All You Need To Know About UPSC Prelims Preparation
UPSC is considered very gruelling, owing to the difficult sections in this exam. This exam consists of 3 parts, Prelims, Mains, and the interview. The UPSC prelims exam for 2020 has been delayed to 4th October 2020 from 31st May 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. A candidate can get a good idea about the UPSC prelims update 2020 by visiting the official government website, upsc.gov.in. This exam consists of 2 parts, both of which contain objective questions. They are called General Studies 1 and General Studies 2, containing 80 and 100 questions respectively.
The candidates however need to be thoroughly prepared for this exam to excel. Both parts of this exam are, of 200 marks each. The duration of each exam is 2 hours, hence to give your best, answers should be on your fingertips.
Checklist For Choosing A Coaching Center For UPSC Prelims
- A large number of mentors: To excel in your preparation for your UPSC, you need personal mentors to guide you. UPSC online preparations has more than 80 mentors who are willing to guide, evaluate and teach every concept thoroughly. This evaluation is in the form of Checkpoint Questions. The best part is that you can also receive a scholarship for this tuition based on your intelligence and financial condition. Based on both factors, your fees can be waived off by 5-50%. Apart from studying concept and current affairs, we also provide you all the information about the Civil Services Exam preparations.
- Introduce you to the world of books: Some are not so fond of reading. For such kind of aspirants, reading habit is inculcated, by making them read in small parts. They then have to answer questions based on those parts. So, one needs a holistic program which can help you develop this reading habit.
- Constant interaction with mentors: You need a study buddy and a mentor who discuss things with you to know how well you are faring. With UPSC Pathshala, the best part about IAS preparation is the opportunity to do video chat anytime there is doubt or confusion. In beginner sessions, 2 students will be part of this chat. Apart from the video chats, the mentors are available through email also. If they are not available to pick your call, you can shoot an email.
- Coverage of entire content through videos: People learn things through many ways. However, learning through instructional videos is considered to be the best one. In UPSC Pathshala, we provide you with both Static Content (International Relations and Indian polity etc) and Dynamic Content which consists of current affairs is also covered.
- All the coursework given in a Pendrive: Internet is not available in every part of the world. And what is online education without the internet. However, in UPSC Pathshala we go beyond the boundary of the internet, and present you study material and video content via pendrive. Study whenever or wherever you like, without worrying about the internet. This pendrive also has a booklist that students can refer to apart from the videos.
So, you can get the UPSC prelims study material through them in the form of videos. Going through the list of UPSC coaching centers, you must choose one which has a virtual app also. For example, there must be an app that allows you to access all the information regarding this exam, and whether your preparation is on the track. Along with joining a UPSC study center, you also have to follow the following tips for passing successfully in Prelims.
What To Study for UPSC Prelims(General Studies-1)?
Many students are confused on how to go ahead with preparation – what to study first, what to prioritize? Here is how –
- Devote enough time for preparation– You must devote 3 months just to the preparation of the UPSC prelims exam. So, 1 year must be reserved for the preparation of the UPSC exam.
- Focus on general studies -1– Out of both exams, General Studies 1, decides what is your rank in prelims. So, you have to get prepared in current affairs apart from all the subjects mentioned earlier. General Studies 2 or CSAT is a qualifying exam and its scores are not included in your final score, but you still need to pass. The CSAT is the name given to the second part of this exam, General Studies-2. CSAT stands for the Civil services aptitude test.
- Prepare the content given in the NCERT books from class 6th to class 10th for general studies-1 exam-These are the best UPSC prelims books. You can then proceed to study the reference books. There are many kinds of reference books available in the market such as Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth. For Economics you can consult Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh.
In the prelims exams, there are questions on various topics such as Economics, Polity, International Relations, Geography, history, and Indian Polity. You know the meaning of all these subjects but what is Indian Polity? Indian Polity refers to the working of Indian politics. Indian politics has a dual framework. It has a central government and states governments. We have a federal constitution.
- Prepare well for current affairs-For preparation of all current affairs, you can watch the Rajya Sabha TV and the press information bureau releases. This way, you can only get a good score in the General Studies-1 exam. You need to search current affairs topics according to the various subjects such as Indian Polity, Economics, International Relations, Geography, and History. While preparing for the UPSC exam, make sure that you do proper research on current affairs topics. You can also ask your mentor on how to go about a topic of current affairs. While attempting the general studies-1 paper, remember you have to do well in this exam. There are 100 questions in this exam as mentioned earlier. Every question bears 2 marks and any wrong answer can result in the loss of 2/3rd mark.
- Be cautious while answering the question-When you are attempting the prelims, don’t be in a hurry to answer the questions. Read the question well before answering it.
There are three kinds of questions in the UPSC General studies-1. There are MCQ questions which have a single answer and multiple answers also. There is a 3rd category of questions in which you have to match options.
There is no rule as to how many questions will be asked in each section. This number can change per year.
How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims (General Studies-2)?
- Don’t take CSAT lightly– CSAT has questions related to different topics such as aptitude, reasoning, and analytical ability. This paper tests how well the candidate will be able to do when faced with uncontrollable situations where he will have to use his mind and logic. This exam also has various reference books given for it in the market. You can prepare through our video tutorials for CSAT. However, reading a reference book can give you additional information. One such book is CSAT Manual by Tata Mcgraw Hill. The questions in this exam are easier. They are questions similar to those given to 10th standard students in various exams. You need to get 33% in this exam provided you have obtained a higher percentage in the General Studies-1 exam. This is because CSAT IS a qualifying exam. You just need to pass this exam to get to Mains. The passing percentage needed in this exam is 33%.
- A candidate has to be however careful in attempting the CSAT exam-This is because the CSAT exam has negative marking. For every wrong answer, you lose 0.83 marks whereas, for every right answer, you are awarded 2.50 marks. Since 200 marks are allotted for the exam, for passing, a candidate has to score 33% which equals 66 marks. Keeping this in mind, a candidate has to make preparations for this exam.
Since the CSAT exam requires knowledge of English and Maths, candidates should focus on them. Some students may be out of sync with these subjects and therefore they should increase their understanding of them.
Candidates should practice the UPSC prelims study material for CSAT to practice these skills.
- Practice is important-It is so because you have to get a hang of the logical reasoning questions. You have to complete 80 questions in 2 hours. A logical reasoning question can be attempted by someone in 1 minute 30 seconds which requires a lot of practice. This is when you are trying to get all the questions right. If you are aiming to attempt only 33% of the exam correctly, you need to attempt 27 questions correctly. This implies you have to attempt these questions in approximately 4 minutes. So, choosing how many questions to attempt, depends on how well, you qualify, in the general studies-1 exam.
- Go through previous year’s question paper-As far as studying for UPSC prelims is concerned, it’s also important to browse through UPSC prelims previous paper.
So, best of luck for the upcoming UPSC prelims exam.