UPSC Zoology Syllabus

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is one of the most prestigious examinations in India. Every year, thousands of aspirants across the country prepare for the UPSC exam to fulfill their dream of becoming a government officer. Zoology, being one of the optional subjects, has been opted by many young aspirants in recent times. Zoology, also referred to as animal science, is an interdisciplinary branch of biology that deals with the study of animals and animal life.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the UPSC Zoology syllabus, as well as tips and tricks to prepare well for the examination.

Syllabus of UPSC Zoology

The Zoology syllabus in UPSC is divided into two papers – Paper I and Paper II. Paper I is based on animal diversity, ecology, and evolution, while Paper II is based on Cell Biology, Genetics, and Developmental Biology. The detailed syllabus of both papers is given below:

Paper I:

• Non-chordata and chordata classification, characteristics, and comparison.

• Ethology: types of distributions, orientation, navigation, and taxonomy.

• Evolution: Theories of evolution, patterns of evolution, selective pressures, adaptive radiation, and evolutionary conservation.

• Biogeography: Theories of evolution, patterns of evolution, selective pressures, adaptive radiation, and evolutionary conservation.

• Economic zoology: Insects, pests, and diseases of crops and trees, beekeeping, sericulture.

• Applied zoology: Fishery, agriculture, medical, and biological control of pest insects.

• Immunology: the immune system, types of immunity, antigen-antibody interactions and their applications.

• Parasitology: parasites and their hosts, types of parasites.


• Biomolecules: Structure and function

• Cell Biology: Structure of cell, cell organelles, and their functions.

• Genetics: Mendelian and Non-Mendelian inheritance, chromosome theory, gene mapping, and mutation.

• Molecular Biology: DNA structure, replication, transcription, and translation.

• Developmental Biology: Embryonic development, gametogenesis, fertilization, and metamorphosis.

• Ecology: population dynamics and interactions, community ecology, and ecosystem functioning.

• Ethology: Behavior patterns, modes of communication, animal coloration, and mimicry.

Preparation tips for UPSC Zoology

1. Understand the Syllabus: The first and foremost step is to read and understand the syllabus thoroughly. This will help you to prepare a plan to cover the topics and subtopics in each paper.

2. Study Material: Choose the study material wisely. You can refer to the books written by reputed authors such as Dr. K.L. Rana, Porter, and Wills to name a few. Besides, you can also refer to online resources such as videos, blogs, and online courses.

3. Focus on basics: Zoology is a vast subject, and if you try to memorize everything, it will become challenging. Hence, focus on forming a strong base by understanding the basics of each topic.

4. Revision: Keep revising the topics periodically. This will help you to retain the information for a longer period and will also help you to remember the facts during the examination.

5. Practice Previous Year Papers: Practice as many previous year papers as possible. This will help you to understand the pattern of the exam, mark distribution, and also increase your confidence level.

6. Time Management: Time Management is crucial in UPSC Zoology. You need to manage your time efficiently to cover all the topics in both papers.

7. Take Mock Tests: Mock Tests are essential to test your preparation level. Score yourself after each mock test and work on your weak points.

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