Exam prep Education

How to prepare for the UPSC Prelims 2021

The Prelims of the UPSC Civil Services Exam is a curriculum-heavy one.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is a curriculum-heavy one, which makes it imperative for students to start their preparations a year ahead. The major difference between the Prelims and the Mains is in the type of questions. The Prelims are objective while the questions in Mains are descriptive in nature. Reading the NCERT textbooks or taking regular classes can be sufficient to get the basics right. Going through previous year test papers to understand the pattern will be additionally beneficial. Here are a few quick suggestions:

Prep plan

Source wisely: While you need to source material from various books, do not make the mistake of trying to read too many. Decide on a few and stick with them.

Stay updated with current affairs: Get into the habit of reading one or two good newspapers to stay up-to-date on current affairs. Also, go through news websites for the latest on national and international politics, science and technology and socio-economic issues.

Planning and goal setting: To cover the vast UPSC syllabus, you must plan your day, week and month. Prepare a daily routine where you spend a fixed number of hours on study. Have daily or weekly goals and strive to achieve them.

Revision: The importance of revising cannot be undermined, especially as the Prelims involve being able to recall a lot of facts. This is where making notes helps. With well-made notes, you can revise the whole syllabus easily.

Aptitude tests: Covering aspects like comprehension, mental ability, and logical reasoning while taking aptitude tests can be very advantageous in the long run. This test requires intense practice.

Mock tests: Answering previous years’ question papers will give you an idea on the type of questions and also help assess your preparation level. In addition, you can time your answers optimally. This way, you can plan how much time to spend on each question.

Do not waver: Work hard and persevere. You might be tempted to give up because of the sheer enormity of the task. Remember, the Prelims is only half the battle. You cannot afford to lose enthusiasm at this stage itself. So buck up, study hard, and will yourself to go that extra mile. Do not look at the exams as a burden but as a golden opportunity to improve and showcase intelligence.

The writer is Founder and CEO, The Catalyst Group.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 4:04:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/how-to-prepare-for-the-upsc-prelims-2021/article33587260.ece

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