HSEE 2021 Syllabus, Exam Pattern – Check Section-Wise Topics Here

HSEE 2021 Syllabus

All candidates can check HSEE 2021 syllabus as well as the exam pattern from this page. IIT Madras has released the syllabus for Humanities & Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE) at its official website, hsee.iitm.ac.in. It is crucial for all the candidates to be aware of the syllabus so as to prepare for the examination in a better way. HSEE 2021 syllabus mentions all the important topics from which questions are framed in the exam. There are two parts in HSEE 2021. Part I comprises of multiple choice questions, whereas, in Part II the candidates have to answer an essay question. Check the detailed HSEE 2021 syllabus and exam pattern given below.

HSEE 2021 Syllabus for Part I

The part I of HSEE 2021 consist of:

  • English – 25% marks of Part I
  • Analytical and Quantitative Ability – 25% marks of Part I
  • General Studies: Divided into 4 sub-parts – 50% of marks of Part I

HSEE syllabus for these sections is as follows:

Section AEnglish and Comprehension Skills

This section generally tests the candidate’s ability to understand and use standard English and to appreciate the Literary Language.

Reading Skills: Here, the candidates have to answer the questions asked from certain passages

Grammar: Here, the basic knowledge of English Grammar is checked. So, the questions are framed from the topics like Tenses, Verb Patterns, Sentence Structure and Usage, Active and Passive Constructions etc

Vocabulary: This section basically tests the candidate’s ability to understand the meaning, structure and collocation of words

Section B – Analytical and Quantitative Ability

The analytical skills and quantitative abilities of the candidates are tested through this section. The questions are asked from the topics like:

  • HCF and LCM
  • Calendar
  • Basic Statistics – Average, Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Work and Time, Discount, Age Sums, Linear Equations, Linear Trigonometry
  • Data Interpretation
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Patterns
  • Brainteasers

Section C – General Studies

Indian Economy – This section tests the candidate’s understanding of Indian Economy and issues and developments of Indian Economy post-Independence.

Understanding the Economy

  • Opportunity Cost
  • Scarcity
  • Resource Allocation
  • Economic Systems and their Allocations
  • Features of Market Companies
  • Elasticity of Demand and Supply
  • Forces of Demand and Supply

Major Features of Indian Economy

  • Natural Resources
  • Human Resources- Population Size and Composition
  • Literacy and Education
  • Occupational Distribution

Major Economic Problems

  • Poverty
  • Unemployment and Inequality – Concepts, Measurements, Trends, Sectoral Distribution and Policies, Inflation-Trends, Causes and Remedies

Economic Growth and Development

  • Meaning and Measurement of Economic Growth
  • Stages of Development
  • National Income Concepts and Trends
  • Trends in Savings and Investment
  • National Policy on Education
  • Human Development Index
  • Health and Health Care Policies
  • Planning in India: 5 year plans – Objective, Policies and Problems

Sectoral Development

  • Agriculture – Green Revolution and Technological Changes
  • Current Issues and Policies
  • Industry-Evolution of Industrial Policies in India (From 1948)
  • Strategies of Industrial Development
  • Public and Private Sectors
  • Small and Medium Industries
  • Infrastructure
  • Transport and Communication
  • Service Sector etc

Foreign Trade and International Economy

  • Balance of Payments
  • Foreign Exchange Reserves and Trade Policy
  • WTO
  • International Aid

Money, Banking and Public Finance

  • Concepts of Money and Measures of Money Supply

Indian Society and Culture

Structure of Indian Society

  • Caste
  • Class and Tribe
  • Institutions of Marriage
  • Family and Kinship
  • Political Institutions
  • Demographic Indicators and Trends

Medieval and Modern Indian History

  • Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Era
  • British Raj
  • Uprising of 1857
  • (Social) Reform
  • Resistance Movements
  • Indian National Movement
  • Emergence of the Indian Nation

Social Change in India

  • Sanskritization
  • Modernisation
  • Westernization and Secularization
  • Social Movements and Regionalism
  • Panchyati Raj Institutions & Governance
  • Affirmative Action Programme of the Government
  • Commissions and Policy Interventions

Indian Philosophy and Thinkers

  • Buddhism
  • Jainism
  • Orthodox Systems
  • Sikhism
  • Sufism
  • Rabindranath Tagore
  • Gandhi
  • Swami Vivekananda
  • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Indian Traditions and Knowledge Systems

  • Architecture
  • Education
  • Classical Dance Forms
  • Ethics
  • Language and Grammar
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Theatre
  • Mathematical and Medical Systems
  • Textiles Indian Literature

Environment and Ecology

Global Environment Picture

  • Population Growth
  • Degradation of Soils
  • Loss of Biodiversity
  • Global Atmospheric Changes


  • Structure of Ecosystems
  • Biotic Structure
  • Categories of Organisms
  • Feeding and Non-Feeding Relationships
  • Ecosystems and how they work
  • Elements in Living and Non-Living Systems
  • Energy Laws
  • Nutrient Cycling


  • Major forms of Pollution and their Impact
  • Primary and Secondary Pollutants
  • Control Strategies
  • Indoor Pollutants
  • Global Warming
  • International Treaties

Principles of Solar Energy, Hydropower, Biomass Energy, Wind Power, Ocean Thermal Energy, Geothermal Energy and Tidal Power

World Affairs

  • Emergence of US and USSR
  • Emergence of UN System
  • Cold War and Nuclear Race
  • China and the World
  • India and the World
  • NAM and role of India
  • India-China and India-Pakistan Relations
  • Conflict and Wars
  • Disintegration of Soviet Union
  • Decline of Communalism and Rise of Nationalism
  • Arab-Israel Conflict
  • Democracy and Development
  • Indo-US relation
  • Latin America and Africa
  • Fundamentalism and War on Terror
  • North-South Divide on the Issues of Development
  • UN and its various Developmental and Peacekeeping Operations
  • Nuclearisation and Non-Prolirification
  • New Centres of Power in Asia
  • India in SAARC and ASEAN
  • International Terrorism
  • Human Rights
  • Hunger and Poverty
  • Democracy and Development
  • Environmental Degradation and Green Politics
  • Issues of Race
  • Ethnicity and Gender
  • Religion in the Contemporary World
  • Deprived Classes and Minority Politics
  • Culture and Civilization
  • Globalization and Changing Economic, Political and Cultural Landscape
  • Mass Media and Cultural Change
  • Emergence of Various Popular Mass Movements

HSEE 2021 Syllabus for Part II

In HSEE Part II candidates have to write an essay. The topic of the essay is based on General Knowledge and Current Affairs. Do note that your essay must fulfill the following:

  • Must build an argument.
  • Should demonstrate a clear perspective.
  • Should be substantiated with examples, as and where possible.

HSEE 2021 Exam Pattern

The candidates can check HSEE 2021 exam pattern given below.

  • There are 2 parts in HSEE.
  • Part I is administered by computer (online test) and for Part II, the candidates have to answer the essay question in the space present in the question paper using the keyboard. The candidates can also attempt Part II (essay question) using pen and paper upon request only.
  • The duration of HSEE is 3 hours. The candidates are given 2.5 hours to complete Part I and 30 minutes to complete Part II.
  • The question paper is available in English language only.
  • Part I is objective in nature which means, it comprises of multiple-choice questions. On the other hand, Part II comprises of essay question
  • In Part I, there might be negative marking for incorrect answers

Note: The candidates belonging to PwD categories (with 40% or more disability) are given 1 hour compensatory time. Out of this 1 hour, 50 minutes are given to complete Part I and 10 minutes to complete Part II.

Questions asked from

Part IEnglish and Comprehension Skill

Analytical and Quantitative Ability

General Studies including the areas of
Indian Economy, Indian Society and Culture, World Affairs

Environment and Ecology
Part IIGeneral Topic of GK and Current Affairs

Important Books for HSEE 2021

Check the list of the books given below to prepare for HSEE 2021.

Wren & Martin High School English Grammar and Composition BookBuy Here
Word Power Made EasyBuy Here
A Modern Approach to Logical ReasoningBuy Here
Shortcuts in Reasoning (Verbal, Non-Verbal, Analytical & Critical) for Competitive ExamsBuy Here
Indian Economy – Principles, Policies, and ProgressBuy Here
General Studies – 2021Buy Here
General Knowledge 2021Buy Here
Environment & Ecology – A Dynamic ApproachBuy Here

Some Preparation Tips for HSEE 2021

The candidates can check the preparation tips given below for HSEE 2021.

  • To attempt the questions of the Analytical Ability section, try to practice more and more questions.
  • In order to prepare the General Studies section, make sure to read the newspapers and good GK books. Just ensure that you are aware of what is happening around the world, read the popular historic events, personalities etc.
  • To attempt the Quantitative Technique section, learn the short cut tricks and methods to solve questions.
  • To prepare the English section, try to read more and more books. Increase your vocabulary skills by learning new words and phrases. Also, learn the grammar rules.

For Essay Tips

  • Before starting with the essay, just have a clear or specific goal in mind. Have a clear perspective of what you want to convey on a certain topic to your audience.
  • Do not give conclusions in the essay. Also, try not to give judgments on a topic rather give a perspective.
  • Next, give an example of your perspective that you want to convey.
  • All of the paragraphs of the essay should have a clear purpose, not just the first para and the last para but all the paragraphs of the essay should convey the clear points that you want to say.
  • Be very specific while writing the essay. Make sure they are adding up to the topic or to the last or the takeaway para.
  • Be creative while conveying your thoughts. Just make sure that all of your thoughts are adding up to the topic.

Some General Tips

  • Check the syllabus carefully and write down the important topics and then start your preparation.
  • Pick the best study material to prepare for the examination. It is advised to stick 2-3 reference books only for each section.
  • Solve previous year question papers to know what type of questions have been repeating over the years, what is the pattern of questions, marking scheme etc.
  • Also, try to write an essay on any general topic daily.

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