UPSC 2016 Prelims & Mains Question Paper - Download PDF with Solutions

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : April 18th, 2022

UPSC question paper 2016 was released by the Union Public Service Commission on its official website. The UPSC prelims exam 2016 was held on 7th August 2016 while the mains were held from December 3, 2016, to December 9, 2016. As per the exam analysis, the UPSC question paper 2016 for the prelims exam saw a good amount of questions on current affairs and the environment which was a shift from past years. 

Candidates must go through the UPSC question paper 2016 properly so that they can get an idea of important topics which always come in the exam and can prepare accordingly. Let’s check out the detailed analysis of the UPSC Question paper 2016 and be prepared for your upcoming exam. 

Table of Content

UPSC Question Paper 2016

As we all know there UPSC conducts Prelims exam to find eligible candidates for the UPSC Mains exam. In the Prelims stage, there are only two papers, and in the Mains exam, there are a total of 9 subjects. Below we will be covering the question papers for both Mains and Prelims exams so candidates can check out the paper pattern and exam pattern of UPSC Question Paper 2016.

UPSC 2016 Prelims Question Paper 

In the UPSC 2016 Prelims question paper, there are two papers- General Studies Paper 1 and General Studies Paper-2( CSAT). While CSAT is qualifying in nature, the marks scored in GS-1 is considered for the merit list. Below we will be providing the direct link to download the UPSC question paper 2016 for Prelims of both General Studies-1 and General Studies-2.

UPSC question paper 2016: Prelims Subject wise Analysis

UPSC Paper 2016 usually focused on current affairs and conceptual concepts. Here we have given the Section-wise analysis of the UPSC Question paper in the tabular format. 


No of Questions


Art and Culture



Ancient and medieval History


Easy to moderate

Indian National Movement



India and World Geography



Indian Polity and Governance






Environmental & Ecology



Science and Technology



Current Events of National and International Importance



UPSC 2016 Mains Question Paper 

As we have mentioned above UPSC Mains has a total of 9 papers. Among these 9 papers two are qualifying in nature, four are General Studies, and two are optional subject papers. The qualifying papers are Compulsory Indian Langue (Paper-A) and English Language (Paper-B). Candidates can choose any Indian language from the given list by UPSC. Below we will be covering the UPSC Question Paper 2016 Mains for each paper.

UPSC Question Paper 2016 Mains for Paper-A and B

These compulsory papers are qualifying in nature and one needs to score at least 25% to qualify. Candidates must remember that if they fail to qualify these papers then their other papers won’t be evaluated. Candidates can download the UPSC Question Paper 2016 for both compulsory papers below.

>>UPSC Question Paper 2016 for English Language( Paper-B)

Below we have mentioned the subjects and their question paper in UPSC 2016. Candidates can pick any subject from this given list.

UPSC Question Paper 2016 for Indian Language



















Sindhi DEV

Sindhi Arabic


UPSC Mains Question Paper 2016 for Essay

Essay Paper is one of the toughest papers, and candidates must be well-prepared to fetch good marks in this paper. Practicing with the previous year’s papers would help the candidates to understand the nature of this paper, and they will be able to prepare it accordingly.

>>UPSC Question Paper 2016 for Essay

UPSC Question Paper 2016 for Mains General Studies

There are four General Studies Papers in the UPSC Mains exam and each of them carries 250 marks. These GS papers cover a wide range of topics such as history, geography, polity, ethics, etc. candidates can take a look at all the General Studies papers below and download them directly from the given link.

  • UPSC Question Paper 2016 Mains GS–1

UPSC 2016 Mains Question Paper Optional Subjects Paper

There are a total of 48 optional subjects, and candidates get the freedom to choose any subject they like. There will be two optional papers, and each carries 250 marks. That is why candidates must pick the optional subject as it will play a huge role in deciding whether the candidate will qualify for UPSC Mains or not. Below we have provided a link to directly download the optional subject paper of UPSC 2016.

UPSC Question Paper 2016 for Mains Optional Subjects

Paper 1

Paper 2

Question Papers for Optional Subjects for Mains Exam

Agriculture Paper IAnimal Husbandary & Veterinary Science Paper I Anthropology Paper IBotany Paper I Chemistry Paper ICivil Engineering Paper I Commerce & Accountancy Paper IEconomics Paper I Electrical Engineering Paper I Geography Paper I Geology Paper IHistory Paper I Law Paper I Management Paper IMathematics Paper I Mechanical Engineering Paper IMedical Science Paper I Philosophy Paper I Physics Paper IPolitical Science & Internation Relations Paper I Psychology Paper IPublic Administration Paper ISociology Paper IStatistics Paper IZoology Paper I

Agriculture Paper II Animal Husbandary & Veterinary Science Paper II Anthropology Paper IIBotany Paper IIChemistry Paper II Civil Engineering Paper II Commerce & Accountancy Paper IIEconomics Paper IIElectrical Engineering Paper IIGeography Paper II Geology Paper IIHistory Paper II Law Paper II Management Paper II Mathematics Paper II Mechanical Engineering Paper IIMedical Science Paper IIPhilosophy Paper II Physics Paper IIPolitical Science & Internation Relations Paper II Psychology Paper IIPublic Administration Paper IISociology Paper IIStatistics Paper IIZoology Paper II


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UPSC Question Paper 2016 FAQs

  • Candidates can easily download the UPSC question paper 2016 PDF from the official website of the UPSC exam and can view the question paper. However, we have also provided the direct link to download the question paper for UPSC 2016 above in the article.

  • In order to get the UPSC 2016 prelims to question paper with answers, you can directly go to the official website and download it from there. UPSC releases the question paper with answers after completion of the exam.

  • Practicing UPSC Previous Year Question Paper would be highly beneficial for the aspirants because they will be able to know about current exam trends, exam pattern, paper patterns, and the difficulty level of the exam. Additionally it would help them to analyze their performance and boost their preparation accordingly.

  • Yes, there is negative marking for every incorrect answer and you will be penalized by 1/3rd of the total marks assigned for that question in the UPSC Prelims exam. The negative marking is for both papers of the IAS prelims – GS Paper I and GS Paper II (CSAT). Moreover, no marks deduction will be there if the question is left unanswered.

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