UPSC 2018 Prelims and Mains Question Paper: Download PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

UPSC Question Paper 2018 would help the candidates who are preparing for the upcoming UPSC Civil Services Examination. It includes the questions that came in both UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam. through the UPSC Question Paper 2018 the candidates will get acquainted with the exam pattern, paper pattern, and complexity level of UPSC, and come up with a solid preparation strategy to crack the UPSC exam in the first attempt. Below we will be covering the UPSC Prelims 2018 question paper PDF, Mains question paper PDF as well the optional subjects question paper in the UPSC Mains 2018.

Apart from the UPSC Mains question paper 2018, and Prelims question paper 2018 we would also discuss why it is important to solve the previous year’s question paper, and how to analyze the question paper for effective preparation.

UPSC 2018 Question Paper PDF

Prelims are the first stage of the UPSC exam, and the UPSC Prelims 2018 question paper PDF includes two papers- General Studies-1 and General Studies-2 (CSAT). The CSAT is qualifying in nature which means only the marks secured in the GS-1 will be considered for the merit list. UPSC Mains question paper 2018 includes 9 papers namely Compulsory Indian Language, English Language, General Studies-1, General Studies-2, General Studies-4, General Studies-4, Optional Paper-1, and Optional Paper-2. Belo we will provide a direct link to download the UPSC Question Paper 2018 for both Prelims and Mains.

UPSC Prelims 2018 Question Paper PDF

As we have mentioned above the UPSC Question Paper 2018 for Prelims includes General Studies-1 and CSAT. candidates need to score at least 33% or 66 marks out of 200 to qualify for the CSAT. On the other hand, the General Studies-1 carries a total of 200 marks, and the marks secured in this exam would be counted for the merit list. Candidates can download the UPSC Prelims 2018 question paper directly from the link provided below.

UPSC Question Paper 2018 Prelims Analysis

UPSC Prelims 2018 was conducted on 3rd June 2018. In this Prelims paper, the questions were different from the past year’s trend, and the options made the questions look tricky. The Prelims question paper 2018 had the perfect balance between the traditional subject and current affairs. The questions asked were a mix of two or more subject categories. Below candidates can take a look at the number of questions that came from different topics and their difficulty levels.


Number of questions

Level of questions



Easy to moderate

Current Events of National and International Importance


Moderate to high

Science and Technology






Environmental & Ecology,


Moderate to high

Indian Polity and Governance



India and World Geography



Also, download the Last 10 Years UPSC Prelims Question Paper PDF

UPSC Prelims CSAT Question Paper 2018

The UPSC Question Paper 2018 for CSAT was not too tough, and the comprehension passage quality was good. Basic Maths and reasoning were asked, but the candidates found the Data Interpretation section moderately challenging. In 2017 the questions were only from Reading comprehension, reasoning, and maths but in 2018 the commission balanced out the paper by including questions from Data Interpretation and Visual Reasoning. The Maths section was not tough the questions from maths could be solved easily.

For the math-haters, the CSAT question paper 2018 was a blessing. So overall the difficulty level of the questions asked from the CSAT Syllabus was easy to moderate. Also, solve UPSC CSAT Previous Year Papers to level up your preparation.

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2018

The UPSC Question Paper 2018 for Mains is divided into nine papers, and the total marks for the Mains exam are 1750. The nine papers include two compulsory language papers (Paper-A and Paper-B) four General Studies papers, and two optional papers. The compulsory language papers are qualifying in nature, and a candidate needs to score at least 25% to pass this paper. The marks secured in the other seven papers would be taken for preparing the merit list. We have provided a direct link to download each paper of the UPSC Mains 2018 including all the optional subjects.

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2018 for Compulsory Papers

The two compulsory papers for the UPSC Mains exam are Indian Language (Paper-A), and English language(Paper-B). Candidates need to score at least 25% to qualify for these papers. Candidates can check out the UPSC Question Paper 2018 for Mains compulsory papers and prepare accordingly.

>>UPSC Mains Question Paper 2018 for the English Language

Below we have listed a list of Indian languages and candidates can choose one from the list.

UPSC Question Paper 2018 Mains for Essay

Marks secured in the Essay paper would be considered for the merit list, and that is why it is important for the candidates to practice the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers including the UPSC Question Paper 2018 to get acquainted with the paper pattern, and types of questions they are going to face. Below we have given the direct link to download the essay paper from UPSC Mains question paper 2018.

UPSC Question Paper 2018 for Mains General Studies

There are four General Studies papers in the UPSC Mains, and they cover a wide range of topics from history, geography, and governance, constitution, technology, ethics, etc. aspirants must check what type of questions were asked from these topics in the previous year question papers, and start their preparation accordingly. Following are the General Studies UPSC Question Paper 2018 in the Mains exam. Candidates can download them directly from the link given below.

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2018 for Optional Subjects

There are two optional papers in the UPSC Question Paper 2018, and each carries 250 marks. Candidates can choose one optional subject at their will from the list of 48 optional subjects. As marks obtained in the optional paper would play a significant role in the selection of a candidate, candidates must practise the previous year’s questions to understand the difficulty level and types of questions asked in the optional subject paper.

UPSC Question Paper 2018 for Mains Optional Subjects- Paper 1

UPSC Question Paper 2018 for Mains Optional Subjects- Paper 2

UPSC 2018 Question Papers for Literature Subjects for Main Examination

The optional subjects for UPSC also include literature subjects. Download the UPSC 2018 Question Paper for literature optional subjects for both Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Download UPSC Question Papers 2018 for Literature Optional Subjects for Main Examination Paper 2

Importance of Solving UPSC Question Paper 2018

Those who want to make their dreams come true of becoming a civil servant must practice the UPSC Previous Year’s Question paper as it would give a practical idea about the types of questions, paper pattern, difficulty level and many more. Your motive is to crack the UPSC Exam and not just gain knowledge, and that’s why you must be great at solving questions. There is no better preparation than solving the questions that have been asked by UPSC in previous years. Let’s discuss how analyzing the previous year’s questions would be beneficial for you.

  • There is no doubt that the best reliable source of practice for the UPSC exam is the previous year’s questions papers. What can be better than practising the questions that have already been asked the previously in UPSC exam?
  • The UPSC Question Paper 2018 would help you to figure out the speed you need in both UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains exam, and you can enhance your time-management skills accordingly.
  • You will find out there are many common questions in the question papers which would give you an idea about the important sections. When you are done with your Prelims or Mains preparation, you can solve the questions to evaluate your own performance and work on your weak areas.
  • Self-evaluation plays a crucial role in the UPSC preparation, and with the help of UPSC Question Paper 2018, you would be able to do it easily. So make sure you practice the previous year’s question papers to increase your chances of becoming a civil servant.
  • In addition, candidates will be aware of the trending topics from UPSC Syllabus.

How to Analyze the UPSC Question Paper 2018?

As you see above the importance of solving the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers, it is time to understand how you can utilize it in the best possible way. You must need to know how you can analyze UPSC Question Paper 2018 in the right way so that you will be able to prepare on that basis.

  • While solving the question paper, you need to take it seriously just like the actual exam.
  • For that set timer, and make sure that you complete the question paper on time
  • If you are not being able to complete it on time then you must work on your time-management skills
  • After attempting, evaluate your paper and check how much you have scored
  • If you haven’t scored as per your expectations then find out the reason behind it. If it was because you were not prepared, or anything else
  • Work on that area and you can start attempting the paper again after a while.

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