45 Days Strategy for the UPSC Preliminary Exam

The Civil Services preliminary examination is round the corner and the last few days are extremely crucial for every aspirant. Here, we have for you a 45 days strategy for the UPSC preliminary examination 2022.

We have 2 strategies for you. You can choose the strategy that fits you best. However, before selecting the strategy, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How many topics are left to be revised?
  2. Have I completed studying all the subjects?
  3. Have I finished all the mock tests?
  4. Have I analysed all the solved mock tests?
  5. Am I able to recall what I have studied or revised?
  6. Have I solved previous years’ question papers?
  7. Have I prepared notes (wherever essential)?

After answering the above mentioned questions, select the strategy that suits your requirements. You can always tweak but ensure that you cover all the components given in the strategy given below.

Looking for study material to prepare for the upcoming Civil Services Exam? 

Refer to the links below and complement your UPSC exam preparation:

Strategy for General Studies Paper 1

GS 1 Syllabus

The entire UPSC Prelims examination syllabus of the general studies paper 1 can be divided into 7 sections, namely:

  1. Current events of national and international importance.
  2. History of India and Indian National Movement.
  3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  4. Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change
  7. General Science

Candidates who plan to appear for the upcoming preliminary exam should cover each and every section of the paper 1 syllabus. If we try and divide the above syllabus into various subjects or broad areas, the list will look like the one given below :

  • Current Affairs
  • Polity
  • History and Art and culture
  • Environment
  • Geography
  • Indian economy/Economics
  • Science and technology

Getting an idea of the UPSC syllabus is important but what is more crucial is to go through the previous years’ question papers. Analysing and solving the UPSC prelims previous years’ question papers is a necessity and not a choice. Therefore, it should be one of your priorities while making a study plan for UPSC prelims. You can also refer to the page on UPSC prelims subject-wise weightage to understand the recent trend in the UPSC prelims exam.

List of Current Affairs Articles for UPSC

Strategy 1: If you have completed studying all or most of the topics at least once

If you have completed studying all or most of the topics at least once then you should utilise the next 45 days before the exam in the following way:

Days Study Plan and Strategy
Day 1- 10 Revise all the topics
Day 11-20 Give mock tests every day. Initially start with sectional tests. Ensure that you analyse the solved mock tests, understand your mistakes and work on the weak/difficult areas.
Day 21-30 Once you are done with sectional tests, you can do full-length mock tests in a simulated environment. Analyse the answer key and solutions.

You should definitely solve the previous years’ questions (3-5 years). This is very essential.

Day 31-40 This is the time to consolidate all the information and focus on important topics that can be possibly asked in the prelims exam. Continue writing mock tests but now focus should be on revising effectively. Revise your notes, study materials, solved mock tests and previous years’ question papers.
Day 41-45
  • This is the time to focus on quickrevisions.Now you know what is important, so ensure that you cover those topics. Try to quickly revise two subjects in one day and likewise cover other subjects.
  • On the 45th day, try to relax as you may be a little anxious about the upcoming exam.
  • Try to remind yourself that you have done whatever you could. Do not overthink and try to calm yourself down. Anxiety does more damage than what we can think of
  • Ensure that you keep all your stationery, admit card, ID proof etc ready.

Strategy 2: If you are yet to complete studying all or even important topics

Many times because of professional commitments and various other reasons, you may not be able to finish studying all the topics. In that case you should do the following:

Days Study Plan and Strategy
Day 1- 10 Complete studying all the 7 sections and go through previous years’ question papers. Focus more on the important areas after analysing 3-5 years’ of past question papers
Day 11-20
  • Revise all the topics
  • Solve previous years’ question papers. Solving past papers will help you in understanding the important areas.
Day 21-30 Start writing mock tests. If you don’t have enough time, you can directly start with full-length tests. Attempt at least 1 mock test every day. Analyse them and ensure that you work on your mistakes.
Day 31-40 Continue writing mock tests, revise simultaneously and consolidate all the relevant and important information
Day 41-45
  • These last 5 days are crucial. Your anxiety levels will be very high during this week. Your aim should be to quickly revise your notes, study materials, solved mock tests and previous years’ question papers.
  • You may not be able to recall some topics or may have skipped some topics but don’t become apprehensive now. Study selectively and focus on important areas.
  • Ensure that you stay focused and relaxed on the day of the exam.

Strategy for General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)

Strategy for CSAT is given below:

  • Along with Paper 1 you should give one mock test for CSAT every alternate day.
  • If CSAT is easy for you and you are scoring well in mock tests, then you can give 2 mock tests a week or at least one mock test a week. Do not take CSAT lightly as the difficulty level of the question papers has increased over the years.
  • Solve 5 years’ past question papers. Analyse your mistakes and work on them.
  • During the last 10 days before the exam, you should completely focus on writing mock tests, revising and analysing your mistakes. If you lack clarity in a specific topic, study it again and solve more questions related to the topic or area.

Related Links

UPSC Exam: Do’s and Don’ts of Preparing for Current Affairs UPSC Online Preparation
IAS Questions for UPSC 2022 Top 12 Common Mistakes to Avoid during UPSC IAS Preparation
Indian Economy notes for UPSC IAS Coaching


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