 are evaluated for ranking purposes in the UPSC Mains Syllabus, and the qualifying marks are needed for the other 2 papers.
  5. In the Prelims exam of UPSC, there are no optional subjects, while for UPSC Civil Service Mains Exam, there are 48 optional subjects available. Out of 48 papers, candidates who appear for the Mains exam choose one. For the optional subjects, there will be two papers.
  6. With the passing criteria of 33%, Paper-II/CSAT paper is a qualifying exam in prelims, while only qualifying in nature is the Language and English paper in the Mains exam. If the candidates score below 25%, they will not be complacent, and in this case, the remaining answers will not be checked.
  7. For both papers in Prelims, the time duration is 2 hours each, whereas, for all the 9 papers, the time duration is 3 hours each.
  8. For both the papers of Prelims, the maximum marks are 200 each while the maximum marks for each paper are 250 in the Mains exam and the paper of English and Indian language is of 300 marks each.

There is not much difference between the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and UPSC Mains Syllabus. There is only a slight difference in the 2 subjects when compared. There are no questions in the UPSC Mains exam out of the syllabus; the questions are prepared the way by analysing the syllabus only. In the Prelims exam, the memory and knowledge of the candidate are tested, while in the Mains exam, the perception and views of the candidates are reviewed, which also includes the writing skills. You must visit BYJU’S Exam Prep to get more clarity on it.

So, both these syllabuses work for the candidates in their way. A candidate can easily pass the Mains exam by preparing and focusing on the syllabus efficiently. Candidates should make different strategies to cover the syllabus as there will be no questions out of the syllabus, and they can easily get the highest scores in the exam. Thus, the syllabus’s difference helps the candidates prepare for their exams in the best possible way.

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