Considered the most challenging exam in the nation and the world, The Indian Administrative Services examination, or more famous – the IAS examination, is no small peak to conquer. But, even in this mammoth of a challenge, another challenge emerges – the revision of this extensive syllabus. Even with the best Revision Strategy for UPSC, the syllabus becomes too tiresome for the candidates. 

An exam where completing the syllabus itself is arduous and requires most of your daytime – imagine the revision that follows. Even at the optimum brain capacity, students generally cannot recollect 100% of the material. Fortunately, we have come up with the best Revision Strategy for UPSC and methods that the student can work on such efficiency levels that are unknown to others (Separate revision strategy for UPSC prelims and mains at that). 

Before we get into the main topic, we want a moment to appreciate all you civil service candidates for your willingness to serve the country. For your dedication towards society, we salute you. 

No matter which revision strategy you take for the UPSC examination, all this is useless until you have that fire in your heart and willingness to give it your 150% every day. All the materials and techniques can only help you if you drive and ferocity. Do not forget this. If you are a beginner, you can join The Thought Tree. We provide the best UPSC Coaching, and we will help you in your preparation. 

Let us get into the best revision strategy for UPSC.


Revision Strategy for UPSC Aspirants

The Revision Strategy for UPSC can be divided into 2 categories – Periodic and Separate. 

Let us see these two in detail.


This type of revision refers to the revision done at a regular interval. You study the whole day and revise at the end of the day. Study for the week, and you revise at the weekend. You study for 10 days and revise at the end of those 10 days. 

I hope you get the point. This is an excellent revision strategy for UPSC Prelims and Mains. What you study stays in your mind if you read it repeatedly. You study something and revise it at the end of the day, then again at the end of the week, then again after a regular interval. This ensures that you repeat it enough times to be glued to your mind.

“Repetition is the father of learning” – Dwayne Michael Carter. 

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This is the revision you start doing 3-4 months before your IAS examination date. This is a common revision strategy for UPSC Prelims and Mains. After completing the portion, candidates think that they are set for the examination, which is not true since a human brain is conditioned. Unless it sees or reads something repeated several times – it’ll forget it. 

So, after you are done with your syllabus (with the periodic revision, of course), you have to start with a separate revision. That means you will go through the entire syllabus again and again if possible. If time permits, a repeated revision is suggested. It is basic but one of the best UPSC revision tips I can give you.

In this method, you only revise daily and do nothing else. Just relentless revision. That is how Sachin Tendulkar became who he is, that is how Michael Jordan became who he is, that is how Muhammad Ali became who he is. Sheer repetition and commitment. 

“Only learning is not enough, you have to practice it daily to be great” – Me.

This is the best UPSC revision technique, and you will have to follow it to be fully ready for this giant examination. Furthermore, we shall look at the preparation strategies.

Revision Strategy for UPSC Prelims and Mains

Now let’s see the revision strategy for UPSC Prelims and Mains separately. 

1. Revision Strategy for UPSC Prelims

Some tips that T3 can provide to all you IAS candidates are as follow –

  • Since the exam is objective, practice mock papers based on MCQs and not subjective.
  • Revise the important dates, people – basically keep in touch with your selective notes.
  • An excellent revision strategy for the Civil Services Exam is to discuss with your fellow candidates, family, and friends. Tell them random facts in the middle of a conversation, ask them to test your knowledge, and so on.
  • Another UPSC revision tip is that you do not learn anything new once you prepare. Focus on what you have completed. There are cases where IAS candidates become overconfident, try to learn new things, and repeat. So, stick to what you know. 

Some other tips that The Thought Tree would love to give you are –

  • While reading the questions, do not go fast or try and finish the exam quickly. It might lead to your misinterpretation of any question. 
  • Read all the options given. Sometimes you might not know the answer, but you might know which option is not the answer. Increases your chances of survival! 
  • Do not panic and keep a steady head – your coolness will save you from choosing the wrong option in a rush.

2.  Revision Strategy for UPSC Mains

Mains is a bit scarier than prelims because it is subjective. The best revision technique for UPSC Mains is the repetition of writing practice. 

  • Mock tests for Mains (written) to be practiced daily, along with essays.
  • Same as prelims, revise whenever you get the time. Your world should revolve around the facts and stuff you have learned from UPSC preparation. 
  • A balance is required between the core subjects and the optional ones. Also, allot more time to the weak subjects, practice more, and write more.
  • Current affairs can give you a little trouble, so be updated on it (unlike prelims, where you avoid it). Since there is a 3-month gap between the two stages, be updated.

Other tips are the same as the prelims – read the questions carefully, keep a cool head, write smart and specific.

Note-Making is another important thing you must consider while preparing for the UPSC exam. Now let’s see how you have to make notes during the UPSC preparation and note-making revision strategy for UPSC.   

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Note-Making Strategy for UPSC

We all know that notes are an integral part of any examination’s preparation. One can make many types of notes during their preparation for IAS or any other competitive examination. So, we are listing a few note-making techniques and methods for you guys down here, which you can use in any competitive exam. 

1. Regular Note-Making


Revision Strategy for UPSC
Revision Strategy for UPSC

The “good old fashion jotting down the topic in precise, clear, and complete points. Capturing the essence of the topic, while giving the reader enough idea about the topic so that they understand it” type of note-making. 

This is done while you are studying something for the first time. You come across a topic, and you jot it down. Later, when you revise it – you recollect everything you read. Do this couple of times more, and it is stuck in your brain (like a Billie Eilish song). 

A great way to begin your journey and collect your thoughts and learnings.

2. Selective Note-Making


Revision Strategy for UPSC

This type of note-making is generally preferred when you are done with the syllabus for one time. What one does in this makes a point of stuff that is deemed important. 

For example – noting down important dates, places, people, and so on. 

This type is very effective for IAS candidates since General Knowledge holds significant weight in their exam. So, after you are done with the syllabus as a whole and have made your normal notes, you can proceed with selective note-making, marking the important dates, events, and so on.

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3. Revision Note-Making


Revision note-making might seem a little forced or something that is not that necessary, but this will nail it down for all you IAS aspirants out there. This might demand extra efforts out of you, but hey – that is what being a civil servant is all about. This is the best revision technique for UPSC aspirants. You made notes; you made selective notes, now you make revisional notes based on the previous two. Trust me; repetition is the key. The more you repeat it, the better chances that you beat it.

The revision and note-making techniques combined are a highly efficient and effective way to complete the syllabus and revise it. What is better is – you only have to make the notes one time, and then you can read them again and again. 

Even though many IAS coaching institutions are providing notes to candidates – your handmade notes will work better for you than all the material you receive, and that is a fact. What your hand has written – becomes muscle memory, and what your eyes are repeatedly seeing – they tell it to your hands.

We have given a time-table for you guys. You can create your own too. You can save this template and edit it as per your preferences. 

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