UPSC Strategy for Prelims

Jul 19, 2021
3 min read
UPSC Strategy for Prelims

UPSC CSE Prelims would be the first hurdle aspirants have to overcome while preparing for this examination. While beginning their preparation, students frequently come up with concerns about What to study for UPSC Prelims and how to prepare for UPSC prelims. This examination is going to first step towards the long and excruciating process that aspirants go through. The UPSC Prelims examination is one of the screening rounds for around 4 hours and consists of Multiple-Choice Questions. Overcoming this hurdle will allow the candidate to appear for the Mains Stag of the civil services exam. The exam consists of two papers, General Studies- I and General Studies-II (CSAT). Each of these papers is 200 marks each while the first paper is for preparing a merit list and the second paper, which is the CSAT exam qualifying in nature.

Prelims Strategy

When talking about the stats that might be disappointing, only 5% of the total applicants only make it to the Mains examination; therefore, aspirants require a thorough strategy to make it to the selected few.

  • When talking about UPSC Prelims Preparation, one of the initial suggestions that would appear everywhere will be to analyze the syllabus and previous year's papers to get a hold of the examination.
  • Since time is a crucial factor, several students generally want to know how much time is required to prepare for the UPSC prelims examination. Still, there's no specific answer to such questions as it depends on the student's capability. However, it is a long process and the syllabus of General Studies for Prelims and UPSC Mains examination overlap. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare such papers to secure your marks thoroughly.
  • Regular newspaper reading and current affairs balancing the weightage of current and static content would help the students easily ace this exam.


  • Analysis of PYQ and Updated Syllabus would help the students to help save their time to concentrate on the content, which will help them collect maximum marks.
  • Focusing on concepts will help students having zero confusion while answering multiple-choice questions. When fundamentals are clear, students can easily clear the cut-offs.
  • Revise at frequent intervals to avoid losing out on your preparation. Furthermore, to avoid any confusion during exams, it is always advisable to revise regularly to retain your topics.
  • Focusing on current affairs will help students answer loads of questions put up in the UPSC Prelims examination. In addition, maintaining a proper proportion of static and dynamic information would help finish current affairs with regular scanning of current affairs.
  • Appearing for Mock tests after completing a topic would help you test your level of preparation and conceptual clarity. It is imperative to clear off topics rather than keeping any backlogs. After completion of topic-wise tests, students should go for full-fledged tests to have exam day experience.


  • Stop stressing yourself and constantly remind yourself to take breaks and indulge yourself in something you love as it would help maintain your mental health and prevent you from sulking under pressure.
  • Over-attempts will never do you any good; instead, they would attract negative marking. Try to attempt and mark the answers to the questions you are thoroughly versed with.
  • Filling wrong information on the attendance sheet will lead to the complete cancellation of your candidature. Therefore, try to fill the sheet with the entire focus and care.
  • Losing interest and momentum as sometimes when you start doing things repeatedly and regularly follow the same routine, there might be times you want to give up, but that's just your mindset tinkering with the hard work you have put on this mission for glory.
  • Fear and anxiety would kill your chance and nullify your preparation if you move on with a negative mindset. While preparing and appearing for the examination, keep your motivation high and your mind calm to ace the examination.

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