UPSC Civil Services: Complete strategy to revise prelims exam syllabus in four months

A well curated strategy can help the aspirants in not just revising but also remembering the facts till the exam day.

UPSC civil services prelims exam 2021 will be conducted on October 10. With approximately four months to spare for the exam, this period is most crucial for the aspirants. They have to revise the entire study material at least twice before the exam in order to answer the questions quickly and correctly within the allotted time of two hours. With a considerable amount of syllabus to prepare, aspirants often feel overwhelmed during the last few months. 

A well-curated strategy can help the aspirants in not just revising but also remembering the facts till the exam day. Every student has their own approach of preparing but only the most effective plan will help an aspirant sail through the exam. The most important aspect of the preparation is dedication and consistency. Hence, stick to the plans no matter what. Let’s begin with the revision plan for the next four months.

Newspaper reading

Current affairs is the most important aspect of the prelims exam. Newspapers help to cover these topics extensively. However, reading a newspaper can consume a lot of time, hence selective reading is recommended at this stage. It is advisable to not spend more than one hour on newspaper reading. Pay extra attention to the national, international, science and technology and editorial section.

Current affairs revision

Apart from newspapers, magazines, online portals are also important sources to prepare current affairs. For UPSC prelims, it is advisable to read current affairs of the past 24 months. So candidates should revise their current affairs notes (if prepared) or refer to notes available online two hours everyday. 

Static subjects revision approach

Static syllabus is the only predictable thing about this exam. But the syllabus is extensive and a consolidated approach should be followed to revise each subject. With four months at disposal, candidates should revise all the subjects one month before exams. It is important to construct a daily, weekly and monthly plan to cover all the subjects. 

Broadly dividing a span of 90 days (three months) among six major subjects, it is suggested that a candidate should revise

  • Indian polity and governance in 16 days,
  • History, Art & Culture in 20 days,
  • Geography in 15 days,
  • Economics in 10 days,
  • Science and technology in 20 days,
  • Environment and ecology in 20 days.

However, the above-given plan is only suggestive and candidates can modify the number of days they want to invest in a subject as per their preparation. 

Mock tests and previous year papers

Solving mock papers is one of the finest ways to shed exam fear and understand the prelims exam pattern. Reading and learning is one part of the UPSC exam preparation and solving questions based on those topics is another. Hence, it is advisable for students to solve as many mock tests as possible before the exam. It may be possible to not score well in the initial few days but the score will improve eventually. Candidates should also refer to previous years’ papers to understand the exam pattern. It can help understand the type of questions that can be framed from a particular topic. 

What not to do?

– With a few months left for the exam, candidates should not refer to any new study material or resource for preparation. Stick to the prepared notes and NCERT textbooks. 

– Do not self-doubt on your strategy. It is very important that aspirants maintain consistency and are confident about their study plan.

– Do not ignore physical health as long sitting hours can take a toll on your health. Pursue an outdoor activity or a hobby for at least 30 minutes during the day. This will help maintain the physical and mental health during the rigorous preparation and also kill the monotony. 

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