Civil Services Mains 2015 Analysis

Overall, the questions were of higher standard. More questions were derivative in nature rather than factual or analysis based. Number of questions has been reduced to 20 in each paper. That means UPSC is looking for quality answers rather than quantity.


A good strategy would have been to attempt as many questions as you can. It is always better to score some in all the questions, rather than good marks in few questions.

ESSAYCivil Services

Philosophy/quote/ethics : 3

Education           : 1

Development      : 1

Economy           : 2

Science & Tech   : 1

Ø  Pattern same as 2014 with 2 sections of 125 marks each

Ø  No topics from International, women empowerment or polity

Ø  Education, Economy, Development and S&T seems UPSC’s favourite subjects for essay.


Ø  Share of history & geography reduced and compensated with social science

Ø  No questions from India after independence

Ø  Weightage on world history drastically reduced

Ø  More questions from religion/caste

Ø  Women, poverty/population played major role

Ø  Geography: More from environment and ecology

Ø  No more physical geography questions


  • Sociology part was tougher than expectations
  • One had to invent points
  • Moreover philosophical angle given in history


Ø  Direct questions from polity sections with more emphasis on fundamental rights.

Ø  More from current affairs such as UCC, ordinance, federalism

Ø  NGO & SHG role continues

Ø  More judging character of a person rather knowledge

Ø  Few questions from old current affairs of previous year

Ø  As expected IR question related to Africa and Pakistan


  • Most of the questions were asked from recent happenings over 1-1.5 years.
  • Special focus was given on application of concepts with contemporary issues, one can crack it with the help of op-ed page of The Hindu, coverage given by EPW ( for questions on SHG, NGO, Co operative federalism)
  • One should give importance to for latest legislations and ordinances, you will get deep & thorough analysis of these points there.
  • Paper was neither easy nor difficult, it was challenging.


Ø  More or less equal importance given for all the sections

Ø  Most of the questions based on current affairs related topics

Ø  Judgement and correlating the things is important

Ø  Discussion and finding the fault of government schemes

Ø  More questions on recent initiatives of government


  • One can easily crack this paper with the help of regular resources like Yojana/PIB/Science Reporter/Kurushetra
  • Paper had most of the old and basic conceptual issues, where current affairs make the base
  • One needs to have conceptual clarity. All the matters have been covered in Hindu in great details.


Ø  Appears to be most challenging type

Ø  Case studies are well thought, not random

Ø  Logical arguments needed

Ø  Specifically created cases from current affairs related issues

Ø  Environmental related issues played major role in the paper


  • The paper was tough compared to the previous year Question paper
  • Only well aware and creative and innovative ideas will fetch marks
  • What makes it even difficult is to come up with an innovative and succinct answer with relevant examples
  • It is very difficult to maintain quality-quantity balance in such papers, for it requires ” thinking on your feet” type of attitude from aspirants