Prepare IAS Prelims Exam in 3 Months? Tips & Strategy

By K Balaji|Updated : May 21st, 2022

UPSC IAS Prelims 3 Month Study Plan: UPSC IAS Prelims Examination is the first and toughest hurdle to clear in the entire UPSC Exam. As we know, the UPSC Civil Services Examination comprises three stages: Prelim, Mains, and Interview. Each year, lakhs of students appear for this coveted exam and only a few of them succeed. UPSC Prelims is more of an elimination round and should never be taken lightly.

UPSC Prelims 2022 Examination is scheduled for 05th June 2022. In this article, let's briefly discuss how and what to do in order to enhance the UPSC Prelims score in the last three months.

Table of Content

Tips to Prepare for IAS Prelim Exam in 3 Months

The UPSC Exam requires the right kind of action plan along with hard and smart work. It inculcates the habit of time management besides diligence and endurance for the exam. The UPSC Prelims is different from its approach from UPSC Mains. The UPSC Prelims is an MCQ typed based exam, whereas the UPSC Mains is descriptive. Though the preparation of both exams is done in an integrated manner, the way to approach and tackle them is completely different.

IAS Prelims Exam Preparation: Trend Analysis

UPSC has set a benchmark as being predictably unpredictable. By this, it is inferred that the candidates should use the UPSC Exam Pattern as a reference only and not make too many assumptions. Below we have discussed the UPSC Prelims exam pattern from the previous year to help candidates understand the weightage of specific subjects.

UPSC 2021 Prelims Trend Analysis

The weightage of the UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Paper was almost equal for all the subjects. The history section had the highest number of questions. Let’s see the number of questions asked from each subject.

Subject

Number of Questions

History

20

Geography

10

Economics

15

Polity

14

Environment and Ecology

15

Science and Tech

12

Current Affairs / Art and Culture

14

UPSC 2020 Prelims Trend Analysis

A good amount of questions were asked from the Ancient History section in the UPSC Prelims 2020 Question Paper. The highest number of questions came from Current Affairs, Issues of National and International Importance, Modern History, and Art & Culture.

Subject

Number of Questions

Economy

14

Current Affairs- National and International Important Events

19

Science & Technology

10

Indian Polity

14

History & Art and Culture

19

Environment & Ecology

11

Science & Technology

10

Geography

13

Economy

14

UPSC 2019 Prelims Trend Analysis

The weightage of the UPSC Prelims 2019 Question Paper laid more emphasis on subjects like geography, economy, and polity. The difficulty level was the highest for the history section. Let’s see the number of questions asked from each subject.

Subject

Number of Questions

History

15

Geography

19

Economics

17

Polity

14

Environment and Ecology

13

Science and Tech

12

Art and Culture

1

Current Affairs /

9

IAS Prelims Exam Preparation Tips

A. Define the Priorities

  • When it comes to clearing up the IAS examination, have a strategy is a must. The candidate should make a UPSC Preparation Strategy best suited for him/her that covers both the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and the UPSC Mains Syllabus.
  • It is important to remember that clearing the UPSC IAS Prelims is not only a matter of hard work, it is also a matter of smart work because 'smart work' separates the winners from the losers.
  • A candidate also must make sure that they are fully aware of the CSAT Syllabus, so the preparation should be done accordingly.

    B. Make a Schedule

  • In the three months (last 90 days) of the UPSC IAS Prelim Exam, follow your daily schedule religiously and sync your mind and body according to the time of the UPSC Prelims.
  • Make sure one studies and revise all the subjects. Give extra time to those areas which require an extra push. The schedule must include time for the mock tests and UPSC Previous Year Questions.
  • Prepare for CSAT according to an individual’s grasp on the subject. Don't miss out on CSAT Books for UPSC. Make sure that enough effort is put in because this paper demands practice and a good amount of attention.

C. No New Books or Study Material

  • It is crucial not to get distracted by any new study material or book in the final step of the UPSC Prelim preparation. That will only cause frustration. Stick to the UPSC Books and NCERT Books for UPSC to cover the entire UPSC Syllabus.
  • Do not lose focus on the UPSC Prelims in these last crucial months. Aspirants must complete their preparation in such a way that they are accustomed to the UPSC Exam Pattern..

D. Emphasizing Current Affairs

  • Current Affairs are a really important part of UPSC Prelims. Aspirants should prepare for Current Affairs regularly and update them with Daily Current Affairs Video. It can prove to be a game-changer in clearing IAS prelims. Prepare the current affairs for at least 18 months and revise them thoroughly.

E. Practice as Many Mock Tests as Possible

  • Mock tests help to evaluate the level of preparation. If one takes a mock test and finds oneself struggling to do well in them, first brush up on the fundamentals and basics. Attemptmocks and test series to know the weak and strong areas and work accordingly.
  • Start attempting full-length sectional tests as per the convenience every day or when one completes the subject revision.

F. Analyze the Mocks

  • Analyzes the reason for the wrong attempt, after every test that was attended.
  • Analyzes whether the question was incorrectly understood or misinterpreted, or a silly error was made due to overlooking a keyword in the question or were utterly clueless about the question.
  • One also needs to be attentive to the act that how things went wrong, simply made a guess, though for an answer but marked the wrong answer, etc.

G. Revise, Revise and Revise

  • Revision is the most important step in the last few months of prelims preparation. It is difficult to remember what has been read before, therefore revision must be done for a diligent attempt. The only thing that will help one understand the concepts and facts is regular revision.
  • All aspirants would have gone through the entire syllabus of UPSC (Geography, History, Art and Culture, Polity, Science, Economics, etc.) at least once till now. Now it is time to revise all the topics at least twice even though you haven't finished the syllabus, subsequently, keep moving with revisions while finishing the remaining syllabus.
  • The revision will strengthen the weak areas and help you develop confidence.

IAS Prelims Exam Tips - Subject Wise

Follow the strategy given below the complete the entire UPSC Syllabus timely before the UPSC Prelims.

History and Art & Culture- IAS Prelims Exam Tips

  • Cover the entire NCERT Notes for History along with the notes from the CCRT website and standard books.
  • Divide the time slot accordingly to cover ancient, medieval, and modern simultaneously.

Environment & Ecology with Geography- IAS Prelims Exam Tips

  • Geography and Environment & Ecology are interrelated at various points and topics. To cover both, always rely on Geography Books for UPSC along with NCERTs.
  • Revise the NCERT notes and relate the with Current Affairs.
  • Whenever revising, sit with a map and locate places in the news. It will help in memorizing the places better and interrelating topics.

Economy- IAS Prelims Exam Tips

  • Direct concept-based questions are asked from Economy. An aspirant should consolidate the Economic Survey and Union Budget in such a way that it's handy for last-minute revision.
  • Refer to the Economy Notes for UPSC for one-stop complete revision.
  • It is seen that direct questions are asked from India Year Book, Economic Survey, and Union Budget, so it should not miss.

Polity- IAS Prelims Exam Tips

  • Polity is an essential section of the UPSC Exam. A major portion of the questions is directly or indirectly asked in this section. Students must refer to the Polity Books for UPSC to cover this subject.
  • To revise polity, consider only the NCERTs along with Indian Polity by M. Laximanth. Revision of notes from these resources is essential, coupled with a selective reading of cases from D.D. Basu’s Constitution of India.

Current Affairs- IAS Prelims Exam Tips

  • Current Affairs are the backbone of the UPSC Exam. Indirect or indirect, static or dynamic, anything can be asked from this section.
  • To cover this section, along with the revision of subjects, dedicate an hour daily to complete the monthly compilations of Current affairs.
Other Important UPSC Notes
Charter Act 1813 Notes for IAS ExamCharter Act 1853 UPSC Notes
Biosphere Reserves in India Notes for UPSC ExamUPSC Notes - Morley minto Reforms
Revolt of 1857 Notes for UPSCStructure of Atmosphere UPSC Notes

Comments

write a comment

Prepare for UPSC IAS Prelims Exam in 3 Months FAQ's

  • Seeing the past year's papers and UPSC Exam Analysis, it can be concluded that the pattern of the UPSC Prelims is not stationary. The Commission every year focuses on different subjects. Nonetheless, it is always advised to give all subjects equal weightage during preparation.

  • To maximize the UPSC score and chances of clearing the UPSC Cutoff, follow:

    • Limit your resource material and a grip on the basics.
    • Understand the UPSC Exam Pattern and prioritize accordingly.
    • See PYQs, make notes, and revise.
    • Attempt mocks and never leave Daily Current Affairs.
  • Negative marking plays a major role in candidates' chances of clearing the Prelims. To minimize negative marks, solve ample mocks. Try the option for smart guesswork if you don’t know the answer to any question.

  • No. The marks of the Prelims are not added in Mains. Out of 9 papers in UPSC Mains, only 7 are considered for calculating the score. The final score of the UPSC Result is done by combining the marks obtained in UPSC Mains and Interview.

  • Seeing the success rate of the UPSC Exam, it is one of the toughest exams to crack. But, with a disciplined approach and proper strategy and timetable, the exam can be cracked with one year of dedicated preparation. The candidates can even Prepare for the UPSC Exam Without Coaching.

Featured Articles

Follow us for latest updates