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UPSC Civil Services Preliminary 2020 - A Subject Wise Analysis

10th October, 2020 Prelims

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary 2020

A Subject Wise Analysis


It is almost a week gone after the Preliminary examinations. The nerves should have got settled for all the aspirants. We already have posted a write up on the answer keys just to make sure you get an idea on the probable answer keys to the questions asked during UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination, 2020. Those who are getting beyond 55+ questions correct, must be busy in their preparation for Mains.

In this write up, We are going to analyse the question paper just to have an idea about the subject wise division of this years’ question paper. This will clearly give you an idea about how to start your preparation for UPSC CSE Prelims 2021.


About UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination consists of 2 papers. While selection or elimination is done through marks obtained in General Studies Paper –I, in Paper II, One need to score 33% or 66 to be eligible for selection. We will mainly focus on the General Studies Paper –I here.

Please download the Question Paper HERE

Click on the Image to open the file

General Studies Paper I consists of 100 MCQs, each having 4 answer options and 2 marks assigned to them for correct choice of option. There is penalty for wrong answers also. One will be penalised 0.66 marks i.e. 2/3rd of the marks assigned to the question for each wrong answer and multiple choices of answers.

There is no penalty or reward for un-attempted questions.

UPSC clearly states that, when you get confused about the options given, you must choose the best one that suits the demand of the question. So refrain yourself from choosing multiple options as answer to a single question.



Subject of the questions asked in General Studies Paper –I are guided by the syllabus UPSC publishes during notification. Although there isn’t too much change in it on a year-on-year basis, but one needs to read it carefully. It is also a matter to give attention, that, unlike some state PSCs, UPSC doesn’t assign weightage on each of the subjects in the syllabus. This makes the Preliminary examination even more difficult.

Please download the Syllabus from HERE

Roughly we divide the whole syllabus into some broad subjects.

  1. Indian Polity and Governance.
  2. Economy
  3. Indian History- Ancient, Medieval and Modern.
  4. Science and Technology
  5. Environment
  6. Geography.


UPSC CSE Prelims 2020

 UPSC CSE Prelims 2020 has proved us right as far as difficulty and the unpredictable nature of the examination is concerned. Here, we are going to analyse subject wise question asked. That is a huge paradox about UPSC.

 “You can only predict that it will be unpredictable this year”



 Here we need to inform you that We have not kept separate section for current issues. We have allocated them into static subjects.

Here are the results of our analysis: 

We are here providing you with graphs to show you the weightage given on each of the subjects. 


With 26 easy questions in the whole paper, it is needless to say that the overall level was moderate to difficult this year. The level of the questions asked along with the reduced number of vacancies as compared to the last year, it is going to be very tough this year. However, our suggestion is , if you are confident with 45+ questions , then DO NOT WASTE TIME and start preparing for UPSC Mains 2020.

You can enroll into our Mains Course. Here.