The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination (CSE) is widely regarded as one of the most challenging entrance exams in the country. There are three parts to the All India Examination: the Preliminary, the Mains, and the Interview.

The preliminary phase of the selection procedure is also known as the screening phase. Many Civil Service hopefuls think clearing the screening phase is challenging because of the immense competition. The IAS Preliminary Examination consists of two mandatory papers and will be administered in an objective-type format.

With all the vigor of the youthful age and the brilliance of the student’s intellect, the just-out-of-college people have better probabilities to clear the UPSC examination. However, costly endeavors might be wasted if the appropriate direction and strategy aren’t prioritized throughout the UPSC preparation. Aspirants should never allow this to happen. You may confidently approach the Civil Service Exam if you follow the advice below. If you’re an aspirant seeking UPSC Prelims preparation tips, we think you’ll find some useful information in this post.

UPSC Prelims Preparation Tips

Understand the Basics of Exam

There are three parts to the Civil Service Exam: the preliminary, the main, and the interview. To apply, you need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in India. General category students get up to six tries, and the age range is from 21 to 32 (with some leeway depending on local regulations).

Prior to making this choice, it is crucial to examine all aspects of preparing for the IAS examination, from the exam’s structure and content outline to the difficulty of previous years’ problems. It’s not a sure thing that the applicant will succeed on the first try, and the process often stalls out after a few setbacks because of how erratic it may be.

Speaking with seniors/mentors and others who have studied for the CSE can give you a broader understanding of the exam and help you develop a winning approach.

Read More: How to Read The Hindu for UPSC?

Get Yourself Ready

Getting ready for the journey is the first step in understanding how to begin UPSC preparation. You should get yourself in test shape before you even begin studying. Make plans and use your time wisely. Understand the UPSC examination structure inside and out so you can effectively plan your IAS studies. The internet and other modern conveniences make it much easier to juggle many priorities at once. Success in this examination depends on making the correct judgments at the appropriate times. A proper selection process relies heavily on having the right strategy and direction. A well-thought-out plan might be the deciding element in whether or not you pass the IAS examination.


The first and essential task is to comprehend the UPSC CSE syllabus properly. Applicants should study everything in the course outline. Knowing what to read and what to skip depends on the nature and scope of the course’s curriculum, both of which should be made clear. It is essential to keep a keen eye on the curriculum because exam questions are always drawn from it. This is one of the most important UPSC Prelims Preparation Tips.


Reading the NCERTs should be your top priority. The National Center for Education Research (NCERT) provides resources to assist students in building foundational expertise in various academic areas. The National Center for Education Results (NCERTs) is a great place to start while studying for the UPSC.

IAS exam preparation relies heavily on NCERT texts covering grades 6-12. Basic ideas and theories may be found in NCERT textbooks, which are widely available to aspiring students. The material presented in these books is presented logically. In addition, they may be trusted since they come from the government. Questions in previous UPSC exams were lifted verbatim from NCERT textbooks. Thus, NCERTs are the finest books to start with if you want to get a good grade on your IAS exam. Follow a couple of additional advanced textbooks in addition to the NCERTs.

Read More: How to be Consistent in UPSC Preparation?

Read Newspaper Daily

One of the most important things you can do to get ready for the IAS exam is read a newspaper daily. One should read one newspaper daily to gain a basic comprehension of the day-to-day activities throughout the globe and continually increase this knowledge by interlinking various issues in answer writing. Current events questions are becoming increasingly important in the prelims, so staying on top of the news by reading the newspaper regularly is a great way to give yourself an edge. It will help you remain informed about current happenings. This is an important UPSC prelims preparation tips.

Previous Years’ Questions

Aspirants must read through the previous years’ question papers attentively to comprehensively grasp the examination format. The greatest study materials may be found, and you can get a sense of the variety of questions addressed.

Give Mock Tests

It is highly recommended to prepare using mock exams, and for the prelims and mains, it is crucial to practise composing answers every day. If you want to master the whole curriculum, enrolling in a quality test series to take the tests regularly is essential. These practise exams are useful for more than just becoming comfortable with the exam format.

Examining oneself is crucial in being ready for the UPSC. Aspirants for public office might benefit from this exercise by reflecting on their preparation thus far and drawing conclusions about where they can make improvements. If you are studying for the IAS exam on your own time, it is highly suggested that you enrol in The Thought Tree’s premier mock exam series. Introspection and development are facilitated by this exercise.

Read More: Tips to Beat UPSC Exam Stress

Be selective while picking an Optional Subject 

Selecting the appropriate Optional Subject is crucial to your success on this examination. You should carefully consider your academic background, knowledge and interest in the subject, the curriculum, the availability of appropriate resources, and coaching classes, and so on when deciding which optional to take.


Maintaining study and timetable discipline is critical to your performance and is a major component of any successful strategy. Although you may experience discomfort and anguish initially, you should start to see positive changes occurring on the inside as time goes on. In time, you’ll come to see these alterations as essential to who you are.

Learn from your own mistakes rather than from textbooks

While invaluable, experience comes at a high price and should not be discounted in your UPSC planning. In addition to reading books, you may expand your knowledge by listening to informative shows like RSTV debates, visiting a rural region, learning about the roles of basic functionaries, and talking to as many people as possible from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds. Check out the doubts you have to deal with on a regular basis. As a result, your responses will stand out from the others. This is one of the most important UPSC Prelims Preparation Tips.

Taking Notes

In order to aid in the UPSC study, jotting down quick notes might be quite useful. Due to the breadth of the UPSC exam, a detailed syllabus is useful for keeping track of material and as a quick reference for reviewing. Files and notes can be divided up by topic. Many people find that using files to keep track of research on a topic is more convenient. This is of great use when incorporating news of the day into an ongoing discussion.

Read More: Common Mistakes to Avoid in UPSC Preparation

Exercises in Writing Out Answers

The primary questions in the IAS exam are of a descriptive character. Your analytical, critical, and interpersonal skills will be put to the exam. It necessitates that you have crystal-clear concepts and flawlessly organised points of view, senses, and thoughts. Time and space limitations in the response booklet should also be taken into consideration. It is imperative that applicants respond to the questions efficiently and effectively using as few words as possible. If you don’t have time to practise composing answers, you won’t be able to do this.

Stay Abreast on the Latest News

Exams for entry into the civil service are designed to assess an applicant’s familiarity with the community in which he or she hopes to work. One of the candidates’ most pervasive misconceptions is that they must be up-to-date on world events. While familiarity with world events is helpful, it is essential to begin one’s preparedness by learning about one’s local community, county, state, and nation. This is helpful for military service.

Previous Year Question Papers

It is useful to practise with questions from prior years. Ideally, you should look at exam papers from the past five years. This kind of practise can help you anticipate the questions on the exam and the format of the papers that will include them. Examining or at least trying to solve old exam questions can be a nuisance, but it’s worth it. It helps you feel more prepared for the exam and gives you an idea of the types of questions that will likely be on the exam. Question banks may be found on several sites relevant to civil service exams. If you employ them to their maximum potential, you will notice a change in your character from unfocused and insecure to focused and assured.

Work on expressing yourself and interacting with others

The interview is a significant aspect of the assessment process. It is crucial that you articulate yourself well throughout the interview. Therefore, you should work on improving your verbal and nonverbal communication abilities. Some job-seekers just naturally have those abilities. And not everyone is born with the innate ability to articulate their thoughts well. Candidates who feel they lack the necessary communication skills should seek out people who have already taken the civil service examinations and learn from their experiences.

Read More: How to Write Essay in UPSC Mains Exam?

So there were some UPSC Prelims Preparation Tips. I hope you like these.


When should one begin studying for the UPSC Civil Services Exam?

There is no one-and-only-one timeline by which you must study for this exam. You may pass this exam on your first try if you study using the correct materials and know what to expect. However, it is recommended that students begin studying as soon as possible in order to fully grasp the exam’s structure and be well-prepared for each portion.

How should I approach UPSC preparation on a daily basis?

If you’re just starting out, 7 or 8 hours a day is a good goal to go for. The plan calls for daily newspaper reading to be followed by GS and then an elective, and both halves can be split up in time as needed for your topic.

Remember to set aside at least one day every week for reviewing your materials, so that in addition to assimilating new knowledge every day, you can gather the materials in order to use them correctly before the specific combat day.

What can I do to prevent mental fatigue and boredom?

There’s no need to worry about the mental fatigue and lethargy that every aspirant experiences. It’s natural to experience ups and downs emotionally, and you may wonder why you’re putting in so much effort to study for this exam, what reward you’ll see, and whether or not it’s worth it to your loved ones if they depend on you passing the exam. As the adage goes, “focus about the trip rather than the goal,” and this is the piece of advice that will serve you most.

I am unable to travel to Delhi. They call it “the holy land” for those seeking to enter the civil service. How do I prepare now?

That’s not a problem at all. Online education has made it possible to earn a degree without ever leaving your house. Studying for the Civil Service Examination (IAS) or the UPSC is not a spiritual quest for enlightenment in a barren concrete wasteland. The THought Tree now offers online courses so that students may study at their own pace and in the comfort of their own homes.

My linguistic abilities in the English language are very limited. It has been said that I am no longer competitive. Am I?

No. You haven’t been written off completely yet. You’ve finally identified the issue; it’s the quality of your English. Improve it by working on it. To communicate, you need to know the basics of the English language. What’s more, you’re welcome to use your native language in both the written exam and the interview. The Thought Tree is there to help you by providing one on one mentoring to strengthen your weak areas.

How can I join The Thought Tree from home?

You can do this by simply enrolling yourself with T3. We will provide you with the online course, including special features such as mentorship, personal doubt-solving sessions, mock tests, reading material, newspaper analysis, etc.

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