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UPSC Civil Services exam 2020: Here’s what to read to crack prelims

UPSC CSE 2020: The prelims will be conducted on October 4. Follow these last minute preparation tips and tricks

New Delhi |
Updated: September 6, 2020 7:00:28 pm
Follow these preparation strategy to crack prelims

Written by Deepanshu Singh 

UPSC CSE 2020: UPSC civil services examination is one of the most prestigious and arguably the toughest examinations of the country with every year around a million aspirants applying for it, around 10,000 clear prelims, and ultimately 800-900 get a position. This means that the success rate is less than 0.1 per cent. Therefore, a smart preparation strategy is required to qualify the exam. The prelims will be conducted on October 4, which was scheduled to be held on May 31.

The examination is conducted in three phases – prelims, mains, interview and the complete process takes about a year to complete. There are more than 24 different services including a separate Indian Forest services for which a candidate can apply through this exam

UPSC CSE prelims 2020: Follow these preparation strategy

Start early: Since the minimum age to appear for the examination is 21 years, the final year of college is well-suited if you want to prepare early. One must go through the syllabus and question papers of the previous years to get accustomed to the pattern of the examination.

Reading habit: Developing a habit of reading newspapers daily and jotting down important points is an effective learning and memory aid which will turn out to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Read | Hard work, consistency key to success at UPSC exams, says 19th rank holder Shreshtha Anupam

Weekly and monthly targets: Curating a weekly and monthly revision target for an examination like UPSC which has a considerably vast syllabus will help you feel more confident about your preparation as the day of the examination gets closer.

Mock papers: Make a point to attempt as many mock papers and tests as this will help you get a hang of the questions and the flow of the paper.

IN VIDEO | Preparation strategy for UPSC Civil Services Exam

Healthy routines: Taking good care of your daily routines like sleep and eating habits will boost your mental and physical well-being is essential.

Study groups: Have a close group of peers who are serious aspirants and get feedback on answer writing, and partake in daily short discussion on various angles of a topic. This way you will get a nuanced perspective on your exam preparation.

Family and friends: The role of family and friends is also significant in supporting the candidates in this journey as this examination tests the mental preparedness and toughness of individuals. Discuss your schedule, triumphs, and fears with your family and friends as this will help reduce your stress and concentrate better.

What to read

Textbooks: Some standard textbooks that can be referred to are DD Basu for Polity along with NCERTs, R.S. Sharma for ancient India, Satish Chandra for medieval India, Bipan Chandra/Plassey to Partition for Modern India.

For Indian economy section: NCERT books are sufficient along with reading, especially the business and the economy section, for environment, one can refer to NIOS, NCERTs and Journal like Down to Earth and website of some prominent organisations like IUCN, UNFCC, UNEP, MOEFFCC etc.

READ | How to prepare for UPSC IES 2020

Geography: The geography section is generally very scoring and can be studied from NCERT textbooks of class 11 and 12 books along the G.C. Leong. Importantly,

Geography questions these days are clubbed with topics like environment, mapping and international organisations and places in the news, so it is required that the candidates’ practice well using an atlas along with newspapers and online resources.

Science and Technology: This section is mostly based on being aware of happenings in the field of research- especially bio-technology, DNA-RNA, GM crops, space missions etc. so aspirants cane prepare this with basic texts like NCERT to brush up the biology section and rest of it has to be prepared from journals like science reporter, newspaper or special programs in DD NEWS, RSTV, AIR etc

Other topics: You can refer to the NCERT textbooks for Indian society, for Disaster management read through the NDMA website, for Internal security, newspapers are the best along with a special focus on PIB and ministries websites for new schemes and policy launches like PM-KISAN, Atmanirbhar bharat etc.

The COVID-19 crisis in a way has also served to be a golden opportunity for many candidates who did not have adequate time to prepare for the examination. With a 3 month interval between the prelims and mains, candidates can utilise this time to brush up on the topics for mains, along with the optional subject and do a bit of answer writing practice, which is a crucial but commonly ignored area by most aspirants.

The author is the top educator of UPSC category at Unacademy with more than 5 years of experience and consultant advisor with the government. 

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