UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims Exams Question Papers Analysis (2012-2017)

Subject-wise breakup of the UPSC prelims question paper/IAS previous year question paper 

The below given representation of pie chart clearly gives a picture of subject wise questions asked in the previous 7 years of UPSC Civil Services IAS Examination i.e. from year 2011 till 2017.

UPSC 2017 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam Question Paper Analysis


UPSC has renewed its focus on conceptual and applied questions this year. Also, the questions were such that they tested one’s knowledge across varied dimensions and asked one to dig in one’s memory to cull out relevant information.

The paper portrayed a change from previous year paper.Last year main focus  was on current affairs now it shifted to subject oriented.

The questions on economy were mostly factual and related to current affairs.

23 Questions were asked from Polity. And this as the most scoring section because most of the questions were direct. Some of the questions which were conceptual were not that difficult if one understands the basics of Polity well.

UPSC 2016 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam Question Paper Analysis


The year 2016, the UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam question paper saw a different trend from the last four years though the year 2015 prelims question paper saw the maximum number of questions from Current Affairs compared to other subjects but in 2016 UPSC Prelims question paper saw a drastic shift completely focusing on current affairs and resulted in almost 55-60% of question for current affairs.

The questions in Current affairs section was more of factual than conceptual

Questions from Polity section had moved towards traditional concepts like governance and public administration type questions than compared to last year’s (2015) trend

Economy section questions were mostly asked from Current Affairs

Nearly 60% of questions from UPSC 2016 Prelims exam could have been answered by just reading basic books and newspapers.

UPSC 2015 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam Question Paper Analysis


It is in the year 2015; the UPSC Civil Services Exam completed shifted its focus on Current Affairs and questions from this section were directly from schemes and many were from newspaper and inclined more towards factual side.

Many conventional questions were from non-conventional sources and inferential

Polity section questions were from governance and public administration

Economic section questions were conceptual and analytical mostly from 2013 newspapers

Most of the questions were from newspapers (especially The Hindu) and some questions too easy from the topics of the UPSC Syllabus.

UPSC 2014 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam Question Paper Analysis


The UPSC 2014 Civil Services IAS Prelims question paper was factual and conventional compared to the last three years. A complete knowledge about topics was required in this year. The year also saw questions from Indian Year Book.

The traditional questions were very easy and more questions were from art and culture

Polity section questions were from governance and public administration

Weightage to ecology and environment also increased

Most questions can be traced from The Hindu.

UPSC 2013 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam Question Paper Analysis


UPSC 2013 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam question paper didn’t see any difference when compared to the last year.

Modern Indian had lost its charm not many questions from here

Importance of Ecology and Culture increased

Geography section was almost constant

Economy questions were basic and easy-medium-difficult type

Polity and History section questions were also same as Economy

Culture section questions were medium to difficult type

Current affairs didn’t have much importance.

UPSC 2012 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam Question Paper Analysis


The year UPSC 2012 Civil Services prelims exam brought back current affairs into limelight

More number of questions from various sections like culture

Questions from Polity, History, Geography, and Economy was constant

Comparatively very difficult questions in GS

UPSC 2011 Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam Question Paper Analysis


Lots of questions asked from basic material

Conceptual questions on current affairs linking to the topics

Questions from World Politics and Foreign relations were also asked.

A look at the above pie-charts of previous years UPSC Civil services prelims question papers indicate that while the number of questions from history, geography, polity, Indian economy and environment sections have been almost same in all the years studied, the number of questions from the science and technology, and the current affairs/GK sections have been varying.

In 2013, there were no questions directly from the current affairs in the UPSC prelims. In contrast, in 2015 and 2016 most questions were from this section (22 and 27 respectively). It can be inferred that current affairs is increasingly becoming very important as far as UPSC is concerned. The UPSC wants to appoint people who are in sync with the times and who update themselves of the events affecting the country and the world.

Additionally, the questions from science and technology section mostly include those on new technologies. In the economy section also, questions are on inclusive growth, inflation, poverty, etc. all of which indicate the significance of current affairs. UPSC asks questions in a manner that one question can be classified as from, say geography but it could be related to current affairs also. If you want to crack the UPSC prelims, you must prepare specifically for current affairs. Be up to date on the various happenings around you. Learn to extract study material from the daily newspapers.

DOWNLOAD Question Paper: UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2017 (General Studies – 1)


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    UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2017: Unpredictable paper Expected Low Cutoff
    June 20, 2017 at 5:25 am

    […] UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims Exams Question Papers Analysis (2012-2017) […]

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