UPSC previous year paper

UPSC previous year paper pdf: The CSE is a coveted nationwide competitive examination in India that is conducted by a constitutional organization UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). This exam is conducted yearly for the recruitment of selected candidates in administration services of the government of India, which includes the following services:

  •       All India Services (Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Services & Indian Forest Services)
  •       Central Services
  •       Group B Services

As these services withhold such higher posts, the CSE examination is considered to be the most prestigious exam of India also known for being the most difficult one.  

upsc previous year question paper

To answer the question that why this exam is on ‘one of the most difficult’ lists, let’s talk about the syllabus, stages, and eligibility criteria of the examination.

UPSC CSE Complete Syllabus & Stages

Civil Services Exam  is conducted by UPSC in two stages  consisting of:

  1. Civil Services Preliminary Examination (objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination.
  2. Civil Services Main Examination (Written & Interview) for the selection of candidates for various services & posts as mentioned in official notification.

The first stage of the exam i.e., the Civil Services Preliminary Exam is only a screening test and is conducted to shortlist candidates for the Main Examination. Marks secured in Preliminary Exam are not taken into account while preparing the final merit.

No. of Papers2 compulsory papers
Type of QuestionsObjective (MCQ) type
Total Maximum Marks400 (200 each paper)
Duration of Exam2 hrs. each (20 minutes per hour extra time for blind candidates & candidates with Locomotor Disability & Cerebral Palsy [minimum 40% impairment])
Negative Marking1/3rd of the marks assigned to a question
Medium of ExamBilingual (Hindi & English)


  1. General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

It has 100 questions broadly covering the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

  • Current events of National & International importance.
  • History of India & Indian National Movement.
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.
  1. General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

It comprises 80 questions from the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability.
  • Decision-making & problem-solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

General Studies Paper-II of the IAS Exam is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

A candidate must appear in both the Papers of the IAS Prelim Exam for evaluation.

UPSC IAS Main Exam Pattern & Syllabus

Civil Services Main Examination consists of a written examination and interview (personality test). Civil Services Main Examination consists of the following papers divided into 2 categories – qualifying & papers to be counted for merit.

  Title of the PaperMarks Allotted
  Essay writing250 Marks
  General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the

  World and Society)

250 Marks
  General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and

  International relations)

250 Marks
  General Studies –III (Technology, Economic Development,

  Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

250 Marks
  General Studies –IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)250 Marks
  Optional Subject – Paper 1250 Marks
  Optional Subject – Paper 2250 Marks
  Sub Total in the written Test1750 Marks
  Personal Interview275 Marks
  Grand Total2025 Marks

 Eligibility criteria overview

    IAS Exam Age Limit21 to 32 years
    Age RelaxationAs per category (mentioned below)
    Educational Qualification for IASGraduation
    NationalityIndian citizens only

 What happens after selection

After your name comes in merit list the allocation of service is done by the Dept of Personnel and Training. Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) comes into the picture. LBSNAA begins the registration process for the Foundation Course (FC) of all the selected candidates.

Now after knowing the depth of this examination, one thing is very clear which is this exam demands a lot. Then the question which arises is :

WHY IAS ?…….

The answer is simple, If you want to be limitless prepare for  IAS. Prepping for UPSC is like nurturing the dimensions of knowledge widely. While the efforts will have an impact on your personality. It will improve your thought process, proactivity, mental stability, alertness, awareness, executing the responsibility knowing your duty, alpha leadership, willpower, self-discipline, and many more skills at the same time. It’s simple but not easy. And the journey is worth having. And last but not least, it’s not for money, fame or power. It’s for yourself. If you want to invest your life in those things which are worth investing in.

Lastly, All the best for your journey to becoming an IAS officer.

upsc previous year paper
upsc previous year paper book

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