UPDATE: Insights Test Series – 2016: Plan for covering Previous Year Papers

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Insights Prelims Test Series – 2016

Plan for past year UPSC papers 

This is an update on doubts expressed by you regarding inclusion of previous papers in Mission 2016 Timetable (Test Series – 2016)


The syllabus mentions: Questions based on UPSC past year papers – CS (P) and topics from CS(M), CDS, CAPF. All these examinations are conducted by UPSC every year. Questions from their past year papers are repeated directly-indirectly very often in Civil Services Prelims: hence, the plan.

  • CS (P) means Civil Services (Prelims), referred to as CSP
  • CS (M) means Civil Services (Mains) referred to as CSM
  • CDS means Combined Defence Services Examination.
  • CAPF means Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandants) Examination.

We have mentioned the specific year papers that you need to cover, with the download links at the end of the document.


  1. Consider this question from CAPF 2015.
  2. In order to create awareness among the people regarding endangered species of tortoise, in the month of February 2015, the tortoise festival was held at
  3. a) Hajong Lake, Assam
  4. b) Chilka Lake, Orrissa
  5. c) Loktak lake, Manipur
  6. d) Umiam Lake, Meghalaya

Solution: a)

In first look, you may discard this question as irrelevant for UPSC Civil Services Prelims.

But, when the UPSC examiners set papers, they do not rely on only the questions, but also their options.

If you research even a little bit about the four lakes – Hajong, Chilka, Loktak, Umiam, you will find that they have been UPSC’s favourites. Questions are repeated in one form or the other based on these lakes.

For e.g. if we search Loktak lake, the following is the first search result.

Wikipedia: “Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in North -East India is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matters at various stages of decomposition) floating over it. Keibul Lamjao the only floating national park in the world floats over it. It is located near Moirang in Manipur state, India…………The Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai or Manipur brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), one of three subspecies of Eld’s deer”

The following question on Keibul Lamjao appeared in UPSC CSE Prelims 2015.

Which of the following National Parks is unique in being a swamp with floating vegetation that supports a rich biodiversity?

(a) Bhitarkanika National Park

(b) Keibul Lamjao National Park

(c) Keoladeo Ghana National park

(d) Sultanpur National park

Questions on Loktak lake have appeared in UPSC prelims 2013 also. So, when you see a question, spend some time with its options too. In the above question, Bhitarkanika, Keoladeo and Sultanpur national park are also UPSC’s favourites. Questions have been asked on them directly/indirectly in Prelims 2013-15.

  1. Consider another question from UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2015

What can be the impact of excessive/inappropriate use of nitrogenous fertilizers in agriculture?

1.Proliferation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in soil can occur.

2.Increase in the acidity of soil can take place

3.Leaching of nitrate to the ground-water can occur.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Solution: c)

When you encounter such questions, research about the topics: here Nitrogenous fertilizers; leaching of nitrate to groundwater; and soil acidity. You need not study thoroughly. Open Wikipedia and get an overview of the topics alongwith its impact, causes, related effects etc.

Questions on nitrogenous fertilizers, leaching, acidity of soil keep coming in UPSC.

  1. Consider another question from UPSC Civil Services Mains 2013.
  2. What is the meaning of the term “tax expenditure”? Taking housing sector as an example, discuss how it influences the budgetary policy of the government.

Now, you should do a bit of research about the term tax expenditure. Understand its definition; know organizations associated with it (for e.g. Ministry of Finance); understand its rationale; and its implications.

So, we will be picking up such important questions/options/topics and frame questions.


We have divided the papers Test-wise (wherever past year papers are mentioned in the schedule).

Test Number Papers
Test – 2 CSP 2014-15, CAPF 2015, CDS 2015
Test – 6 CSP 2012-13, CAPF 2014, CDS 2014
Test – 8 CSP 2010-11, CSM 2015, CAPF 2013
Test – 10 CSP 2008-09, CAPF 2012, CDS 2013
Test – 12 CSP 2006-07, CAPF 2011, CDS 2012
Test – 13 CSP 2004-06, CDS 2011, CSM 2014
Test – 14 CSP 2000-03, CSM 2013
Test – 23 CSP 1996-99, CSM 2012
Test – 24 (Full Length) CSP 1992-95, CSM 2011
Test – 25 (Full Length) CSP 1991-94, CSM 2010
Test – 26 (Full Length) Questions can be asked from any paper
Test – 27 (Full Length) Questions can be asked from any paper
Test – 28 (Full Length) Questions can be asked from any paper
Test – 29 (Full Length) Questions can be asked from any paper
Test – 30 (Full Length) Questions can be asked from any paper
Test – 31 (Full Length) Questions can be asked from any paper
Test – 32 (Full Length) Questions can be asked from any paper



Please download:

  • CDS & CAPF papers from 2011 to 2015. You need not solve CDS/CAPF papers before that of 2011.
  • UPSC Civil Services (Prelims) papers from 2009 to 2015.
  • UPSC Civil Services (Mains) papers of only 2009
  • For UPSC Prelims papers before that of 2009, you may buy any compilation (book) by Arihant, Disha, New Vishal, TMH etc. It will be better if papers are divided subject-wise in the book that you are purchasing. Some website too offer old CSP paper downloads.

Source to download question UPSC previous year Question papers

2009: http://upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/2009.htm

2010: http://upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/2010.htm

2011: http://upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/2011.htm

2012: http://upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/2012.htm

2013: http://upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/2013.htm

2014: http://upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/2014.htm

2015: http://upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/2015.htm


Thank you.