UPSC Previous Year Paper

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Table of content:


What are UPSC Previous Year Paper?

UPSC Previous year papers are those sets of questions that went before in time and order. Like all other exams, there are copies of UPSC-CSE PYQs exist. You can download PDFs of PYQs from the Civilsdaily. And analyze what types of questions are asked in Civil Service Examination.


How many previous year papers are required?

Previous year’s papers are the core and essence of the UPSC preparation. But, how many previous questions really play an important role!

After mentoring 5000+ IAS aspirants, the Civilsdaily senior IAS mentors team has made a list of essential previous question papers, an IAS aspirant must do.

UPSC prelims

GS-1GS-2 (CSAT)
Past 10 years’ questions are needfulPast 5 years’ questions are needful

UPSC Mains

EssayPrevious 5 years
GS – IPrevious 10 years
GS – IIPrevious 10 years
GS – IIIPrevious 3 years
GS – IVPrevious 6 years
Optional SubjectPrevious 12 years

Importance of previous questions

From toppers to Mentors, none can deny the significance of the previous year’s question papers. They are important from different angles. 

  • Every exam is unique in itself. So, the exam patterns also differ from one another. To know the Ques. pattern, the role of PYQs is undeniable.
  • They help us know the difficulty level of the questions. And in how much depth we should maintain while preparing the subjects.
  • Previous Years’ questions let us know those pet topics of the exams. 
  • To know the dynamic trends, PYQs are incomparable.
  • PYQs work as the pieces of equipment for a fence. You can have a grip on the entire syllabus following them.

How to do them

If you wish to start UPSC Preparation without coaching, make previous years’ question papers your mentor.

Read and analyze the previous years’ question papers in the following ways so that it means a lot to you.

Previous Years’ Question Papers (UPSC Prelims)

  • Previous 10 Years Question papers of GS-1
  • Previous 5 Years Question Papers of GS-2 (CSAT – A qualifying paper)

Now, start investing 30 days to 45 days to analyze them fully and comprehensively. 

  • Take a note of the weightage of the topic and subject-wise questions.
  • Try to comprehend how UPSC connected current affairs with static.
  • In CSAT, start solving papers one by one from the second day.
  • Try to find out offbeat questions. And the way how UPSC designed such questions.
  • Every question has its unique demand. Identify them.
  • Take a note of whether the trend of a question from a particular chapter has been going towards an easier level or a more difficult level. 
  • Always do the pet chapters in 360 degrees.

Supplementary materials

It’s undeniable fact that UPSC preparation starts with previous question papers but gets velocity with essential books, Daily MCQs, Test Series, Daily answer writing, etc. 

Supplementary for Prelims

Supplementary for Mains

All the question papers mentioned above are co-related. If you miss one, others may not help you.


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