UPSC Mains Question Papers

The candidates who are preparing for IAS Exam have to practise the previous year question papers to get hold of the type of questions asked in the exam. This helps in streamlining and strengthening the preparation. 

If the aspirants are able to understand and answer the questions which were asked in the previous years of the UPSC Exam, then the aspirant may feel more confident in cracking one of the toughest exams conducted in our country. 

Scoring the highest marks in the Mains Written level is significant because 7 papers out of 9 are counted for merit ranking. Whereas, the Prelims level marks are not counted for merit ranking. Therefore, the focus of the candidate should not only be on clearing the paper but also scoring the best and highest marks possible. 

UPSC 2023

While preparing for Civil Services Exam, the aspirants can make use of a few useful links given below:

Download UPSC Mains Question Papers

The aspirants who have cleared the first level, that is, the Preliminary exam, are allowed to appear in the Mains exam of the same year. Also, the candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified for admission to the Civil Services (Main) Examination will have to apply online again and submit an online Detailed Application Form-I [DAF-I]. 

To know more information about Important Fields to Fill on DAF, check the linked article. 

The UPSC (Main) Written Examination will consist of the following papers:

Papers in UPSC Mains Exam – Plan of IAS Mains
Qualifying Papers
Paper‐A (One of the Indian Languages) 300 Marks
Paper‐B (English Language)  300 Marks
Papers to be counted for merit
Paper‐I (Essay) 250 Marks
Paper‐II (General Studies – I)  

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

250 Marks
Paper‐III (General Studies – II)

(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

250 Marks
Paper‐IV (General Studies – III)  

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

250 Marks
Paper‐V (General Studies – IV)

(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 

250 Marks
Paper‐VI (Optional Subject – Paper 1) 250 Marks
Paper‐VII (Optional Subject – Paper 2) 250 Marks
Total (Written test) 1750 Marks

Note – The Interview/Personality Test will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). The aspirants can check out IAS Interview Questions to prepare for the interview stage of the UPSC Examination. 

Download UPSC Question Paper Mains 2021

The UPSC Mains 2021 has been kickstarted from 7th January 2022 onwards with the essay paper. The Mains exam is conducted on 5 days i.e., on 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th January 2022. The Prelims 2021 was held on 10th October 2021. 

The previous years’ UPSC Exam Question bank of Mains Exam for the years 2013-2021 is given below:

UPSC IAS Mains Question Papers [2013-2021]
Year IAS Mains Question Paper Link
2021 UPSC Mains 2021 Question Papers
2020 UPSC Mains 2020 Question Papers
2019 UPSC Mains 2019 Question Papers
2018 UPSC Mains 2018 Question Papers
2017 UPSC Mains 2017 Question Papers
2016 UPSC Mains 2016 Question Papers
2015 UPSC Mains 2015 Question Papers
2014 UPSC Mains 2014 Question Papers
2013 UPSC Mains 2013 Question Papers

From the links provided above, the candidates can download the PDFs of all the papers of Mains of particular years. 

The candidates can check out UPSC Previous Year Question Papers from the linked article. 

FAQ about UPSC Mains Question Papers


How many papers are there in UPSC Mains?

There are a total of nine papers in the UPSC Mains Exam.

Is Prelims Exam marks counted for merit ranking?

The Preliminary examination is meant to serve as a screening test only. The marks obtained in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Civil Services (Main) Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit.

How many candidates are selected for the Mains Level of UPSC?

The number of candidates to be admitted to the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this Examination.

How many Centres are there for the UPSC mains exam?

According to the official UPSC Notification 2023, there are 24 exam centres for UPSC Mains. To know more about UPSC Exam Centres, check the linked article.

UPSC Preparation Links:

UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice 2023 Comprehensive News Analysis
UPSC Calendar 2023 Best Optional Subjects for UPSC
Success Rate Of Different Optional Subjects In UPSC Mains Difference between Articles for Revision
Free NCERT Books Download Daily Video Analysis: The Hindu
Topic-wise IAS Prelims Questions with Solutions IAS Questions & Answers for UPSC 2023
IAS Salary IAS Toppers

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