UPSC Prelims exam is the first hurdle to leap in your journey of securing the IAS tag. The competition is the most intense in the first round as only a fraction of those who take the prelims will qualify for the IAS mains exam.

Here we have talk with the team of UPSC coaching in Indore and come up with topic-wise preparation strategy for Civil Services Preliminary Exam which candidates can refer and if they think they have missed then it is not too late and they are eligible to include in their preparation.

A well-organized preparation strategy along with favourable time management will surely give aspirants an edge over others. Given below are some topic-wise tips that will guide the candidates in making their UPSC Exam preparation strategy.

Planning for Current Events

Current Affairs questions are asked from the core disciplines or say subjects, for example, science and technology, Polity, History, Geography, Economics, and environment. So we must give importance to current affairs from all perspectives, i.e. subjects, Prelim, Main and Personality Test.

These questions can be asked based on Government Initiatives/Policies, Policies of India which have international importance- Look East Policy, International Institutions- IMF, WB, UNSC, etc. International Agreements- Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), etc. Human Rights Issues, Social Sector Initiatives, Sustainable Development, etc.

To bring in more clarity on this aspect, we would illustrate ate with a few examples.
For example:
Current Events – Geography

Q.1 With reference to ‘Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)’ sometimes mentioned in the news while forecasting Indian monsoon, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. IOD phenomenon is characterized by a difference in sea surface temperature between tropical Western Indian Ocean and tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean.
2. An IOD phenomenon can influence an El Nino’ s impact on the monsoon.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
1. (a) 1 only
2. (b) 2 only
3. (c) Both 1 and 2
4. (d) Neither 1 nor 2
5. Solution: (b)

Can average student clear the UPSC exam and become IAS or IPS officer


Over a period, this subject has gained its own place in the UPSC Exam and has become important both for prelims and mains exam. Areas to focus on this subject would be architecture, dance forms, folk cultures, paintings, martial arts etc.

Books to refer
• 11th standard NCERT- Introduction to Indian Arts
• NIOS book on art and culture
• CCRT website to prepare this subject thoroughly
Of course, not to forget the current affairs, make a note of the art and culture that were in the news and if possible, make as many questions as possible compared with the previous year UPSC Questions Papers.

It is also advised to candidates not to spend too much time on this subject to get a fair idea about the questions asked in this subject it is advised to candidates to go through the previous year question papers.


History has not seen much change until now as the UPSC exam pattern as seen.
Focus should be on
Ancient and Medieval History
• Indus Valley Civilization, Jainism, Buddhism, Mughals, and southern kingdoms are important from ancient and medieval history
Modern History
• Main Congress sessions with the year, president, and important resolutions
• Significant viceroys and their period with important decisions
• The government of India acts 1909, 1919, 1935 and charter acts


Focus areas for prelims should be on
• Indian geography
• Map reading is more than enough under world geography
• Focus should be on areas which were in news recently in map reading
For example, Kaveri Dispute
South China Sea due to Island issue
• Map reading is also important in Indian Geography, as at least 1 question is asked in Geography paper based on the Indian map.
Sources to refer
• NCERTs of 8th to 12th standard
• Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong

Also read: Preparation plan for UPSC prelims exam for new aspirants


Special emphasis should be on the Constitution while preparing for polity
Under Indian Constitution areas to give importance is:
• Fundamental Rights
• Directive Principles on State Policy
• Fundamental Duties
• President and Parliament are the most important
Focus on
• Issues in news and should relate them to the provisions in the constitution
• Government schemes and policies

Books to refer
• Laxmikant Indian Polity
• Subhash Kashyap
• PM Bakshi


Focus must be on basic concepts, international organization, current affairs etc.
The most effective way to cover the economics subject would be to links the recent issues in news with the basic concepts of economics.
Books to refer
• 11th and 12th standard NCERTs
• Major newspapers, RBI and Government initiatives


This subject became prominent since 2013, when Indian Forest Service prelims exam was merged with Civil Services Prelims Exam.
• Must be aware of basic concepts related to ecology and environment
• This section mostly covers the recent issues in the news
Focus should be on
• location of national parks
• wildlife
• sanctuaries
• endangered species in India and their habitat
• various international conventions on climate change

Books to refer
• Class 9th and 10th ICSE board books on Environmental Education
• Major Newspaper for current events


Focus on basic concepts
current events – issues in news related to-
• Space-related news
• India’s achievements
• Revolutionary innovations and Nobel prizes
Sources to refer
• NCERT books of 11th and 12th standard of Physics, Chemistry and Biology
• Major News papers

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