Union Public Service Commission examinations are meant for every student who aspires to serve the country. To reach this aim, it is crucial to prepare well for UPSC or IAS prelims, as it is the first step to getting closer to the dream. The key is to read every subject with complete understanding, as each holds an important weightage. Failing to prepare well for even one subject can lead to a bad score. 

Start with studying the economy, its working style and present conditions because economics has a good weightage in the entrance exams. Talking of the curriculum, the prelims and the mains both have questions about budget allocation, launch schemes, etc. 

An aspiring student must lay enough emphasis on studying the subject matter outside of textbooks as well to be able to crack this portion with flying colours. 

Here are some guidelines and tips that will help you prepare well.

Follow the Below Tips for Good Preparation

The basic knowledge and understanding of every subject is important when it comes to cracking the UPSC prelims. Try to follow these quick guidelines and tips that will help you prepare well and help formulate an effective UPSC prelims preparation strategy. 

NCERTs is a Must-read

Start with the very basics of each subject and an ideal way to do so is by reading the NCERT books. These books are published and regulated by the government, and thus also become an important source of information. 

These books form a building block of your basic understanding of each subject. It is advisable to understand the basics before moving to more advanced learning. Another reason why one must read them thoroughly is that most questions in these prelim rounds are constituted from these books. 

Read up Notes by IGNOU

IGNOU is another government-led and run open university. To add more to your knowledge of economics, read up relevant notes and choose from the various categories and sub-categories. These will help in an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the critical subjects. 

Solve Past Years’ Questions

Take some time to complete the syllabus to solve or glance through the question papers from previous years. These not only help you understand the level of preparation but also help understand the patterns of questions and marks allocated to them. They also provide you with an understanding of your strong and weak points.

Read News/ Keep a Check on Current Affairs

While it is essential to complete the syllabus and have an in-depth knowledge of the subject, keep a regular tab on news and current affairs. These will help strengthen the concepts related to changes in the country’s economy, new schemes, and revisions of policies, reforms, etc. Read the business newspapers and their economy sections; this is the easiest way to stay informed about current affairs.

How Much Time is Required to Prepare for UPSC Prelims?

The preparation time varies for each student owing to their understanding and knowledge of the subject matter. However, to help understand an indicative time, on average, a student must begin preparation a year in advance. The increase in UPSC applicants has made the competition tougher, and the cut-off marks subsequently higher. 

The mantra to successfully clear the exam is practice, hard work, and dedication. It is always advised to start with more time in hand and take preparation time into account from beginning to the end. 

3 Months Preparation Strategy for UPSC Prelims

We have established that preparation time is a matter of concern for most students, as the syllabus and questions are not just related to dedicated textbooks. Still, a high percentage of questions constitute current affairs and recent developments. Together these components are essential to maintain a good score in the prelims. 

Few quick tips that can help are: following the news, reading and analysing the recent budget, and reading economic and business magazines that explain the policies in detail, which every student needs.

Another preparation strategy for UPSC prelims that can be deemed helpful is time management and allocating equal time to read the content, follow news and policies, and even watch movies and documentaries that talk about the economy. 

You must make a 3-month plan and then break it down into a week-on-week plan. These can subsequently be broken into day plan. It is advisable to track progress against the daily/weekly plan.

Always Start by Getting the Basics Right

Every subject covered in the prelims is theoretical as well as practical and hence it is always important to understand the basics. If you feel that before you start with the syllabus preparation, you may need to recapitulate your knowledge, take extra time and focus on strengthening the basics. 

For example, in economics, the jargon, terms, and ideologies are pretty stringent, and revisiting will not only help support the knowledge but also help make the subject clearer and help in the understanding of advanced topics. Still, catch yourself wondering how to prepare for UPSC prelims?

Take coaching classes to help get the basics clear, and benefit from extra notes. These will help provide a deeper understanding of the topics that are crucial for the prelims examinations. 

Take Time to Solve Mock Papers and Time Yourself for IAS Preparation

Once you have completed your indicative syllabus, take mock tests to make the preparations stronger. Consider taking as many mock tests as you can, as these will not only help strengthen your learning and retention but are also a great way to understand the time taken to solve the paper. 

Upon taking these tests, you will be confident to address questions like “how to prepare for IAS prelims?” or “how will I complete them on time?” After solving a few papers, you will be able to see a pattern and get an understanding of what parts are taking you more time to solve, and also to target the problem areas. 

Choose the Best

Gear up, prepare in the best way for UPSC prelims, as this will take you one step closer to your dream of becoming an educated, well-reputed and dedicated bureaucrat for the country. What can really help in the journey is a personal mentor who educates and guides you through the process. 

Try the free demo/trial classes from UPSC Pathshala to understand how it can help score better marks; visit our website to know more about important exam tips and lessons. 

Tips for IAS Prelims Preparations

Make an Informed Decision

Students have developed a particular fear for IAS exams thinking that they are the toughest to crack. While a part of this is true, it is not impossible to do so if you are determined to study hard and prepare efficiently. Also, it is crucial to determine the difference between an IPS and an IAS. Making an informed decision is the first step to success and creating a future career. 

Seek Guidance

A great way to clear the IAS prelims is to take help and guidance from someone who is an IAS already, or has passed the exam and is in the advanced stages of their study. They can act as the best mentor to guide you through the journey.

Work on Your Interpersonal Skills

The first step is to get the fear off your mind and let determination take its place. A year of dedicated study will help you clear the prelims examination. Along with theoretical knowledge, one also needs strong communication skills, and this is where most students go wrong. 

While you must lay emphasis on the syllabus, do not forget to take time out for improving your grammar, speaking skills and overall grooming. An IAS officer holds a relatively important position in the government, and with many aspirants taking the exams, it becomes important to stand out and leave a mark on the interviewers. 

Share Notes

One other good way of preparing well is by exchanging notes with your peers; this helps identify the areas where you may not have taken down enough notes. These allow a great deal in strengthening the preparation and are also a good way to ensure that you are not left behind in the strategies. 

Take Tips from Experts

Look for good mentors who can guide you effectively for the best practices and strategies. UPSC Pathsala can be your one-stop solution. They provide access to experts from the field with years of experience who have great tips and tricks and ways under their wing to guide the students. 

Students that prepare alone sometimes get bogged down by the pressure and seldom are able to figure out the best practices. Additionally, indulge in group learning sessions, and practice mock tests with fellow learners. This proves to be an excellent way to test your knowledge and also helps identify the areas that need improvement ahead of the exams. 


So, these were a few things to guide you for UPSC prelims preparation strategy. For more information, keep tuned to UPSC Pathshala.

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UPSC Prelims Preparation Strategy: How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims?
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UPSC Prelims Preparation Strategy: How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims?
How to prepare for UPSC prelims and score great in IAS? What preparation strategy to follow to get the best results? Read these helpful tips for success in exams.
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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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