UPSC organizes different exams throughout the year. UPSC Civil service examination is the most anticipated one. Every year around a lakh students tried their luck in this examination. Though only a few candidates are able to clear this exam.

CSE prelims 2021 is going to be held soon. Nervous? Well, don’t be. Here are some quick revision notes for UPSC Prelims 2021. Go through this article and you may find some last-minute preparation tips and strategies for you.

CSE Preliminary Exam

The Preliminary Exam is the first phase of your UPSC CSE journey. This is probably the most important one too. As it is said, the first step is the hardest one, but don’t worry, here are some best UPSC preparation materials for you.

General Studies I

Total Questions 100
Total Marks Each question carries 2 marks
Passing Marks Cutoff differs
Negative Marking 0.66

General Studies II: CSAT

Total Questions 80
Total Marks Each question carries 2.5
Passing Marks 66 marks
Negative Marks 0.83

UPSC Syllabus

General Studies I

# History of India and Indian National Movement.

# Current events of national and international importance.

# Indian and World Geography.

# General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change.

# Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, etc.

# Economic and Social Development

# General Science.

General Studies II(CSAT) Syllabus

# Logical reasoning and analytical ability.

# Decision-making and problem-solving.

# General mental ability.

# Comprehension.

# Basic numeracy (Class X level)

# Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

# Data interpretation ( Class X level)

# English language comprehension skills – Class X level.

# Logical reasoning and analytical ability.

# Decision-making and problem-solving.

Also Read: The Right Way to Revise the UPSC Prelims 2021 Syllabus Just One Day Before: Plan an Effective Revision

General Studies-I

General Studies-I is the first paper of the prelims. It tests several aspects of the candidate’s knowledge such as current affairs, history, geography, Indian polity, economic and social development, environment, and general science.

Here is a trend analysis of different subjects of UPSC Prelims:

Year Current Affairs History Geography Indian Polity Economics Science & Technology Environment
2011 13 11 11 12 19 19 15
2012 1 19 17 20 17 9 17
2013 0 16 18 16 19 14 17
2014 08 22 14 14 10 16 18
2015 26 17 16 13 13 08 11
2016 27 15 07 07 18 08 18
2017 15 14 09 22 16 09 15
2018 14 22 10 13 18 10 13
2019 22 17 14 15 14 7 11
2020 18 20 10 17 15 10 10

UPSC Preparation Notes

Here are some best UPSC notes to boost your UPSC preparation.

Current Affairs

In the past few years, questions on current affairs have increased considerably.

# Union Budget 2020-2021

# Economic Survey 2020-2021

# National Events

# International Events

# Economy and Banking

# Science and Technology

# Defense and Security

# Awards and Prizes

# Sports

# Books and Authors

# Personalities

# Place in News


Ancient history

#1. Indus Valley Civilization (2500-1750 BC)

#2. Vedic Period:

# Rig Vedic Period (1500-1000 BC)

# Later Vedic Period (1000-500 BC)

#3. Buddhism & Jainism

#4. Famous Dynasties of Ancient History:

# Haryanka Dynasty

# Shishunaga Dynasty

# Nanda Dynasty

# Mauryan Dynasty

#5. The Indo Greeks

#6. Shakas

#7. The Kushanas

#8. The Sunga Dynasty

#9. The Kanva Dynasty

#10. The Satavahanas

#11. Pandyas

#12. Cholas

#13. Cheras

#14. Sangam Age

#15. Gupta Period:

# Chandragupta I

# Samudragupta

# Chandragupta II

# Kumaragupta I

# Skandagupta

#16. Pushyabhuti Dynasty

#17. Rashtrakutas

#18. Gangas

#19. Pallavas

#20. The Cholas

Medieval History

#1. Delhi Sultanate

# Ilbari Dynasty

# Khilji Dynasty

# Tughlaq Dynasty

#2. Provisional Kingdoms

# Gujarat

# Kashmir

# Mewar

# Vijayanagara Kingdom

# Bahmani Kingdom

#3. Mughal Empire

# Babur

# Humayun

# Akbar

# Jahangir

# Shahjahan

# Aurangzeb

#4. Sur Dynasty

#5. Later Mughals

#6. Marathas

#7. Sikh Gurus

Modern History

#1. The advent of the Europeans

# Portuguese

# Dutch

# French

# English

# Danes

#2. Governors-General of Bengal

#3. Governors-General of India

#4. Viceroys of India

#5. The Revolt of 1857

#6. Indian National Movements

Art & Culture

Checkout this to boost your UPSC prelims preparation – Indian Society

Indian Polity and Governance

#1. The Constitution of India:

# Framing of the Indian Constitution

# Enactment of Constitution

# Preamble

# Articles

# Directive Principles

# Fundamental Duties

# The President

# The Prime Minister

# The Council of Minister

#2. Legislative

#3. Executive

#4. Judiciary:

# The Supreme Court

# High Court

#5. The State


#1. World Geography:

# Universe

# Solar System

# Rocks

# Soil

# Land forms

# Atmosphere

# Greenhouse Effect

# Important Canals and Lakes of the World

# Major Minerals of the world

#2. Indian Geography:

# Mountain Range

# Important Rivers and Lakes of India

# Natural Vegetation

# Important River Project and their Beneficiary

# Forests

# Climate

# Agriculture

# Mineral Resources

# Transportation in India

# Railways

# Road Transport

# Water Transport

# Air Transport


# Environment

Economic and Social Development

#1. Outline of Indian Economy

#2. Broad Sectors of Indian Economy

#3. Five-year plan at a glance

#4. National Income of India

#5. Indian Tax Structure

#6. Poverty

#7. Employment

#8. Industries

#9. Banking and Finance

#10. Economic Terms

General Science

#1. Physics

#2. Chemistry

#3. Biology

Also Read: Crash Course for Prelims 2021: Check Out Elevated Learning with Affordability 

Most Important Current Affairs Topics for Preliminary Examination

5G Trials in India by Huawei

Air Pollution in Delhi and many other places


Bhima Koregaon Case

Brexit impact on India

Citizenship bill

Covid 19 situation globally


Covishield by Serum Institute (Adar Poonawalla) and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech

Dhaula – Vira findings

Farmers bills 2020

GST issues

ICMR intricacies

Impact and cure of COVID-19

India- China Relations

Indian Education Policy reformations

India-Nepal-China Border Crisis

Nation’s Digital Upgradation

NRC-CAA-NPR Controversy

One Belt One Road Concept

Postal Ballot.

Racism in the USA

SCO as well as the NAM summit

Statue of Unity

Syria Crisis

US presidential election 2020

Vaccine Crisis

Vaccine Development in the nation

Vaccine study

WhatsApp Data leak

World War 3

Zero Net Carbon Emission

Also Read: UPSC Prelims Exam Time: Have a Look at the Exam Pattern, Time, and Date for UPSC CSE 2021

Preliminary Examination Preparation Strategies

# Make short and crisp notes. Rather than copying from books and articles, you should read them first and then try to write them.

# Stay updated with the current affairs till the last date of the exam. Remember to read at least one and half years of current affairs both national and international.

# In the last month of preparation, don’t try to study for long and continuous hours. This can cause brain lag and you cannot focus or study more efficiently. Rather divide your time slot into different study sections and allocate proper time for recreational activities.

# In the last moment you can look up to last year’s toppers strategies. This can help you to have a concise look at the prelims.

# Most important, remember to solve, solve, solve mock tests as many as you can. A mock test helps you to assess your current potential and identify your mistakes to correct them. Several toppers claim that they have solved at least 100+ tests before their prelims exams.

Also Read: Last Minute Preparation for UPSC Prelims Examination 2021: Tips to Keep in Mind Before Exam Day

Last Minutes Tips for UPSC Preliminary Examination

#1. Stick to your Notes: In the last phase of your revision never touch any new book. Rather stick to your self handwritten notes.

#2. Stay confident: On the last day of your preparation, you should not be nervous. Instead, stay confident and believe in yourself

#3. Be hassle-free: Reach the examination hall beforehand. Remember it’s always better to reach 15 minutes before the said time.

#4. Answer Carefully: Stay focused and answer each question nicely. Don’t be nervous otherwise you will mark mistakes filling the answers.

#5. Important Document: you have to produce important documents before your exam in the examination hall. Remember to take those important documents with you such as identity card, photograph, and admit card.

#6. Breakfast: remember to eat a healthy breakfast before you go out for your examination. Don’t try to skip your breakfast as it can cause a lack of energy and dizziness. Also don’t eat heavy breakfasts, munch on something light and fresh such as fruits, cereals, etc.

#7. Sleep: I know the fear of UPSC and the excitement of the examination would not let you sleep. But ensure a good night’s sleep before your examination. It has been proven in research that when you sleep well your brain works fast.


These were some major important topics that you need to cover before your preliminary examination. Just go through these topics through your notes and you are all set for your examination.

Also if you need any assistance or UPSC-related information visit the UPSC Pathshala website now. This website is a one-stop destination for all your UPSC-related queries. This helps you to tackle UPSC online with the help of experts.

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Quick Revision Notes for UPSC Prelims 2021: Last Minute Preparation Strategies to Ace your Prelims
Are you ready for your UPSC Prelims? Well, pre-exam fear is common but don't let it scare you. Here are some quick revision notes for your last-minute preparation.
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