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UPSC Mains Online Coaching in Kerala

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UPSC Mains Exam Overview

The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Mains Examination is the second one of the Civil Services Examination in India, following the Preliminary Examination. It consists of nine papers, consisting of qualifying papers in Indian languages and English, and seven papers on subjects including Essay, General Studies, and Optional Subjects chosen by the candidate. The Mains exam is designed to evaluate candidates' complete knowledge and analytical capability across a extensive range of topics, aiming to evaluate their suitability for administrative roles within the Indian bureaucracy.


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UPSC Preparation Course Knowledge Partner - Thakshashila IAS Academy

Thakshashila IAS Academy is a renowned and distinguished knowledge partner of Entri, known for its exceptional expertise in civil services exam preparation. With a strong commitment to nurturing and guiding aspiring civil servants, Thakshashila IAS Academy has carved a niche for itself in the competitive landscape of coaching institutes. Its comprehensive and well-structured study materials, along with experienced faculty members, provide students with the necessary tools and insights to excel in the highly competitive IAS examinations.

Thakshashila's holistic approach to learning encompasses not only the core subjects but also current affairs, essay writing, and interview preparation, ensuring that students are well-rounded and well-prepared for all aspects of the examination. Entri's collaboration with Thakshashila IAS Academy has been instrumental in reaching out to a wider audience, enabling more aspirants to access high-quality study materials and guidance, ultimately helping them achieve their dreams of serving the nation as esteemed civil servants.

Best Online Coaching For UPSC Mains

Entri App is a perfect method for online UPSC Mains exam preparation. It provides comprehensive and comprehensive study materials, live learning, mock tests, and other useful resources to help you prepare for the Civil Service Examination. 


It gives you plenty of opportunities to practice and test your skills before taking an entrance exam. The material is designed in such a way that it covers all the main topics and helps to understand the study better. Mock tests are also explained in detail with questions to help evaluate your performance. 


Entri has a dedicated support team that is always available to provide technical and testing support. The app offers a personalized curriculum tailored to your learning needs, based on your business profile. Apart from that, Entri also helps you to get the latest information about Civil Services, IAS, UPSC, and other competitive exams. It is the best option for IAS/UPSC aspirants, as it provides complete guidance for exam preparation and is a perfect resource for exam aspirants. A dynamic and comprehensive approach, Entri can help you get the best out of your exam preparation.

UPSC Mains Exam Pattern

An overview of the UPSC Exam Pattern is given below. Before aspirants start their preparation, it is important to understand the nature of UPSC CSE questions and exam pattern.

  • The CSE main examination consists of qualifying papers like Indian Language and English, and candidates have to score at least 25% marks on each paper.
  • Papers that are counted for merit include Essay, General Studies and optional papers.
  • The total duration of all the papers is 3 hours. 
  • The Indian Language paper is not compulsory for candidates from the states of Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

More information related to the UPSC exam pattern, i.e. total marks allotted for each paper, duration of the exam etc., is given in the table below.

UPSC CSE Main Exam Pattern

UPSC CSE Main Exam Pattern


Name of the Paper


Total Marks


Paper A

Indian Language



Paper B




Paper I




Paper II

General Studies I



Paper III

General Studies II



Paper IV

General Studies III



Paper V

General Studies IV



Paper VI

Optional I



Paper VII

Optional II



How to prepare for the UPSC Mains?

IAS Mains preparation requires a focused and systematic approach. Here are some tips to excel in the exam:

  • Understand the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the IAS Mains syllabus and exam pattern to know what to study and how to allocate time.
  • Comprehensive Study Material: Select relevant and reliable study material, including standard textbooks and reference books, to cover all topics thoroughly.
  • Time Management: Create a realistic study schedule to balance all subjects effectively, allowing sufficient time for revision.
  • Answer Writing Practice: Practice writing answers regularly to improve articulation, clarity, and time management during the exam.
  • Analyze Past Papers: Solve previous years' question papers to understand the exam's pattern, question types, and recurring themes.
  • Current Affairs: Stay updated with national and international news to tackle contemporary issues in General Studies papers.
  • Optional Subject Proficiency: Master your optional subject with in-depth understanding and answer-writing practice.
  • Essay Writing Practice: Enhance essay writing skills by practicing on diverse topics and maintaining a coherent structure.
  • Revision: Regularly revise the entire syllabus to retain information and reinforce your knowledge.
  • Mock Tests: Take mock tests to simulate exam conditions and assess your performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses.
  • Analyze Mistakes: Learn from your mistakes and seek feedback to improve consistently.
  • Stay Positive and Healthy: Manage stress, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and stay motivated throughout the preparation journey.
UPSC Mains Syllabus
UPSC Mains exam includes 9 papers and the candidates will need to score minimum qualifying marks for each subject. Except for the language paper, the rest of the tests will be scored. The language papers are qualifying in nature.
UPSC Syllabus for Qualifying Papers (Indian Languages and English)

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:

English Language:

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precise Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays.

Indian Languages:

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precise Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays.
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.
UPSC Essay Syllabus
Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
UPSC GS 1 Syllabus

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of the world's physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
UPSC Syllabus for Mains GS Paper 2

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
  • Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • India and its neighborhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora - their structure, mandate.
UPSC GS 3 Syllabus

Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, - different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System-objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
GS Paper 4 Syllabus

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society.

Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered:

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  •  Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.
UPSC Optional Syllabus

Optional Subject Papers I & II:

A candidate may opt for any one Optional Subject from the following:

  1. UPSC Agriculture Syllabus
  2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology Syllabus for UPSC
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. UPSC Commerce and Accountancy Syllabus
  8. UPSC Economics Syllabus
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography Syllabus for UPSC
  11. UPSC Geology Syllabus
  12. UPSC History Syllabus
  13. UPSC Law Optional Syllabus
  14. Management
  15. UPSC Maths Optional Syllabus
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. UPSC Medical Science Syllabus
  18. UPSC Philosophy Syllabus
  19. UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus
  20. PSIR Optional Syllabus
  21. UPSC Psychology Syllabus
  22. Public Administration Optional Syllabus
  23. Sociology Optional Syllabus
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology
  26. Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

Each Optional Subject has 2 compulsory papers.

UPSC Mains - FAQs

The UPSC Mains is the second one of the Civil Services Examination. It consists of 9 papers, which includes one qualifying paper, two language papers (one in all that's English), and 6 papers on numerous subjects that remember toward the very last merit.

There are nine papers in total:

Paper A: Indian Language (Qualifying)

Paper B: English (Qualifying)

Paper I: Essay

Paper II: General Studies I

Paper III: General Studies II

Paper IV: General Studies III

Paper V: General Studies IV

Paper VI: Optional Subject Paper 1

Paper VII: Optional Subject Paper 2

The qualifying marks for Paper A (Indian Language) and Paper B (English) are generally 25% of the total marks. Candidates need to score at least 75 out of 300 in each of these papers to qualify.
The UPSC Mains Exam is a descriptive type exam conducted over a span of several days. Each paper is of three hours duration.
Candidates can write the examination in any of the languages ​​listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. English is also an option.