1. Introduction
  2. Reading Comprehension: 9 MCQS
    1. RajanBhai’s Press Conference (2 MCQ)
    2. John Grisham’s career choice (1 MCQ)
    3. Angelina Jolie’s Movie (1 MCQ)
    4. Engineers vs Economists (1 MCQ)
    5. Narsimha Rao (1 MCQ)
    6. Hebew Netflix (1 MCQ)
    7. MotoGP (1 MCQ)
    8. King’s Confession (1 MCQ)
  3. Reasoning : 6 MCQs
    1. Sitting arrangement
    2. Positioning / queue ranking
    3. Sequence Series
  4. Mathematics: 10 MCQs
    1. Basic Numeracy
    2. Age & Attempt limit
    3. Percentages
    4. Averages
    5. Venn Diagram
    6. Speed Time Distance


  • [T25] series contains 25 Mock MCQ for UPSC IAS/IPS Civil Service exam aspirants.
  • This particular article, gives you practice questions from reading comprehension, reasoning and maths for UPSC Prelims Paper-II.
  • 2.5 Marks for correct answer; -0.83 marks for wrong answer.

Reading Comprehension: 9 MCQS

Read the following passages carefully and answer the question(s) given below them:

  • Some people make strategy that “I’ll solve all passages at once” in the Prelims Paper-II. But if you look @Prelim-2017, most of the passages were followed by 1 Para = 2-3 MCQs nahi but 1 Para = 1 MCQ only. And they too were complex ‘assumption  / inference’  type MCQs where you’d have to read same passage multiple times to convience your own mind about the right answer.
  • Ofcourse, maths and reasoning were also complex than earlier years, still if you tried to pick easy / moderate questions from all three areas (passage-reasoning-maths)
  • But, weak and slow students focused only on passages and ran out of time before they could darken enough circles in their OMR to reach the fabled 67 passing marks.
  • So, your priority should not be “solving all passages @once” but rather “Solving enough number of easy Qs from Passage-Reasoning-Maths(PReM)
Analyis of UPSC prelims 2017 paper 2 aptitude

Topicwise Breakup of official UPSC Prelims 2017 Paper-2 (Aptitude)

RajanBhai’s Press Conference (2 MCQ)

Journalist: “Sir, I would just like to know that given the recent global events, do you expect an appreciation of rupee? And if there is an appreciation in the rupee levels, what do you think, how is it going to impact our exporters?”

Dr. Raghuram Rajan: “I think it is a fool’s game, even for the Reserve Bank to predict what the medium term value of the rupee will be, I recall this theory by Kenneth Rogoff that it is really impossible to predict exchange rate levels and we typically can tell a good story in hindsight of why the exchange rate moved the away it did, but it is very hard to predict.” Although, having said that, the general theorem which governs exchange rates is the Balassa–Samuelson theorem which says that emerging market currencies appreciate in real value terms over time for all the reasons that Balassa–Samuelson have pointed out, but I do not want to give you a lecture on that here. Basically, most emerging markets have followed that route as they get richer and I do not see a reason why India’s case should be any different.”

Q. Kenneth Rogoff’s likely to agree with following ___ statement(s):

  1. It’s possible to forecast the exchange rate of rupee of a domestic currency against foreign currency.
  2. If exchange rate data is available, it is possible to diagnose the causes of fluctuations in it.
  3. Balassa–Samuelson’s theorem is not always valid in real life.

Answer Choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them


  • Kenneth Rogoff says it’s impossible to predict exchange rate (and therefore Balassa’s exchange rate prediction for EME countries can’t be valid all the time). So, #1 is wrong, but #3 is right.
  • He also says that in hindsight (After the event) we can diagnose why exchange rate moved in a particular way. So #2 is right.

For this type of passages where multiple thinkers are given for some economics, philosophy, or science concept, if it’s not going into your head, better move to next set. You’ve to get only passing marks in UPSC Prelims Paper-2. Don’t get fantatically fixated that “since it’s passage, I must solve it!” Passage-solving को अपने अहंकार व् प्रतिष्ठा का मुद्दा न बनाए! #LEARN2SAVETIME

Q. Whom is Dr. Rajan referring to as “Fools”?

  1. Journalists who are obsessed with Hadiya & Honeypreet ask silly questions during press conferences.
  2. Exporters who are worried about the appreciation of Indian Rupee.

Answer choices

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: By the term ‘fools’, Rajanbhai is referring the people who try to predict what the medium-term value of the rupee.

John Grisham’s career choice (1 MCQ)

Halfway through college, and still confused, I decided to become a tax lawyer. It seemed like a good career choice. But, when I sat in the first lecture, I was stunned by its complexity and lunacy. I barely passed the course.

Like most small-town lawyers, I dreamed of getting a big case, and in 1984 it finally arrived. But this time, the case wasn’t mine. As usual, I was loitering around the courtroom, pretending to be busy. But what I was really doing was watching a trial. The case was about a young girl who had been beaten and raped. Her testimony was gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and riveting. Every juror’s eyes were moist. I remember staring at the defendant and wishing I had a gun. And like that, a story was born. That night I inserted a page in my typewriter, and “A Time to Kill,” was finished three years later. – Novelist John Grisham.

Q. Based on above passage, John Grisham is likely to support __:

  1. Simplification of tax laws.
  2. Vigilantism

Answer choices

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: Since Grisham was stunned by the Stupid Art & Culture MCQs in UPSC Prelims lunacy of tax laws in his college years, he’d support their simplification. Grisham wanted to murder the rapist right there in the court house, so he’s a man who’d clap at people pouring Gangaajal (Battery-acid) in criminals’ eyes without the authority of law (=Vigilantism)

Angelina Jolie’s Movie (1 MCQ)

Angelina Jolie is going to try her hand at film-direction for the fifth time. Her latest project is titled ‘First They Killed My Father’ and is based on a memoir of the same name written by Loung Ung.

The movie focuses on the personal life of Loung Ung, a little Cambodian girl during the regime of Pol Pot. Although, previous movies directed by Jolie have had average reviews, this time she is doing what is closest to her heart: tell the story of those who were oppressed.

Q. Which of the following can be definitely inferred from the passage?

  1. Pol Pot was a communist dictator.
  2. Loung Ung’s father was sent to labour camp in Cambodia where he was hanged.
  3. Angelina Jolie’s acting skills are better than her direction skills.

Answer Choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. None of the given statements.


  • We don’t know the political ideology of the dictator from the passage (even if we know it through GK).
  • How was her father killed- that’s also not given in passage.
  • While passage says Jolie’s previously directed movie had average reviews, it’s not given whether her acting skill are better!? (या फिर की वो भी होलीवुड की केटरीना कैफ ही है?)
  • Thus, none can be conclusively said from the passage.

Engineers vs Economists (1 MCQ)

If the engineer made the wing length according to majority opinion, chances are the plane would not fly. In making economic policy from setting tax rates, to changing interest rates, to planning subsidies, people have variety of views. This makes the task much more complex, for one has to combine economics knowledge with how people vote! Hence, Economics is a strange discipline where everyone has a view about how to design an economic policy. This participation is welcome because it prevents the elite from hijacking all policies for their own benefit.

Q. The central theme of this passage is ____:

  1. Economics is more complicated than engineering.
  2. The elites misappropriate subsidies and avoid paying taxes.
  3. Economic policy making is a blend of economics and political persuasion.
  4. Society has failed in educating the ordinary citizens about economic policy.

HINT: one has to combine economics knowledge with how people vote.

Narsimha Rao (1 MCQ)

When control of the Communist Party of China was in Deng Xiaoping’s hand, he had few checks on his power. The same was true of the East Asian strongmen, from Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew to South Korea’s Park Chung-hee. Although Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had to operate within a democratic system, they had come to power with clear majorities, but Narasimha Rao did not have this luxury. This handicap had made Narasimha Rao feebler than any global leader who had embarked on economic reforms.

Q. Above passage refers to Rao as ‘feeble’ in __ context:

  1. Economic strength of China against India.
  2. Charismatic strength of Rao’s personality
  3. Parliamentary strength of Rao
  4. All of the above.

HINT: Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had to operate within a democratic system, they had come to power with clear majorities, but Rao did not have it (=parliamentary strength).

Hebew Netflix (1 MCQ)

There are only 9 million Hebrew-speakers in the world, yet Netflix, an online video service company, now offers a dozen Hebrew-language shows to its subscribers. Most Hebrew-speakers will have already seen them on Israeli television, but Netflix is betting that, subtitled, they will attract viewers around the world. Most of the Israeli shows deal with terrorism, espionage or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is irony here. While Israeli politicians grumble that their country is unfairly portrayed by the shows, Israeli television producers are cashing in on their nation’s reputation for spy-mastery. [90 words]

Q. According to the passage, it can be inferred that Israeli politicians are unhappy because:

  1. A foreign company ‘Netflix’ is investing in Israeli TV shows.
  2. There are only 9 million Hebrew-speakers in the world.

Answer choice

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: Israeli politicians are unconcerned that Karnataka में बीजेपी की सरकार नही बन पाई, and on similar pattern, they’re unconcerned with either of the given statements.

MotoGP (1 MCQ)

Honda’s MotoGP bike rider Marc Marquez won his second consecutive race at the Czech Grand Prix on Sunday with team mate Dani Pedrosa finishing second. With light rain at the Barno circuit, riders started cautiously, but as the track dried down, Marquez was the first to change from rough to slick tyres and it paid off with the Spanish gentleman gaining a significant lead over his rivals, while Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales completed the race ahead of his team mate Valentino Rossi, who had led the race from the beginning but a delayed bike change cost him precious time. Last year’s winner LCR Honda rider Cal Crutclow was the last to cross the finishing line. Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro and Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone’s bikes collided with each other, hence neither could finish the race due to serious injuries.

Q. Which of the following can be definately inferred from the passage?

  1. During the MotoGP race, players are allowed to change tyres of their bikes
  2. During MotoGP race, players are allowed to change their bikes.
  3. Alexis and Andrea met with accident due to slippery track during the rain.

Answer Choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. 1, 2 and 3.

HINT: Alexis and Andrea were riding bikes like Dhoom3 and hence collided with accident. So, third statement is wrong.

Sometimes, this type of passage will be followed by reasoning type questions “who was at the fifth place?”. Then depending on your proficiency, you should solve or skip.

King’s Confession (1 MCQ)

“I swear to you, sitting on a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one. Administration is a tedious business and managing the royal treasury is even worse. And the people … there is no end of them. I sit on that iron chair and listen to them complain until my mind is numb. They all want something, money or land or justice. The lies they tell … and my lords and ladies are no better. I am surrounded by flatterers and fools. Half of them don’t dare tell me the truth, and the other half can’t find it.”

Q. The mood of the speaker ___ is:

  1. Introspective
  2. Bitter
  3. Biased
  4. Cynical

HINT: While the king is introspecting his actions and feelings about the throne, but observe the choice of words- “tedious, worst, surrounded by fools, mind gets numb.”- he’s bitter.

Reasoning : 6 MCQs

Solve the following questions, and more importantly, don’t waste time if your table / arrangement doesn’t match with any option. Move to next question if that happens, #LEARN2SAVETIME

Sitting arrangement

Q. In a room, there are five persons P, Q, R, S and T. One of them is a football player, one is a chess player and one is a hockey player. P and S are unmarried ladies and do not participate in any game. None of the ladies play chess or football. There is a married couple in which T is the husband. Q is the brother of R and he plays neither hockey nor chess. Find correct statements:

  1. Q is a football player
  2. R is a hockey player
  3. There are exactly three females in this group.
  4. R’s gender can’t be determined from passage.

Answer choices

  1. 1 and 4
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2, 3 and 4
  4. 1, 2 and 3


table बनाना मंगता है.
Game Gender Name
Football M Since Q plays neither hockey, nor chess, so he must be footballer.
Chess M T is husband, therefore male, therefore he must be playing chess
Hockey F or M Since unmarried girls P&S don’t play no games. Q and T already established their male gender so, R must be hockey player, and there is only one couple so Mrs.R must be wife of T, and sister of brother Q
No game F P
No game F S

If this passage was followed by 2 MCQ then you should attempt. Otherwise, If you’re not proficient in ‘sitting arrangement’ then it’ll be time consuming and error-prone to solve such passages for just one MCQ! Do it only if you can’t cross passing marks from other questions. #LEARN2SAVETIME

Q. A party is organized by father, mother, four sons and three daughters. All the sons are married and their wives are present in the party. All the daughters are married but their husbands are not attending the party, then how many females are present in the party?

  1. 9
  2. 8
  3. 7
  4. 6

HINT: 1 mother + 3 daughters + 4 wives = how many females?

Positioning / queue ranking

Q. There are five friends standing in a row facing south. Jayesh is to the immediate right to Alok. Pramod is between Bhavesh and Subodh. Subodh is between Jayesh and Pramod. Who is standing in the middle?

  1. Subodh
  2. Jayesh
  3. Bhavesh
  4. Pramod

HINT: Bhavesh-pramod-subodh-jayesh-alok

Q. X is greater than Y. Y is smaller than Z. Z is greater than W. W is smaller than X.

Which one of the following inferences can be drawn from the above statements?: 1) X is greater than Z. (2) W is greater than Y.

Answer choices

  1. Only 1 follows
  2. Only 2 follows
  3. Both 1 and 2 follows
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 follows

HINT: We can’t derive the relation between Y and W or X and Z.

Sequence Series

Q. In the pattern 1, 4, 27, 16, (?), 36, 343,….. the term marked with “?” is __.

  1. 30
  2. 49
  3. 125
  4. 81

HINT: Pattern is like this- Odd number means cube and even number means square. We’ve to find fifth position, so 53= 125.

In real exam, you could either crack the pattern instantly, or sometimes even after 5-7 minutes of trials, you may not be able to see pattern. So these type of MCQs should be done at last. #LEARN2SAVETIME

Q. If all students are boys and all boys are dancers, then which one of the following statements, is definitely true? (CAPF-2017)

  1. All dancers are boys
  2. All boys are students
  3. All students are dancers
  4. None of the above.

HINT: Imagine these to be Venn circles (((students) Boys) dancers. -> then it means all students must be dancers because they’re a subset of a subset of dancers.

Mathematics: 10 MCQs

Basic Numeracy

Q. Which one of the following is the smallest number by which 2880 must be divided in order to make it a perfect square? (CAPF-2017)

  1. 3
  2. 4
  3. 5
  4. 6

HINT: You should create factors of 2880, then whatever is not grouping properly, you’ve to divide it by that number, then automatically it’ll become perfect square.

  • 2880 = 2^6 x 3^2 x 5
  • if you remove by five then the remaining figure has factors with even number of power, so that’ll be a perfect square. इसलिए इसे एक पूर्ण वर्ग बनाने के लिए, पांच से डिवाइड करना मंगता है.

Q. A 3 digit number 4M3 is added to 984 to get a 4 digit number 13Y7. If 13Y7 is divisible by 11, then what is the value of [M + Y] ? (CAPF-2017)

  1. 15
  2. 12
  3. 11
  4. 10


  • Try to divided 13Y7 by 11, then you’ll realize that for it to be perfectly divisible Y must be “9” [127 x 11 = 1397].
  • Then do reverse engineering to find M, and finally find M + Y.

Question is not difficult but you need to be fast and accurate in calculation, else this will be as tedious and timeconsuming like an RC passage, and you’ll not be able to tick sufficient number of MCQs necessary to get 67 passing marks.

Age & Attempt limit

Q. One year ago, a father was four times as old as his son. After six years his age exceeds twice his son’s age by 9 years . The ratio of their present age is (CAPF-2017)

  1. 9 : 2
  2. 11 : 3
  3. 12 : 5
  4. 13 : 4


You should create table to avoid errors
One year ago (-1) Abhi ke abhi (presently) After Six year (+6)
f-1 Father Jaikant Shikre’s age: f F+6
s-1 Son’s age: s S+6
Relation: f-1=4(s-1) We’ve to find f/s Relation: (f+6)=2(s+6)+9
Simplified: f=4s-3 Simplified: f=2s+15
  • From first column: f=(4s3), Now put that value of “f” in the third column’s last cell. So s=9. Put that back in any equation and find value of f, then find f/s.

Infact, there is no need to calculate father’s age because denominator 9’s factors = 3 x 3. And UPSC examiner has given ratios with real numbers at bottom, so only “B” will fit. (numerator में कोई आंकड़ा आ ही नही सकता की जो denominator को काट के 2, 4 या 5 जवाब में ला सके.). #LEARN2SAVETIME


Q. 5% of income of A is equal to 15% of income of B and 10% income of B is equal to 20% of income of C. If the income of C is Rs.2,000, then what is the total income of A, B and C? (CAPF-2017)

  1. Rs.20,000
  2. Rs.18,000
  3. Rs.14,000
  4. Rs.6,000


  • 10%B=20%C => B=2C and we know that C=2000; so, B = 4000.
  • 5%A=15%B => A=3B so, A = 3 x 4000 = 12,000.
  • Now adding A+B+C = 2k+4k+12k= ?

Q. The difference between the compound interest and the simple interest for 2 years on a sum of money is Rs.60. If the simple interest for 2 years is Rs. 1440, what is the rate of interest ? (CAPF-2017)

  1. 4.16 %
  2. 8%
  3. 8.33 %
  4. None of the above


  • Simple Interest = Principal * Time * Rate of interest / 100 = PTR/100.
  • For two years, it’s 1440 so: 1440=2PR/100, therefore P=72000/R….(i)
  • Compound Interest Formula: Principal * [1 + Rate of Interest/100]^(Time period) MINUS Principal = P(1+R/100)^T-P
  • For two years, if SI = 1440, then CI ought to be 1440+60 = 1500. Combining this with (i), we get
  • 1500=((72000/R) * (1+R/100)^2)-(72000/R) ; that’ll give you the rate of interest “R”.

Time consuming sum. should be ignored in the real exam, if you can cross 67 Passing marks with other MCQs. #LEARN2SAVETIME

Q. The length of a rectangle is increased by 60% . By what percent would the width have to be decreased to maintain the same area? (CAPF-2017)

  1. 37.5%
  2. 60%
  3. 75%
  4. 120%


  • Suppose length is 100 and width is 1 then area = length x width = 100 x 1 = 100 original area.
  • length increased by 60% = 160, if area has to remain the same then (160 x new width) = 100 area.
  • so new width is = 100/160. That means reduction compared to original width (1-(100/160)) * 100 = 37.5%

Ofcourse there are readymade formulas for these type of questions but memorizing such formulas for Prelims, is bad cost : benefit (compared to their utility in IBPS and SSC.)


Q. The average of 7 consecutive odd numbers is M. If the next 3 odd numbers are also included, the average (CAPF-2017)

  1. remains unchanged
  2. increases by 1
  3. increase by 2
  4. increase by 3


  • Avg (1 + 3+ 5 + … + 13) = 49 / 7 = 7.
  • Avg (1 + 3 + 5 + … + 19) = 100 / 10 = 10. So, average has increased by 3 figures.

If you visualize & arrive at answer without calculation, then good. If you manully try to solve this by doing 1 + 3 + 5 + .. 13 = kitnaa average? then uske upar 15+17+19= new average? then you’ll lose lot of time in finishing the paper with the fabled 67 passing marks.

Venn Diagram

Q. In an examination, 25% of the candidates failed in Mathematics and 12% failed in English . If 10% of the candidates failed in both the subjects and 292 candidates passed in both the subjects , which one of the following is the number of total candidates appeared in the examination? (CAPF-2017)

  1. 300
  2. 400
  3. 460
  4. 500


  • Those who failed only in Maths = 25% – 10% (who failed in both) = 15%
  • Those who failed only in English = 12% – 10% (whoever failed in both) = 2%
  • Total # of students who failed in one or more papers = those who failed only in maths + only in english + failed in both = 15%+2%+10% = 27%
  • That means 100%-27%= 73% didnot fail in neither subject. And we know that 292 passed in both subjects. Yaani ki 73% of (total population) = 292. So, Total population = 292 * 100 / 73

Speed Time Distance

Two pipes A and B can fill a tank in 12 minutes and 16 minutes respectively. Solve following two questions.

Q. If both are opened together, then in how many minutes the tank will be full?

  1. Between 4-5 minutes
  2. Between 6-7 minutes
  3. Between 7-8 minutes
  4. Between 8-9 minutes

Q. If both the pipes are opened together, then after how much time, B should be closed so that the tank is full in 9 minutes? (CAPF-2017)

  1. 3 ½ min
  2. 4 min
  3. 4 ½ min
  4. 4 ¾ min

Hint First MCQ

LCM of 12 and 16 = 48. So let’s presume total capacity of this tank (or total distance to be covered) is 48.

Pipe A B
Speed (S) ? ?
x Time (T) 12 16
Distance (D) = speed * time; in this case total capacity 48 48

Since speed x time = distance, so speed = distance / time. Therefore pipe A’s speed = 48/12 = 4 and similarly B’s will be 3.

update table
Pipe A B (A+B) together
Speed (S) 4 3 4+3=7
x Time (T) 12 16 ?
Distance (D) = speed * time; in this case total capacity 48 48 48

If both are opened together, then combined speed will be 4+3 = 7, and it’ll fill the tank in Time = Distance / speed = 48/7 = It will be lil’more than 6 and lil’less than 7 (because 7 x 6 = 42, and 7 x 7 = 49. so 48’s answer will be in between them)

Hint Second MCQ:

If both pipes are opened together, and after “_” minutes, pipe “B” is closed, that means pipe A will fill the remaining tank in a way that total distance is 48 and total time is 9 minutes. Let’s try all four options:

Total time taken Both pipes (A+B) opened together for these many minutes Pipe A will do remaining work for these many minutes Total speed should be 48
9 3 ½ min 9-(3&half)=5&half = 11/2 7*7/2+4*11/2=(49+44)/2

=we need not calculate further, because this is not right option$$

9 4 min 9-4=5 minutes. (7*4) + (4*5)=48(काम हो गया!)
9 4 ½ min No need to calculate, we got the answer. NA
9 4 ¾ min No need to calculate, we got the answer. NA
  • ($$) it’ll not be right option because total distance will come out to be a a number with decimals, because numerator mein 49+44=(*5)/2= an odd number nondivisible by 2. Whereas we want a “Whole number” 48.
  • It’s possible to solve second MCQ using algebra, assuming unknowns like T, D, A, B but it’s more tedious. Even my method will prove time consuming, if the real answer was placed at “D”, and other options had closely packed numbers.

If above type of set asked in UPSC Prelims, better just solve first MCQ, ignore second MCQ – IF you’re not good in Maths DON’T WASTE TIME solving full sets. #LEARN2SAVETIME