UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2022 would be conducted next year on June 5. The new UPSC aspirants or the old ones who have just begun to prepare again can read the article to articulate the right strategy and find useful reference resources to commence the preparation.
Research Prior To Exam:
It is evident that the thought of becoming an IAS officer brings a rush to begin preparing for the exam instantaneously. However, this hurry can prove to be the biggest mistake one can commit during the preparation. UPSC Prelims exam is a dynamic competitive exam and requires patience, consistency, and hard work throughout the year. Hence, it becomes important that before beginning to prepare for the exam, aspirants are well-versed with the exam pattern, syllabus, resources, and study material.
Devote a day for basic research: With less time available at hand, aspirants should not spend more than a day preparing for the exam. It is necessary that you utilize this day to research the syllabus, exam pattern, watch toppers’ videos to understand the process.
Decide Your Optional Subject: Another important aspect to consider while researching is to decide an optional subject you would take up for the Mains exams. UPSC will release the application form for UPSC CSE 2021 exams in February 2021 and candidates need to mark their optional choice in the application form. It is essential that aspirants decide their optional subjects well in advance to avoid the last-minute pressure and ending up choosing the wrong optional.
Zero Down Study Resources: After researching and analyzing all the pros and cons it is essential that you narrow down your study list. With five months at hand, it is not possible to study everything suggested by experts and toppers. To help you we have mentioned a list of books and resources which you can study for preparation in the article ahead.
Create a Comfortable Study Environment: Another important step is to create a peaceful and comfortable study environment. Aspirants should ensure that their study room or study area should be away from the hustle-bustle of the house. UPSC exam preparation needs extended study hours and immense concentration. Hence, your study space should be a comfortable spot equipped with all the required study material.
Preparation for UPSC Prelims GS Paper
Once you are thorough with all the research work, the next step is to plan your study schedule for the next 5 months. With only 150 days available aspirants need to do a selective study to qualify for the exam. Below we have provided a list of resources that should be followed for each subject:
➨ Current Affairs: There is no decided pattern for GS prelims and in any year the ratio of questions from each section may vary. That is why aspirants should prepare the current affairs for the last 18-24 months.
References for Current Affairs-
- Newspaper - The Hindu/ Indian Express
Do not devote more than thirty minutes to newspaper reading. Concentrate more on the editorial, national and international news sections)
- Yojana Magazine
- Jagran Josh General Knowledge Monthly E-book
- Jagran Josh Daily GK Quiz
Strategy for Current Affairs-
- Prepare current affairs of the last 18-24 months.
- International Relations, Science and Technology, Defence are some of the key areas to concentrate
- Editorial section is important for Polity and Essay papers in Mains exams.
History of India covers ancient, medieval, and modern history as well as the Indian National Movement. The syllabus is vast however if studied well can help you solve 5-7 questions in the Prelims exams.
References for History-
- Class 6-12th NCERT books for History
- Spectrum - A brief history of Modern India
- Bipin Chandra’s Struggle for Independence
UPSC includes Indian and World Geography. Maps are an important part of the geography syllabus and every year 1-2 map based questions are asked in the Prelims exam every year.
References for Geography
- Class 6-10 NCERTs - World Geography topics
- Class 11, 12 NCERT
- Oxford Atlas
- G.C. Leong - Physical Geography
➨ Indian Polity
There is only one book which is time and again suggested by all experts and aspirants. Indian Polity by Laxmikant should be read thoroughly. It may not be possible to cover the entire book before prelims hence, aspirants should read all the important articles thoroughly.
Economics includes topics from the economy, social development - poverty, inclusive growth, social sector initiatives, etc.
References for Economics
- Class 11 and 12 NCERT
- Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (reference only for important topics)
- The Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma (for basics)
- Economy Survey Summary
Environment and Ecology include topics related to biodiversity, climate change, etc. All the topics in news related to the environment should be carefully studied.
References for Environment
- Class 12 Biology (Only environment topics)
- Shankar IAS notes
➨ General Science
Most of the questions from General science are related to current events, However, some basic concepts should not be ignored.
References for General Science
- Class 6-10 NCERTs
- Science Reporter Magazine
Also Read: Tips & Strategy to Prepare CSAT (Paper 2)
Day-Wise Preparation Slots
Days for Preparation (approx.)
Science & Technology
Apart from the given study plan, aspirants can also previous years’ papers to test their preparation level. Five months is a concise time to prepare for an exam this diverse, hence aspirants should refrain from notes making at this stage and focus particularly on studying and completing the syllabus before the exam.