30 days left for CSE Mains exam! Here’s your checklist for final 30 days

UPSC Mains

Now, when CSE Mains is just a month away, all the students must be too familiar with the syllabus and all relevant material by now. At this moment, it is important for candidates to not only work hard but bring smart work into existence.

Here is how students should move a step ahead and get ready for CSE Mains exam within this remaining time of exact one month.


Firstly, all the candidates must know what UPSC is exactly looking for, as it will give candidates a fair idea about how to present their answers well that meet the demand of UPSC. Here is what qualities UPSC is looking for:

  • The one who is empathetic and has love for the nation
  • The one who has the knowledge about the culture and society he/she is going to serve
  • The one who has the knowledge about the issues our country is facing currently and the relationship our nation has with other countries
  • The one who has a non-biased opinion in the society and knows how to put his/her opinion forward to bring a positive change
  • The one who knows how to manage emotions well, who has the problem solving ability and right decision making ability at different situations
  • The one who is honest, non-biased and most importantly has administrative traits
  • The one who has good command over the language
  • The one who can think rationally and practically within certain constraints



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This is for all the students going to appear for the UPSC Mains, 2017 and also aspirants for 2018. Those who have appeared in Prelims must be well aware of the fact that, most of the General Studies papers are covered while preparing for the Prelims itself. And almost all the syllabus must have been covered by now if you are going to appear for CSE Mains 2017. Now is the time to download few previous year question paper and get familiar with the examination pattern and the questions. Try to solve them as much as you can. And analyze where you are lacking.

Revision is the Key. Revise each and everything you studied until now. Do not miss to read newspaper. Read you previous notes of current affairs and make newer of this month and keep them for last minute revision. This is very important. Read editorials most importantly, read at least five editorials in a week and make pointers.

Answer writing practice

Download previous year papers and begin your writing practice. Answer writing practice is very important to match up the level of time limit UPSC gives during the exam. Many students make this common mistake of studying for hours but do not give enough time to answer writing practice, which further becomes a major cause of failure. Aspirants need to acquire the skills of presenting the answer in a coherent way.

Another important aspect which students must keep in mind is that UPSC do not ask merely for the information as an answer, but seek different perspective of the candidate over the topic. It is important for a candidate to read the question well before answering it, make a basic flow of the answer; followed by introduction and then the most important aspect to less important ones and then the final conclusion. And this is why, solving previous years question paper and enrolling for Mains Test Series is significant.


It is important to remember that the level of questions asked for optional paper is from Class X to graduation level. Get previous year question paper of CSE Mains and see the kind of questions asked and prepare accordingly. It is imperative to have a good hold over the two languages, both English and Hindi regardless of the medium you choose to write your exam in. To enhance this aptitude, get a general studies book and translate it into the language you are weak in. Also, try and reading as much as you can.


Some suggested readings for the general studies paper are NCERT, National Book Trust (NBT) and IGNOU booklets which are quite helpful. Read Economic survey, Yojana and India year book to enhance your knowledge. Go through these important materials.

And lastly, don’t forget to stay calm, meditate, stay positive, stay confident, have sound sleep and relax before the examination day. Good Luck!