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Indian education system has changed over the past decades immensely. The education sector has undergone radical evolution with equal emphasis being put on Extra Curricular Activities and development of inter-personal skills among students. Involvement in co-curricular activities has been identified as means to help students develop dynamic personality, thus enabling them to perform better in the professional world.

Earlier, the prevalent perception about extra-curricular activities a few years ago was that it was an utter waste of time and was not encouraged much. But with time the cloud has cleared and extra-curricular activities are promoted as an integral part of the academic curriculum. Many universities also provide relaxation in admission criteria to applicants who have had a commendable record in extra-curricular activities.

The UPSC 2020 Prelims 2020 is being conducted on October 4, 2020, in two shifts. As of now, the schedule for GS Paper 1 and GS Paper 2 is 9.30 am to 11.30 a.m and 2.30 pm - 4.30 pm respectively. UPSC 2020 Prelims GS Question Paper 1, 2 Released, Check Here

UPSC Prelims 2020, GS Paper-1 has been concluded at 11:30 pm. Reports suggest, students arrived wearing masks nd carrying hand sanitiser, the exam was conducted maintaining all COVID-19 measures at every exam centre. 

Meanwhile, as the GS paper-1 concluded, students claim paper to be exceptionally tough and conceptual with question pattern and types different from previous years. Current affairs questions were based on last 6-months but didn't over COVID-19 pandemic. 

UPSC Prelims 2020: Major Updates

  • This year, over 10 lakh candidates applied for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020.
  • About 5-5.5 lakh candidates are estimated to appear in the exams, actual data is yet to be revealed by the Commission.
  • UPSC Prelims 2020 is being held across 2,569 exam centres in 72 cities of the country. 
  • UPSC prelims 2020 aspirants who qualify will be eligible for mains exam on January 8, 2021.

UPSC Prelims 2020: GS Paper-I Analysis

  • GS Paper-1 is moderately tough with major sections from Agriculture, Economy and Banking.
  • Students believe, there were more questions based on Economy and Environment and lesser on History, Polity, and Current Affairs.
  • UPSC prelims are conducted in the pen-paper mode for a total duration of 2 hours for each paper. 
  • The questions are in Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) format, with every wrong response leads to 0.33 negative marking.
  • Each question paper carries a total of 200 marks, out of which students need to gain a minimum of 33% to qualify the exam.  

UPSC Prelims examination consists of two different papers, General Studies Paper 1 and Paper 2.The General Studies Paper 1 has the upper hand in the examination as it decides the ranking of the candidates. 

Read: UPSC Prelims 2020 Answer Key Released

UPSC Prelims 2020: Paper-1 Overall Analysis

Earlier the examination for UPSC 2020 was scheduled to be conducted on May 31, 2020. Later due to the increasing cases of COVID-19, the exam authority postponed the dates. Revised Examination dates for UPSC were announced on June 05, 2020. 

The General Studies Paper 1 carries 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). The students are given four choices out of which they have to select one. Students have to finish the given questions in 2 hours.

Polity: The GS Paper 1 of UPSC Prelims 2020, maximum questions were from Polity which is about 16 questions influenced by current affairs. The questions covered areas of Preamble, Fundamental Rights, DPSP, Basic Structure, Union Government.

With the entire paper focusing on conceptuality, there were questions from MPLAD, Parliament sessions and interestingly from Parliamentary Democracy, Gandhism, Constitutional Government, Marxism as well. Overall. the difficulty level; of Polity ranged from easy to moderate. 

Read: IAS Exam Pattern 2020, Syllabus, Marking Scheme, Compulsory Papers

Economy: The economy section had 14 questions on Gold Tranche, FDI, TRIMS that were direct or conceptual. While questions on monetary policy of RBI, the role of cooperative banks were wholly easy to moderate. 

Science: Science section had 10 questions mostly influenced by Current Affairs in Science and Technology in areas of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, Nanotubes. Questions were easy if aspirants managed to keep a track on Tech-based questions while preparing.

History and Geography: There had been 18 questions in History, from Ancient, Medieval and Culture with a blend of easy, moderate and tough levels of questions. Geography section had 10 questions on Geography and Agriculture some being technical as of types of soil, climate and fertiliser of crops while others are geographical location-based. Overall the level had been moderate for aspirants who prepared for Geography. 

Environment: The environment section has become a staple for UPSC exams that pegged 17 questions plainly based on Current Affairs, pollutants, National Parks and Bio Fuels. Candidates with memorising power and logical reasoning abilities can wildly guess to earn a few points. 

Read: IAS 2021 Notification, Exam Dates & Center, Application, Admit Card, Syllabus, Pattern

Current Affairs: Current Affairs section is where UPSC saves its surprises for the aspirants. This year, there were 15 questions from Current affairs, Government Schemes like Kisan Credit Card and on animal cells and vaccines as influenced by COVID.

UPSC Prelims 2020: Paper-1 Questions Asked and Difficulty Level

Section Number of Questions  Difficulty Level
Polity 16 easy to moderate
Economy 14 easy to moderate
Science 10 easy to moderate
History and Geography 18 moderate to difficult
Environment 17 moderate
Current Affairs 15 moderate

UPSC Prelims 2020: GS-I Question Paper  

Question  Options 

Ques 1: Consider the statements:


1.Genetic changes can be introduced in the cells that produce eggs or sperms of a prospective parent.
2.A person's genome can be edited before birth at the early embryonic stage.
3.Human-induced pluripotent stem cells can be injected into the embryo of a pig.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 2 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Ques 2: Consider these activities:


1.Spraying pesticides on a crop field.
2.Inspecting the craters of active volcanoes
3.Collecting breath samples from spouting whales for DNA analysis

At the present level of technology, which of the above activities can be successfully carried out by using drones?


a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Ques 3: What is the importance of using Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines in India?


1. These vaccines are effective against pneumonia as well as meningitis and sepsis.
2. Dependence on antibiotics that are not effective against drug-resistant bacteria can be reduced.
3. These vaccines have no side effects and cause no allergic reactions.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:


a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Ques 4: In India, the term "Public Key Infrastructure" is used in the context of a) Digital security infrastructure
b) Food security infrastructure
c) Health care and education infrastructure
d) Telecommunications and transportation infrastructure
Ques 5: If you withdraw Rs 100000 in cash from your Demand Deposit Account at your bank, the immediate effect on aggregate money supply in the economy will be a) to reduce it by Rs. 100000
b) to increase it by Rs. 100000
c) to increase it by more than Rs. 100000
d) to leave it unchanged

UPSC Prelims 2020: GS Paper II CSAT Analysis

  • GS Paper-II is qualifying in nature. Scores of Paper-I is considered to reach the cutoffs. 

  • The weightage for the second paper is only 33%.

  • Aspirants claimed, the second paper to be easy to moderate.

  • Hence, students can score 33% marks in Maths and Reasoning to qualify.

  • In GS Paper-2, the strength of questions in Mathematics and Comprehension were equal.

UPSC Prelims 2020: GS-II Question Paper  

Question  Options 

Ques 1: A man walks down the backside of his house straight 25 metres, then turns to the right and walks 50 metres again; then he turns towards left and again walks 25 metres. If his house faces to the East, what is his direction from the starting point?

a) South-East

b) South-West

c) North-East

d) North-West

Ques 2: A person bought a car and sold it for Rs, 300000. If he incurred a loss of 20% then how much did he spend to buy the car?

a) Rs. 360000


b) Rs. 365000


c) Rs. 370000


d) Rs. 375000

Ques 3: Consider the following arrangement that has some missing letters: abab_b_bcb_dcdcded_d

The missing letters which complete the arrangement are


a) a,b,c,d


b) a,b,d,e


c) a,c,c,e


d) b,c,d,e

*Officially, UPSC will release the question papers after the exams are over. The question paper will be released in PDF format for aspirants to download them from the official website: upsc.gov.in

UPSC Prelims 2020 Important Dates

Event Date 

IAS 2020 Prelims Exam date

October 4, 2020

Issuance of Official Notification

February 2021

Online Registration for IAS Exam 2021 

February 2021- March 2021

UPSC IAS 2021 Admit Card

3rd week of May 2021

UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2021 Exam Date

June 27, 2021

IAS Prelims 2021 Result

July 2021

Civil Services (Main) 2021 Exam Date

September 2021

2021 Main Result

November 2021

Read: IAS 2021 Application Form: Steps for Online Form Fill Up, Registration Date, Eligibility

UPSC Prelims Subject Wise Weightage and Marks Distribution

The question paper was distributed in different sections namely History, Polity, International Relations, Economy, Science and Technology, and Geography & Environment questions. Each section has a different set of questions based on the syllabus of UPSC. 

The important topics covered by the question paper are; Comprehension, Interpersonal skills including communication skills, Logical reasoning, and analytical ability, Decision making and problem-solving, General mental ability, Basic numeracy, and Data interpretation.

According to the previous year question paper analysis, here are the UPSC Prelims Subject Wise Marks Distribution details:

UPSC Prelims Subject Wise Marks Distribution

Topics Covered

Number of Questions

Total Marks

Current Affairs






Indian Economy









General Science and Tech






Art and Culture 



The difficulty level of the examination can be bifurcated as easy, moderate, and difficult. On the basis of UPSC Exam Analysis of 2019, the subject wise breakup of the question asked was as follow:

Direct Link for  UPSC Prelims 2020: GS-Paper 1  |  GS Paper-2 

The detail UPSC Prelims examination pattern is as follow:

UPSC Prelims 2020 Exam Pattern




Total marks



Number of questions




2 hours

2 hours

Negative marking

⅓ marks deduction per question

⅓ marks deduction per question