UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021: IAS Mains Question Paper, PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : November 23rd, 2022

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021 has been released by the Union Public Service Commission, including a total of 9 Papers. Of these nine papers, Paper A and Paper B are qualifying in nature, and the other seven papers will be considered for the merit list. Candidates preparing for the upcoming Mains exam must go through the UPSC Mains Question Paper to comprehend the current trend of the exam pattern and figure out the important sections from the UPSC syllabus.

All the candidates are looking forward to attempting UPSC need to check out the Mains question paper to develop a robust study plan to score big in this exam. In this post, we will be providing a direct link to download all the papers of the UPSC 2021 Mains question paper.

Table of Content

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021 had a total of 9 papers as per the exam pattern. Paper A and Paper B were qualifying in nature, and each carried 300 marks. Paper 1 was for an Essay, and Paper 2 to 5 were general studies papers. Additionally, there were two optional subject papers, and each of them had a total of 250 marks. Below we have covered the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 for each paper.

The UPSC Mains 2021 was conducted from 7th January to 16th January for almost 10,000 candidates who cleared the Prelims exam. Later Commission released the UPSC 2021 Mains question paper on its official website.

UPSC Mains Language Papers 2021 - Papers A and B

Although Papers A and B are qualifying in nature, candidates must score 25% in them, or their remaining sheet won’t be considered. The UPSC 2021 Mains question paper for Papers A and B is mentioned below. 

☛ Download UPSC 2021 Mains Compulsory English Paper (Paper B)

Candidates can download the compulsory Indian Language UPSC 2021 Mains question papers directly from the link given below:

Telugu

Urdu

Punjabi

Sindhi (Devanagari)

Hindi

Kannada

Malayalam

Marathi

Nepali

Odia

Gujrati

Bodo

Sanskrit

Tamil

Assamese

Bengali

UPSC 2021 Mains Question Paper for Essay

Per the Syllabus, candidates must write essays on the given topics. The essay section of the UPSC question paper 2021 expects candidates to focus on the subject, arrange their idea in the best possible way, and write concisely. Candidates must check out the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 for the Essay because it will be counted for the merit ranking.

Fetching good marks in the essay will help the candidate boost their overall UPSC Exam score. Aspirants can download the UPSC Mains 2021 Essay Paper below:

☛ Download UPSC Mains 2021 Essay Paper PDF

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021 PDF for General Studies

There are four general studies papers included in the UPSC 2021 Mains Question Paper. Each paper carries 250 marks. The GS papers cover a wide range of topics like History, Geography, Science & Technology, Ethics, Economics, Biodiversity, etc. Below we have provided the PDF for UPSC Mains GS Questions Papers 2021:

UPSC Mains Optional Papers 2021

Candidates can choose any optional subject from the list of UPSC Optional list. This list covers 48 optional subjects in total. Each optional paper carries 250 marks, so the aspirants must check the UPSC Mains question papers 2021 for the subject they want to opt for. 

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021 for Optional Subjects

Physics Paper I

Physics Paper II

Political Science and International Relations Paper I

Political Science and International Relations Paper II

Psychology Paper I

Psychology Paper II

Public Administration Paper I

Public Administration Paper II

Sociology Paper I

Sociology Paper II

Statistics Paper I

Statistics Paper II

Zoology Paper I

Zoology Paper II

Economics Paper I

Economics Paper II

Electrical Engineering Paper I

Electrical Engineering Paper II

Geography Paper I

Geography Paper II

Geology Paper I

Geology Paper II

Mechanical Engineering Paper I

Mechanical Engineering Paper II

Medical Science Paper I

Medical Science Paper II

Management Paper I

Management Paper II

Mathematics Paper I

Mathematics Paper II

History Paper I

History Paper II

Law Paper I

Law Paper II

Philosophy Paper I

Philosophy Paper II

Agriculture Paper I

Agriculture Paper II

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Paper I

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Paper II

Anthropology Paper I

Anthropology Paper II

Botany Paper I

Botany Paper II

Chemistry Paper I

Chemistry Paper II

Civil Engineering Paper I

Civil Engineering Paper II

Commerce and Accountancy Paper I

Commerce and Accountancy Paper II

Candidates can also opt for literature subjects listed under the UPSC optional subjects. Here is UPSC Mains question paper 2021 for Literature optional:

UPSC 2021 Mains Question Paper for Literature Optional

Sanskrit Paper I

Sanskrit Paper II

Santhali Paper I

Santhali Paper II

Sindhi Paper I

Sindhi Paper II

Tamil Paper I

Tamil Paper II

Telugu Paper I

Telugu Paper II

Urdu Paper I

Urdu Paper II

English Paper I

English Paper II

Kashmiri Paper I

Kashmiri Paper II

Konkani Paper I

Konkani Paper II

Maithili Paper I

Maithili Paper II

Malayalam Paper I

Malayalam Paper II

Manipuri Paper I

Manipuri Paper II

Marathi Paper I

Marathi Paper II

Nepali Paper I

Nepali Paper II

Odia Paper I

Odia Paper II

Punjabi Paper I

Punjabi Paper II

Assamese Paper I

Assamese Paper II

Bengali Paper I

Bengali Paper II

Bodo Paper I

Bodo Paper II

Dogri Paper I

Dogri Paper II

Gujarati Paper I

Gujarati Paper II

Hindi Paper I

Hindi Paper II

Kannada Paper I

Kannada Paper II

UPSC 2021 Mains Question Paper Analysis

The aim of the Mains exam is to assess the depth of understanding of candidates, instead of their memory power. Check out the analysis of each UPSC Mains question paper 2021 below.

UPSC Mains Essay Paper 2021 Analysis

Ass per most of the candidates, the essay question paper for Mains 2021 was philosophical. This paper was quite unpredictable, and the essay section this year was different from the previous year's paper. As per the experts, the motive of UPSC Mains question paper 2021 was to check the thinking process, and analytical and philosophical thinking of the candidates. 

UPSC 2021 Mains Question Paper Analysis - GS 1

As we have mentioned, the essay paper came out to be a shocker. But candidates were quite relieved as the questions asked in GS 1 had an expected difficulty level. Questions from geography sections were more compared to other years. There was no any sort of unusual questions in this paper. In conclusion, the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 for GS Paper 1 was a scoring paper.

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021 Analysis - GS 2

As compared to previous years, questions asked in GS 2 were straightforward in UPSC Mains 2021. Questions from the polity and constitution were easy. The number of questions from governance has decreased as compared to previous years. Overall the difficulty level of the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 for GS 2 was moderate to difficult. 

UPSC 2021 Mains Question Paper Analysis - GS 3

The weightage of internal security and the economy was the same as in Mains 2020. In the UPSC 2021 Mains question paper for GS 3, more focus was on the environment section. The overall difficulty level of the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 for GS 3 was moderate. 

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021 Analysis - GS 4

Questions asked in the GS 4 of the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 sought the candidates to answer with examples and not just the theory part. This paper tested the decision-making ability of the candidates. Section A was moderately difficult according to some candidates. In UPSC Mains 2020, the questions in Section A were based on current affairs, but this year the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 was based on the static part. 

UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021: Difficulty level

The overall UPSC 2021 Mains question paper had a difficulty level of moderate. As we have mentioned, the essay section was found to be very difficult. But then again, the GS 1 paper balanced it out. GS-2 and GS-3 papers were quite tricky and many candidates found these papers a little difficult. The UPSC Mains question paper 2021 for GS 4 was also had an expected difficulty level as per the standards. 

Importance of Solving UPSC Mains Question Paper

All the exports and IAS toppers recommend solving UPSC Previous Year Question Paper. This is due to several reasons. Solving the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 would help the candidates to understand the exam pattern, and paper pattern in-depth. In addition, candidates will be aware of the latest topics and shape their preparation accordingly.

Candidates can also check out the answer to each question with an explanation. The more you practice the UPSC Main question Paper 2021, the better are the chances of attempting more questions. At last, it will give you a self-assessment so that

How to Analyze the UPSC Mains Question Paper?

While attempting the UPSC Mains Question Paper 2021, it is essential for you to analyze it so that you can figure out your weaknesses, and resolve them in your next attempt. Here is how you need to analyze your UPSC Mains question paper 2021.

  • Set a timer and start solving the UPSC 2021 Mains question paper.
  • Take it as an actual exam, and solve it before the time limit.
  • After solving it evaluate and check if you have scored good enough or not.
  • If you haven’t then find out the problem, and make it better in the next attempt.

Also, check:

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FAQs

  • Candidates can download the UPSC Mains question paper 2021 from the official website. We have added the direct link to download the question paper above in this post to save time for the candidates. Candidates can directly download the question paper and start their preparation.

  • The overall difficulty level of the UPSC 2021 Mains question paper was moderate to difficult. According to the candidates, the Essay paper was difficult compared to the previous year's papers. But the GS-1 paper was as per the expectations of the candidates. GS 2, GS 3, and GS 4 have also had moderate difficulty.

  • By solving the recent UPSC Mains question paper, you will be able to build an in-depth understanding of the crucial topics from the examination point of view. You will also learn about the latest exam pattern and question patterns and shape your preparation accordingly.

  • The UPSC Mains Essay question paper was unpredictable and different from prior years. The total difficulty level was more than moderate, and according to the applicants, this was by far one of the most challenging Essay questions on the exam.

  • To analyze the UPSC Mains question paper, you must set up an actual exam-like environment. Start attempting the questions, and then evaluate them to find your score. If you haven’t exceeded expectations, you need to figure out the problems and reattempt the paper after a while.

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