With prelims date –June 2 – fast approaching one has to get ready to cope with the time frame. You may be spending 8 to 10 hours per day for reading but it is important that it should register in your mind first.

With prelims date –June 2 – fast approaching one has to get ready to cope with the time frame. You may be spending 8 to 10 hours per day for reading but it is important that it should register in your mind first. Otherwise the entire exercise is futile. Every year the competition is growing. So the litmus test is how to win prelims and enter the arena of Mains. When we compare the statistics of previous years it is evident that prelims exam is the crux of the problem.

Statistics: 2014 vacancies - 1291

2015- 1129 -posts- Mains 15008 - Selected 1072

2016 – 1079 posts – Selection for Mains 15445 - Interviewed- 2961

2017 - 980 posts - Mains - 13366 - interviewed -2565

It clearly shows the tough competition you are going to face.


Utilise the short period available in a best way. Practice tests are important. At least you have to appear two grand/ mock tests. Do not worry even if you get low marks. The cut off marks will be 55 to 60 % in Prelims GS I.


You should have SWOT analysis done and bank upon strong points. Have confidence on your abilities. Recollect all the points during revision. It is important to assimilate than grinding as usually done during high school/ Intermediate stage while preparing for EAMCET, which is routinely done in coaching centers.

What is to be read?

Priority subjects are to be noted down and then start preparation. Take the advice of your seniors and faculty of different institutes. It can be categorised under 9 heads for convenience sake. Prelims questions during past 4 years are shown below:

Subject 2013 2014 2015 2016

Current affairs 18 23 31 42

Modern History 7 6 11 6

Ancient& medieval History 8 14 3 11

Geography 14 10 11 4

Polity 18 11 12 6

Economy 18 10 21 29

Environment 17 28 22 21

Agriculture 5 8 4 5

Science & Technology 13 9 9 11

Since we have the statistics at a glance we can concentrate on the subjects where more stress is laid.

Current affairs

Be thorough with current affairs. It is useful in three ways- for prelims, mains and personality test. Environment, ecology and science subjects are to be given priority. At least topics of past one year are to be studied. Importance for topics of last 6 months is to be given while taking notes. Prepare a notebook subject wise and revise them at the lst moment.

Traditional subjects

Importance for traditional subject's like- geography and polity is narrowed down. Instead of geography stress is laid on environment. Instead of core polity it is stress on current polity. More stress is laid on agriculture. Regarding economy the questions are clear cut and conceptually- based.

Dilemma in questions

The questioning pattern has changed. They are in reverse gear. Select the wrong statement among the following: If you are not alert you may land up in wrong answer. In utter confusion and lack of time one may go wrong resulting in loosing mark-0.33. While going through the question in hurry make note of the statement with pen or pencil so that while reviewing you can concentrate on the twist given

Scoring topics to be kept in mind

The recent trend in prelims questions is on the following topics- Modern Indian History, Environmental issues, Fundamental rights, Constitutional institutions, etc. Good practice is the only solution. Go on answering previous question papers and take weekly tests.

One can take you to the pond- that is you who has to drink water from the pond- though it is an old saying- It is true.

Marking A B C D

In a hurry to complete the examination within the time frame of 120 minutes, everyone is in a hurry to jump to a wrong conclusion. Elimination process is the best method. Candidates mark the answer with this process only. Self confidence and grip on eh subject are most important. Most of the candidates for the fear of negative marking do not venture to answer. Finding out correct answer is necessary. Only few out of 1000 candidates who appear for prelims clear the cut off score.

Right strategy

To crack IAS in the first attempt, the candidate needs right strategy. Candidates often find civil services examination a hard nut to crack not due to lack of hard work or potential but due to lack of right strategy. Think of right strategy- Analysing previous question papers is one among them. One can down load previous question papers in PDF format from the official website of UPSC.

Regular mock exams are conducted by coaching centres. Enroll yourself online or at the centers so that you can gain confidence. It will help to cover all the recommended textbooks and a time frame. Automatically it enables you to get proper exam practice. You can analyze your performance, find your own strong and weak areas, and compare your marks with peer groups. This method is much faster than reading the text books. If one is lucky 20 to 30% of questions may appear in UPSC exams.


The candidates by and large follow NCERT text books. But lot of other books and material are to be covered with in short period. A time table should be prepared to complete all the material available with you. Common mistake done is trying to read over ambitiously.

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