Strategy to crack Civil Services Prelims Exam

Civil Services Prelims exam is the first hurdle in achieving your dream of becoming a civil servant. It is the first of the three levels of exams that one has to crack in order to be recommended by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) for various posts in the Central and All India Services. The UPSC conducts IAS exam annually for recruitment of candidates for the offices of Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Forest Service etc. IAS exam is considered one of the toughest exams due to the vastness of the syllabus. An aspirant can clear the exam in his first attempt given that he follows the right strategy with utmost sincerity and dedication. Formulating the right strategy reduces half the burden. Read on to find out what sort of a strategy can sail you through the UPSC Prelims exam.

  1.    Be very serious about the exam:
    As clichéd as it may seem, it is important for you to be very serious about the exam. About 10 lakh candidates register for the examination and only about half of them take the civil services prelims test. Among the 5 lakh candidates, only about 15 thousand make it to the mains examination. Make sure you are one of the serious candidates who badly want to get into the civil services in one attempt. Be sincere in your studies and most importantly consistent.  Ask yourself why you want to clear this exam and keep reminding yourself of your reason to clear the examination.
  1.    Prepare a standard book list:
    History, Polity, Economy, Geography, Science & Technology, Environment & Ecology are the important subjects to be covered for the prelims. There are certain standard books available in the market for these subjects. Do some research on which books you are comfortable with and prepare a final list of book to be followed. Read these books over and over again instead of reading multiple books. It will surely yield better results.
  1.    Follow a newspaper:
    Current affairs are an important part of UPSC prelims and Newspaper reading, an indispensable part of your preparation. Select any newspaper of your choice and read all the relevant news thoroughly on a daily basis. It is also advisable to make short notes which would come handy at the time of revisions.
  1.    CSAT preparation:
    The CSAT paper i.e. Paper-2 of civil services prelims is now made a qualifying paper. A candidate has to score 33% marks in order to qualify in the prelims. Though it might look like a cake walk, it is essential for one to practice reading comprehension and basic mathematics for this paper as it is mandatory to clear both the papers to qualify prelims.
  1.    Revise! Revise! And Revise!
    When the syllabus is too huge and a large number of topics are to be covered, it becomes essential to revise the topics over and over again in order to remember the details. Prelims exam is a test of knowledge and hence it is important to remember factual details as well. Make sure you prepare your timetable in such a way that there is ample time for at least 2 revisions before you appear for the prelims. The IAS syllabus is indicative; therefore plan your studies well within the boundaries of the syllabus to get rid of the unnecessary burden.

For UPSC online preparation, guidance on covering the current affairs topics, subscribe to Byju’s YouTube channel which provides tips on how to crack the civil services examination.

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