How to Prepare for UPSC Preliminary Examination 2021

Are you the one who wants to know the tips and tricks on How to Prepare for UPSC Preliminary Examination 2021? Then, you have selected the absolutely right article for your UPSC Prelims Preparation. This article will guide you well by revealing all the secrets to crack the UPSC Prelims in the first attempt. And I am sure you cannot miss the third tip. Want to know what is it? Read the article carefully to know all the preparation tips for Prelims.

Do you aspire to become a Government Employee? Want to have that government tag & designation so that you can have a white-collar job. With money comes all the reputation and power in the Government jobs. It is the dream of any candidate. Want to achieve your dream then practice the simple tips given below and start your UPSC Prelims Preparation right away. Because UPSC is tough to crack and has a lot of competition.

Thus, it becomes important for the candidates to build a rock-solid UPSC CSAT Prelims strategy to qualify in the exam in order to be eligible for the further recruitment process. Most UPSC aspirants find it difficult while preparing a comprehensive preparation strategy.

What is UPSC Preliminary Exam

UPSC Preliminary exam is the first step for UPSC. Without cracking the Preliminary exam you are not qualified for any of the next rounds – Mains Exam, Interview Process. Thus, Preliminary Exam plays a vital role in UPSC Exam without which you cannot proceed.

To crack UPSC Prelims Exam you need to follow some tips & guidelines. As it is not easy to crack it. You have to start the preparation of Prelims well in advance and right away after your 12th class.  You can prepare yourself or join any coaching for the same.

Full form of UPSC

UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission. UPSC  conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE) to hire eligible candidates for the post of IAS, IPS, IFS, and various other posts.

How to Prepare for UPSC Preliminary Examination 2021

UPSC Preliminary Exam Preparation

  • Understand the Exam Properly
  • Strengthen the Basics
  • Select Right Study Resources
  • Practice and Practice More
  • Revision is Important
How to Prepare for UPSC Preliminary Examination 2021

To apply for any government position like DM, Collector, IP, IFS, IAS you need to qualify for the UPSC Exam. UPSC exam is taken in 3 stages. The 3 stages are listed below.

  • Preliminary Exam
  • Mains Exam
  • Interview

Let us see the UPSC Preliminary Exam more in detail.

UPSC Preliminary Exam

UPSC Preliminary exam is the first stage in the UPSC exam. The preliminary exam has 2 papers that are conducted. Each paper has 200 marks a total of 400 marks. The question paper is in two languages namely English and Hindi. The duration of the paper is 2 hours each paper. This examination carries a negative marking of the one-third penalty. That is for each wrong answer there is a negative marking of 0.33 marks. This paper has objective-type questions which comprise multiple-choice questions.

Exam Pattern

PaperTypeNumber of
Paper 1Objective1002000.332 hours
Paper 2Objective802000.332 hours

Syllabus for the Preliminary Exam

The UPSC Prelims Exam consists of two exams that is General Studies I and General Studies-II (CSAT).

Paper 1Indian History
General Science
Indian Politics
Current Events
General Issues
Indian Geography
World Geography
Social Development
Economic Development
Paper 2Communicational Skills
Intrapersonal Skills
English Skills
English Comprehension
Language skill that is chosen by the candidate
Decision-making skills
Problem-solving ability
Mental Ability
Basic Numeracy

Tips & Tricks for UPSC Prelims Exam Preparation

Lakhs of the candidates apply for the exam, yet only a few could achieve the feat owing to high competition and weak preparation strategy. 

Hence, to help the candidates out, we have shared the best UPSC Prelims preparation strategy for the candidates aspiring for the upcoming Civil Service Exam. The Tips & Tricks for UPSC Prelims Exam Preparation are listed below.

1. Understand the Exam Properly

Before starting the preparation, the candidates should read the official notification of the UPSC exam thoroughly to get well-versed with the eligibility, exam syllabus, exam pattern, and the overall selection process.  Candidates should get familiar with the syllabus and exam pattern to gain in-depth knowledge of the important topics, marking scheme, and the exam structure to strategize accordingly for the exam. With the help of the syllabus, candidates will be able to study the topics that are important for the exam.

2. Strengthen the Basics

Next, the candidates should strengthen the basics of each topic of the UPSC syllabus to avoid confusion on concepts at any stage of preparation. You can refer NCERTs books for all the subjects to build a strong grip on the basic concepts of all the topics.

NCERT books can be purchased from any nearby bookstore or can be downloaded from the official website for free. Once you have covered the NCERT books, then you can move ahead with the advanced level books of each subject for better preparation.

3. Select Right Study Resources

Candidates should select the best books and the study material during the preparation to perform well in the actual exam. There are a plethora of study resources for the UPSC exam available on print and online platforms.

Thus, the candidates are advised to check the reviews and feedback of other aspirants while selecting the books for the preparation. And also, aspirants can enroll in the best UPSC IAS GS 2023 Coaching for the books and other study resources to achieve the best result in the exam.

4. Practice and Practice More

Candidates should start attempting mock tests at least two months before the commencement of the prelims exam. It will give them an exam feel. Once they get well-versed, it will minimize the unnecessary stress and pressure of the exam. Candidates should appear for mock tests like actual exams and assess the level of their preparation.

By doing this, they will be able to identify the weak areas and give extra time to improve the same. Attempting mock tests will also improve the question-solving speed and the accuracy of the candidates. Also, they should solve previous year’s question papers to analyze the difficulty level and get an understanding of what is actually asked in the exam.

5. Revision is Important

Regular revision plays an important part in the entire scheme of the UPSC Preparation. Read the topics twice or thrice and then note down all the important points to be used for revision purposes at the later stage.

Once the candidates have covered all the topics from the NCERT and basic textbook, then they should revise the topics from the handwritten notes frequently to avoid forgetting any important concepts on the examination day.

Books & Study Material

To crack the UPSC examination you need to have General Knowledge. For this, you need to keep on reading the newspaper. Jagran Josh, Economic Times, and Indian Express are something I would suggest to enhance your general knowledge and current affairs.

Other lists of books that I would suggest are as follows.

  • Indian Polity For Civil Service Examination -Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
  • Indian Year Book
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Oxford Geography Atlas
  • A Brief History of Modern India
  • Indian Art And Culture
  • Fundamentals of Geography(NCERT)
  • Concise History of Modern India by Sujata Menon
  • Facets of Indian Culture
  • The Constitution of India by P.M Bakshi
  • Indian Economy by Mishra and Puri


To conclude, this was all about How to Prepare for UPSC Preliminary Examination 2021. Hope these tips & tricks help you crack the Prelims exam on the first attempt. And you do so, then do not forget to share your feedback & experience of the UPSC Prelims exam. You would like to hear it from you. Was it easy or tough? What do you think should you start your preparation for UPSC Mains?

Good Luck!

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