How to prepare for UPSC prelims

Guys, If anything the most pivotal round in the UPSC exam exists, it’s nothing but the prelims. Because it is such an elimination attack on your confidence, where the dream of many IAS aspirants comes to an end unexpectedly. 90% of candidates encounter failure in UPSC Prelims in their first or second or even the fifth attempt. 

Important Links:

IAS Syllabus

UPSC exam Pattern

The prelims are the first phase of the Civil Services exam but are not necessarily the easiest. In addition, there is no fixed, deterministic path to success in this highly subjective, uncertain exam. 

So, the foremost weapon to smash prelims is your confidence. So, don’t forget to enjoy your Preparation. 

After mentoring 5000+ aspirants, and a thorough analysis of the previous year’s papers, their nature, and the way it keeps on mutating/evolving, Civilsdaily faculties have devised the 7 most effective steps to Start preparing for UPSC Prelims Step by step.

Step 1: Mock Tests, Mock Tests and Mock Tests

There are no shortcuts. Only smart work with the most probable questions works for you. And for it one or more than one mock test series for UPSC prelims is the need of time. To clear prelims is not only a challenge but also a mind game, a game to recognize the right. Let’s know how mock tests will help you:

  • Solving tests or mock papers is with the intent to find out the gaps in our preparation
  • How to deal with unfamiliar MCQs by using TIKDAM (Intelligent Guessing)
  • Coming to know about subjective gap.
  • When to start coding on OMR sheet.
  • Remembering topics as per questions
  • The solution of a good test series is always provided with short notes. (Highly effective for quick revision)
  • Tests series give you a chance to gauge your accuracy

So, for prelims, reading only books, magazines, practicing free All India Mock test, compilation, Etc. is not enough.

Step 2: Prioritize the basics of the conventional subjects like History, Polity, Economy, Geography.

Instead of rigorous studies, studying smartly is the ideal way. What does studying smartly mean? It means understanding the nerve of the exams and adjusting to it accordingly. Around 60% questions comes from the basics of social science subjects. So, please don’t touch-and-go with these subjects.

Step 3: Gauge your first step preparation with the previous years’ questions for static subjects.

UPSC prelims is not a game of luck. To boost your Prelims preparation, Start doing from the 1st day:

  • Invest 60 days to analyze PYQs for static topics. And whenever you open book, read with those questions perspectives.
  • Don’t forget to prepare previous 7 years’ CSAT papers with multiple time to time revision.
  • Count & take a note of how many questions are coming from a particular chapter of a subjects.

Step 4: Maintain firm consistency

Whether it’s UPSC prelims or mains, it’s an exam of consistency & improvement. So, continue your journey with firm consistency. Okay, you got some simple steps to follow:

  • First 60 days, invest time in PYQs, and mark chapters accordingly.
  • Second 60 days, Read those chapters vigorously and make short notes as per PYQs trends.
  • Now you are fully prepared to join test series. Attempt a test and revise from your books and notes.
  • Don’t start new chapters before 1 month of prelims, if it’s not extremely important from exam point of view.

Step 5: Take Mock Tests with 1-1 personalized mentor’s support.

If you cover all the points we discuss above, now get in touch with a mentor. Because, only a mentor can point out what you mightn’t even thought before.


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