The Indian Police service

The Syllabus of IPS

The Indian Police Service or IPS is considered one of the most prestigious among all vocations. There is a tremendous amount of respect attached to the job. Although a million candidates may apply every year, only a few hundred are selected. This exam is organized in multiple locations all around the country.

Syllabus for Preliminary Examination

This is the first stage of the recruitment process. This stage has two papers:

Paper 1

General Studies: For this exam you will have must study current events, Indian history of India, global and Indian geography, Indian economics and polity. This paper will require you have an understanding of normal day to day issues. You are not expected to have specialized knowledge on any subject, but a common understanding is necessary. You must know current national and international events and have detailed knowledge of history of Indian political system, society and economy.

Paper 2

Optional Subject: For this exam, each candidate has to choose one subject from a wide list and prepare for it. This optional subject depends on the type of job that he or she wants to take as an IAS officer. One can choose anything from animal husbandry to philosophy, from law to political science. There are about 23 different subjects from which the candidates can choose their favourite subject. The syllabus to each of these subjects is very diverse.

Here is a list of all the optional subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Agriculture
  • Botany
  • Commerce
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Indian History
  • Law
  • Civil Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Political Science
  • Geology
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics

Syllabus for Main Examination

There are as many as 9 exams in this stage:

Paper 1

Modern Indian Language Exam: For the Modern Indian Language test, the candidate will have to choose one out of 22 scheduled languages. The test will include comprehension, usage and vocabulary, prcis writing, translation, and a short essay. This paper will be up to matriculation level of the chosen language.

Following is the list of languages that can be studied for this exam:


  • Sanskrit
  • Urdu
  • English
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • German
  • Persian
  • French
  • Nepali
  • Arabic
  • Gujarati
  • Marathi
  • Kashmiri
  • Bengali
  • Punjabi
  • Assamese
  • Dogri
  • Manipuri
  • Santali
  • Konkani
  • Pali
  • Bodo
  • Sindhi
  • Telugu
  • Oriya
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Tamil
  • Maithili

Paper 2

General English: This paper is to test the student's English skills. The candidates must have ability to understand complicated prose and express their ideas in clear and grammatically correct manner. This test will include comprehension, usage and vocabulary, prcis writing, and a short essay in English. This paper will be up to matriculation level standard of English.

Paper 3

Essay: Candidates are required to write an essay on any given topic. The candidates will be given a number of topics to choose. Candidates are required to practice writing comprehensive, factually correct and relevant essays. The candidate must maintain regular flow in the tone of the essay and ensure that it doesn't have any grammatical or spelling mistakes.

Paper 4

General Studies I: Candidates need to study about history and culture of India culture, Indian geography, constitution, polity, current issues and social relevance topics.

Paper 5

General Studies II: This exam is to test the general knowledge and awareness of the candidates. It will include questions about

  • India and the World: This will test your knowledge about India in context of the entire world. You must study about foreign affairs related to our neighbouring countries and South East Asia region. Matters related to country's security and defence, nuclear policy and the contribution of Indians around the world.
  • India's Economic Interaction with the World: Study about India's foreign trade, policies relating to foreign investment, countries economy and issues related to fuel and energy. The candidate must also have knowledge about WTO, IMF, WIPO, World Bank etc.
  • Developments in the Field of Science & Technology, IT and space: The candidate should gain knowledge about issues related to science, technology, IT, space, nanotechnology, biotechnology etc.
  • International Affairs and International Institutions: The candidate must have a firm knowledge about these.
  • Statistical analysis, graphs and diagrams: The candidate should have the skills to read and understand graphs, statistics and diagrams. He should be able draw conclusion from them.

Paper 6 and 7

Optional Subjects- These two exams test candidate's aptitude towards the first optional subject chosen by him. Candidates have to choose an optional subject. The choice of subject depends on the type of job they are applying for.

Paper 8 and 9

Optional Subjects- These two exams test candidate's aptitude towards the second optional subject chosen by him. Candidates have to choose an optional subject. The choice of subject depends on the type of job they are applying for.


After clearing all the exams, the successful candidates are called for an interview. This interview assesses the personality, physical capability (if required) and mental strength of the candidates. The candidates must possess the right confidence, mindset and mental attentiveness to succeed in this exam.

The interviewer might ask you the following type of questions:

  1. Meaning of your name or about a famous person who has the same name as you.
  2. About your choice of career
  3. Recent current topics
  4. How do you plan to perform your duty
  5. About your academic record
  6. Hypothetical questions

After a candidate is declared successful in the written exam, he has to undergo training at the Civil services academy at Dehradun, Mussorie. The police service requires tough training.

In order to complete the training successfully, you will have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • A weekly run of 10 kilometres in 60 minutes.
  • Route march of 25 k.m.
  • Horse riding, rock climbing, assault courses,
  • PT obstacles,
  • Rope climbing etc.

The services are later divided in technical and non technical categories. The standards for technical courses are more demanding.

So, make sure that you study hard and prepare for each of these stages. Remember, nothing in life is impossible if you work hard for it.

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!