How To Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 – Strategy to Crack UPSC CSE Prelims
Candidates appearing for the UPSC Exams must prepare carefully to qualify. About 11 lakh candidates apply every year but less than 1% are selected.
We have listed tips and preparation strategies for you in this article.
According to the UPSC Timetable, the preliminary exams will be conducted on May 28th, 2023, which means there are around 6 months to prepare.
UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus
The UPSC Prelims is a qualifying series to filter candidates. Only well-prepared and serious candidates can make it past the Prelims to attempt the Mains.
The Prelims have two papers: General Studies I and General Studies II both consisting of 200 marks.
- Current Affairs – Events of national and international importance.
- History of India and the Indian National Movement
- Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
- General issues that do not require subject specialization such as Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate.
- General Science
Syllabus for General Studies II
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision-making and problem-solving skills
- General mental ability
- Basic numerical ability (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) and Data Interpretation skills (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.) of 10th standard level.
Given below is a table of the exam pattern:
|Paper||Type||No. Of Questions||Marks||Duration||Negative Marks|
|General Studies I||Objective||100||200||2 Hours||Yes|
|General Studies II||Objective||80||200||2 Hours||Yes|
|History||1. NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)|
2. NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)
3. Modern Indian – Spectrum
4. From Plassey to Partition – A History of Modern India
5. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra
|Indian Art & Culture||1. Indian Art & Culture – Nitin Singhania|
|Polity||1. NCERT IX-XII|
2. Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth
|Geography||1. NCERT VI – X (Old Syllabus)|
2. NCERT XI, XII (New Syllabus)
3. Certificate Physical Geography – G C Leong
4. World Atlas
|Economics||1. NCERT XI|
2. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
3. Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain & Ohri
|Environment||1. Class XII Biology (Last 5 chapters)|
2. Environment & Ecology: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Disaster Management – General Studies for Civil Services (Main) Examination – Paper II and IV – Majid Hussain
|International Relations||1. NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)|
2. Current Affairs
|General Knowledge||1. Government websites like the PIB, PRS|
|New Magazines||1. Yojana|
3. Current Affairs magazine
1. Make a study plan
The syllabus is ginormous so make sure you plan accordingly to finish studying and revising on time. Set deadlines you can easily meet and look at the syllabus to decide what to give extra time to finish.
2. Read NCERT
NCERT is the standard so make sure to use them as your base study material when learning for UPSC.
3. Read recommended books
Just like the syllabus the additional texts can also be endless which is why it is good to stick to recommended books. I have already mentioned a list of books to use for learning. Do not stray from the list and you will be able to cope with the vast reading material.
A majority of the syllabus covers current affairs for the UPSC exams so make sure you read newspapers every day and take notes to be in the loop. At least 12 to 18 months (about 1 and a half years)’ worth of current affairs is important to know.
5. Devote time for General Studies II
This paper is only qualifying in nature, but you will be required to prepare for this thoroughly if you want to be a serious candidate for the USPC Exams. Also called “Civil Services Aptitude Test” is shorter than the GS1 paper but still has negative marking. You need to score 33% to qualify but 45% is a good percentage to aim for so you do not have to worry about rank cutoffs.
6. Solve past Question Papers
Make sure to solve multiple Previous Year Questions Papers to understand how to answer the questions and to improve your writing speed.
Revise one hour daily at the minimum since it is a huge syllabus to cover and without revising it is extremely easy to forget what you have studied.
The UPSC CSE Exams can be very overwhelming for new and old aspirants so make sure you believe in yourself and do not lose hope.