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UPSC Previous Year Papers and Answer Key 2022

Topics Covered: UPSC IAS Previous Year Question Papers, Download Prelims & Mains Question Papers, Benefits of Attempting Previous Year Papers, How to Analyse PYP, Answer Key 2022, How to Calculate UPSC Score,  Marking Scheme and How to Download Answer Key

Preparing for the UPSC IAS exams is no joke. It takes consistent effort and a steely resolve to crack the exam.

I know this firsthand because I have seen my elder brother slog for an entire year preparing for the UPSC CSE, and eventually making it through the hallowed portals of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

I still remember the time when my brother was studying for the IAS exams, I used to come home from college and see him sitting at his study table engrossed in his preparation. In the evenings he used to go out to play some badminton to freshen his mind.

During those moments I used to sneak up to his study table and look through the study materials that were neatly stacked one on top of the other.

Amidst the vast varieties of IAS books and study materials on the desk, I couldn’t help but notice the fat bundles of sheets that were compiled together using spiral binding.

These bundles contained the UPSC previous year’s question papers of prelims and mains.

Little did I know that some years later I would go on to use the same bundles of previous year question papers.

Anyway, continuing with the story of my IAS brother’s preparation days, I can clearly recall, him giving multiple reads to the heap of previous year editions of the exam, before appearing for his prelims exam. He used to value his bundle of past year papers very much.

His keen sense of exam awareness when coupled with the dedication to succeed, then results were guaranteed to come.

However, as for what happened next, he went on to take his prelims paper the next day and came back home really happy afterward, apparently, he had aced it.

When I asked about how his exam had gone, he told me excitedly that a lot of the questions that were asked were similar to the ones he had solved in the previous year question papers the day before.

Thus, in the coming few weeks, the UPSC prelims result was announced, and as expected my brother had cleared the prelims.

Then he took his Mains papers, aced that as well, and when the UPSC Mains result was declared, it turned out that he had cleared the Mains round as well.

After that there was no stopping him, the guy aced his interviews also. When the final UPSC result for the IAS exams was announced, my brother stood with an All-India Rank of 53 with his head held high. A real inspiration for me and a million others.

Anyway, the purpose of telling you this story was to emphasize the importance of working hard, and second to highlight the role of solving UPSC previous year’s question papers and analyzing the corresponding UPSC Answer Key.

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.

Remember one of the key aims of this exercise is to ensure that you have covered the syllabus in a holistic way.

Check the latest UPSC (IAS) syllabus and the important topics here.

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.

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.

Download the complete UPSC (IAS) Previous Year Question Papers for Prelims and Mains:

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.

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 Previous Year Papers

In this section I have talked about the various ways, solving UPSC (IAS) previous year papers will benefit you.

Benefits of Solving UPSC PYP

1. Know the Exam Pattern Better

The act of solving the various UPSC (IAS) prelims and mains previous year question papers will render you a superior understanding of the exam pattern and the kind of questions that are normally asked in it.
This understanding of the exam pattern and the various sections lying in it will, in turn, help you solve questions more quickly in the actual exam. This is because, with such a photographic understanding of the exam sections and patterns, you won’t have to waste time figuring what goes where, and you’d directly be able to go over to the section of the paper you are most comfortable in.

Know the latest UPSC exam pattern for prelims and mains.

2. Gauge the Levels of Prelims & Mains

The more you solve previous year papers, the more you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with the massive jump in the difficulty levels from the UPSC Prelims to the Mains papers, and subsequently prepare yourself for the same.

3. Identify Important Topics

Solving more Previous year papers would mean getting to identify the most commonly asked questions in the exams, and from them, the most important UPSC topics. These are the topics that you’d then have to learn about in much more detail, considering that they are the ones most likely to be asked about in the upcoming IAS exam.

Check out the best books to cover the important UPSC topics.

4. Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses

This is something that I have already talked about in the first point of this list i.e., getting to know more about your strengths and weaknesses by solving more and more past year papers. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses better, you’d be able to subsequently focus on your weak points more, thus erasing them in the process, and also further hone your strong points. That way you’d be able to achieve an equal level of mastery in all the topics. This is needed even more so, considering that the UPSC (IAS) exam papers have negative marking for every wrong answer, something that you absolutely cannot afford to do.

5. Manage Time Better

One of the reasons why the UPSC exams are so tough per se is because of the limited time and space that are provided to aspirants to fill in their answers. This should give you all the more reason to try and solve more and more previous year question papers using the actual UPSC exam time limit. Doing so will improve your time management skills during exams and help you save yourself from all the last-minute anxiety attacks that people normally get on not being able to finish their papers on time.

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.

6. Be More Instinctive in Exams

More and more practice on previous year papers using the actual exam time limit will train you to be more instinctive and accurate while marking the right answers.

With that, I think I have said everything there is to know about the topic of UPSC (IAS) previous year question paper.

Now it’s time for us to go over to the second and final topic of this blog, which is UPSC result.

How to Analyse UPSC Previous Year Question Papers?

Before appearing in the final exam, it is imperative to not only attempt the previous year years but also proceed with its effective analysis.

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

Hence, how to undergo analysis is what you need to need to learn now.

If you are a genuine UPSC Aspirant then It is advisable for you to revisit the completed previous year paper and find out the mistakes committed.

Once you will know your weak areas, you will act upon it, and in the future chances of repeating that same mistake will eradicate.

Moreover, upon second reading I.e., analysing, you may get a different view of the question, and what looked difficult in the first attempt, may not intimidate you again.

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

UPSC Answer Key 2022

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 2022 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 2022 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 2022 Answer Key?

To download UPSC Prelims 2022 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 2022.”
  3. Click on the answer key which will direct you to the “Civil Service Preliminary Examination Answer Key 2022.”
  4. Upon clicking on it, a PDF will open, download the PDF and avail it to compute your UPSC Prelims 2022 score.

These are the steps you need to keep in mind to access the official UPSC Prelims 2022 Answer Key.


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


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.

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:  

    • Know the Exam Pattern 
    • Gauge the Levels of Prelims & Mains 
    • Identify Important Topics 
    • Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses 
    • Manage Time Better 
    • Be More Instinctive in Exams 

    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 previous year papers effectively and efficiently you have to get a 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.

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