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UPSC Prelims 2021 Answer Key - Paper-1 (GS)


UPSC Preliminary Exam Question Paper – 2021

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(Set A) (Set B) (Set C) (Set D)


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UPSC Pre Answer Key 2021:-
Candidates can check/download the UPSC Pre Answer Key 2021 for the latest Prelims Exam on this page. The UPSC Prelims 2021 Exam was conducted on Sunday, October 10, 2021.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Services Examination every year in three stages. The first stage of the Civil Services Exam is the UPSC Prelims. The UPSC Prelims is an objective type exam that comprises two papers, namely, General Studies and CSAT.

There are 100 questions from subjects like History, Polity, Economy, Geography, Environment, Science and Current Affairs. It is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper. Each question carries 2 marks and attracts a negative marking of 0.66 for every wrong answer. Candidates who clear the UPSC Prelims Cut Off appear for the mains stage of the Civil Service Examination.

UPSC will also release the official answer keys for the same, candidates have to wait for that till the entire exam process for the year is over.

Kautilya Academy's experts have provided answer keys to the aspirants for the UPSC Prelims 2021.


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UPSC PRE EXAM ANSWER KEY for the exam held on 10 Oct 2021 RELEASED

The UPSC Civil Services Examination(CSE) is one of the examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to recruit suitable candidates into civil services of India including IAS, IPS, IFS, and other allied services. The examination is conducted in three phases namely UPSC Prelims, UPSC Main, and the personality Test or UPSC Interview.

The first phase of the IAS Exam is UPSC Preliminary Examination which is the screening test and thus is qualifying in nature. The score obtained in the UPSC Prelims exam is not calculated in the final merit. However, the score in GS Paper-I is essential to determine the cutoff of the UPSC Prelims Exam. The IAS Prelims Exam paper consists of two papers that are objective-type MCQ-based as opposed to UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam. The UPSC Mains Exam is a descriptive exam consisting of nine papers.

UPSC Exam Pattern – Prelims
Paper Type No. of questions UPSC Total Marks Duration Negative marks
General Studies I Objective 100 200 2 hours Yes
General Studies II (CSAT) Objective 80 200 2 hours Yes
Total UPSC marks for Prelims 400 (where GS Paper II is qualifying in nature with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%)

IAS Exam Pattern for UPSC Mains

The UPSC exam pattern for the Mains stage consists of 9 papers conducted over 5-7 days. Only those candidates who secure at least the declared cut off in General Studies I and 33% in General Studies II in Prelims will be allowed to appear for the Mains Examination. 

As per the exam pattern of UPSC Mains, all of the papers consist of descriptive answer type questions. It is an exhaustive phase and the total marks in UPSC mains can directly affect your final scores. Thus, the UPSC exam marks for the mains phase are extremely valuable as it acts as a key factor in merit declaration. The details of UPSC syllabus with marks are given below:

UPSC CSE Exam Pattern – Mains
Paper Subject Duration IAS Total marks
Paper A Compulsory Indian language 3 hours 300
Paper B English 3 hours 300
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250
Paper II General Studies I 3 hours 250
Paper III General Studies II 3 hours 250
Paper IV General Studies III 3 hours 250
Paper V General Studies IV 3 hours 250
Paper VI Optional I 3 hours 250
Paper VII Optional II 3 hours 250

All of the mains papers except for the language papers A and B are of a merit ranking nature. Paper A and B are of qualifying nature and candidates must score at least 25% in each for the marks from their Paper I – Paper VII to be given weightage.

Paper A is not compulsory for candidates from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim as well as candidates with hearing impairment, provided they can prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their concerned board or university. The Indian Language paper covers any of the languages included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

The subjects which are covered by the General Studies Papers in Mains Exam are:

General Studies I General Studies II General Studies III General Studies IV
Indian Heritage and Culture Governance Technology Ethics
History and Geography of the World Constitution Economic Development Integrity
Society Polity Bio-diversity Aptitude
Social Justice Environment
International relations Security and Disaster Management

The Optional subjects for Paper VI and VII of the mains examination have to be any one of the subjects from the following list:

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology Botany Chemistry
Civil Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Economics Electrical Engineering Geography
Geology History Law Management Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering Medical Science Philosophy Physics Political Science and International Relations
Psychology Public Administration Sociology Statistics Zoology
The literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

All the papers except the Language papers A and B can be answered in English or any of the languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India. The optional papers can be answered in English even if none of the other papers has been answered by the candidate in English.

Stage 3: UPSC UPSC CSE Pattern for Interview

This is the final stage of the IAS Exam before the final results are declared. Officially it is called the Interview/Personality Test and counted as a part of the Mains Examination for merit ranking purposes. From a preparation standpoint, it is considered the third stage as preparation strategies for the written and interview stages are different. As per the IAS exam pattern, this consists of an interview by the UPSC board to assess the candidates’ suitability for a civil services career and associated responsibilities. The board consists of competent and unbiased observers who have a record of the candidates’ career. The board would judge the candidates mental and social traits by asking questions of general interest. Some of the qualities that the board looks for are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, a balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

UPSC Interview Total Marks 275

The total marks of the UPSC interview stage is 275, thus bringing the total marks for UPSC Mains and Interview for the merit list consideration to 2025.

UPSC OMR Sheet Instructions

The following instructions are mentioned in the UPSC notification for marking the answer booklet:

  • In the answer sheet, mark in BLACK BALL POINT pen, your exam centre, subject and the test booklet series at the appropriate space provided on top.
  • Then, mark or encode your booklet series (A/B/C/D), subject code and roll number in the circles provided there.
  • If the booklet series is not mentioned on the test booklet or the answer sheet is not numbered, immediately get the test booklet/answer sheet replaced from the invigilator.
  • Any changes in marking the roll number should be done with the initials of the candidate and the invigilator. It should also be countersigned by the supervisor.
  • Immediately after the exam starts, please check if the test booklet has any unprinted or torn or missing pages or items. In such a case, you must get the complete test booklet replaced with a booklet of the same series and subject.
  • In the space provided for rough work in the answer sheet, you are not supposed to write your name or any other information other than what is required for answering the questions.
  • The answer sheet is not supposed to be folded or mutilated in any way.
  • You are also not supposed to write anything on the reverse of the answer sheet.
  • The OMR is going to be evaluated by a computer. So, you must take extreme caution while marking in the answer sheet. Since you cannot erase the answers once marked (with a black ball point), please take care to mark it carefully.
  • The questions will be printed in the Test Booklet. It contains questions under each of which four choices will be given. You have to mark the answer in the Answer Sheet (OMR Sheet) against the appropriate serial number.
  • You have to mark the correct answer choice in the answer sheet by completely darkening the circle against the correct choice (a/b/c/d) with a black ball point pen.

UPSC Answer Key 2021

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UPSC 2021 Answer Key Frequently Asked Questions

Ans : Candidates have to add +2 marks for the correct answers. There will be negative marking for wrong answers, 1/3rd of the total marks will be deducted i.e. 0.66 marks will be deducted as one question carries 2 marks.

Ans : After releasing the answer key by UPSC, candidates can download the answer key of the UPSC CSE examination from the official website:- www.upsc.gov.in

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