How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims in 3 Months?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

With Prelims approaching, a 3 Months Strategy for UPSC Prelims 2023 is necessary to be followed. The Prelims exam is the first and toughest hurdle to clear in the entire UPSC selection process. As we know, the Civil Services examination comprises three stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview round. UPSC Prelims is more of an elimination phase and should never be taken lightly.

UPSC Prelims 2023 Examination is scheduled for 28th May 2023. In this article, let’s briefly discuss how and what to do in order to enhance the Prelims score in the last three months, and how to utilize the 3 Months Preparation Strategy for UPSC Prelims.

How to Prepare for IAS Prelims 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 round requires a different approach in comparison to Mains. Prelims is an MCQ typed-based exam, whereas the Mains exam is descriptive in nature. Though the preparation of both exams is done in an integrated manner, the way to approach and tackle them is completely different.

The exams under Union Public Service Commission provide your ticket to some of the most sought-after government positions, including the IAS, IFS, and IPS. The various battles that will follow the initial phase of the exam are just getting started.

3 Months Strategy for UPSC Prelims 2023

Aspirants are at a critical point with less than three months until the UPSC Prelims 2023. One should ensure a laser-like focus to ensure success over the following three months.

The tips to ensure success in the upcoming Prelims stage lie in having solid preparation strategies. Here are some of the essential tips that will help you to crack UPSC Prelims in 3 months.

Define the Priorities

  • When it comes to clearing up the IAS Exam on the first attempt, having a strategy is a must. A candidate should make a UPSC Preparation strategy best suited for him/her.
  • Before starting, it is a must to go through the detailed syllabus, which covers both the Prelims and the UPSC Mains Syllabus.
  • It is important to remember that clearing Prelims is not only a matter of hard work, it is also a matter of smart work.
  • Candidates must also make sure that they are fully aware of the CSAT Syllabus so that the preparation is done accordingly.
  • If possible, enroll for Online UPSC Coaching.

Make a Schedule

  • In the three months (last 90 days) of the Prelims Exam, follow your daily schedule religiously and sync your mind and body according to the time of the Prelims.
  • Make sure you study and revise all the subjects. Give extra time to those areas which require an extra push.
  • Practice UPSC Question papers and solve mock tests to ace and access your preparation.
  • One should prepare for CSAT after analyzing one’s grasping power. Don’t miss out on CSAT Books for UPSC as the paper demands practice and a good amount of attention.

Stick to Limited Study Material

  • It is crucial not to get distracted by any new study material or book in the final step of the Prelims preparation in the last 3 months.
  • Stick to the recommended UPSC Books, most importantly NCERTs, to cover the entire syllabus.
  • Do not lose focus on the Prelims in these last three months. Aspirants must complete their preparation in such a way that they are accustomed to the UPSC Exam Pattern.

Emphasizing Current Affairs

  • Current Affairs are a really crucial part of the Prelims stage. Aspirants should prepare for Current Affairs regularly and update themselves with daily Current Affairs Video.
  • It can prove to be a game-changer in clearing IAS Prelims. Prepare the Current Affairs topic for at least 18 months and revise them thoroughly.
  • Subscribe to the best newspapers and focus on reading good magazines.

Attempt and Analyze Mock Tests/ Test Series

  • Mock tests help to evaluate the level of preparation. Attempt mocks and test series to know your weak and strong areas and work on them accordingly.
  • Start attempting full-length sectional tests according to your convenience or after you complete the subject revision.
  • After every test that you attempted, try to analyze the reason for the wrong attempt.

Revise, Revise, and Revise

  • Revision is the most important step in the last 3 months of prelims preparation. It is difficult to remember what has been read before, therefore revision must be done for a diligent attempt.
  • In the last month before the UPSC Prelims, try revising the whole syllabus, at least two to three times.
  • A thorough revision will strengthen your weak areas and help you develop confidence.

UPSC Prelims in 3 Months: Subject-Wise Tips

To get an overall decent score, it is advised that you study each and every subject judiciously. Follow the strategy given below to complete the entire UPSC Syllabus timely before the Prelims examination.

History and Art & Culture

Environment and Ecology with Geography Exam Tips

  • Geography, 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 them to Current Affairs.
  • Whenever you are revising, sit with a map and locate places in the news. It will help in memorizing the places better and interrelating the topics with current events.

UPSC Exam Tips for Covering the Economy

  • Direct concept-based questions are asked from the Economy section. 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 a one-stop complete revision.
  • It is seen that direct questions are asked from India Year Book, Economic Survey, and Union Budget, so this portion should not be overlooked.

Polity Prelims Exam Tips

  • Polity is an essential section of the civil services exam. A major portion of the questions are directly or indirectly asked from this section.
  • Students must refer to the Polity Books for UPSC which are mostly picked by toppers 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.

UPSC Prelims Exam Tips for Current Affairs 

  • Current Affairs for UPSC are the backbone of the exam. Direct or indirect, static or dynamic, anything can be asked from this section.
  • To cover this section, along with the revision of events, dedicate an hour daily to complete the monthly compilations of Current affairs.
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