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UPSC Prelims Exam Strategy| How to Prepare For Prelims Examination

UPSC Prelims Exam Strategy

The initial and primary question that comes in the mind of every UPSC IAS aspiration is How to Prepare For Prelims Examination? Before you even think of planning to start with your prelims preparation, first thing you need to do is make UPSC Prelims Exam Strategy and go through the entire prelims syllabus very minutely many times. Continuously refer the syllabus during your preparation as it will give you the clear idea of what exactly you need to study and what not.

UPSC- Union Public Service Commission conducts civil services exam every year with thousands of vacancies. The pattern changed two years before is same still now. Here, we are discussing the strategy of Prelims as the first stage to go through Mains and then further for interview. Prelims have been divided into two areas: CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) and GS (General Studies).

The strategy can differ from person to person. But giving weightage of time and effort to areas of significance will pay you well in the end. Prioritize your time, syllabus and study materials! Never ignore important areas. A focused comes close to keep in mind the UPSC Mains syllabus is adopted by candidates with long term strategy.

UPSC Prelims Exam Strategy

Strategy for General Studies Paper 1:

GS exam will be conducted in first round for two hours duration with carrying 200 marks. This would include the following topics as follows:

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  1. Current events of national and international importance
  2. History of India and Indian National Movement
  3. Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization
  7. General Science.

Exam Strategy for Paper II:

CSAT Exam will be conducted in second round on the same day after a break which will also carry 200 marks and the duration of exam hours would be same. This would include the following topics as follows:

  1. Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  4. Decision making and problem solving
  5. General mental ability
  6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.)
  7. Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. -Class X level)
  8. English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
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On the basis of the above strategy as per the syllabus, you would have to divide it into module taking the time factor into consideration. This would enable you to prepare for UPSC exams easily.

Last Minutes Tips for Prelims Examination

  • First and the foremost thing is to know about the Center of Examination. The candidates must enquire and locate accurately the allotted examination center as mentioned in the Civil Services Preliminary Test Admit Card.
  • The candidates must arrange the conveyance for the D-day because it is important to stay calm and cool in the morning for that day. Calmness will increase the use of potential on the day of examination
  • Candidates must ensure a good and legible copy of the admit card for the examination hall so that the invigilator can easily fulfill the required formalities without any hurdles.
  • Keep a good pen for the examination. It would be better to buy a new pen a day before and use it so that the candidates feel comfortable in marking the answers.
  • Do not panic if you cannot solve 5 to 10 questions in the beginning of the paper. Because there are always some questions which no one can answer in the IAS Prelims Question Paper. It is important to don’t panic at any point of time during solving the paper.

UPSC Previous Year Question

  • Always try to maintain a time for the set of questions. For example: the candidates should check that whether they have completed 25 questions in first half an hour. Divide the time equally for each question.
  • Try the elimination process for answering the question of you don’t know the answer in the first reading of the question. If you know exactly that an option cannot be the answer of the question then it can help you in eliminating that option.
  • Try to solve a question in the first attempt itself because if you leave a question and come back to it later then it will take your time twice. So think over all the aspects of the question in the first attempt itself.
  • Always mark your answer after each 5 or 10 questions. Do not leave this task for the end of the paper. By marking the answer simultaneously after 5 to 10 questions minimizes the possibility of human error of marking wrong answers.
  • Always Note the unanswered questioned so that you can keep a track of those questions. At the second round or at the last you can check and answer those questions.
  • Check twice whether you have marked all the questions in the answer sheet. This is the most important thing because only answer sheet is the proof of your answers.

Following are some tips that you need to follow as per the requirement of exam preparation. Exam pattern would be of Objective Type i.e.; MCQs would be there and it would be without providing you the translation into another language as per the language you have decided as your medium for question related to English language. Go through the various UPSC exam quizzes that have been provided you online for practice such as:

  • You need to prepare a time-table as per the weight age of marks on the chapters.
  • You need to indulge yourself with current topics, news and magazines.
  • Newspaper- the Hindu has been very responsive for UPSC preparation as per observation from the result declared every year and as per the sayings of winners.
  • One thing very important is to subscribe you with email alerts for Jobs and vacancies updating or by SMS alerts.

As per your coaching’s definition, you need to concern and search yourself as it would only lead you the right direction.

UPSC Syllabus

Brief Dos and Don’ts Preparing For Prelim Examination:

  • Final preparation must start by testing self with the revision-type Model Test Papers.
  • Do not get discouraged by initial low score.
  • Emphasis on your weak-spots
  • Keep testing yourself at a regular interval.
  • Make a mental note of areas you have covered and what remains to be covered.
  • Be analytical in response.
  • Do not overstretch yourself area of coverage-wise.
  • Revise your stuff a number of times.
  • A calm mental state is most important.
  • Since there is negative marking, attempt only the answers which you are sure of.
  • Do not get stuck at any question, move on from question to question and attempt the difficult ones at the end.

UPSC Exam Pattern

An excellent presence of mind is desired to abolish the least apt options and reach at the right one. However beware of negative marking so it is enhanced to mark only certain shot answers than making guesses.

Throughout the preparation for the prelims exam, it is significant to remember that any topic or concept should not be studied in seclusion. It is better to know and establish a connection between related concepts from other subjects and current events and happenings.

Even with all this preparation, it is essential to have a positive attitude and a great amount of will power to thrive to achieve your goal that of getting through the civil services examination with flying colors!

Something That You Should Put An Eye On

UPSC NotificationsUPSC Entrance Exam
UPSC SyllabusUPSC Calendar
UPSC Exam PatternUPSC Previous Year Question
UPSC BooksUPSC Challan Form
UPSC Online Application StatusUPSC Eligibility Criteria

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