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How to Prepare for UPSC

How to Prepare for UPSC – Pattern, Books & Strategy.

In this article, you will get to know How to Prepare for UPSC (Civil services examination). While reading this article you will get complete information about UPSC Exam also we are providing UPSC Exam pattern, Book List and Strategy to clear this exam.

Each year, more than 10 lakh candidates register for a Preliminary Review of the UPSC Civil Service, out of which about 10 thousand qualify for hands.

Although the UPSC Civil Service exam is considered a tough nut to crack, one can ace the examination with the right study plan and complete focus. Candidates who are preparing for UPSC exams are advised to prepare consistently. Check out some ideas to boost your planning plan.

UPSC made the syllabus for the Civil Service Exam available on its official portal. The UPSC aspirants should keep with them a copy of the UPSC SYLLABUS 2020, and use it as their checklist. Once you’ve covered a subject, mark it in the sheet. Make every topic a practice. You should also extensively cover the syllabus and make every topic thorough.

As Current Affairs play a pivotal role in the UPSC Examination, every aspirant has to get used to reading daily newspapers. You should make a habit of keeping a note of important things too. It should be noted that the UPSC prelims exams include a large number of current affairs questions.

Now let us share some useful information about How to Prepare for UPSC.

Practice With Papers From The Prior Year

When you practice with question papers from the previous year, you will know which topics are to be dealt with in-depth. You’ll get an idea of the less important topics too. Try to solve at least 10 years of preceding papers to understand the pattern of the paper. That will also help you develop your skills in time management.

Conduct Several Overhauls

As you know, UPSC Preliminary Examination Syllabus is vast and exhaustive. Always make brief notes after each topic is studied. You will always revise everything you know over and over again. Multiple revisions will be necessary to recall all of the topics you have studied. Remember practising always makes a man perfect.

Negative Indication

Candidates should bear in mind that for each incorrect answer, the UPSC Prelims exam has a 1/3rd mark negative. The Preliminary Exam is an elimination exam. If you don’t limit your negative marks you’ll be eliminated from the competition. You will concentrate on not pointing out incorrect responses. Solving mock assessments also helps minimize the negative marks you have.

We hope the above tips will help you improve your preparation for the UPSC Prelims exam, be consistent in your preparation and you will definitely qualify for the exam.

As you may already know, UPSC ‘s preliminary examination consists of two papers, namely General Studies-I and General Studies-II (CSAT), which show the pattern below.

Name of PaperTime AllottedMaximum MarksNature of Paper
General Studies-I2 hours200Merit-Ranking
General Studies-II (CSAT)2 hours200Qualifying (Candidates need to score 33% or 66 marks)

Both papers have negative markings, so be very careful when answering the questions and take calculated risks. To understand your level of accuracy, solve as many mocks as you can.

IAS Mains Exam Pattern & Topics UPSC Mains Syllabus

The UPSC Mains written examination consists of nine papers, two qualifying papers and seven papers counted for ranking.

Paper A(One of the Indian languages listed below, to be selected by the candidate (from the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India) (Qualifying)300
Paper BEnglish (Qualifying)300
Paper IEssay250
Paper IIGeneral Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society)250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice, and international relations)250
Paper-IVGeneral Studies III (Technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security and disaster management)250
Paper VGeneral Studies-IV(ethics, integrity, and aptitude)250
Papers VI, VIITwo papers on subjects to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects below (250 marks for each paper)500
IAS Mains Exam Pattern

How to Prepare for The UPSC Exam After 12th?

  1. Beginning early is a great benefit because you will be able to develop your general knowledge and really excel in the GS paper and interview because you settle for research and understanding. Also when the time comes you ‘re not going to waste it on finding out about the exam and losing valuable time. A list of things to do.
  2. Find all you need about the exam.
  3. Choose your Bachelor’s degree in such a way as to benefit from the IAS Examination. If you need to do a BTech fallback option. Create no worries. You can still begin preparing for your IAS exam and getting to know the social subject you wish to take.
  4. Track the news regularly.
  1. Tell your opinion and talk about the news daily.
  1. Start giving tests of IQ and learning about logical reasoning.
  1. Take up test series online to regular practice.
  2. Subscribe to a magazine and read insightful articles.

How to Prepare for UPSC Exam while working

  1. Time management is crucial to your preparations, with less time in your hands. A few to-do list.
  1. Set a schedule as you like, and adhere to it.
  1. Find and socialize with people who are in your situation or in your organisation, to use that time for discussions. Therefore you will have time to hang out with friends who are serious about the IAS test. This will also fulfil your emotional needs, and keep you safe from pain.
  1. Look for short and effective notes, and study stuff. But you’ll have to do some in-depth studies on certain subjects.
  1. Listen to the short news, and don’t waste time listening to irrelevant news based on commentary unless the subject demands it.
  1. Use memory techniques to accelerate your learning.
  1. Train reviewing and writing responses regularly. That is going to work like revision and practice.

Preparation Strategy for the UPSC Prelims

Let’s look at a few myths that hamper the IAS exam preparedness strategy for most aspirants and clear some air around these:

  • The first misconception that has existed for years, particularly after the 2013 change in syllabus and pattern, is that GS does not have a syllabus. 

That is absolutely false. UPSC is looking for aspirants who are well informed about all national and international events, institutions, and personalities that matter to India. So, first and foremost, one must know what to read, and what to skip.

  • The second myth about preparing for GS is that reading basic books such as NCERT is a waste of time because questions are generally not asked from these. In reality, when you read and study NCERT books you don’t study them with expectations that questions will be asked directly, but rather to create a solid foundation for your GS preparation. 

Even in the Prelims papers of recent years, there have been many questions that could only have been answered by studying NCERT books appropriately.

  • For beginners, therefore, the best start to GS preparation is to cover all of the NCERT books (Classes VI to X) for History, Geography, Economics, and Polity. They also need to study the NCERT books for Classes XI and XII. 

This will provide you with a clear foundation for your planning.

  • One major change found in GS these days, particularly in the Preliminary Exam, is the increase in the number of General Awareness questions. If we look at the recent Prelims papers, there were a lot of questions that can not be considered as Current Affairs entirely.
  • By reading books on GK, for example, Yearbook(published by the Government of India ‘s Publication Division), Economic Survey, Yojana, Kurukshetra, EPW, etc., one will expand the scope of information
  • Another aspect of this examination is the minimum marks required for clearing the Preliminary examination in GS (Paper-II) CSAT. It’s set at 33 per cent as of now. General Studies Paper-II should, therefore, be taken seriously and given an adequate weighting in your preparatory strategy

Let us now look at the subject-specific breakup and analysis of the preliminary examination by GS (Paper-I)

Policies & Governance

  • Recent years have seen significant rises in the value of government policies both in the preliminary and main review. The pattern will continue. The questions are more or less straightforward, after careful study, which can be answered easily.
  • There are chapters of Politics from which questions are sometimes posed. These are the process of constitutional development, FRs, FDs, and DPSP, the government of the Union, the judiciary, amendments, local governments, federalism, and elections.
  • Most of the books available lack information about current developments in the Constitution. Thus, a keen perusal of newspapers and magazines is essential to develop a sound knowledge of the constitutional provisions (for example, one should be aware of the Supreme Court of India ‘s historical judgments, such as Triple Talaq, Right to privacy, Right to be forgotten, Adultery repealed, Aadhaar verdict, etc).

Science of the General, Life Sciences and Science and Technology.

This section can be divided into four parts-Science and Technology, Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

  • This section is always a nightmare for students with an Arts background. But a basic understanding of science, particularly thorough coverage of NCERTs, can help to solve most of the questions. For the last 15 years, science and technology have been a major portion of GS. Given the overall increase in the weighting of current affairs, questions are primarily answered from particular developments in India.
  • Recent analyzes show that General Science questions cover a general appreciation and understanding of everyday science.
  • So, it could be handy to observe and experience everyday science. For example, in the 2018 Prelims, a question was posed about NAVIC. Therefore, ISRO’s future projects, such as Gaganyaan and other missions, immediately become more important. Thus, one has to prepare a prioritization strategy.
  • The concentration of Life Science is on Zoology. Botany is only asking a few questions, especially from agriculture, biological diversity, and the plant system. Most of the questions in Zoology relate to the human system and diseases. Communicable diseases and nutrition are always important topics.

History and Culture

  • Analyzing the trend of the questions from previous years shows that although the number of questions has decreased, the difficulty level is rising. Questions were brought from previously unknown areas in recent years.
  • Most of the questions are being asked in Modern History from the period between 1857 and 1947, which includes the 1857 uprising, social reform movements, governors-general, and national movements.
  • Questions over the Vedic Era, the Mauryan Period, and the Gupta Period dominate in Ancient India. Periods of Sultanate and Mughal in Medieval History are the most significant.
  • In recent years, Marathas, Vijayanagar, the Kingdom of Bahmani, and the South dynasties are gaining more importance.

Current Affairs

  • Current affairs have gained maximum importance in the preparation of civil services. With each passing year, its weighting has increased.
  • Current Affairs is a wide environment that encompasses national and international activities, multilateral agreements, sports, and celebrities in various fields, as well as competitions, competitions, and honours.
  • A part of the questions on current affairs may be described as questions of general knowledge.
  • So, believing that reading newspapers and current affairs magazines would be enough to answer these questions would be wrong.

Conclusion: So That’s all for this article. I think this article will fulfil your requirement about How to Prepare for UPSC. If this article will help you then feel free to share this with your friends.


Read more about : Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination – UPSC Prelims 2020 Exam Date

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