One of the major challenges presented by the civil service exam to an IAS applicant is the vastness of the syllabus. The students have to compete against the time.  The more closer the UPSC exam date comes, the more necessary it becomes to revise. Revision definitely does not mean going through the whole syllabus once again line by line. But it simply means to remember key concepts and review your mistakes. The more you revise, the more depth you can get in your prelims exam. Now many ask, how to revise effectively for UPSC? Let’s find out the best ways to revise for UPSC.

How to Plan Revision for UPSC? How Many Times to Revise for UPSC?

The first step is to create notes from your chosen verified resources in your own language. Do not just copy notes from some toppers because their preparation will always be different from yours.

One crucial thing to include is that you need to define daily, weekly and monthly targets. And in your weekly targets, make sure you allot half-day to revision.  Similarly, for your monthly target, allot two days in the end for revision. Then when you go on to meet your second monthly target, you would allot two days to revise for that month’s material and one day to revise the previous month’s material. Keep following the same pattern for the next months. At the end of the 8/9 month, you would not feel you have lost touch with the material you studied in the beginning. It might make your preparation a little longer but your preparation will be done in a qualified manner.

How to do Last Month Revision for IAS Mains?

The first thing to remember is that keep yourself positive, do not let negativity take over. You have already defeated a few lakhs people and just a few more to go for your mains. Follow these tips in the last month remaining for your exam:

  1. Mock tests- Try to take at least 3-4 mock tests for each subject before the main exams. These mocks are very relevant in the preparation of the UPSC exam. It gives a reasonable idea of your answer writing, structuring your answer, layout, writing pace, a number of questions that can be completed, etc. So, before the tests, consider taking a mock examination. It will be good for your mains answer writing practise and will also be useful in one way or another in your planning stage. Make sure you time your mock tests as well.
  2. The most critical part of the mains exam is recognising the demand for a question and writing your answers within a word and time limit. You need a lot of writing practise aside from reading and planning to do this.

For that, it is suggested that you spend one hour a day writing your answer.  Choose four questions, two from the General Studies and two from the Optional exam. When you start writing more responses, your structuring response and presentation skills will be enhanced.

Also Read: How to Make Notes from NCERT

Tips on How to Revise for UPSC?

  1. The word is Re-vision not Re-visit. Don’t just visit but absorb the information. This can be done by taking notes. You can use NCERT revision notes for UPSC.
  2. The revision gap does not exceed 9-15 days to prevent memory loss. The UPSC IAS Syllabus is enormous like an ocean.
  3. The UPSC applicant should have a specifically crafted study plan and also a revision plan. Aspirants should ensure that their revision plan is compatible with their study plan. This means that when a candidate sits down to prepare for economics, he does not neglect the revision of the previous topics.
  4. If the applicant spends 1 hour on a particular subject, allocate a revision period of 10-15 minutes to improve the preparation of the ias exam.
  5. During the revision of each subject, often try to resolve past years with UPSC question papers to know the importance of the topics.
  6. You should build a checklist of topics that need to be addressed in the general studies and optional papers.

What are Some of The Common Mistakes that Students Commit When Preparing for UPSC?

  1. Neglecting answer writing-  Many candidates wait to finish the syllabus before practising writing answers. This is a big mistake that could hinder the score in the mains exams, as it is the criterion for the recruitment process that involves writing essays. The applicant should start writing the answer promptly. At least you can do this on topics focused on current affairs.
  2. Spending too much time on newspapers- Aspirants should bear in mind that they should commit a maximum of 90 minutes to read newspapers. Spending more time would take the time and effort needed for general studies and optional papers.
  3. Choosing the wrong optional paper- Optional papers carry a decent number of marks.  So one has to be very careful when choosing their optional. Aspirants also opt optional on the basis of other people’s opinion and pay later. Choose your choice based on your interest, accessibility of study materials and mentors.


The sooner you start, the more prepared you will feel. Starting early allows you to have enough time to study and grasp the content in its true sense and ensures you can cope with any factors that could suddenly interrupt your revision. Often, “trying to cram” is just not effective for all, and sometimes only causes more tension. Spend a few hours exploring the curriculum that you will need to know for the UPSC exam and layout a revision plan that will take into account when each of the exam topics is finished.

Also Read: Top 7 Ultimate Revision Tips for IAS

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How to Revise Effectively for UPSC? What Golden Tips To Follow and Mistakes to Avoid
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How to Revise Effectively for UPSC? What Golden Tips To Follow and Mistakes to Avoid
How to revise for mains? What things not to do when preparing for UPSC? Why should you revise? What is the ideal number of times to revise in order to top the IAS exam?
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UPSC Pathshala
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