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UPSC Previous Year Papers and Answer Key 2023

Topics Covered: UPSC IAS Previous Year Question Papers, Commerce & Management Question Papers, Download Prelims & Mains Question Papers, Benefits of Attempting Previous Year Papers, How to Analyse PYP, Answer Key 2023, How to Calculate UPSC Score,  Marking Scheme and How to Download Answer Key

There is a popular saying which goes as “The key to preparing well for the future is analyzing the past”. The same can be said when preparing for a massive exam like UPSC CSE.  

Conducted on a national level, the UPSC Civil Service Examination witnesses lakhs of aspirants appearing for it each year. However, given the massive popularity of the exam, it is also considered to be one of the most challenging examinations in the country.  

Therefore, the candidates are often advised to be thorough and diligent in their exam preparation to match the difficulty level of the exam.  

One of the initial and effective ways to analyze the degree of the exam difficulty is to go through the previous year question papers. 

Practicing previous year questions papers help the aspirants to familiarize with the exam structure and the nature of the questions asked in the examination.  

In addition to that, the past year papers also help in identification of the important topics and provide an opportunity for candidates to assess their conceptual clarity on the subjects.  

Some questions also get frequently asked and are repeated often; therefore, it is imperative for aspirants to fetch those extra marks! 

With reference to that, I will be discussing in detail everything you need to know about UPSC Previous year Papers which include Prelims & Mains question paper, past year papers of optional subjects like Commerce and Management, benefits of solving past year papers and how to analyze the previous year papers. 

Along with that, I will also provide an in- depth explanation on Answer key 2023, procedure to calculate UPSC score, marking scheme and the steps to download the answer key.  

So, without any further delay, let’s get started! 

Table of Content – UPSC Past Year Papers & Answer Key  

UPSC Previous Year Question Papers

Knowing that you might have already gotten an idea about how important the UPSC (IAS) previous year’s question papers are to a sincere aspirant, I shall not be dwelling on the topic much.

The best way to utilize previous year’s question papers is to use them to access your preparation. It is also important to analyse your performance in those papers by comparing your marks to the cut off of the respective years.

Check the UPSC CSE Cutoff of previous years.

With a careful analysis of previous year papers, you’ll be able to gauge your strengths and weaknesses.

Then, according to those, you can focus your efforts to shore up the weak areas while holding on to your strengths.

Once you are ready to check your progress again try to solve another previous year paper and repeat the entire process.

This will help you to continuously improve on your preparation and make you more confident for the day of UPSC exam.

UPSC Prelims Question Paper

Practicing previous year papers is beneficial in analyzing the nature of the exam. The Prelims exam consists of 2 papers – General Studies and CSAT which are conducted on the same day.

The UPSC Prelims exam 2023 took place on 28th May 2023. After analyzing the question paper, the difficulty level of the UPSC CSE Prelims ranged between moderate to difficult.  

To get an overview of the exam’s structure, you can download the latest UPSC 2023 Prelims question paper provided in the table below.  

Along with that, you can also access and download the UPSC previous year papers of last 06 years, i.e., 2018-2023 by clicking on the links to the PDFs given in the table below.  

Year UPSC Prelims Question Papers 2018-2023 PDFs Links
2023 General Studies Paper

CSAT Paper
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2022 General Studies Paper

CSAT Paper
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2021 General Studies Paper

CSAT Paper
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2020 General Studies Paper

CSAT Paper
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2019 General Studies Paper

CSAT Paper
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2018 General Studies Paper

CSAT Paper
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
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UPSC Mains Question Paper

Similar to the prelims question papers, solving the UPSC Mains Previous Year Question papers are extremely important to gain insight on the type of questions that are asked in the exam.

The Mains examination consists of 9 papers and is descriptive in nature.  

Out of 9 papers, the 2 papers are qualifying in nature while the marks scored in the remaining 7 papers are considered for the merit. The UPSC Mains exam carries an overall weightage of 1750 marks.  

To help you download the UPSC Mains previous year question papers, I have provided below the past year papers including 4 GS papers and Essay in the table.  

Year UPSC Mains Question Papers
2023 Essay Paper Download PDFs
GS Paper I Download PDFs
GS Paper II Download PDFs
GS Paper III Download PDFs
GS Paper IV Download PDFs
2022 Essay Paper Download PDFs
GS Paper I Download PDFs
GS Paper II Download PDFs
GS Paper III Download PDFs
GS Paper IV Download PDFs
2021 Essay Paper Download PDFs
GS Paper I Download PDFs
GS Paper II Download PDFs
GS Paper III Download PDFs
GS Paper IV Download PDFs
2020 Essay Paper Download PDFs
GS Paper I Download PDFs
GS Paper II Download PDFs
GS Paper III Download PDFs
GS Paper IV Download PDFs
2019 Essay Paper Download PDFs
GS Paper I Download PDFs
GS Paper II Download PDFs
GS Paper III Download PDFs
GS Paper IV Download PDFs
2018 Essay Paper Download PDFs
GS Paper I Download PDFs
GS Paper II Download PDFs
GS Paper III Download PDFs
GS Paper IV Download PDFs

UPSC Commerce Previous Year Question Paper

Solving previous year question papers for optional subject of commerce will help in effectively preparing for the exam.

In this section, I have provided the UPSC Commerce Previous Year Question Papers of the last 6 years in the table below.  

Year UPSC Commerce Question Papers PDFs Links
2023 Commerce Paper-1

Commerce Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2022 Commerce Paper-1

Commerce Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2021 Commerce Paper-1

Commerce Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2020 Commerce Paper-1

Commerce Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2019 Commerce Paper-1

Commerce Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2018 Commerce Paper-1

Commerce Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs

With this, I hope you now know everything about UPSC Commerce question papers, it’s time to move to the next section.  

UPSC Management Previous Year Question Paper

Practicing previous year question papers are a must to ensure comprehensive coverage of the Management syllabus.

In this section below, I have provided the UPSC Management Previous Year Question Papers of the past 6 years. Take a look: 

Year UPSC Management Question Papers PDFs Links
2023 Management Paper-1

Management Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2022 Management Paper-1

Management Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2021 Management Paper-1

Management Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2020 Management Paper-1

Management Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2019 Management Paper-1

Management Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs
2018 Management Paper-1

Management Paper-2
Download PDFs

Download PDFs

With the table given above, you can access the UPSC Management question papers and get an overall idea on the type of questions asked. 

Okay, now that I have stressed the importance of previous year’s question papers, I am sharing a few of those for you to download and practice. 

Now that I have shared with you the downloadable links to the UPSC (IAS) previous year’s question papers mentioned above, I would urge you to make use of them as much as you can. 

To cover important topics from the Mains syllabus, check out the best books to cover the important UPSC Mains topics. 

Also, I’d recommend that you solve these papers using the exam time limit, the benefits of doing which I have mentioned in the bulleted list written below. 

So, let’s move on to the benefits of solving previous year papers. 

Benefits of Solving UPSC Previous Year Papers

 In this section below, I will be discussing the benefits of solving the UPSC past year papers Commerce & Accountancy and Management subject: 

  • Know the Exam Pattern Better:   Solving previous year question paper would help you know exam structure and the weightage of topics of commerce and accountancy syllabus as well as of Management subject.  
  • Familiarize with the type of questions asked: Practicing previous year question papers would help you understand the difficulty level and type of the questions asked in the examination.  
  • Assess your strong and weak areas: Solving previous year question papers will provide an insight into strengths and weaknesses by helping you identify topics you are good at and topics you need to work on.   
  • Improve Time Management: Analyzing previous year question papers would also help in assessing the time taken in attempting the questions and improve your answer- writing speed.  

Note: While it is difficult to crack UPSC CSE, but upon fetching the final selection the output that an IAS officer receives can be termed as handsome. 

Know the UPSC IAS Salary 2023 by accessing this page. 

How to Analyse UPSC Previous Year Question Papers?

Before appearing in the final exam, it is imperative for aspirants to not only attempt the previous year years but also ensure with its in-depth analysis. 

Analyzing UPSC Previous Year Papers helps exponentially in bettering the performance, however, it also depends on the way how analysis is conducted. 

Hence, to help you effectively analyze the previous year question papers, I have provided the steps below: 

  • It is advisable to revisit the attempted previous year paper and identify the mistakes committed. 
  • Once you will know your weak areas, you will work accordingly and the future chances of repeating that same mistake will be corrected.  
  • Moreover, upon second reading, i.e., analyzing, you may get a different view of the question, and what looked difficult in the first attempt and will help you easily understand the type of questions asked.  

Explore the detailed exam analysis of past year question papers by accessing the linked page. 

UPSC Answer Key 2023

UPSC Prelims Answer Key is a document that entails the right answers of the questions that features in the UPSC Prelims exam. UPSC releases the Prelims Answer Key every year at the end of the exam cycle, i.e., at the time of the declaration of the final result.

That means the aspirants have to wait a long time to assess their answers. However, to curtail the waiting period, we are providing the UPSC CSE candidates the answer key of the latest edition of the exam, i.e., UPSC Prelims 2022.

Explore the UPSC Answer Key 2021-22 below:

Note: UPSC does not provide the answer key of mains exam.

How to Calculate Your UPSC Score with Answer Key?

To calculate your UPSC Score, you have to simultaneously download both the question paper and the answer key of the prelims exam.

After that follow the steps to gauge your probable score in the prelims.

  1. Refer the question paper and browse through every question.
  2. Recall the options you have marked in the exam.
  3. Tally the recalled answers with the correct responses given on the answer key.
  4. Come up with a count of total right answers and wrong answers, leave the Un-attempted questions.
  5. Multiply the total correct answers by 2, and note down the number reached by multiplying.
  6. Multiply all the wrong answers by 2/3, and again note down the number.
  7. Subtract the aggregate that came in step 6 from the figure reached in step 5. And that’s it, the total that will come up will be your score in UPSC Prelims.

Follow the steps thoroughly to accurately calculate your UPSC Prelims’ Score.

UPSC Prelims 2023 Answer Key – Marking Scheme

The UPSC Prelims Marking scheme sets the basis according to which the answer key functions, and an aspirant calculates his/her score in the prelims.

Much like the answer key, the marking scheme is also released by UPSC. However, one does not have to necessarily access the official marking scheme, since, the rules of marking scheme are not very hard to comprehend.

To give you a clear picture regarding that, I have designed a table that showcases the UPSC Prelims 2023 Marking Scheme.

Particulars Paper 1 Paper 2
Correct Answer +2 +2.5
Incorrect Answer -0.33 -0.33
Unanswered 0 0
No. of Questions 100 80
Total Marks 200 200
Get hold of this marketing scheme to know how UPSC Prelims score has been calculated.

How to Download the UPSC Prelims 2023 Answer Key?

To download UPSC Prelims 2023 Answer Key, you have to follow certain steps.

  1. Open the official website of UPSC I.e., www.upsc.gov.in
  2. On the homepage you would find the “Examination”, under that click on “Answer Key 2023.”
  3. Click on the answer key which will direct you to the “Civil Service Preliminary Examination Answer Key 2023.”
  4. Upon clicking on it, a PDF will open, download the PDF and avail it to compute your UPSC Prelims 2023 score.

These are the steps you need to keep in mind to access the official UPSC Prelims 2023 Answer Key.

Conclusion

With that, we come to the end of this article. I hope this article has been helpful in explaining to you about the topics of the UPSC previous year question which also included Past year papers on Commerce and Management optional subjects and the UPSC Answer Key. Having said that, I guess now it’s time for me to bid you farewell and the very best of luck. 

All the best! 

Keep Learning!! 

CEO of Anujjindal.in

About Anuj Jindal

━━━━━

Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education.

UPSC CSE – Related Resources

FAQs: UPSC Previous Year Papers and Answer Key

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    How many UPSC test papers should be taken before the exam? 

    Well, the perfect answer to that question would be, “As many as you can”. That’s because no matter how many UPSC test papers or previous year question papers you solve, it’s never enough.  

    The reason for that is the UPSC exams are well known for being unpredictable in nature, as far as the kind of questions asked is concerned.  Thus, test papers will prepare you enough to be able to expect any and every variation that the UPSC incorporated in the IAS exam question pool. 

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    What are the benefits of attempting the UPSC previous year papers? 

    The benefits of attempting UPSC previous year question papers are enormous. Let me quote a few of them:   

    • Knowing the Exam Pattern  
    • Gauging the Levels of Prelims & Mains  
    • Identification of Important Topics  
    • Understanding Your Strengths & Weaknesses  
    • Better Time Management 
    • Increase Intuitive abilities for marking correct answers 

    To understand these benefits in detail, check the linked portion that will give you precise knowledge about UPSC Previous Year Papers. 

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    What is UPSC Answer Key?

    UPSC Answer Key is a document which entails the answers of all the questions that gets featured in the respective prelims exam.

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    When will UPSC release the official UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2022? 

    UPSC releases the official prelims answer key at the end of the exam cycle. Therefore, UPSC will drop the 2022 prelims answer key upon the declaration of final result.

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    Can I raise objections to the UPSC Prelims Question Paper Answer Key?

    No. A candidate cannot raise objections to the UPSC Prelims Answer key.

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    Will UPSC release answer for UPSC Mains Exam?

    No. UPSC only releases the answer key for the prelims exam.

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    Is the UPSC Prelims answer key 2022 accurate?

    Yes, UPSC Answer Key 2022 is accurate. It is developed with thorough precision and research.

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    How to approach the previous year papers of UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains?

    To approach the UPSC previous year papers effectively and efficiently you can practice the following tips: 

    • firm grip on the pattern of the exam,  
    • make a mind map of the types of questions,  
    • observe the weightage of different topics and  
    • keep referring to the syllabus to identify the source of the question. 
8 Comments
  1. Anika

    Can I download UPSC previous Year question papers for both prelims GS 1 & CSAT.

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Anika,
      Yes, you can access and download the UPSC Previous year papers provided for Prelims 1 and CSAT on the page above.

      Reply
  2. Saloni

    Can you please share all essay papers for UPSC Mains?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hello Saloni,
      To access and download all the essay papers of UPSC Mains exam, you can refer to the page above.

      Reply
  3. Moksh

    Hii sir, I want to download the UPSC Mains language subjects Hindi and English past-year papers

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Moksh,
      To access and download the UPSC previous-year language papers of Hindi and English, you can go through the page.

      Reply
  4. Mahika

    Why is solving UPSC PYQ papers important?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hello Mahika,
      By practicing the UPSC previous year question papers, you will get an overall idea of the exam’s nature and difficulty level, you will also gain insights on the type of questions asked in the exam. In addition to this, it will help you to identify your strong and weak areas and you can work on it accordingly.

      Reply
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