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Preparation Tips for UPSC Prelims and Mains

Table of Contents hide 1 In this blog post, we will talk about some essential tips while preparing for this examination. 2...

Written by Niel Patel · 3 min read >

UPSC Civil Service Examination is considered one of the most prestigious. Every year, lakhs of students prepare for this examination, but only a few can qualify for this. Getting a good rank in the UPSC examination is the dream of every aspirant preparing for this. Many aspirants take offline coaching and the best online course for UPSC.

In this blog post, we will talk about some essential tips while preparing for this examination.


Civil Service examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year. This exam comprises three stages: prelims, Mains, and interviews. The information related to the UPSC examination is available on its official website. The prelims are the first stage that comprises two papers of objective type. The marks of prelims do not count in the final result. The main examination comprises nine papers of subjective type. The interview is the final stage of the UPSC examination. Though UPSC is one of the toughest examinations, following the right strategies and tips can help aspirants ace this examination. 

Preparation Strategies for Prelims

Revise Syllabus Thoroughly

The syllabus is one of the critical elements of the civil services examination. The syllabus will help aspirants remember the essential topics. Revising the syllabus and then moving on to other study sections is better. To retain the syllabus better, take a printout and hang it on your study place.

Start With Basics

Before starting the preparation, it is always better to start with the basics because they are the building blocks for the UPSC exam. Read the NCERT books on polity, geography, history, economics, and sociology. These basic books of NCERT will provide a basic scenario to understand the standard books like M.Laxmikanth, etc.

Know the Important Topics and Prepare Accordingly

As prelim is the door to sit in the mains examination, it is recommended to concentrate on the prelims syllabus 1-2 months before its scheduling. Focus on modern history, science, technology, polity, and economics, as most of the questions are related to these subjects in prelims. Also, try to analyze the question before solving it.

Make Short Notes

As revision is one of the keys in the UPSC civil service examination, it is always better to make short notes and mind maps that will help to easily and speedily complete the topic, and it will also be retained in the memory for the long term. Prepare your notes in a point and concise manner. They should contain all the necessary information that can fit well with any question asked.

Solve the Previous Year’s Question Papers

Practice the previous year’s question papers, as solving them provides an idea about the questions being asked in the examination. Solving PYQs helps to improve speed and accuracy. Moreover, choosing the best online course for UPSC question papers will help greatly.

Focus on Current Affairs

Current affairs are one of the essential elements of the UPSC examination. Be aware of the current topics so that questions of dynamic nature can be attempted properly. Also, the topics include budgets, economic surveys, and significant government statistics. Furthermore, current affairs have a good amount of weightage in the civil services examination, so it is better to take the best online course for UPSC for it as well.

General Preparation Strategy for Mains

The main paper comprises an essay paper, which is only qualifying in nature, general studies paper I, II, III, IV, and two papers on optional subjects. Now, let’s look at the preparation strategy for the main examination.

Prepare for an Essay Paper

One of the best methods to prepare for an essay paper is practising the previous year’s questions and topics. While writing the essay answers linked with current affairs makes the answer more attractive to the examiner as it will show that you are aware of both static and current portions.

General Studies Preparation

  • First, learn the syllabus. Yes, it will be a little awkward, but this is one of the things that will help you a lot
  • Analyze the syllabus of every GS paper and also prepare comprehensive current affairs of respected subjects
  • Before writing the answer, read the question carefully, and try to understand the main keyword of the question, as it will help to write down the relevant answer
  • Practice answer writing by focusing on headings and subheadings
  • Practice and revise repeatedly. It will help you remember the concepts better
  • Answer test series and mock tests repeatedly

Preparation for Optional Paper

  • First, selecting the right optional subject is very important as it will help you gain good marks. So, while choosing the subject, make sure that you have an interest in and understanding of it
  • While preparing for the optional subject, read the basic books, as they will help you get a basic idea about the subject. After that, learn the concepts from standard books and prepare comprehensive notes
  • After completing the syllabus for the optional subject, practice the previous year’s question paper. Also, if you feel you need to take the best online course for UPSC for an optional subject, you can check out many good online platforms
  • Revise multiple times as it is one of the prime keys in the preparation of the UPSC civil services examination


Preparing for UPSC is not easy, but this long journey could be easier with the right strategy and technique. For instance, choosing UPSC online study preparation for UPSC will help you greatly, and Online coaching will save you time. You can check out online coaching classes if you are a UPSC aspirant.

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