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How to prepare?

Way of Preparation

The Civil Services Preliminary examination to be conducted by the Union Public Services Examination is believed to be the toughest stage in the whole process of an IAS selection.

A proper action plan is needed for the preparation of this exam. You will be tested for some essential qualities like – power of retention, clarity of concepts, ability to identify the correct alternatives etc.

If you are a serious candidate, embrace right strategies, guidance and study material, self-study is enough.

All aspirants have the capacity and capability to clear Civil Service Examination.

When you are thinking to crack one of the toughest exams, you need to work hard and smart.


The Civil Services Preliminary examination to be conducted by the Union Public Services Examination is believed to be the toughest stage in the whole process of an IAS selection.

On the basic level, covering every subject of civil services preliminary exam is the best approach to clear prelims now. At least, brushing up NCERT books and Previous years’ question papers would be a good idea. The only IAS Academy in Coimbatore focuses and covers all chapters and subjects of NCERT Books.

Accuracy and speed is the hallmark of this exam. The main constraint in the exam is the time. One has to answer about 100 questions in 120 minutes. So on an average one gets around 40 seconds for each question. To perform better and to improve their efficiency in the Preliminary Exam, Civil Service aspirants need to find Best IAS Academy, which conduct UPSC Prelim Model Test Series.

Candidates should focus on how to filter out the rest of the answer and choose the correct one.

The preliminary exam requires the ability to choose the right option from given four options. This has to be done through a Proper method of elimination. It is a good idea to go through previous years and model question papers and solve as many of them as possible.

You should be aware of Negative marking in the Prelims exam and so you must be cautious while giving answers.

You must try to gain conceptual clarity as it will alone help to eliminate the wrong answer and you will be able tick the right answer.

Any concept has to be understood with its origin, merits and de-merits, then it needs to be analyzed with other relevant topics and has to be correlated with the events that have taken place. It is better to understand and establish a correlation between related concepts from other subjects and current events and other happenings.

Mock Test

Mock tests are integral part of regular preparations of successful candidates. By revising the attempted tests you get a chance to identify your mistakes. Writing mock tests arm you with confidence which is the key to success in any examination. To gain confidence in your Preliminary Exam, Rajaguru IAS Academy – the only IAS Coaching Institute – conducts more than 50 UPSC Prelim Mock Tests.

Invest on the right books

Picking up recommended books and right study material is of utmost importance. The NCERT books clear up doubts at fundamental level and help candidates in scoring higher marks at both stages of Civil Services Examination – Prelims and Mains.

Prelims cum Mains Approach

The type of questions asked in Prelims and Mains are different, but there are many areas where there is overlap too. An integrated prelims-cum-mains approach is catching on among civil services aspirants which rely on clearing prelims and mains in a single attempt. Good knowledge of overlapping and non-overlapping areas in the UPSC GS syllabus for Prelims and Mains certainly gets you competitive mileage over your peers.

It’s pertinent to read questions carefully and make sure that you do not make silly mistakes. In a relaxed state of mind, you will be able to answer questions accurately and in less time.

Strategy to be followed:

    •  Final preparation must start by testing yourself with the revision-type Model Test Papers.
    •  Do not get discouraged by initial low score.
    •  Rework on your weak-spots
    •  Make a regular note of areas you have covered and what remains to be covered
    •  Revise your notes a number of times.
    •  A calm mental state of mind is most important and you must take breaks and relax during your preparation.
In the Exam
  •  Do not get stuck at any one question, move on to other questions
  •  Answer the easy ones first and attempt the difficult ones at the end.
  •  Since there is negative marking, attempt only the answers which you are sure of.

Main Examination

A solid study plan is a must while preparing for Main exam.

It is imperative that you choose the right books. When you pick the right useful books you are not required to read multiple books to gather information.

Knowing in-depth knowledge about the various subjects in the General Studies or Optional paper is very critical for cracking the Civil Services Main exam. Aspiring candidates need to have the basic concepts of every subject clear.

Current affairs have always played a major role in Civil Services Main exam. In recent years a lot of questions are included from major happenings in India and around the world. A candidate must keep himself/herself abreast with current developments in Politics, Economy, Finance, Arts & Literature, Social Issues, International Developments, Entertainment, Sports and more.

Writing the Civil Services Main exam requires you to have in-depth knowledge of the topics on which questions were asked. Mere writing information or describing a topic will not get you good marks, you need to have enough points to support your views. Candidates should follow a well-structured format of answering the questions with a proper introduction, body and conclusion. The answer must have facts to support your answers.

Candidates need to judge what are important and which topics need more focus. And studying the important topics thoroughly will help them to perform better at the exam. The same technique has to be followed while reading news topics, magazines and other reference books. Also understanding the question patterns from previous papers is very important, as it will give you an idea of what kind of questions may be asked.

To be successful in the Civil Services Main exam, one has to thoroughly understand question patterns from previous question papers. Aspiring candidates can do in-depth study in certain popular topics which are frequently asked in previous years.

When you are thinking to crack one of the toughest exams, you need to work hard and smart. Our educational system from our early years has taught us to study hard but if you look at the results closely, it’s not just enough. Preparing for a difficult exam like IAS, one need to work smart as well. Working smart means reading selective topics in details, making notes of important points while reading, following exam question patterns, taking mock/sample tests regularly, improving speed, keeping track of current affairs in the national and international arena and constructing answers thoughtfully in subjective papers. The syllabus of Civil Services Main exam is vast and reading all topics in different subjects will not deliver the desired result for the candidates.

Some more titbits

  • Don’t wait for Prelim result
  • Start with self-study (10 to 12 hours per day)
  • Revise daily
  • Try to write answers for a particular question with keywords and key phrases and highlight the important points with same pen.
  • Answer writing practice for 2 to 3 months before the exam is more than sufficient.
  • Select optional paper after reading full syllabus and based on the availability of materials, understanding, and guidance and so on.
  • Try to understand the meaning of Analyse, Critically Analyse, Elucidate, Elaborate, Discuss etc – word and write the answer appropriately.
  • While writing the answers always remember the word limits.
  • While writing answer, try to simplify the whole content with flow chart, diagram etc.

Personality Test

  • Understand the basic information on your Major subjects in your graduate level.
  • Understand well, the basic concepts, application, issues, which is related with your optional subject.
  •  Discuss every events and issues with your friends.
  •  Analyse all social, cultural and economic issues.
  •  Listen – All-India Radio (News Discussion).
  •  Group Discussion Must
  •  Always analyse the topic in-depth with pros and cons
  •  We may feel uncomfortable on the interview board due to lack of preparation, understanding and analyzation
  •  Be confident with your understanding.
  •  Always confine with liberal thought and be neutral.
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