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IAS Mains General Studies 1 Paper Analysis

Last Updated - April 10, 2017

IAS Mains General Studies Paper 1 held on December 5, 2016. It comprised of 20 questions, carrying 12.5 marks each. GS Paper 1 belied a few expectations as it was more factual than current, which is generally expected. According to the level of questions, it is expected, the cut offs may be higher than last year.

This year, internal break up of marks was also given such as in Question No. 10. The South Indian art reappeared in IAS Mains 2016 exam after 2013. Cultural based questions were moderate as compared to last year. Previously, Kingdom’s architecture were asked but this time about specific king Krishnadeva Raya was asked.

IAS Mains 2016 General Studies Paper 1 was 1/3 factual and 2/3 analytical. After the change in IAS syllabus, first time, questions were asked on 1857 revolt. The questions were look-alike this time such as women during Gandhian era of freedom struggle was asked while in 2013, the question was based on women in freedom struggle.

Question asked on Africans’ role in anti-colonial struggle was marked tough. It is assumed that, each year, they are limiting the questions from World History in IAS Mains Exam. Last year, there was no question on Physical Geography but this time, Himalayan Landslides and Urban Floods were asked under Physical Geography subtopic “Disaster”. “Impact of Globalization” was continuously asked in 2013 and 2014 and now in 2016.


Topic Wise Question Distribution in IAS Mains General Studies Paper 1

In 2013, UPSC changed the syllabus-pattern of IAS Mains Examination and the number of general studies papers were increased from 2 to 4. Out of them, IAS Mains GS Paper-I deals with History, Culture, Society and Geography. In the following table, the breakup of questions are represented-

CategoryIAS Mains GS Mains Paper 12013201420152016
HistoryCulture20 (2 Questions)40 (4 Questions)25 (2 Questions)25 (2 Questions)
HistoryFreedom struggle30 (3 Questions)30 (3 Questions)25 (2 Questions)37.5 (3 Questions)
HistoryWorld History40 (4 Questions)30 (3 Questions)25 (2 Questions)12.5 (1 Question)
HistoryPost-independence50 (5 Questions)000
SocietyReligion, Region, empowerment.10 (1 Question)10 (1 Question)37.5 (3 Questions)37.5 (3 Questions)
SocietyPoverty, Population, Development10 (1 Question)20 (2 Questions)25 (2 Questions)25 (2 Questions)
SocietyWomen10 (1 Question)20 (2 Questions)25 (2 Questions)0
GeographyClimate10 (1 Question)30 (3 Questions)25 (2 Questions)12.5 (1 Question)
GeographyResources20 (2 Questions)20 (2 Questions)37.5 (3 Questions)62.5 (5 Questions)
GeographyUrbanization10 (1 Question)025 (2 Questions)25 (2 Questions)
GeographyPhysical30 (3 Questions)20 (2 Questions)012.5 (1 Question)
GeographyIndustrial Location10 (1 Question)30 (3 Questions)00
 Total250 Marks250 Marks250 Marks250 Marks

History Section: This year, 6 questions were asked from history section. The following bar graph shows the marks representation of the questions came in previous years. It can be seen that, no question was asked on Post-Independence since 2014.  

IAS Mains 2016

Social Science Section: 5 questions were asked from social science section. In the following bar graph representation, the marks distribution of the questions are represented came in previous years. This year, no question was asked on Women.   

IAS Mains 2016

Geography Section: A total of 9 questions were asked from this section. The most number of questions were asked from Resources section. However, this year the paper was marked moderate as compared to last year. From last two years, no question has come from Industrial Location. In 2015, no question came from Physical but this year, a question was asked.

IAS Mains 2016

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