How To Prepare UPSC Ethics (GS 4)  – Strategy to prepare Ethics paper 4

How To Prepare UPSC Ethics (GS 4) - Strategy to prepare Ethics paper 4


  • GS Paper 4 – Ethics Integrity and Aptitude was introduced into the Civil Services Examination from 2013.
  • It states that“ 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”.
  • This paper is subdivided into two sections Section A and Section B each valuing 125 marks.
  • Ethics , Integrity and Aptitude GS 4 Syllabus
  • Overall, scoring in ethics paper is a game of keywords, awareness about self, and ability to project oneself as an individual who is pragmatic and productive while being committed to personal and professional ethics.
  • This paper requires application of your knowledge. It is not same as Philosophy, Public Administration or Psychology. It requires understanding of each part of the syllabus and then its application using real life examples
  • You can watch the Video for More Details

Marks variation in Ethics paper Over the Years

  • Scoring Well in Ethics Paper is a must to secure a good rank.
  • In this initial years 2013, 2014, 2015 – the highest marks in Ethics went upto 150. But over the years they have been reduced. But still they are around 130s and overall average has come down.
  • Over the years though it has become difficult to score good marks because the paper is not bookish and it does not require too much theoretical Jargon.

Sources to refer for Ethics paper 4 .

  • Ethics paper is more about testing the Ethical Competence and not the knowledge of Ethics. It is more about understanding the concept and less about memorization.
  • Before referring any source you must understand that no source is complete, as this paper requires you to write as per the demand and link static concepts with Current Affairs and GS Topics.
  • You can refer to the RaghukulCS Ethics Course and Mindmaps for getting all concepts and Examples at one point. Still if you feel that you should refer a book then you can refer the following:
    • RaghukulCS Sample Material

  • Though we usually advise not to go for bulky books but still Lexicon is a good source to build your vocabulary and book by DK Balaji is also a good source to refer. But make one thing clear that reading books doesn’t mean you will score good marks but writing will take you closer to it.
  • Other books you may read ( If you have more time)
    • My Experiment with truth – Mahatama Gandhi
    • Swami Vivekananda – Karmayoga

How to prepare Ethics for UPSC ?

  • You can divide the paper into 2 parts – Theory and Case Studies
    • Here You need to focus upon few things like
      • Definition based approach – Definition of terms. You can check out our document here
      • Collection of Examples for that definition
      • Sub dividing that topic into multiple dimensions
      • Eg:
  • Next part will answer Questions like
    • Booklist to refer for UPSC Ethics
    • How to write case studies for UPSC Ethics
    • How to Score 120+ in Ethics GS paper 4
    • How to Cover Ethics in a Comprehensive manner?

Leave a Reply