UPSC Prelims 2021: Here are our expert-backed 3-month revision tips for you

Updated on Mar 11, 2021 07:12 PM IST

Revision during the last three months of UPSC Prelims can play a crucial role behind your success in the exam. Follow our expert tips to make the most of this time.

Time management at the examination hall is crucial for success in UPSC exam (Representational Image). HT file photo/ representational
Time management at the examination hall is crucial for success in UPSC exam (Representational Image). HT file photo/ representational
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services exams are your gateway to the most prestigious government jobs like Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS). So, it’s no wonder that these highly competitive exams, where lakhs of aspirants appear for a handful of positions, are a tough nut to crack.

The date for UPSC Prelims 2021 is 27th June 2021. Given the fact that you have just above three months remaining for this exam, preparation is in full swing and aspirants are burning the midnight oil to crack it. “In the Prelims round, the approach for preparation is more intensive, meaning, students need to have an in-depth knowledge about each and every single thing,” says Nagendra Pratap Singh, Course Director, Civil Services Exam, Rau’s IAS Study Circle. Though clearing the UPSC Prelims at the first attempt is an uphill task, proper planning and creating a well-rounded preparation strategy for the last few months can be a sure-fire way to success. Here is a 3-month revision plan from Singh for UPSC Prelims 2021.

Make a schedule

This is extremely important at this stage of preparation. “While making a routine for these last few months, allocate time to each topic or subject based on their importance or weightage,” says Singh. According to him, a well-planned three-month revision routine for UPSC Prelims Paper I, General Studies, should look like this:

Economy- 15-20 days

Geography & Environment-15-20 days

Polity & Governance-15-20 days

Art & Culture-7 Days

Modern History-10 days

Ancient Indian History-7-10 days

Science & Technology-7-8 days

The topics are positioned in the order of importance.

Do not neglect CSAT

You need to score only 33 per cent in Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). It is Paper II of the UPSC Prelims exam. “Students do not need to spend too much time for the preparation of CSAT. This paper is very well-balanced with around 20 questions from maths, 30-35 from English and some from analytical reasoning. Broadly speaking, CSAT can be divided into basic numeracy, verbal ability and reasoning. You can clear the paper if you have command over two of these core areas. For example, if you are good in Verbal Ability (English) and Reasoning, not Basic numeracy (maths), then also you will be in a position to obtain the required 33 per cent. However, scoring below this will disqualify you and your Paper I won’t be checked,” says Singh. According to him, devoting an hour or two for CSAT every day during the three-month revision phase is good enough.

Revise from your notes

Keep your subject-wise notes handy and go through them while revising. This will save a lot of time as you won’t have to go through every topic elaborately. “However, if you haven’t made separate notes yet, you can look for subject-wise revision notes released by some coaching centres two months prior to the exam. They are available online as well as in the forms of physical booklets,” says Singh.

Pay special attention to current affairs

This is the most crucial part of the UPSC Prelims exam. “If you look at the recent UPSC trends, you will see that current affairs are integrated in various subjects like Science & Technology, Economy, Polity & Governance. History and geography, on the other hand, are static,” says Singh. “You have to be abreast with the current affairs of at least 18 months. For this year’s Prelims exam, focus on the period from January 1 2020 to May 31 2021,” he adds. The best way to stay updated on current affairs is to go through newspapers every day. Always do an in-depth research for any topic that is making it to the news frequently. You should be aware of its history and corresponding theories.

Take a series of tests

This is a crucial element in your last three months’ preparation regimen for UPSC. “They check the students’ level of preparedness while preparing them psychologically for the actual exam,” says Singh.

Topic-wise suggestions

Follow these subject tips from Singh for the revision of UPSC Prelims 2021.

History: Focus on art and culture, modern history, ancient history and medieval history in that order.

Polity & Governance: Pay special attention to what is happening in the current scenario. Examples include Right to Privacy, Right to Freedom of Expression, Citizenship Act, Directive Principles of State Policy and Farm Laws among others.

Economy: Refer to Economic Survey, published by the Government of India. The main areas of focus should include Macro Economics (not Micro Economics), economic performance in various sectors, trends and analysis. Do not pay much attention to static facts and figures.

Science & Technology: Focus should be on space, defence, biotechnology, new diseases and other latest developments.

Geography & Environment: Pay attention to biodiversity, climate change and global warming, endangered species, animals conserved through national parks and their locations.

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