IAS examination is considered to be one of the toughest examinations. But every year there are lakhs of applicants who aspire to become an IAS officer. To become an IAS officer an individual needs to clear the UPSC examination held each year. A candidate is required to go through three stages and after clearing the first stage that is Prelims, the candidate has to score good marks in the second stage which is a descriptive paper called Mains examination, followed by an interview.

Candidates who score high marks get a higher rank and they are allotted the Cadre according to various factors. To clear the IAS examination, there are various aspects that the candidates need to keep in mind. Candidates need to research the paper, practice the syllabus. In this article, you will get to know the public administration syllabus and know about public administration optional previous year question papers.

Public Administration Question Paper

For your thorough UPSC preparation, you have to go through the public administration optional question paper and public administration syllabus. But you must be thinking why is it important? Why can’t you start your preparation straight away? When you are preparing for any examination a basic way to start is through researching the exam pattern, its syllabus, and the previous year’s question paper. Similarly, when the aspirant is preparing for an important exam like UPSC, they have to be well-versed with the examination structure, the vast UPSC syllabus, and the Public Administration question paper. This way you know what you have to prepare to get to know the important questions that are repeated and on which part of the syllabus you need to focus more.

Public Administration Syllabus

UPSC has a vast syllabus and completing all of it is a tedious task. To make it lighter for the aspirants it is advised that they should go through the previous year’s question paper and practice those in the middle of their preparation so as to keep assessing the progress of preparation.

For different levels, you have a different syllabus to prepare. So make sure you have thorough knowledge about the syllabus for the three stages. Make sure that you draw the line between the syllabus for Prelims, Mains examination, and interview. You may sometimes get confused about the syllabus between the three, but you don’t have to panic, instead, you have to revise it again. Click on the below link to check out the syllabus for the Prelims, Mains, and Interview stage of the examination.

Also Read:- IAS UPSC Syllabus 2020: Buckle up Your Shoes for the Upcoming Exam 

Prelims Syllabus

Prelims have two papers: General Studies Paper-1 and CSAT.

General Studies Paper – I

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation
  • General Science
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
Maximum Marks:- 200 Marks

Duration of Exam 2 hours

CSAT/ General Studies Paper-II

  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Comprehension
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) – Class X level)
Maximum Marks:- 200 Marks

Duration of Exam 2 hours

Mains Examination Syllabus

You can find the mains examinations’ detailed syllabus here. The Mains examination has 9 papers. All the papers are descriptive and not MCQs. There is a stipulated time given for all the papers and you have to complete the paper in that stipulated time. There are 2 language papers, one is an optional language where an individual has to choose a language for the paper, another is an English test that assesses English proficiency. The other 7 papers include 2 optional and general knowledge questions. Make sure that you understand the syllabus thoroughly and you make notes of it. After noting down the syllabus you have to start your preparation accordingly. Start in a sequence so that you don’t mix up things when you look back for revision.

Interview Syllabus

An interview is taken to assess the mental calibre of the candidate, to assess their personality whether they are responsible or not. Their presence of mind while answering the spontaneous questions, their thought process of understanding and reacting in a situation. Note the following points on which you are judges:-

#1. Leadership ability of a candidate

#2. Intellectual and moral integrity

#3. Clear and logical process

#4. Motivation to become an IAS officer

#5. Mental awareness

#6. Critical thinking

 Also Read:- 6 Best Optional Subjects in UPSC: Guide to Choose Most Scoring Non-technical Subjects

Public Administration Optional Previous Year Question Papers

You will get the previous year’s question paper on various platforms, you can get them and make sure that you practice as much as you can. It is advisable that you should practice each paper separately after learning the syllabus. You should not try the previous year’s paper before learning and understanding the subjects because it will be of no use. Make sure that you understand the subject and then practice it through question papers. This way you will be able to prepare for the UPSC examination by leaving no stone unturned. Referring to the previous year’s question paper is a great way of learning and practising for any examination.


UPSC examination is a tough one but still many dreams to clear the UPSC examination. But to prepare for the UPSC examination one need to dedicate their time and have to see how to start their preparation. To start your preparation you have to first know the public administration syllabus, UPSC exam pattern. After starting with the preparation you can refer to the public administration question paper to assess your preparation progress and see where you lag. Hopefully, the information available in this article will help you sail through your preparation journey easily and if you want to make it smoother, do visit UPSC Pathshala.

Content Protection by DMCA.com
Public Administration Optional Previous Year Question Papers: Time to Boost Your UPSC Preparation
Article Name
Public Administration Optional Previous Year Question Papers: Time to Boost Your UPSC Preparation
For a better understanding of the UPSC examination, you have to refer to public administration optional previous year question papers. Make sure to research for it and get going with your preparation.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo

About the Author

Kirti Kumar

Kirti is a passionate content writer. With psychology and an MBA degree, she presents a complete persona of an empowered lady. She is an explorer who takes up a new journey, every time she takes a new turn. She has agility in her attitude with versatility in her action. She is a creative person who loves to unfurl the beauty of life through writing. She has a deep interest in dance and art & craft. She has developed a positive persona through her exciting and vast life voyage. Kirti is a person who is closely fused to her people and a hearty person open to building on new memories to cherish.

View All Articles