Question Papers, Civil Services (Mains) Examination, 2009

Previous Years Question Papers, Civil Services Mains Exam 2009, can be downloaded from here:

  1. Essay, Mains 2009
  2. General Studies, Paper I, Compulsary Mains, 2009
  3. General Studies, Paper II, Compulsary Mains, 2009
  4. Commerce & Accountancy, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  5. Commerce & Accountancy, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  6. Economics, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  7. Economics, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  8. Geography, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  9. Geography, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  10. History, Paper I. Optional Mains, 2009
  11. History, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  12. Law, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  13. Law, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  14. Management, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  15. Management, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  16. Philosophy, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  17. Philosophy, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  18. Political Science & International Relations, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  19. Political Science & International Relations, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  20. Psychology, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  21. Psychology, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  22. Public Administration, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  23. Public Administration, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009
  24. Sociology, Paper I, Optional Mains, 2009
  25. Sociology, Paper II, Optional Mains, 2009


  1. Bhagwat Pratap Singh -  January 17, 2011 - 10:01 am

    i am very thankfully to you for this matter of R.C.S

  2. rajadayanidhi -  January 21, 2011 - 6:40 am

    hi sir,
    can u pls tell me the combinations of mains subjects which are not allowed by upsc??

    • RAU'S IAS -  January 25, 2011 - 8:51 am

      The following combinations are not allowed:
      • Political Science & International Relations and Public Administration
      • Commerce and Management
      • Anthropology and Sociology
      • Maths and Statistics
      • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
      • Management and Public Administration
      • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science and Medical Science
      • Any two branches of engineering.
      • Combination of any two literatures subjects

      Rau’s IAS

  3. Irfan Sait -  February 20, 2011 - 2:44 pm

    Can anyone kindly share their knowledge on preparing for the following papers
    1. English – Compulsory
    2. Hindi – compulsory

    what books can be referred for the above

    Thank you in advance…
    Irfan Sait

  4. kanishka -  May 15, 2011 - 5:32 am

    im a commerce graduate. i want to appear for 2012 ias exams. would you please advice me on the optional subjects i should take for mains exam?
    would commerce and accountancy be a difficult subject as presumed by many?
    What can be the possible easy subject which is less technical and intersting.
    Awaiting your reply.

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 16, 2011 - 1:38 pm

      Dear Kanishka,
      Yes, Commerce and Accountancy (for UPSC exam) is slightly more technical than the graduation level, however, it is still opted as one of the optionals by a lot of B.Com(H) and CA candidates. And they do very well in the subject. Basically, choosing a particular optional subject completely depends on a candidates comfort and hold in that subject. In case you do not feel very confident about Commerce, then there is no compulsion of keeping it as an optional subject. You might do better with some other optionals. You may consider finding your interest among subjects like Geography, History, Public Administration or Political Science and Sociology.

      Rau’s IAS

  5. Medhavi -  May 21, 2011 - 7:34 am

    i have completed my B.C.A and i don’t know which subject to choose for ias optional in 10+2 i had commerce, i like management but i m not sure of it

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 25, 2011 - 5:51 am

      Hi Medhavi,

      Science background students usually take any two of the following: Geography, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology. In case, you like Management, then you can keep Public Administation (management in nature) as your 1st optional subject.

      Rau’s IAS

  6. prashant sharma -  June 5, 2011 - 6:03 pm

    Dear Sir/Mam ,
    I am an Engineering Graduate.
    I desire to be in IPS . Kindly suggest me the appropriate optional subjects..

    Though I have observed the syllabus of Sociology , Public Administration , History..But I am still confused….

    Waiting for your response….

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 7:56 am

      Dear Prashant,

      If you ask me, pick any two (depending on your interest) from Geography, Public Administration, Psychology or Sociology.

      Rau’s IAS

  7. vikram -  June 5, 2011 - 6:06 pm

    Please guide for the preparation of Indian Language Exam..I have opted for Hindi…..

  8. Priti -  June 20, 2011 - 5:57 am

    Need suggestion on which area needs to be focussed on for the preparation of mains in Geography and General Studies.

  9. Archana Yadav -  July 3, 2011 - 7:52 am

    Hi Sir/Madam,

    I have completed MBA and my graduation back ground is Computer science, now i want to take my optionals as Management and Geography.Can you please suggest me the is there any material availability for management through online order, and is a management gd scoring subject?? plz tell me sir am in dilemma, as am leaving in AP am not finding any coaching centers for management. so plz give me rly..

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 4, 2011 - 7:50 am

      Dear Archana,

      There might be a problem finding good study material in Management subject (and that is the problem with it). If you are an MBA, I sugget you keep Public Administration (the subject is civics + management like in nature) along with Geography.
      Advantages of keeping Pub Ad:
      (a) Syllabus is concise
      (b) Helps in GS
      (c) Plenty good resources available
      (d) Very good success rate

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  10. Archana Yadav -  July 3, 2011 - 7:52 am

    Hi Sir/Madam,

    I have completed MBA in 2010 and my graduation back ground is Computer science, now i want to take my optionals as Management and Geography.Can you please suggest me the is there any material availability for management through online order, and is a management gd scoring subject?? plz tell me sir am in dilemma, as am leaving in AP am not finding any coaching centers for management. so plz give me rly..

  11. sameer jain -  July 4, 2011 - 5:20 pm

    Hello Sir,
    I am doing engineering and will be giving Civil Services Exam in 2013.
    I am confused about selecting the two optionals from history, political science, sociology.
    If you could please guide me whether i should go ahead with history or not?
    which two will be the best optionals ?


    • RAU'S IAS -  July 7, 2011 - 4:20 am

      Dear Sameer,

      Please go through our article on ‘How to choose optional subject?’ at

      # History – is a straight forward subject, scoring in nature, and helps a lot in General Studies, however, the syllabus is lengthy and requires memorizing. If you are good at memorizing then History could be a very good choice for you, if not, go with the other two.

      Please feel free to speak with our counselors should you require more details/clarification/subject counseling.

      Good Luck,
      Rau’s IAS

  12. Alok -  July 25, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    I am an engineering and MBA graduate. I would like to appear for the civil service 2012 exam. Could you please suggest the best possible optional subjects to choose from.


    • RAU'S IAS -  July 26, 2011 - 4:38 am

      Dear Alok,

      You can consider opting for any two subjects from Geography (very good success rate, lengthy syllabus but a conceptual subject and helps a lot in GS) , Public Ad (is a management like subject in nature, very good success rate, concise syllabus, easy learning, helps in GS) or Psychology (very good success rate, conceptual and an interesting subject).

      Also, feel free to consult our counselor should you wish to discuss subject selection in detail or in person.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  13. Alok -  August 5, 2011 - 7:37 am

    Could you please tell me the recommended books/ study material for Geography subject.

    • Emil Grace -  November 11, 2011 - 6:46 pm

      Hi Alok,

      For Geography, you could refer to
      1. Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong (this will give you a basic idea on the subject. In addition to this, you could also refer to the NCERT text books of classes XI and XII).
      2. Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
      3. Climatology by DS Lal
      4. Human Geography by Majid Husain
      5. Physical Geography by Richard Bryant (Rupa Made Simple Series)
      6. India- A Comprehensive Geography by DDR Khullar.

      Hope that helps :)


  14. Emil Grace -  October 25, 2011 - 3:18 am

    Dear sir/ ma’am,

    I have completed my graduation as well as masters in History, and wish to choose History as one of the optional papers. However, I was told that while preparing for the UPSC Mains, one should just stick to a selected number of books unlike the Honours syllabus where we used to refer to many books to write one answer.
    Could you suggest the reading list for History as an optional subject? It would be such a big favour.

    Thank you and regards,
    Emil Grace.

    • RAU'S IAS -  October 27, 2011 - 11:50 am

      Dear Emil,

      Best is that you rely on our study material in History.

      Our study material is prepared primarily with the objective of helping students clear/crack the civil services exam. It is prepared in accordance with the civil services syllabus and upsc’s pattern of question papers. Our material is comprehensive and exhaustive. If followed properly, it would prepare you thoroughly for the exam. Also, a list of reference books (including NCERT books ranging from class 7th- 12th) will be provided with our study material in case you want to refer to more resources.

      Rau’s IAS

      • Emil Grace -  November 11, 2011 - 6:46 pm

        Thank you so much! :)

  15. narayana rao -  October 29, 2011 - 6:14 am

    please kindly mail me the old mains papers of and sociology. thank you.

    • RAU'S IAS -  October 29, 2011 - 11:32 am

      Dear narayan,

      You can download them for free from UPSC’s website. >> Previous Years Question Papers

      Rau’s IAS

  16. Arunabh Sarma -  January 16, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    Dear Sir

    I am pursuing MBA. I want to know between Management(MBA) and Public Administration which one will be a better option for mains. The other optional I want to take is Geography which is a subject in my graduation.

    • RAU'S IAS -  January 23, 2012 - 1:19 pm

      Dear Arunabha,

      Strategically, you should opt for Pub Ad over Management. Thus is because if you are a management graduate then Public Administration will be very easy for you. On top of that, Pub Ad has shorter syllabus and better success rate than Management.

      And, yes, take benefit of your educational background and opt for Geography as your 2nd optional.

      Rau’s IAS

  17. kiran -  February 9, 2012 - 10:40 am

    Thank you sir…
    that you have given me such exam guides.. i am a student of MA. hon.
    i was very confused that how should i do my prepration.. i have many book and but was not able to think that how will be the exam pattern. i am very very thankful of you that your quest.paper gives me a idea to think and to learn with confident.. i would be more thankful to you if you can give any other matter about geaography than please give us …
    thanks sir/mam

  18. rhea -  March 26, 2012 - 9:28 am

    Dear Sir,
    I completed my MBA in rural management and am working with a pvt. firm , I have just begun my preparations for UPSC 2013. Is it too late to commence preparations (@25)? Besides public admin which other subject should i opt for? I have a commerce background but am also inclined towards subjects such as History/geography.

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 13, 2012 - 8:46 am

      Dear Rhea,

      1) There is no such right starting time or fixed limit of time that is required for the preparation. There are instances when people start preparing for the examination right from the school days. However serious preparation can be taken up from the midcourse of the graduation and must essentially peak soon after graduation. There are instances when students have decided to take up this examination after masters degree and alongside job as well. It is normally found that it takes about one – two year of serious preparation towards the attainment of the goal.

      2) There is sufficient time for 2013 exam. However you must start now.

      3) Pub Ad and Geography.

      Rau’s IAS

  19. Gaurav -  April 23, 2012 - 10:18 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am looking Uttarakhand PCS previous year papers(Mains)of General Studies.

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 26, 2012 - 12:16 pm


      We do not provide question papers of State services exam.

      Contact a book shop which sells books for competitive exams.

      Rau’s IAS

  20. Praneet -  May 26, 2012 - 7:17 pm

    I just completed my 1st year of B.Com (Hons) from DU and will be sitting for the 2014 Prelims. One of my optional subject will be Public Ad, but am slightly confused about the other. Should I take up Commerce? Or economics? Or something else entirely? I can cover more than half of the syllabus with my graduation if I choose commerce; for other subjects, I’ll have to start from scratch. But I heard it’s fairly tough, and moreover, I don’t have anyone to guide me.

    Please help!
    A quick response will be highly appreciated!


    • RAU'S IAS -  May 28, 2012 - 7:02 am

      Dear Praneet,

      1) Yes, you can opt for Commerce & Accountancy as your 2nd optional subject. However, Commerce & Accountancy will be slightly tougher compared to other optional subjects available. Select Commerce if you think you have good aptitude in it.

      2) Do not opt for Economics. Only Economics (H) graduates should opt for Economics. You knowledge in Economics will help you in the General Studies paper.

      3) My suggestion, do not worry about optional subjects already. Give it some more time. In the time being focus only on compulsory papers (General Studies Prelims, General Studies Mains, read – ‘Expected changes in Civil Services Mains Exam.

      Rau’s IAS

  21. sridhar -  May 29, 2012 - 7:11 am

    hi ,If i choose tamil as my main subject for mains should i have to learn all the poems in purananooru,kurunthohai, etc.please explain.

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 29, 2012 - 7:37 am

      Dear Sridhar,

      We do not know of that. We do not coach in Tamil Literature subject.

      Rau’s IAS

  22. Gaurav Singh -  June 27, 2012 - 5:30 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I have qualified CA IPCC (inter) exam this year with good marks and not taken registration in CA final because i am planning to give my 100% to the next Civil Services exam to be held in 2013.Due to being in CA course, it will be but natural for me to take Commerce and Accountancy as one of my optionals,which i saw, is very much same to CA Inter syllabus.Now my confusion revolves over the second optional subject.I think taking law would be all right because i had have some experince in studying it in CA (approx 16 to 17% portion of the syllabus) and a part of it coincides with GS (mains) polity syllabus.Please guide me whether i am thinking right and also please tell that about your Law study material for correspondence course?

    Thanks and with Regards,

  23. rahul -  July 10, 2012 - 2:56 am

    I am doing does i need to get any percentage in graduation for appearing in the civil exams. PLS reply as soon as possible. and Sir where do i get the solutions of main commerce previous papers.

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2012 - 7:55 am

      Dear Rahul,

      All pass graduates are eligible to appear in Civil Services Examination. There is no criteria related to marks at school or graduation. For more eligibility conditions please read the information at

      We do not coach in Commerce & Accountancy. You may purchase previous 10 years question papers (along with their answers) in it from a book shop that sells books for competitive examinations.

      Rau’s IAS

  24. Urvashi -  August 1, 2012 - 8:16 am

    Can I opt for law as second optioal along with commerce & accountancy???

  25. diksha bharde -  August 27, 2012 - 1:29 pm

    hello sir i am doing dental plz suggest me which subject i choose for mains and in which laguage exam paper is written

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2012 - 5:08 am

      Dear Diksha,

      1) First of all, I suggest that you go through our blog and related Q&As on ‘how to seléct optional subjects‘. In general, most of the students from science background (engg/medicine/BSc, etc) prefer to keep subjects like Political Sc, Public Ad, Geography, Sociology as optional subjects.

      2) Candidates have the option to answer all the question papers in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution or in English.

      Rau’s IAS

  26. mona -  September 13, 2012 - 8:16 am

    I have completed my B.C.A and i dont know which subjects i should choose for giving civil services exam in 2013. am confuse about selecting subjects. if i go for zoolozy subject how ll this suject for me as i came from pure biology subject in 10+12. If you could please guide me which subjects i should go for as am B.C.A GRADUTE N BIOLOGY student in class 12th.
    kindly do reply in my mailbox.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 14, 2012 - 9:40 am

      Dear Mona,

      For optional subjects I would suggest that you first of all go through our blog and related Q&As about ‘How to choose optional subjects’ from –

      Rau’s IAS

  27. bharat -  September 22, 2012 - 4:35 am

    respected sir,
    i m pursuing my graduation & a civils aspirant i m planning to take my optionals as telugu literature & political sciences i was good at literature but while i was inquiring about political sciences subject it was known that it was too vast subject ,difficult to study , there is no proper study material for this subject but i am interested in taking this subject is this perfect decision or is there any need to change to pub ad , geography or any other optional
    thanking you sir,

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 27, 2012 - 11:56 am

      Dear Bharat,

      Political Science
      Political Science is an interesting subject and helps a lot in General Studies. If you’ll look at the syllabus of Political Science closely, you’ll find many of its sections overlapping with the syllabus of General Studies. They include: Indian Polity & Governance and Polity (of GS(P) and GS (M) – Paper I), India & the World (of GS (M) Paper II), and International Affairs and Institutions (of GS (M) Paper II). These area do have a lot of weightage in GS Mains. On top of that, Political Science will also help in the Essay paper as every year at least 1 topic comes from Political Science.

      1) Yes it is lengthier when compared to Public Ad (bu that gets compensated because of its syllabus overlap with GS)
      2) There is quality guidance and study material available in it.

      If you like it then go for it!!

      Rau’s IAS

  28. pratik -  October 28, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    i don have any idea about ias but can you please tell me the list of the subjects which i have to study to crack the exam


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