Current affairs is not only the most dynamic subject in the UPSC civil services exam syllabus, but it is also increasingly becoming one of the most important. We are sure most of you have seen the previous 2-3 years’ question papers and gauged its significance.

So how does one deal with a subject that is both vast and ever-expanding? What should be the strategy for current affairs in UPSC? Read on to discover the best current affairs strategy for UPSC.

Current Affairs Strategy for UPSC

Current affairs are important in UPSC CSE preparation since dynamic questions arise in all three levels of the exam: preliminary, mains, and interview. The questions may be connected to the static portion of the curriculum directly or indirectly.

According to UPSC’s current tendency, the dynamism in question pattern will continue to rise in the near future. Though current affairs are essential, there isn’t a comprehensive and well-defined syllabus for both the prelims and mains rounds of the UPSC exam.

Importance of Current Affairs in UPSC

The IAS prelims test is the first stage of the examination, and it is used to weed out the majority of candidates. Many applicants with a decent degree of knowledge were unable to pass the IAS prelims test for various reasons. Candidates may look into the IAS question paper assessment to understand the importance of current events in the IAS prelims test.

The number of current affairs questions that occurred in the IAS prelims test is listed below.

Year No. of Current Affairs Questions UPSC Prelims Cutoff
2020 25  
2019 23  
2018 28 98
2017 32 105.34
2016 29 116
2015 28 107.34
2014 21 205/385
2013 28 241/400

Current Affairs Syllabus for IAS Prelims Exam

It is necessary to exclude unnecessary subjects from the list of events and attempt to connect them to other essential parts of the IAS Syllabus. It encompasses all that can be stated about humanity’s existence. The current event’s themes for IAS need to be updated on a regular basis, as well as their effect.

The current events subjects for the IAS test can be divided into the following categories to make preparation easier. The applicants should categorise the current affairs issues into the following categories depending on their effect.

National Topics

# National Issues

# Indian Economy

# Indian Polity

# Judiciary

# Environment

# Science and Technology

# States

# Social Schemes

# Sports News

# Reports

# Committee and Commission

# Awards and Honours

# Accident and calamities

# First in India

International Topics

# Important Summits & Events

# International Awards

# First in the world

# International committees and recommendations

# Geographical event around the world

# International leadership

# International Reports

Also Read: Which Magazine is Best for UPSC Preparation? Know the Best Magazines for Current Affairs

Current Affairs Books for UPSC

Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth

This book is recommended for Polity since it may guarantee you a perfect score in the area for the Prelims stage. Even for someone who is reading Polity for the first time, the terminology employed in this book is clear and easy to grasp.

Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

UPSC asks a lot of questions about art and culture, therefore this section is highly essential. As a result, all applicants should be aware of the essential subjects covered in this section. Singhania’s book is regarded as sufficient for this section because it includes all essential subjects in one location.

India’s Ancient Past by RS Sharma

In the UPSC prelims phase, it is now one of the most significant parts. This area generates 5-6 questions each year. For this portion, RS Sharma’s India’s Ancient Past is more than enough. It goes through all of the essential points in a nutshell.

History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra

Satish Chandra is widely recognised as one of the most prominent historians and is widely regarded as India’s foremost expert on the Mughal reign. All academics agree that his work on Medieval History is one of the best.

A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir

The book Modern History by Rajiv Ahir provides you with a quick summary of modern India’s history. It is frequently considered as a book with a good return on investment because many questions in the Prelims and Mains come directly from this book. The summaries at the conclusion of the book are quite useful and should be read at least once.

Environment by Shankar IAS Academy

Shankar’s Environment and Ecology book is more self-contained. It is the most comprehensive resource for the Environment part. The book has a lot of information in it. It is possible to take notes and mark key areas for future reference.

H3 Best Current Affairs Strategy for UPSC

If you are wondering what should be the strategy for current affairs in upsc? The sections below will answer all of it.


To begin, the aspirant should develop a list of areas that interest them, such as Economics, Science and Technology, Environment, Politics, International Relations, Security, and Society.

These topics should be split again into subtopics, such as economics, which includes subtopics such as food processing, investment models, infrastructure, and inclusive growth, and international relations, which includes bilateral relations with powerful nations, the WTO, SAARC, SCO, and BRICS, among others.

When we read articles about several subtopics, we should take notes at the same time and then revise them several times. In the preliminary test, facts will be useful, but in the mains exam, interlinking news with subareas and analysis will help you create your own viewpoint. The interview stage represents this overall approach.

Give It Equal Importance

Aspirants should strive to finish the current affairs every day and review them on weekends. Current events are frequently noted to become luggage, and candidates devote a significant amount of time to covering current events exclusively, compromising the time given to other issues.

In the long term, this is not a smart technique since, while current affairs are the most essential, other disciplines require preparation as well because UPSC question papers are usually surprised to applicants. As a result, a balanced approach is recommended.

Focus on Keywords

After reading a topic multiple times, take short notes to assist you to discover the keywords. This is a crucial solution to the problem of how to plan for current events. So, while preparing a topic, check for keywords since keywords are quite essential in current events. For preparation, list all the keywords linked to one issue in one location so that you can subsequently connect a term to a current event topic.

Do Daily Answer Writing

Daily writing practice is essential. There is no replacement for knowing how to write answers, so learn it now before it’s too late. You should prepare thoroughly and continue to respond in the manner that an IAS officer would.

You should benefit from your errors and develop as a result of them. Take a newspaper article or a topic from the curriculum and formulate a question and write a response to it. This is the most important response to your question on how to prepare for current events.

Advice from UPSC Pathshala

You should research significant current events, take notes, and study every day, but only revise it all together on weekends. It is commonly noted that, since current events have become a burden, individuals devote all of their time to covering current events while compromising on the time allocated to other subjects.

This is a terrible long-term approach because all of the other courses are just as important as current events and require excellent preparation, without which you will undoubtedly fail. Only studying current events will not help you clear the UPSC exam, therefore you must strike a suitable balance while studying for the exam.

Click here to check out the Pathshala Express: Current Affairs Program.

Also Read: How to Become An IAS Officer After 12th? How to Study for the UPSC IAS Exam?

Current Affairs Strategy for UPSC by Toppers

Below are some strategies by UPSC topper Anudeep Durishetty, Rank 1 CSE 2017.

Limit Your Sources

The overabundance of reading material in current affairs is a major issue. In previous efforts, he would acquire current events material on the spur of the moment, naively believing that more material equalled more marks. CSR, Pratiyogita Darpan, EPW, Chronicle, Yojana, and any other magazine you could think of used to be strewn around his room. He would buy them out of curiosity, store them safely on his desk, and never open them again due to a lack of time. Quality above quantity is the way to go.

Some candidates devote an inordinate amount of effort to finding the “best website” and “best training material” for current events but spend much less time simply reading it. Others have a perfectionist attitude that compels them to take copious notes and compile lists from the vast amount of information accessible.

Please refrain from doing so. Spend a day researching, deciding on your sources, and sticking to it.

Limit Your Time

The problem with most hopefuls is that they overestimate the relevance of publications. Some people read newspapers for about 3-4 hours each day, giving them little time to read about other topics.

Current events are essential, and newspapers are vital, but not to the point where you devote an excessive amount of time to them. In his experience, reading the day’s current affairs should take no more than 2 hours. It’s an excess to devote 3 to 4 hours to daily current events.

Read, Revise, Execute

The strategies outlined above will ensure that you cover 90-95 percent of current events in a way that is relevant to this test. However, current events are a never-ending issue that grows in importance by the day. The easiest approach to remember the material is to revise it frequently and put it into practice in the answers you write during your practise or test series.

Simply addressing the pertinent topic in a phrase or two can greatly enhance the worth of your responses.

Furthermore, it is essential to review current events soon after reading the static section of a report. If you’re studying for a GS-2 mock examination, for example, revise the appropriate current affairs portion soon after you finish the static section. This will assist you with unconsciously linking the static and current, as well as writing a solid answer on the test.


Hopefully, this article helped you in getting the strategy of how you can prepare for the UPSC exam topic wise. You can also prepare for current affairs through fun and engaging video lectures at UPSC Pathshala. The course is packed with current affairs videos (Approximately 150 hours), which are made on a regular basis by our faculty members. You just need to watch the videos and make your notes. This is by far the most effective way to prepare for current affairs.

Also Read: The Constitution of India: A Guide Through the Parts, Schedules and Articles

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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