Understanding the UPSC & APSC Syllabus in Detail – Similarities & Dissimilarities

When it comes to thinking of a career with the nation’s esteemed services like civil service and other elite government services, aspirants are full of doubts and queries. Civil service-related queries and doubts top the list in this case. So, here we are trying to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the APSC and UPSC syllabus. Go through the whole blog for a better understanding of the syllabus and related particulars of these coveted exams. 

So, let’s begin with the popular queries related to UPSC and APSC exams and their syllabus. 

Is UPSC & APSC Syllabus the same?

Let us first start with the APSC syllabus, its structure, and how it is similar to UPSC.
The Assam state government has revised the syllabus for Assam Public Service Commission (APSC)‘s Combined Competitive Examinations (CCE) in 2019 inline with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations. This decision has been taken by the then government led by Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in an effort to help students take both exams with the same preparation. So basically, both of the syllabus are the same to a great extent but APSC is going to focus on state-related affairs with an extra Assam specific paper (Paper-), which includes History, Geography, Polity, Environment, etc of Assam  whereas UPSC is concerned with events of national importance.

Check out the syllabus for both APSC CCE and UPSC CSE.

APSC Prelims: APSC Mains:

GS Paper I Language Paper

GS- I-IV GS Paper II

GS- V (Assam Specific Paper)


Optional I & II

UPSC Prelims: UPSC Mains

GS Paper I Language Paper

GS Paper II GS Paper I-IV


Optional I & II

Syllabus in Details UPSC CSE Prelims

General Studies-I

  • The General Studies test is the first paper of the preliminary examination.
  • This test is intended to test the general awareness of a candidate in a wide range of subjects that include: Indian Polity, Geography, History, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations and associated current affairs.

General Studies -II Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

  • This UPSC Prelims syllabus for CSAT intends to assess the aptitude of the candidate in solving ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions, apart from ‘Reading Comprehension’ and the occasionally asked ‘Decision Making’ questions.
  • The ‘Decision Making’ based questions are generally exempt from negative marks.

Syllabus in Details UPSC CSE Mains

Paper-IEssay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)
Paper-IIGeneral Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)
Paper-IVGeneral Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)
Paper-VGeneral Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper I
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper I

Syllabus in Details of APSC CCE Mains 

Paper- IEssay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)
Paper-IIGeneral Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography)
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)
Paper-IVGeneral Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)
Paper VGeneral Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
Paper VIGeneral Studies V- History, Geography, Economy of Assam
Qualifying Paper- AIndian Language (any one)- Assamese/Bodo/Bengali
Qualifying Paper-BEnglish
Paper VII-VIIIOptionals 

Q: Is UPSC and Bank syllabus the same?

Syllabus for Prelims exams of both UPSC Civil Services and Bank are similar to a lot of extent. The UPSC syllabus is larger than Bank syllabus, especially the General Studies section of UPSC is more tough and vast compared to Bank exam syllabus. So preparation for UPSC CSE requires more time, dedication and effort. Also, Bank exam syllabus topics like Marketing and Computer Knowledge do not appear in UPSC CSE exam syllabus. 

Q: What are APSC and UPSC? Core Difference between APSC and UPSC

APSC stands for Assam Public Service Commission, meant for hiring civil servants for the state Assam including ACS, APS, ALRS and others, whereas UPSC is meant for absorbing people in civil service of national level, such as IAS, IPS, IFS and other allied services. UPSC is a constitutional body under Article 315 of the Indian Constitution, where the members of the UPSC are appointed by the President. On the other hand, the members of the Assam State Commission are appointed by the Governor of Assam. The UPSC submits an annual report to the President consisting of all the work details done by the Commission. And all the State Public Service Commission submits an annual report to the Governor on its performance, including Assam.

Q: Do all government exams have the same syllabus?

Yes, more or less all government job exams have similar syllabus. Subjects like General Science, General Awareness, English and Arithmetic are common in every government exam syllabus you can work on.

Q: Which Syllabus is Similar to UPSC?

If you are someone thinking about this, consider yourself smart! Yes, it is indeed a good idea to appear for many government exams having same or alike syllabus as UPSC. Here is a quick list of other exams that you can check with UPSC preparation.

State Service Examination: Aspirants who have covered UPSC syllabus can easily appear to any state service exams. You will additionally need the state specific general studies, general knowledge and also have to study the state’s history, geography, polity.

Reserve Bank of India Examination (Grade B): An aspirant of UPSC CSE can easily appear to RBI Grade B exam. Two major components of this exam are Maths and reasoning which are important for UPSC as well. 

Central Armed Police Force: If you are dedicatedly working on your UPSC preparation and you have covered it, this exam will be very easy for you to qualify and you won’t need any extra effort.

Bank PO & SSC: These two exams also need good practice for Math and Reasoning. General Awareness of both this exam is almost similar to UPSC CSE syllabus. 

In a nutshell, UPSC preparation requires a lot of time, dedication, and patience and through this entire timeline your knowledge base will be sufficient to qualify for various exams of central and state governments.

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