UPSC Previous Year Question Paper

Candidates preparing for UPSC civil services examination should solve the previous years’ IAS Previous Years question paper before they face UPSC Prelims and Mains. Only practising the authentic IAS question papers will give you a real feel of the pattern and style of the UPSC questions.

Aspirants preparing for the upcoming Civil Services Exam can find the previous year IAS questions further below in this article. IAS Exam candidates must focus on solving and answering these questions to apprehend the level of the examination.

For wide-ranging IAS Questions & Answers from subjects like history, polity, geography, economy, environment etc. visit the linked article now. 

Download UPSC Question Paper 2021

According to UPSC Calendar 2021, the dates of the IAS prelims and mains exams are:

  • Civil Services Prelims Exam – 10th October 2021
  • Civil Services Mains Exam – 7th January 2022 onwards

The UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Paper will be uploaded in the linked article on October 10th; while UPSC Mains 2021 Question Papers will be uploaded in the month of January next year.

Along with the prelims question paper, UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2021 will be updated in the linked article.

One can easily understand the level of the Civil Services Examination with the UPSC previous question paper analysis. This article will provide you with both – IAS Prelims paper and IAS Mains papers. To find questions topic-wise, you can also refer to the table below:

Topic-Wise GS 1 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-Wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains
Topic-Wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-Wise GS 4 Questions for UPSC Mains

Download UPSC Question Paper 2020

For UPSC 2021 preparation, don’t forget to check the IAS Questions asked in the year 2020:

  1. Download PDFs of UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 Question Papers for GS1 and CSAT
  2. Check UPSC Prelims 2020 Answer Keys
  3. Download UPSC Mains 2020 Essay Paper
  4. Download UPSC Mains 2020 GS Paper I
  5. Download UPSC Mains 2020 GS Paper II
  6. Download UPSC Mains 2020 GS Paper III
  7. Download UPSC Mains 2020 GS Paper IV

You can get all the UPSC 2020 Mains Question Papers in one place at the given link.

Daily News

UPSC 2019 Question Paper

The UPSC Prelims 2019 took place on 2nd June 2019.  Download the prelims and mains paper below:

Prelims 2019 General Studies Paper:- Download PDF Here

Prelims 2019 CSAT Paper (Aptitude):- Download PDF Here

IAS Mains 2019 commenced on September 20, and the exams ended on September 29. The UPSC Mains 2019 Aspirants can check the linked article to download the UPSC Mains Question Papers 2019.

UPSC Previous Year Question Papers – IAS Exam Question Paper 2013 -2018

Solving the last ten years UPSC IAS Exam question papers is ideal, but considering the change in UPSC exam pattern, here we have given the latest IAS question papers from 2013 to 2018.

Using the links given below, you can find previous year IAS Exam question papers for Prelims, Mains, and Optional subjects (IAS Exam question paper).

IAS Prelims Paper

The IAS Prelims Paper of UPSC is for screening purposes only. The marks obtained in the UPSC Prelims IAS Paper will be a qualification to take the UPSC Main examination. They will not be counted for determining their final order of merit.

There are 2 IAS Prelims Papers with objective type questions. Both papers carry 200 marks each, and it serves as a screening test only.

CSAT is the Paper-II of Preliminary Exam the candidate will have to score a minimum of 33% of marks for qualifying in Mains (written).

Paper-I of IAS Prelims includes mainly the current affairs, while Paper-II or CSAT is the aptitude test.

The previous years’ UPSC Exam Question bank (prelims) is given below:

Download IAS Exam Questions 2018 here- Paper I Download IAS Exam Questions 2018 here- Paper II
Download IAS Exam Questions 2017 here- Paper I Download IAS Exam Questions 2017 here- Paper II
Download IAS Exam Questions 2016 here- Paper I Download IAS Exam Questions 2016 here- Paper II
Download IAS Exam Questions 2015 here- Paper I Download IAS Exam Questions 2015 here- Paper II
Download IAS Exam Questions 2014 here- Paper I Download IAS Exam Questions 2014 here- Paper II
Download IAS Exam Questions 2013 here- Paper I Download IAS Exam Questions 2013 here- Paper II

These IAS Question Papers will help the candidates to understand the Prelims Exam in detail.

For complete information on other IAS Mains Paper/UPSC Exam Question paper, refer to the links below:

UPSC Question Paper: 2018

UPSC 2018 IAS 2018 Question Papers

UPSC Question Paper: 2017

UPSC 2017 IAS 2017 Question Papers

UPSC Question Paper: 2016

UPSC 2016 IAS 2016 Question Papers

UPSC Question Paper: 2014

UPSC 2014 IAS  2014 Question Papers

UPSC Question Paper: 2013

UPSC 2013 IAS 2013 Question Papers

Why solving UPSC question papers is important?

Apart from getting to know the actual IAS exam questions, you will also get answer writing practise, which is crucial for mains. Solving the UPSC questions for Prelims paper will make you acquainted with the MCQ pattern of the prelims.

It is essential to develop speed and also learn tricks to avoid negative marks in the prelims paper. Previous IAS question papers are necessary from the optional subject point of view as well. Besides, solving the IAS mains paper will help you acquire answer writing habits and also help you learn the art of timing each answer.

So, candidates should solve at least 10 previous years UPSC papers before they give their actual IAS paper.

It is vital to solve UPSC question papers of the previous year because:

  • To understand the type of UPSC questions asked in the civil services exam.
  • To know which topics of the UPSC CSE Syllabus are to be given priority, it is vital to solving the civil services’ previous year question papers.
  • Civil service question papers should be solved to get an answer writing practice for the IAS exam.

Practising previous years’ question papers is one of the significant steps in the civil services exam preparation. Still, most of the aspirants don’t even attempt solving UPSC previous years question papers, which is a grave mistake they commit during their preparation.

Candidates can also find previous year IAS questions with answer keys at the official UPSC website and recheck their answers.

Free Online Quiz

Benefits of UPSC Sample Paper:

Along with UPSC previous years’ question paper; candidates are suggested to keep solving as many UPSC sample papers as possible just to get to practice. When aspirants make use of UPSC sample papers, they get a lot of ideas as to how to tackle the questions on the final exam day.

Candidates can check the IAS sample paper on our IAS Mock Test page.

Hence, to make the aspirants’ preparation effective, we provide UPSC questions papers of Previous Years’ and periodically update this section with the latest UPSC IAS question paper.

These papers will serve as sample practice papers that will help IAS Aspirants in their preparation. The previous year’s prelims and mains UPSC question paper, i.e., 2018 Prelims and Mains IAS question paper are also available for download.

Also, refer to the UPSC question paper with answers on our website so that you can solve the prelims papers and also crosscheck the answers.

Frequently Asked Questions on UPSC Question Papers & IAS Questions

How to download the Essay Paper of UPSC Mains 2020?

Aspirants can download the UPSC Mains 2020 Essay Paper from the link given.

When should I start preparation for UPSC 2021-22?

Ideally, aspirants should start their preparation at least one year before the date of the Prelims exam. The IAS questions are wide-ranging and test the depth of the candidate’s knowledge. The official website has published the UPSC 2021 calendar, and aspirants can check the same by clicking the link.

What kind of questions are asked in the IAS interview?

The questions in the IAS interview aim to test the candidate’s suitability to life in the administrative service. Usually, the IAS interview lasts for about 20-25 minutes and is like a discussion with the UPSC panel.

⇒ Check: IAS Interview Questions

How to approach previous years’ UPSC Prelims IAS Questions?

Old IAS Questions of UPSC Prelims help candidates get an understanding of the type of questions asked from each subject/topic. For static topics, these IAS questions help in the revision. To download the previous years’ Topic-wise UPSC Prelims Questions PDF, visit the linked article.

Are IAS Questions tough?

The IAS questions aim to test the candidates’ grasp of concepts and their application rather than mere theory.

The nature of IAS questions differs in UPSC Prelims and Mains so aspirants should carefully go through previous years UPSC question papers to understand the pattern.

How many UPSC test papers should be taken before the CSE exam?

With UPSC previous year question papers, aspirants can take any good UPSC test paper series or mock tests for better understanding.

How to approach UPSC previous years’ papers?

After reading the NCERTs, prelims papers can be solved first, and then aspirants can match their answers with the official answer keys. For mains, aspirants can first try to solve previous year papers and then can look up UPSC mains solved papers.

What are the important current affairs topics from where IAS questions can be asked in UPSC Prelims 2021?

UPSC can ask questions from the events that have been in the news for the last 2 years. Usually, candidates should go through current affairs daily without a miss. This would help them build an understanding of all the topics that are relevant for UPSC 2021.


  1. I want to know how many subjects upsc have and what are they

    1. Hi Chirag
      You can understand the UPSC Exam Pattern in the linked article. Then, you can check UPSC Syllabus for better understanding.

  2. I want to download the Hindi Language & English Language last year question paper & Syllabus for PAPER-A & B

    1. You can Paper A & B syllabus in UPSC Syllabus PDF.

  3. How to analyze pyqs’ of upsc cse . Should I look at first prelims then mains or should I analyze both simultaneously for eg if I analyse prelims 2015 then should I analyse the same year mains papers also ? Or can I analyse only prelims papers first then go for mains? Plz reply

    1. Hi Zoya
      Once you have covered first reading of NCERTs and you are daily following the current affairs; you should take prelims past years’ question papers. That will help you to know if you are able to answer objective questions based on your reading. Henceforth, you can take up mains past years’ papers to practise answer writing.

  4. Hi
    I have completed my graduation ( BSc with mathematics and physics).
    Is it necessary to take mathematics or physics as optional?

    1. No, it is not. You can take any subject from the list of 48 optional subjects.

  5. I am good at sst but not too good in maths please tell me how should I start preparing for CSAT exam ( like from which sources, books or papers etc) ?

  6. I want previous year question paper of kpsc exam. Pls send the link

  7. I want to take optional commerce and accounting but also I want to write mains in kannada medium. is it okey to write optional only in english medium and other gs exams in kannada medium?????? suggest me

    1. One has to adhere to one language which they select while filling the application form. If you choose Kannada language, you can write mains in the same language.

  8. i need a perfect study time table as a beginner

    1. Hi
      You can get an idea on how to make a timetable for UPSC here.

  9. In which languages, the question paper Will be available ?
    Can I write exams in Tamil for both prelims and mains exam ?
    Is it possible to attend the interview in Tamil too?

    1. Yes, if you select Tamil as the medium of language for answer writing, you can. And, same for the UPSC interview.

  10. Can I choose one optional subject for both optional 1 and optional 2 exam in mains?
    Can you please suggest the proper strategy to cover up the syllabus for this exam?
    And when should we start answer writing practice ?

    1. Hi,
      One optional subject has to be chosen from the list of 48 optional subjects.
      1. NCERTs + Reference books
      2. Finish your optional syllabus first.
      3. Follow current affairs.
      Answer-writing practice should be started when you have finished your NCERTs. Take questions from the previous year papers and start writing. It is acceptable to not know every question but it is a good start. Gradually, after reading reference books, newspapers, etc; you will be able to write with more expertise.

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