UPSC Prelims Preparation Strategy – Dos and Don’ts

The 2019 UPSC CSE Preliminary Examination is almost upon us. The period from now until the exam is crucial for achieving success in the exam. It is also one of the nervous periods in the life of an IAS aspirant.

It is true that the UPSC prelims is probably one of the toughest exams in the country. Already you have spent months in preparing for the exam. Yet, you feel nervous imagining the toughness of the exam.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts for your prelims preparation strategy at this crucial stage of CSE.


First, the don’ts. Why? Because the ‘dont’s’ are crucial for preparing you psychologically for the exam.

#1 Underestimating Your Preparation

Often, aspirants tend to underestimate their preparation. Questions like ‘Have I read all the topics?’, ‘Have I prepared well enough to clear the exam?’, crop up. This worry is unnecessary. If you have given your 100% preparing for the exam till now, then you are ready for the exam.

As the syllabus for the exam is vast, chances are you might have missed a topic here and there. But, reading new topics it at this juncture is futile. It creates unwanted pressure and fear that might affect the final outcome. 

#2 Comparison

Another futile act which many aspirants do is comparing with others. Comparing the books others are reading, comparing the marks you scored in mock tests, comparing the preparation strategies, etc. All these put pressure on you.

Understand that each of you is different from others. Be it in your capacity to study, grasping things, doing hard work, and other skills you are on your own. Be thankful for what you have and what you have done so far than comparing with others. Instead, compare with your own performance and try to better yourself.

#3 Self Doubt

This is the biggest spoiler. Even if you have prepared 100%, self-doubt will bring down your chances of success. It is understandable that the pressure of the exam induces self-doubt. But, it is unnecessary.

You have come so long in your journey to achieve your dream. This is not the time for self-doubt. Only with a positive mind, you can achieve success in this exam. Be confident of yourself and suppress that negative thought. This is your opportunity to crack the exam in a single shot.


#1 Revision

The last 20 to 30 days before the Prelims are for revision. All the preparation you have done for the last 3-4 months doesn’t matter if you have not revised now.

Revising helps you retain topics in your memory for long time. It also helps in faster recalling during the exam. Revise thoroughly all the notes, pointers, paper cuttings and whatever study material that you have used in your preparation. It would be better if you can revise more than once before the exam.

#2 Mock Tests

Put your revision to test attending as many ias mock tests as possible in this period. It enables you to refine your memory and recall answers quickly during the exam. Also, you can put to test your exam strategy and can fine tune it in this stage.

#3 Current Affairs

Over the years, upsc current affairs is playing a crucial role in Prelims. That is why you should put special emphasis on current affairs and revise your notes or materials as many times as possible. You can expect many questions from current affairs in the exam and with proper revision you can tilt the scales of success to your side.

#4 Health

Take care of your health. Without being at your best, physically, you cannot perform well at the exam. May and June being the summer months, you need to be extra cautious in keeping up your health. Stay hydrated and eat healthy food. Also, keep yourself fit and fresh on the day of the exam. A healthy body aids in keeping the mind calm, fresh and composed and you can write the exam effectively.

To Conclude

All these days, you have been preparing for the exam, the dream of your life. There is no other option than to attend it and put your best efforts. All the best for your exam. May your dreams come true.