UPSC Prelims Question Paper - Previous Year Papers PDF

By K Balaji|Updated : July 16th, 2022

UPSC Prelims Question Paper are essential if one prepares for the UPSC Exam. Cracking the UPSC 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 UPSC Prelims too. One can ace the UPSC IAS Prelims Question Paper only when he/she has practiced it immensely, several times.

The IAS 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 Previous Year Question Paper are an authentic source to know about the pattern of questions asked in the UPSC Prelims. 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

IAS 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. 

  • Both papers, GS Paper 1 and CSAT, are multiple-choice and carry negative marks for wrong answers.
  • In the IAS Prelims Question Paper, each question of General Studies Paper 1 carries 2 marks, whereas each CSAT question carries 2.5 marks. 
  • There is a negative marking of 1/3 of the total mark allotted 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.

UPSC 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]

Practising the last 10 Years UPSC Prelims Question Papers is beyond measure. During the UPSC 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 UPSC.

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

UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper

During the UPSC 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 from them over the years.

We have compiled the last 10 years' previous year's 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 2022 Question Paper

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 Question 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.

☛ Download UPSC Prelims 2022 Answer Key for GS Paper 1

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

India 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 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 UPSC’s 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 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

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 Previous Year Question Paper - CSAT 2020

The difficulty level of the CSAT 2020 Prelims Question Paper was moderate. Aspirants struggled with questions on the number system. 

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 till 2012. Direct links to the PDF are given. 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 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.

How to Prepare for UPSC Exam without Coaching?

 

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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.

  • 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:

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