UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Paper 2 [GS Paper II]

The UPSC conducted the Prelims of Civil Services Exam on 10th October 2021. The Prelims stage is usually conducted on a single day in two shifts, and the CSAT paper is given by the candidates in the afternoon shift (second shift).

The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services Examination (Preliminary) is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%. The question papers are set both in Hindi and English.

The aspirants can check and download the UPSC Prelims Question Paper-II or CSAT paper in this article and also a brief analysis of the CSAT Paper 2021 is available in this article.

Brief Analysis of CSAT Paper 2021

Some aspirants felt that the CSAT Paper 2021 was easier in comparison to the previous year papers, but a few aspirants felt that few questions were not that much easier. Therefore, the difficulty level of the CSAT paper 2021 can be said as easy to moderate. The below table has the section-wise analysis of CSAT Paper 2021 and approximately the number of questions asked in each section have been segregated.

Section-wise Analysis of CSAT Paper 2021


Number of Question Asked

Reading Comprehension




Logical Reasoning


Numerical Ability


Data Sufficiency


Basic DI




Total number of questions


From the above table, it is seen that there are more than 25 questions asked in the reading comprehension in UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Paper 2. If a candidate has good reading and comprehending ability, then he/she can score easily in this section. In the 2021 CSAT Paper, most of the passages had one question for each passage and the passages were not long enough and few were easy.

To check the UPSC Cut Off Marks, candidates can check the linked article.

UPSC Prelims 2021 GS 2 Question Paper (Set D):-Download PDF Here

The aspirants can check the UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Paper 2 Answer Key, from the linked article.

Syllabus of the CSAT Paper

As per the official notification of the UPSC, the syllabus of Paper II is as follows:

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

Few other important pointers of this paper are:

  • The total duration given to this paper is 2 hours.
  • The maximum mark allotted for this paper is 200 marks.
  • Qualifying percentage – 33%
  • Type of questions – objective; MCQs
  • Even though it is qualifying in nature, the candidate must attend both the papers of the Preliminary Exam for the purpose of evaluation.
  • Therefore, a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of the Civil Services (Prelims) Examination.

To know more about CSAT Syllabus and Strategy in detail, check the linked article.

Importance of solving CSAT Papers

  • Even though the CSAT paper is qualifying in nature, the candidates must practise enough previous year question papers to feel confident and prepared for the exam day.
  • To practise CSAT, the best option is to solve the previous year papers of CSAT first and then go to mock test or any test series.
  • The difficulty level of the CSAT Paper in recent years is easy to moderate, and a month of practice would be sufficient (if not a beginner) to clear the CSAT paper.

To check the UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2016 – 2020, check the linked article.

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