UPSC Prelims

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UPSC Syllabus Mock Tests


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Frequently Asked Questions


The FAQ here details the commonly asked questions regarding the UPSC Examination. This exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in three phases – Prelims, Mains and Interview.

The Civil Services Examination is based on the British era Imperial Civil Service tests, as well as the civil service tests conducted by old Indian empires such as the Mauryan Empire and Mughal Empire. It is the most difficult competitive examination in India. A single attempt takes two complete years of preparation – one year before the prelims and one year from prelims to interview. In total, one sits in actual exam for 32 hours from prelims till interview.

How to access the practice exams?

We are glad to present you with a comprehensive collection of mock tests covering every category. The exams cover questions from GS (General Studies), CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test), History, Current Affairs, Geography, Economics, Polity, Science, Culture. Start below and you will instantly have access to all our UPSC practice exams for free. You will be provided with detailed menus with list of exams from which you can choose the exam you want to practice.

How many practice exams are included?

There are several practice exams, one from each of the categories mentioned above, and divided into more sub-categories like Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, and Mathematical problems. Each exam is different. Every attempt you take is unique. With over 3000+ questions from every category, it will take you few months to complete all the questions of 1 practice exam. So it will take you more than a year to finish all the questions in our database. Immerse yourself in an ocean of boundless learning while you find your confidence growing.

Are there new questions if I take the same practice test again?

Yes. For example, if you finish the History practice exam and then attempt the same History mock test again, you will be presented with a new set of questions. Our algorithm is designed to fetch a fresh set of questions from our large database of content in every attempt. So all tests are unique.

What are the different dropdown Menus below?

The Practice menu is our playing arena where we are proud to showcase our magic. We are continuously adding questions to our database every day. So the Practice menu will deliver you the richest, toughest, and freshest content. It is also mixed with previous years UPSC questions along with our questions.

The GS 1 and GS 2 menus contain only UPSC previous years questions. It is exactly the questions which came in that year in the UPSC examination . We have provided explanations to the answers for your benefit. Let us know if you want to add a question or have queries regarding any scenario, we are here to help.

How many attempts can I take?

You can attempt our practice exams unlimited times. At the end of each exam you can opt to ‘Restart with New Questions’, or choose a completely different exam category to experience a change. Example if you have been taking our Economics mock test multiple times, you can any time opt to move to the Geography practice test from the menu. All the UPSC practice tests are available to you for free.

How many candidates appear for the UPSC exam?

900,000 to 1,000,000 candidates apply for the UPSC exam every year. Around 550,000 candidates sit in the preliminary examinations. Results for the Prelims (held in June) are published in mid-August. 15,000 candidates appear in the Mains Examination. Results for the Mains Examination (held in October) are published in January. 3,000 candidates appear for the Mains interview. Results for the Mains Personality Test (held in March) is published in May. Around 1000 candidates get selected.

What are the different All India Services?

  • IAS – The Indian Administrative Service is the most popular civil service and is one of the 3 All India Services. It is the permanent arm of the Government of India and State Governments. An IAS cadre is responsible for formulating and implementing Government policies.
  • IPS – The Indian Police Service is one of the 3 All India Services. The IPS officers occupy senior positions in the Police service and in RAW, CBI and other such Government bodies.
  • IFoS – The Indian Forest Service is one of the 3 All India Services. The highest designation of IFoS officers serving with Central Government is Director General (DG) of Forests. An IFS cadre comes under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
  • IFS – The Indian Foreign Service is one of the most popular Group ‘A’ civil services. IFS officers handle the foreign affairs of India and can become the Ambassador, UN Representative of India, Foreign Secretary, and similar positions.
  • IA&AS – The Indian Audit and Accounts Service is one of the most popular Group ‘A’ civil services. It comes under the Comptroller and Auditor General. An IA&AS cadre performs financial auditing of the Central Government, State Government, and Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs).
  • ICAS – The Indian Civil Accounts Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service in the Ministry of Finance. The head of this cadre is the Controller General of Accounts.
  • ICLS – The Indian Corporate Law Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The primary function of this service is to govern the corporate sector in India. The ICLS cadres are given extensive training in law, economics, finance, and accounting.
  • IDAS – The Indian Defence Accounts Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service in the Ministry of Defence. The IDAS officers mainly perform in the Border Roads Organization (BRO), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories. The service is headed by Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) and also acts as Chief Accounts Officer to the Heads of DRDO, BRO and Ordnance Factories. The main role of the IDAS cadre is to audit defence accounts.
  • IDES – The Indian Defence Estates Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service whose main role is to manage the cantonments and land belonging to the defence establishment.
  • IIS – The Indian Information Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service which is responsible for managing the media division of the Government of India. IIS comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the officers from this cadre work in different media departments like DD, PIB, AIR etc.
  • IOFS – The Indian Ordnance Factories Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service which is reponsible for managing a large number of Indian Ordnance Factories which produces defence equipment, arms and ammunitions. This service comes under the Ministry of Defence.
  • ICFS – The Indian Communication Finance Services is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The main goal of this cadre is to provide accounting and financial services to Indian Posts and Telecommunication Departments.
  • IPoS – The Indian Postal Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The IPoS officers are recruited as higher grade officers in India Post and are responsible for running the India Post. They are responsible for various services offered by India Post, from traditional postal services, banking, e-commerce, to disbursing pensions, MGNREGA wages etc.
  • IRAS – The Indian Railway Accounts Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The IRAS officers are responsible for maintaining and managing the finances and accounts of the Indian Railways. They undergo specialized training along with exposure to construction organizations, division, manufacturing establishments of the Indian Railways, and zonal railways.
  • IRPS – The Indian Railway Personnel Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The IRPS officers are mainly responsible for managing the Human Resources of the Indian Railways.
  • IRTS – The Indian Railway Traffic Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The IRTS officers are responsible for revenue generation for Indian Railways. This service acts as a bridge between railways and public, and the railways and the corporate sector.
  • IRS – The Indian Revenue Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The IRS officers function under the Ministry of Finance. The primary objective of IRS officers is to collect direct and indirect taxes.
  • ITS – The Indian Trade Service is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The main goal of this is cadre is to manage the international Trade and Commerce for the country. This cadre comes under the Ministry of Commerce and is headed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
  • RPF – The Railway Protection Force is a Group ‘A’ civil service. The main objective of this cadre is to provide security to Indian Railway passengers and protect the property and assets of Indian Railways. The RPF comes under the Ministry of Railways and is a Paramilitary force.
  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service – This service is a Group ‘B’ civil service. Their objective is to provide basic support services to Indian Armed Forces and Inter-Services Organisations. This service comes under the Ministry of Defence. The Defence Secretary is the head of this cadre.
  • DANICS – This service is a Group ‘B’ civil service. The full form is Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services functioning under the Government of India. The DANICS officers are responsible for the administrative functions of Delhi and other Union Territories.
  • DANIPS – This service is a Group ‘B’ civil service. DANIPS is an acronym for NCT of Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service. It is a federal police service in India, administering Delhi and the Union Territories of India.
  • Pondicherry Civil Service – This service is a Group ‘B’ civil service. The recruitment for this cadre takes place through the Civil Service Examination conducted by UPSC.
  • Pondicherry Police Service – This service is a Group ‘B’ civil service. The recruitment for this cadre takes place through the Civil Service Examination conducted by UPSC.

What are the important topics to study for UPSC exam?

  • Current Events – One of the most important aspects of preparing for the UPSC Civil Services is staying updated with the recent developments around the world and in India. Topics that are frequently in the news are an easy pick to indulge more and exploring them for further details.
  • History – The most critical topics focus around the Independence of India, Mahatma Gandhi, and the rulers of India during the ancient and medieval periods. The society, laws, economic and cultural importance of each of these periods and how they shaped the country contain a wealth of information.
  • Polity – The topics in this domain arise from the basics of our daily lives, the ways the Constitution of India shapes our lives, and our fundamental duties and rights. The ongoing amendments, latest bills and committees that keep reshaping the policies and their impact are an important subject to focus on.
  • Geography – Important topics in the field of Geography focus around physical geography along with economic and social geography. Being comfortable in physical maps is essential to score well on the factual questions. The geographical influence on society from economic perspective is another key area.
  • Economy – This is one of the prominent focus areas of the exam and needs special attention when preparing. Along with the wide coverage in the news of many popular topics in this field, it is also important to stay focused on how India performs with respect to poverty, demographics and the social sector.
  • Environmental Studies – The climate and environment is one of the most crucial topics today. The recent developments around this field are always garnering attention and is beneficial for you to stay updated. Recent natural calamities and their impact, and factual knowledge of national parks, wetlands are always in focus.
  • Science – Traditional knowledge in this subject is sufficient most of the time. Basic concepts on topics of digestive, reproductive, nervous systems are recommended. Recent developments in this field and any happenings in the news is definitely a topic to watch out for.

What is the 2021 UPSC Syllabus?

Here you can download the PDF of the 2021 UPSC exam.


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