UPSC Prelims Question Paper - Download Prelims Previous Year Papers PDF

By K Balaji|Updated : January 24th, 2023

UPSC prelims question paper are essential if one prepares for the IAS exam. Cracking the exam requires the right strategy, an immense amount of hard work, sincerity, and dedication. It has been said that success is hard-earned, and so is the case with the prelims too. The trend of the questions asked in the previous years can be deciphered only by attempting the past year questions. One can ace the UPSC prelims question paper only when he/she has practiced it immensely, several times.

The UPSC prelims question paper comprises two papers: General Studies-1 and General Studies-2 (CSAT). The GS 1 paper is used to decide the merit ranking and cutoff, whereas CSAT is only qualifying in nature. The UPSC prelims question paper are an authentic source to know about the pattern of questions asked in the prelims. The detailed analyses of the paper will enable the candidates in figuring out the level of questions asked in the exam. It is always advised for candidates to solve at least the last 10 years' UPSC prelims question papers with answers so that they get the feel and idea of the actual IAS Exam.

Table of Content

UPSC Prelims Question Paper

The IAS prelims question paper consists of two papers- GS Paper 1 and CSAT. Per the UPSC exam pattern, candidates are given 2 hours for each paper. The candidates can get access to the UPSC prelims question paper with answers to enhance their level of preparation.

  • Both papers, GS Paper 1 and CSAT, are multiple-choice and carry negative marks for wrong answers.
  • In the UPSC prelims question paper, each question of General Studies Paper 1 has 2 marks, whereas each CSAT question carries 2.5 marks. 
  • There is a negative marking of 1/3 of the total mark assigned to that question. 
  • So, according to this, there is a negative marking of 0.66 in GS Paper 1 and a negative marking of 0.83 in CSAT.

IAS Prelims Question Paper Pattern

Paper Name

Type

Nature of Paper

No. of Questions

Marks

Duration

General Studies 1

MCQ

Merit Ranking

100

200

2 hours

General Studies 2 (CSAT)

MCQ

Qualifying

80

200

2 hours

Download UPSC Prelims Question Paper [2022-2015]

Practicing the last 10 Years' UPSC prelims question papers is beyond measure. During the preparation days, the two utmost important things are the UPSC previous year question papers and the UPSC syllabus. Both these resources provide a precise impression and conceptual understanding of the concept and style of the questions asked by the Union Public Service Commission.

  1. UPSC Prelims 2022 Question Paper
  2. UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2021
  3. UPSC Prelims Paper 2020
  4. UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper 2019
  5. IAS Prelims Paper 2017
  6. UPSC Prelims 2016 Question Paper
  7. IAS Prelims Previous Year Question Paper 2015

UPSC Prelims Question Paper with Answers

The candidates can get access to the UPSC prelims question paper with answers to analyze the trend of the questions asked in the prelims exam. The candidates will be able to decipher the level of the exam. The more the candidates practice the better the chances to attain good marks in the exam.

Check here the UPSC prelims question paper with answers in order of the subsequent years to be able to check the answers of the questions and move the preparation to a different level.

UPSC Prelims Question Paper with Answer PDF

UPSC Prelims 2022 for GS 1

UPSC Prelims Solved Paper

UPSC CSAT 2022

UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper with Solution

UPSC Questions in Hindi

Previous Year Question Paper UPSC Prelims with Solution

UPSC Prelims GS Paper 1 2021

UPSC Questions and Answers

UPSC Prelims CSAT Paper 2 2021

Previous Year Question Paper UPSC Prelims with Solution

UPSC Prelims GS Paper 1 2020

UPSC Prelims Question Paper with Answers PDF

UPSC Prelims CSAT Paper 2 2020

UPSC Prelims Solved Paper

UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper

During the preparation, the main aim of the candidates is to understand the basics and foundation of the subject so that they can solve even complex questions. This can only be done if one practices multiple UPSC previous year question papers.

By doing the UPSC exam analysis of prelims previous year question papers, we get an idea about the weightage of different topics and the number of static and dynamic questions asked of them over the years. We have compiled the last 10 years' question papers in one place for free, to save the candidate's time and let them focus on the preparation dedicatedly. The UPSC previous year questions have also been segregated year-wise to make it easy.

UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2022

The UPSC Prelims 2022 was conducted on 05th June 2022 (Sunday). The candidates who appeared for the Prelims 2022 expressed that the paper was moderate to difficult in nature. Here is the topic-wise weightage of the UPSC prelims paper 2022, for GS Paper 1. Go through the UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2022 PDF for Paper 1 to understand the UPSC’s question paper better.

The candidates can download UPSC Prelims 2022 Answer Key for GS Paper 1 for effectively strategizing the preparation.

UPSC Prelims Question Paper - 2022 Analysis

Subject

No. of Questions

Difficulty Level

Environment & Ecology (Including respective Current Affairs)

17

Moderate

Indian Polity and Governance

13

Moderate - Difficult

Indian Geography and World Geography

12

Medium

General Science and S&T (Including Current Development)

14

Moderate

Economics

17

Moderate - Difficult

Ancient History

1

Difficult

Art & Culture 

7

Difficult

Medieval History 

4

Moderate - Difficult

Modern History

4

Moderate

International Relations

11

Moderate 

Total Questions

100

Moderate - Difficult

IAS Prelims Question Paper - CSAT 2022

The CSAT Prelims Question Paper 2022 UPSC was comparatively easy compared to last years. Though the CSAT 2022 Prelims paper was easy this time according to the candidates, but it was time-consuming. 

UPSC Prelims Question Paper - CSAT 2022 Analysis

Subjects

Total Number of Questions

Mental Ability, Analytical & Logical Reasoning

Moderate to Difficult

Arithmetics

Moderate to Difficult

Comprehension; Interpersonal skills including communication skills

Easy to Moderate

Basic numeracy 

Easy to Moderate

Data interpretation

Easy to Moderate

UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper 2021

The UPSC prelims question paper 2021 was quite balanced, unlike the past two years. The history, polity, and environmental sciences had the maximum questions. Go through the UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2021 for Paper 1 to better understand the question paper.

UPSC Prelims Question Paper - 2021 Analysis

Subject 

Number of Questions

History

20

Geography

10

Economics 

15

Polity

14

Environmental Sciences

15

Science and Tech

12

Current Affairs / Art and Culture

14

UPSC Prelims Question Paper - CSAT 2021

The CSAT syllabus deals with comprehension, logical reasoning, decision-making and problem-solving, basic numeracy, etc. The CSAT syllabus deals with comprehension, logical reasoning, decision-making and problem-solving, basic numeracy, etc. The CSAT 2021 Prelims Question Paper was of moderate difficulty level.

UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper - 2021 CSAT Analysis

Topics

Number of questions 

Data Sufficiency

6

Number System

9

Algebra

5

Average

4

Profit, Loss, and Discount

1

Percentage

1

Ratio

2

Time, Speed and Distance

1

Time and Work

1

Data Interpretation

2

Selection / Combination

2

Geometry / Mensuration

2

Directions

2

Statement/ Conclusion

3

Series

3

Ranking – DS

2

Row arrangement

1

Logical Puzzle

2

Clocks and Calendar

4

Single/Two Question RCs (Critical Reasoning Based)

27

Total

80

UPSC Prelims 2020 Question Paper

The UPSC Prelims 2020 GS 1 Question Paper had a good tilt towards the Current Affairs section, along with the History and Polity section. You can also download the answers to IAS prelims question paper 2020

UPSC Prelims Question Paper Analysis

Subject

Number of Questions

Economy

14

Current Affairs- National and International Important Events

19

Science & Technology

10

Indian Polity

14

History & Art and Culture

19

Environment & Ecology

11

Science & Technology

10

Geography

13

UPSC Prelims Question Paper - CSAT 2020

The difficulty level of the CSAT 2020 prelims question paper was moderate. Aspirants struggled with questions on the number system. The candidates must mark the number of questions asked from each section in order to structure an effective and efficient strategy for the exam.

IAS Prelims Question Paper - CSAT 2020 Analysis

Topics 

Number of Questions

Data Sufficiency

5

Number System

15

Algebra

7

Average

4

Profit Loss Discount

3

Percentage

1

Ratio

1

Time Speed Distance

2

Time and Work

1

Mixture

1

Data Interpretation

1

Geometry

2

Directions

1

Statement Conclusion

2

Blood Relations

1

Sequence

2

Analogy

1

Word formation

1

Row arrangement

1

Logical puzzle

2

Calendar

1

Single/Two Question RCs (Critical Reasoning Based)

25

Total

80

Last 10 Years UPSC Prelims Question Papers With Answers PDF

Below is a table that has compiled UPSC prelims question papers from 2019 to 2012. Direct links to the PDF are given, and the candidates can get complete details of the core concepts. Candidates can practice the UPSC prelims previous year question paper to strengthen their preparation.

UPSC Prelims Question Paper- Yearwise

Download UPSC Prelims Question Paper - GS Paper 1

Download IAS Prelims Question Paper- CSAT

Answer Key PDF

2019

UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2019 GS Paper 1

UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2019 CSAT

2019 GS 1 Answer Key

2019 CSAT Answer Key

2018

IAS Prelims Question Paper 2018 GS Paper 1

UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2018 CSAT

2018 GS 1 Answer Key

2018 CSAT Answer Key

2017

UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2017 GS Paper 1

2017 IAS Prelims Question Paper CSAT

2017 GS 1 Answer Key

2017 CSAT Answer Key

2016

2016 IAS Prelims Question Paper GS Paper 1

UPSC Prelims Question Paper CSAT 2016

2016 GS 1 Answer Key

2016 CSAT Answer Key

2015

2015 UPSC Prelims Question Paper GS Paper 1

IAS Prelims Question Paper CSAT 2015

2015 GS 1 Answer Key

2015 CSAT Answer Key

2014

UPSC Prelims Question Paper GS Paper 1 2014

2014 IAS Prelims Question Paper CSAT

2014 GS 1 Answer Key

2014 CSAT Answer Key

2013

UPSC Prelims Question Paper GS Paper 1 2013

2013 IAS Prelims Question Paper CSAT

2013 GS 1 Answer Key

2013 CSAT Answer Key

2012

UPSC Prelims Question Paper GS Paper 1 2012

2012 IAS Prelims Question Paper CSAT

2012 GS 1 Answer Key

2012 CSAT Answer Key

How to Solve the UPSC Prelims Question Paper at Home?

UPSC prelims question papers must be attempted at least daily, two months before the actual UPSC Prelims. One must analyze the paper and evaluate oneself. In this way, it can enhance your performance in the final exam and reduce exam anxiety as well. Here are some key things you should remember while attempting the UPSC prelims question paper.

  • Create an actual exam-like environment, and set a timer to solve the UPSC prelims question paper on time.
  • After attempting all the questions, calculate the marks scored.
  • Calculate the marks, and If you have not performed well, then review your mistakes 
  • Find out the reason for your mistake, like if it was due to a lack of UPSC syllabus completion, silly mistakes, or you were not ready to attempt.
  • Analyze all these factors, and reattempt the paper after a while after working on your mistakes.

Also ReadHow to Prepare for UPSC Exam without Coaching?

UPSC Prelims Question Paper- Important Topics

The knowledge of the important topics of the UPSC prelims question paper will enable the candidates in preparing well for the upcoming exam. The candidates can mark the important topics and prioritize the same while scheduling the timetable for preparation. The difficulty level of the questions is usually in the range of moderate to high. The important topics that have been asked in the UPSC prelims previous year question papers have been mentioned here-

  • Critical Reasoning Based Questions
  • Algebra
  • Number System 
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Economy
  • Current Affairs
  • History, Art and Culture
  • Environment and Ecology

UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper Trend

The analysis of the UPSC prelims question paper deciphers the trend and the difficulty level. Here the experts have presented the difficulty level in accordance with the feedback received from the candidates. The difficulty level is highly subjective and is dependent on the framework of the preparation of the candidates. Here is the analysis of the difficulty level of the question paper-

Question Papers

Difficulty Level

UPSC Prelims 2022 Question Paper

Moderate- Difficult

UPSC Prelims Paper 2021

Easy to Moderate

UPSC Prelims Question Paper 2020

Moderate to Difficult

UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Papers 2019

Moderate to Difficult

IAS Prelims Paper 2017

Moderate to Difficult

IAS Prelims Question Paper 2016

Easy to Moderate

Importance of Solving UPSC Prelims Paper

The importance of solving the UPSC prelims question paper is it provides a clear idea of the questions that are prevalent in the exam. It is also of prime importance for the candidates to approach the question papers rightly in order to accomplish the desired results. It serves huge importance for the candidates and assists them in preparing effectively. Here is the list of the benefits of solving the UPSC prelims previous year question papers-

  • It facilitates a clear picture of the syllabus and the UPSC exam pattern, important topics, and prevalent concepts.
  • It underlines the weaknesses and provides the candidates with an opportunity to work on similar ground and cater to the weaknesses.
  • It acquaints the candidates with the ambiance of the exam hall, which assists them in managing the exam stress effectively.
  • It also makes way for revision of the concepts which again helps in enhancing the level of preparation for the UPSC exam.

Comments

write a comment

UPSC Prelims Question Paper FAQs

  • The UPSC Prelims Question Paper consists of 2 papers with objective-type questions and carries negative marking for wrong answers. The GS Paper 1 includes Indian History, Geography, Economy, Environment& Ecology, Polity, Science & Technology, and special emphasis on Current Affairs. The CSAT paper consists of Comprehension, Interpersonal skills, including communication skills, Logical reasoning, and analytical ability, Decision-making and problem-solving, General mental ability, Basic numeracy, and Data interpretation.

    DownloadUPSC Prelims Question Paper 2022

  • The UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the UPSC Exam and the UPSC Prelims has two question papers (General Studies and CSAT). Both the Prelims Question papers of this stage have objective-type questions. The General Studies paper of the UPSC Prelims has 100 questions, whereas the CSAT paper has 80 questions. Both papers have negative marking for wrong answers.

  • To cover Current Affairs for UPSC Prelims Question Paper, one can refer to trusted magazines such as Yojana, Kurukshetra, Down to Earth, and EPW. Other than this, it is advised that aspirants should daily read about Current Affairs and watch Current Affairs Videos for a better understanding and analysis of topics. One can also practice UPSC GK Questions to cover the static GK part.

  • Solving UPSC Prelims Question Papers would help the students to understand the UPSC Exam Pattern and the crucial topics from the UPSC Syllabus. Additionally, it would give a real exam-like experience, and help you to evaluate the mistakes you commit during the test.

  • Union Public Service Commission sets and releases the UPSC Question Papers for Prelims and Mains. The Commission has eminent academicians from different fields who set the papers.

  • To download the UPSC Prelims Question Paper, aspirants can check the article. For the convenience of the aspirants, we also provide some of the UPSC Prelims Previous Year's Question Papers here:

  • The difficulty level is a highly subjective concept, it is based on the level of preparation of the candidates. Usually, the difficulty level of the UPSC prelims question paper is moderate to difficult. It is based on the feedback received from the candidates. The aspirants can check the UPSC toppers preparation strategy to prepare well for the upcoming exam.

  • The aspirants can practice as many questions as they want to uplift and enhance their level of preparation for the exam. The aspirants are advised to solve UPSC mock test, and the questions of the exam. Solving the UPSC prelims paper will enable the candidates in getting hold of the core concepts, and the fundamentals of the exam.

  • The aspirants can get complete details of the important topics and concepts asked in the UPSC prelims previous year question paper. It will assist the candidates in prioritizing the core concepts and scheduling the preparation accordingly. The important topics comprise such as Algebra, Data Sufficiency, Current Affairs, Economy, Environment and Ecology, History, Art, and Culture.

  • It is of high importance for the candidates to approach the UPSC prelims question paper accurately. It also helps the candidates in developing the core concepts and fundamentals. You can solve the questions in the stipulated time frame. You must solve the questions by setting timer, which will reduce the apprehension and exam stress of the candidates.

  • The difficulty level of the UPSC prelims question paper is moderate to difficult. The types of questions are in accordance with the syllabus. While solving the questions from previous years, the candidates will be able to acknowledge the level of difficulty and the types of questions that are frequently asked in the exam.

  • The questions from the UPSC prelims the previous year questions, are not repeated in the same language. The topics of the questions can remain the same as the syllabus remain the same. The candidates can practice UPSC prelims questions and analyze the trends and the topics from where the questions are asked.

  • The toppers attempt the maximum number of questions in the paper to score more marks. They formulate an effective and efficient strategy for the exam. You can also refer to the preparation strategy adopted by the youngest IAS officer in India for inferring a unique idea of the same. If the candidates are not able to complete the paper on time then there are higher chances of not getting selected for the particular role.

  • You need to first complete your syllabus from the recommended UPSC study material, books, and NCERTs to clear concepts. The UPSC prelims previous year papers can be used to track the level of preparation of the candidates. These also help the candidates in enhancing their preparation strategy.

  • There is no such concrete information about the timeline when the UPSC prelims paper is set. It is estimated that it would take approximately 30 days for the publishing of the questions and distribution. It is advisable to study current affairs at least one week before the exam to score well.

  • You can solve UPSC prelims question papers of at least previous 10 years to gain track of changes in the pattern of the exam. This will also provide you with a complete idea of the way to cover the syllabus in an effective manner. You will be able to avoid mistakes in the UPSC exam and move ahead toward success to land the aspired job profile of an IAS officer.

  • You can start by attempting the previous year papers when you complete a portion of the syllabus. This will help you in revising the concepts effectively and also getting knowledge of the kind of questions asked in the exam.

Follow us for latest updates