Candidates preparing for UPSC civil services examination should solve the previous year question papers 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.
Solving the last ten years UPSC IAS Exam question papers is ideal, but considering the change in the UPSC exam pattern, you can only resort to solving the latest IAS question papers from 2013 to 2020.
UPSC Mains Previous Years Question Paper
All previous years’ question papers are part of the archive and available on the official UPSC site in PDF format to download. Candidates can easily access them. Mentioned below are the links to the PDF files. Candidates can go through them along with the UPSC Mains syllabus so they know the kind of studies needed to be able to answer these questions.
UPSC Mains Question Paper 2020
UPSC Mains Question Paper 2019
UPSC Mains Question Paper 2018
UPSC Mains Question Paper 2017
Why is it Important to Solve Previous Years’ Questions?
It is vital to solving 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 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.
Solving the UPSC questions for the Prelims paper will make you acquainted with the MCQ pattern of the prelims.
It is essential to develop speed and also learn tricks on how to efficiently solve questions be it objective or subjective type.
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.
Importance of Mock Papers for UPSC
Along with UPSC’s 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.
Many institutes hire experts in the field to help make these mock question papers and generally speaking these experts have the adept skills in being able to predict the year’s topics and questions, which is like a saviour for candidates if they end up doing common questions.
The Best Reliable Source
Aside from all of these advantages, solving papers also aids in the revision of topics. You can answer these questions once you’ve completed your preparation. You can assess your own performance and work to improve your weaknesses.
Many of the questions in the exams have been moulded or rephrased. Simply try to read the questions carefully in your exam to see how beneficial it was.
Self-evaluation is a crucial part of the preparation strategy, and you should evaluate your understanding of the concepts you’re studying for the exam. So, if you truly want to pass the Civil Service Exam, solve previous year question papers and for both prelims and mains.
Trends in Papers
If you look at the pattern of question papers, you’ll notice that the exam’s difficulty level varies from year to year. You can get a general idea of the difficulty level and plan accordingly.
This is especially important for General Studies papers, as the questions are based on general knowledge and current events of national and international importance.
Solving previous year’s question papers will give you an idea of how well prepared you are. Self-evaluation is a crucial part of UPSC preparation. Making a mistake doesn’t mean that you are weak, it means that you have to grow stronger. This aids you in determining the best strategy for continuing your preparation and identifying your weaknesses and strengths.
Understanding Exam Pattern
Understanding the UPSC exam pattern is crucial for all candidates because it allows them to easily pass the exam. By consulting previous year’s papers, candidates can learn everything they need to know about the syllabus and the types of questions that will be asked. Additionally, previous year papers can be used to check topic-wise weightage.
Referencing the previous year’s question paper can provide a detailed understanding of the type, nature, and style of the questions asked in the exam. Furthermore, the level of complexity can be assessed separately for each section. Candidates will have no trouble understanding the question paper once they have a handle on the question format.
How to Analyse Previous Years Papers?
UPSC asks repeated questions from certain sections of the civil services syllabus. They rarely ask questions about certain parts of the movie. The subject of History in General Studies Paper-I is a good sample for analysing previous year papers.
Modern history is unquestionably one of those fields in which questions are posed. Almost always, the various Congress conventions held during the long-drawn battle for India’s independence are mentioned.
On the contrary, few questions from Mediaeval History are asked, and aspirants have begun to completely disregard that section of the syllabus. Although it is never recommended, knowing which parts of the syllabus give you the best output and which are forgettable is a milestone in preparing for the exam when you are short on time, as aspirants frequently are.
Understand the Question Type
First and foremost, any newcomer should take note of the questions that UPSC has chosen to ask. The analysis for UPSC mains is a little more in-depth. Take note of the various keywords used in the questions, such as “examine,” “discuss,” “critically analyse,” and so on.
Knowing these keywords and how each one affects demand will help you write more appropriate answers and outperform your competition.
Keep an Eye Out for Hot Topics
The committee has a few favourite topics that they will almost certainly ask about every other year or so. Environmental conventions such as the Kyoto Protocol, WWF, and international groups such as BARC, SAARC, and others, as well as scientific developments such as the Agni Missile, Prithvi, and others, are examples of such topics.
Every year, at least one question is posed on each of these topics. The only way to find such topics is to examine previous years’ papers.
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.
Thus the more you practice, the better for you. More than half of the previous year candidates have said that they found writing down what they had learned more feasible as an option than just mentally memorising the material.