Complete Strategy to Revise UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam Syllabus In Two Months

Complete Strategy to Revise UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam Syllabus In Two Months

Preliminary stage is the crucial frontier of the most coveted government services in the country, i.e., UPSC civil services‘ examination. UPSC civil services Prelims Exam 2021 will be conducted on October 10. There are hardly two months left for UPSC preliminary examination 2021. This is an extremely crucial period for the UPSC aspirants. A proper strategy during this period will help you to pass first stage. This will enable you to reach the next frontier- the main examination.

What Should Be Done During Last Two Months?

With a considerable amount of syllabus to prepare, aspirants often feel overwhelmed during the last few months. During this time, the aspirants should focus on revising the entire study material at least twice before the exam. This will benefit to answer the questions quickly and correctly. 

Every aspirant has their own approach for preparation. But the UPSC syllabus and pattern is very complex. To pass this exam, the aspirants require an effective plan. A comprehensive strategy will help the aspirants in remembering the facts till the exam day. The most important aspect of the preparation is dedication and consistency. 

An Indicative Allocation of Days for 2 months Civil Services Prelims Strategy: 

  • 7 days for History
  • 7 days for Art and Culture
  • 7 days for Environment
  • 7 days for Polity
  • 7 days for Geography
  • 7 days for Economics
  • 7 days for Science and Technology + CSAT
  • 7 days for Current Affairs Revisions + Previous Year Questions + CSAT 
  • 7 days for Current Affairs Revisions + Full length Mock Test (GS + CSAT)

Note: – This plan is only suggestive and candidates can modify the number of days as per their requirement. The above plan is subject to customization.

Week-By-Week Preparation Strategy

The following table consists of the week-by-week preparation strategy for UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2021:

Week NumberStatic SyllabusCurrent Syllabus
Week 1 (02nd August to 08th August)History Revision: Ancient/Medieval India + Art and CultureCurrent Affairs: July 2020 + Aug 2020 
Week 2 (09th August to 15th August)History Revision: Modern HistoryCurrent Affairs: Sept 2020 + Oct 2020 
Week 3 (16th August to 22nd August)Polity Revision: M. LaxmikanthCurrent Affairs: Nov 2020 + Dec 2020
Week 4 (23rd August to 29th August)Economy Revision: Basic Concepts of Economy + Budget + Economic Survey Current Affairs: Jan 2021 + Feb 2021
Week 5 (30th August to 05th September)Geography Revision: Indian Geography + World Geography + Map PracticeCurrent Affairs: Mar 2021 + Apr 2021
Week 6 (06th September to 12th September)Environment Revision: Basic concepts of Environment Current Affairs: May 2021 + Jun 2021
Week 7 (13th September to 19th September)Science and Tech Revision: Current affairs related to Science and Tech CSAT Paper Revision:Current Affairs: Jul 2021 + Aug 2021
Week 8 (20th September to 26th September)Practice Previous Year QuestionsCSAT Paper Revision:Current Affairs: Revision Current affairs prepared so far
Week 9 (27th September to 03rd October)Full-length Mock Test (GS-1 + CSAT)Current Affairs: Revision Current affairs prepared so far

Focus Areas for IAS Prelims Preparation in 2 Months

  1. Check Out the Exam Pattern
  • First and foremost, what you need to do is to check and analyze the exam pattern. 
  • There are 2 papers at the preliminary stage. One is General Studies, and another is CSAT. CSAT stands for Civil Service Aptitude Test. 
  • Both the papers are of intellectual nature and require the presence of mind more than memorizing facts and figures.
  • For solving the papers, candidates are given 2 hours for each paper. GS paper 1 contains 100 questions with negative marking. 
  • Questions will be objective in nature. 
  • GS II or CSAT contains 80 multiple choice questions with negative marking.
  1. Prepare a Subject Wise Timetable: –
  • Static syllabus is predictable but extensive.
  • Prepare a consolidated approach should be followed to revise each subject. 
  • Allocate specific time for each subject separately.
  • Focus on important sub-topics of each subject and prepare them thoroughly.
  • Give subject wise mock tests to check your preparation of that subject.
  1. Give appropriate attention to Current Affairs Revision
  • Aspirants can use standard newspapers, magazines to take grip over current affairs.
  • Besides online portals and government websites will also help you to prepare current affairs.
  •  For UPSC prelims, it is advisable to read current affairs of the past 24 months. 
  • The aspirants as advised to prepare notes on current affairs every day. 
  1. Limit your Reference Resources
  • Aspirants should limit your resources for last two months of prelims. 
  • They should avoid reading new reference books or other sources during this period.
  • Adding any new sources will likely lead to stress and hamper revision of portions already studied.
  1. Practice Mock Tests: 
  • The significant part of time should be given for practicing questions from mock tests. 
  • Practice as many mock tests as possible and revise your core concepts and prepared notes.
  • This will help aspirants to shed exam fear and understand the prelims exam pattern. 
  • Even though the score of mock tests is not desirable in initial few days but the score will improve eventually. 
  1. Solve Previous Year Prelims Questions Papers
  • Candidates should also refer to previous years’ papers to understand the exam pattern. 
  • It can help understand the type of questions that can be framed from a particular topic. 
  1. Attempt Practice Tests
  • Attempt as many quality practices tests as you can. 
  • Aspirants are advised to attempt at least one practice test daily. 
  • An important objective is to practice and prepare the answer solving strategy. 
  • This will boost one’s confidence before the actual exam.
  • Attempt for a complete practice test within the stipulated time. After its completion, look up answers to all the questions and evaluate your performance.
  • Analyse if there is any gaps in knowledge during practice tests and add it to your knowledge base.
  • Practice also helps one get accustomed to the requisite speed.
  1. Do Not Ignore CSAT
  • The aspirants mostly ignore preparing for CSAT as it is qualifying in nature. Its qualifying marks are set at a relatively low of 33%. 
  • even though the CSAT paper is qualifying it has become tougher day by day.
  • The aspirants should also focus their attention on CSAT along with general studies subjects.
  1. Reduce Distraction & Be Focused
  • Do not consume irrelevant news at this point in time and involve in unnecessary conversations.
  • Be calm and focused throughout your preparation. 
  • Be extremely mindful of what you watch and what you browse over the web.
  • Reduce distractions in terms of talking time with friends and be extremely focused!
  1. Time Management
  • If you really want to crack IAS prelims in 2 months’ preparation, you should manage your time exceptionally well. 
  • Aspirants should make a list of all the work you have to do like time for studies, lunch, dinner, breakfast, exercise, and sleeping hours. 
  • Assign appropriate time to each activity.
  • If possible, eliminate time for other activities like watching TV, using social media, and such other work.
  1. Prepare Notes With Stories
  • Have your own booklet of notes prepared in the way in which you can keep things in mind. 
  • Create stories with every important note and make it interesting so that it stays in your mind for a long time. 
  • This is a quick and easy way to learn and memorize even the difficult chapters.
  1. Participate in Discussions
  • Rather than simply reading, discussion on any topic offers you a better option to remember things and have better clarity. 
  • After collecting information and discussing it further can be an interesting as well as a fruitful way to go for IAS Prelims Preparation in 2 Months.
  1. Complete All the Documentation Formalities
  • Aspirants should keep all their certificates and documentation ready with them.
  •  In the lack of any document or paper, all your efforts will go into waste. 
  • Make a file of all the essential and required certificates or documents like age proof, caste certificates, academic certificates, ID proofs, and everything else.
  1. Prepare a Positive Mindset
  • Positive mindset is very important.
  • Prepare a mindset that you have all the capabilities to achieve the goal.
  • The power of positivity can change the world. 
  • Keep reminding yourself that you can do it and you have to do it. 
  1. Focus on mental and Physical Fitness
  • Eat mindfully, avoid junk as much as possible.
  • Exercise daily for few minutes. Take a walk! 
  • Have a proper 6 to 8 hours of sleep with small naps in between your study sessions. 
  • It will keep you energized and motivated.

Does and don’t for UPSC Prelims 2021

Does

  1. Beginners first go through the NCERT books. Then you will get basics and strong foundation. Read all the references thoroughly. 
  2. You should make a daily time table wherein you mention each and every activity from dusk to dawn. 
  3. Regularly assessing yourself is necessary to check what you are learning is getting retained also. 
  4. Make a daily or weekly target of solving questions and be firm to achieve those targets. Any leniency or ignorance could result in failure. 
  5. Make your own timetable to implement the study plan, this will help you in devoting the maximum time judiciously.
  6. Take proper breaks and intervals to ensure that the preparations do not get dull or overwhelming.
  7. Aspirants can watch videos on channels like YouTube to expand their knowledge.
  8. Follow a proper healthy diet and take proper sleep – this would ensure that your energies are intact.
  9. Sort out chapters into their level of difficulty like easy, difficult, and very difficult and plan accordingly.
  10. Complete revision 15 days before exam date and attend practice, mock tests.

Don’ts

  1. Candidates should not refer to any new study material or resource for preparation. 
  2. Do not self-doubt on your strategy. It is very important that aspirants maintain consistency and are confident about their study plan.
  3. Remember that all subjects and topics are necessary and should not be skipped.
  4. Do not ignore physical health as long sitting hours can take a toll on your health. Pursue an outdoor activity or a hobby for at least 30 minutes during the day.
Subject(NCERT)Reference Material
HistoryOLD NCERTs: Ancient India RS Sharma Medieval India Sathish Chandra Modern India Bipan ChandraNew NCERTs: 6th to 12th Standard New NCERTs Themes in Indian HistoryBrief History of Modern India (Spectrum) History of World by Arjun Dev
GeographyGeography NCERTs 6th to 12th Contemporary India (9th and 10th standard) Fundamentals of Physical Geography (11th Standard) India Physical environment (11th Standard) Fundamentals of Human Geography (12th Standard) India People and Economy (12th Standard)Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng LeongSchool Atlas – Oxford or Orient Blackswan School Atlas
Indian PolityPolitical Science NCERTs (11th and 12th Standard)Indian Constitution at Work Politics in India Since IndependenceIndian Polity – Laxmikanth
ScienceScience NCERTs (6th to 12th Standard)Hindu Newspaper Science and Tech Weekly Column (Sunday)
Indian EconomyEconomy 11th and 12th NCERTs Micro and Macroeconomics Indian Economic DevelopmentIndian Economy – Ramesh Singh
Art and Culture:Art and Culture NCERTs (11th Standard) Introduction to Indian ArtIndian Art and Culture By Nitin Singhania
Environment:Science Biology 12th Standard NCERT (Last four Chapters 13 to 16)Shankar IAS Environment Material (Act, Policies and Convention)
Current Affairs:The Hindu and Indian ExpressLive Mint, Economic Times, Business Standard
MagazinesYojanaKurukshetra Frontline Economic and Political Weekly
Year BookIndia Year Book – PIB Publication

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