Do you have an aspiration to get posted on the best designations in India? Have you ever wondered how the toppers gain the highest ranks? Do you think the best way to prepare for this extremely honourable exam? Well, if yes, you have an opportunity to read this article and learn the fundamental way of reaching the best rank.

Wondering how? The previous year’s question papers will do everything for you. You only need to focus on solving these papers as much as you can and the rest is done by the preparation itself. These papers give you the strength to move forward as they prepare you exponentially by giving you the idea to solve the paper and understand the techniques.

Let’s prepare from the previous year’s question papers.

Also Read: Last 25 Years UPSC Prelims Question Papers with Answers: Check this to Boost Your CSE Preparation

Previous Year’s Question Papers

#1. Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2021

General Studies Paper -I

General Studies Paper -II

#2. Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2020

General Studies Paper-I

General Studies Paper-II

Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2020

Here are the compulsory subjects:

English Compulsory

Assamese Compulsory

Bengali Compulsory

Bodo Compulsory

Gujarati Compulsory

Hindi Compulsory

Kannada Compulsory

Maithili Compulsory

Malayalam Compulsory

Marathi Compulsory

Nepali Compulsory

Odia Compulsory

Punjabi Compulsory

Sindhi (Arabic) Compulsory

Sanskrit Compulsory

Tamil Compulsory

Telugu Compulsory

Urdu Compulsory

Now, let’s have a look at the most important optional subjects:

Agriculture Paper -I

Agriculture Paper -II

Animal Husbandry and Vet. Science Paper -I

Animal Husbandry and Vet. Science Paper -II

Anthropology Paper -I

Anthropology Paper -II

Botany Paper -I

Botany Paper -II

Chemistry Paper -I

Chemistry Paper -II

Civil Engineering Paper -I

Civil Engineering Paper -II

Commerce and Accountancy Paper -I

Commerce and Accountancy Paper -II

Economics Paper -I

Economics Paper -II

Electrical Engineering Paper -I

Electrical Engineering Paper -II

Geography Paper -I

Geography Paper -II

Geology Paper -I

Geology Paper -II

History Paper -I

History Paper -II

Law Paper -I

Law Paper -II

Management Paper -I

Management Paper -II

Mathematics Paper -I

Mathematics Paper -II

Mechanical Engineering Paper -I

Mechanical Engineering Paper -II

Medical Science Paper -I

Medical Science Paper -II

Philosophy Paper -I

Philosophy Paper -II

Physics Paper -I

Physics Paper -II

Political Science and IR Paper -I

Political Science and IR Paper -II

Psychology Paper -I

Psychology Paper -II

Public Administration Paper -I

Public Administration Paper -II

Sociology Paper -I

Sociology Paper -II

Statistics Paper -I

Agriculture Paper -I

Zoology Paper -I

Zoology Paper -II

General Studies

General Studies Paper -I

General Studies Paper -II

General Studies Paper -III

General Studies Paper -IV



Also Read: Prelims Question Paper of UPSC: Checkout These Previous Years Papers & Boost-up Your Preparation

#3. Civil Services Examination, 2019

Preliminary Examination 2019

Mains Examination 2019

#4. Civil Services Examination, 2018

Preliminary Examination 2018

Mains Examination 2018

#5. Civil Services Examination, 2017

Preliminary Examination 2017

Mains Examination 2017

#6. Civil Services Examination, 2016

Preliminary Examination 2016

Mains Examination 2016

#7. Civil Services Examination, 2015

Preliminary Examination 2015

Mains Examination 2015

#8. Civil Services Examination, 2014

Preliminary Examination 2014

Mains Examination 2014

Also Read: UPSC Mains Previous Years Question Paper: Why Solve Previous Years Question Papers?

Essence of Previous Year’s Question Papers

What is the importance of the previous year’s question papers? Let’s find out by reading the article below. There is a positive significance added to the papers with the UPSC preparation. The following points have a few reasons for solving the papers.

#1. Understand the Questions

Glancing and solving the previous year’s question papers enables the students to understand the pattern and type of questions asked in the UPSC exam. If you have gone through these papers at the beginning of the preparation phase, it will benefit you largely as you can assess the type of questions that are asked.

This aspect of the papers supports the students by helping you in gauging the relevance of any news piece or information strictly from the exam point of view. You reach the highest point once you understand the answer-delivery ways.

The fundamental importance of it is that these papers help to segregate the pool of information based on its relevance along with giving the knowledge of scanning through large information and filter out the relevant one from where the question may be asked.

Also Read: Time Table for UPSC Preparation 2021-22: Step by Step Guide to Crack The UPSC Exam

#2. Know the Importance of Topics

The importance of specific topics is determined by solving these papers. We all know that the syllabus of this exam is quite heavy with so many topics. However, some topics are significant while some don’t have that value attached.

Therefore, you must understand about focusing on the important ones first. The experts and professionals always tell you to emphasize a few topics and concepts in the classrooms during preparation. The source of information for them is the previous year’s papers.

These papers help you filter out the paper. So if you are preparing without any coaching, go through the papers and solve them maximum. It will push you towards success in the examination.

#3. Grab the Priority of the Subject

A similar concept of topics goes with the subjects. You must be aware of the weightage of each subject to excel. For example, the syllabus of the GS 1 of prelims has all the basic subjects but every subject doesn’t have the same significance.

You can boost your level of preparation and can grab the correct importance of the subjects by viewing the question papers of last year’s. It will be beneficial for you to give you the idea of which subject should be focused on more.

#4. Acknowledge Answer-delivery Techniques

The previous papers give you an idea of the questions and answers to be delivered for these questions. You must go through the topper’s copies to learn the best answer writing knowledge.

The best answers will come out by practising majorly on the papers. So, don’t only prepare from the books and websites, rather solve the papers to boost your performance and chances of success.

Also Read: UPSC Prelims Cut Off Last 5 Years: Here’s the Total Marks & 2019, 2020, and 2021 Cut Off


Therefore, the previous year’s question papers are extremely beneficial and significant for the exam as it prepares the candidates for their best performance. All the candidates must prepare a proper study plan to prepare along with mentioning time for solving these question papers. It makes you perfect to answer different sections of the paper.

If you want to excel in this examination, visit the UPSC Pathshala website and get connected to the best professionals who will help you in resolving the queries along with showing you the right path. The articles will help you tremendously as it contains everything. All the very best for your future and keep preparing hard to perform the best at the most prominent exam.

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Previous Year's Question Papers: Let's Develop The Skills for the Most Esteemed Examination
If you want to grow your performance level in the UPSC examination, you must go through the previous year's question papers. Go through the article diligently to acknowledge the papers.
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About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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