Subject-wise Trend of Previous Years Prelims Questions

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In this post, you will find the subject-wise trend of previous years IAS Prelims GS paper questions. The trends are presented in tabular as well as graphical format for easy understanding. I am sure you will find it useful.

Subject-wise Trend of Previous Years Prelims GS Paper-1 Questions

Subject→

Year↓

Hist-ory Geogr-aphy Econ-omy Science & Tech Polity Enviro-nment Current Affairs & GK
2018 21 10 14 10 11 11 23
2017 13 10 11 11 21 6 28
2016 15 7 18 8 7 18 27
2015 14 14 13 7 13 10 29
2014 16 14 11 15 10 12 22

 

Now let us see a graphical depiction of the subject-wise GS Paper-1 questions asked in IAS Prelims.

 

From the above table and image, the following points are clear:

  1. Maximum questions in the Prelims GS Paper-1 in the last 5 years have been current affairs & general awareness based. At least 20 current affairs questions have been asked by UPSC every year in the last 5 years. This should not be a surprise since current affairs is the most important topic from Prelims viewpoint.
  2. History is the 2nd most important topic and at least 10-15 questions on Indian History are asked every year in the IAS Prelims. Within the History topic, maximum questions are based on Modern History followed by Ancient History and the least number of questions are asked on Medieval History. Candidates should also expect 3-6  questions on Art & Culture which have been included in the History segment above.
  3. Except for Science and Technology, the remaining topics i.e. Geography, Economy, Polity and Environment have received almost equal importance over the years. On an average 10 questions from these topics have been asked by UPSC every year.
  4. The number of questions on Science and Tech is slightly on the lower side when compared to other subjects.

Subject-wise Trend of Previous Years Prelims GS Paper-2 (CSAT) Questions

Subject→

Year↓

Basic Nume-racy Logical Reaso-ning Compre-hension Decis-ion Making Data Interpr-etation
2017 28 22 30
2016 31 21 28
2015 30 18 30 2
2014 20 23 31 6
2013 11 21 33 6 9

Now let us see a graphical depiction of the subject-wise GS Paper-2 questions asked in IAS Prelims.

From the above table and image, the following points are clear:

  1. The highest number of questions in the last 5 years have been asked from 3 topics: Basic Numeracy, Logical Reasoning and Comprehension.
  2. Comprehension questions are often the easiest to score and should be attempted by candidates. Even logical reasoning questions can be tackled quite easily with some practice.
  3. Decision-Making questions carry no negative penalty but they have not been asked in the past 3 Prelims by UPSC.

I hope this subject-wise trend of past years Prelims questions of Paper 1 and 2 was useful for you along with the analysis. Your queries and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Reference Books for IAS

GS Solved Papers
General Studies Manual
Manorama Year Book
Oxford Student Atlas
Science and Technology

Topic-wise Books for IAS

Indian Polity Laxmikanth
Ecology and Environment
India's Struggle for Independence
Brief History of Modern India
Indian Art and Culture
Certificate Course in Geography

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