UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the prestigious Civil Services Exam (CSE). The CSE is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). For the exam year 2019, the UPSC IAS Prelims exam will be held on Sunday, June 2.
In this article, BYJU’S aims to present you the ultimate guide for clearing the UPSC Prelims 2019.
If your target is the UPSC Prelims 2019, first go through the information given below. If you prefer, you can also directly navigate to the Target UPSC 2019 section in the same article by clicking on the link.
- Check the UPSC Calendar 2019 for Exam Dates and other important dates of the Civil Services Exam (Preliminary) and Main stage.
- The UPSC online application procedure for the IAS Prelims can be seen here.
- Go through the UPSC exam pattern of the Civil Services Exam – Prelims, Mains, and Interview.
The UPSC notification for 2019 was released on Feb 19. This official notification should be your go-to guide for any doubts related to IAS eligibility, civil services posts, exam pattern and UPSC syllabus. Read the 2019 UPSC notification here.
For your reference, you should keep a copy of the latest notification handy. Download the 2019 notification PDF from the link below.
Clearing the first stage of the Civil Services Exam is the easiest part of the 3-stage exam process. However, many aspirants take it too lightly and they have to start from scratch the next year.
The first step is to check your eligibility for the IAS exam.
- Candidates who are in their last year of college are also eligible for UPSC Prelims but they will need to submit the proof of passing later.
- The minimum education qualification required for the CSE is a graduation degree from a recognised University.
- For general category aspirants, the age limit is between 21-32 years of age.
- For general category aspirants, the number of attempts for the UPSC exam is limited to 6 attempts.
- For both, the age limit and the number of attempts, there are provisions of relaxation of criteria. Check IAS Eligibility for UPSC 2019 in detail.
- Ex-servicemen (and women) are also eligible for relaxation in criteria in the Civil Services Exam. Check the eligibility criteria for ex-servicemen in the IAS exam.
The UPSC Prelims is highly competitive as the exam is the entry point for a career in the Indian bureaucracy.
Via the Civil Services Exam (Preliminary), the UPSC recruits for:
- The three All-India Service (Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Forest Service)
- Central Services ( Indian Foreign Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Trade Service etc.)
In total, the UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the entry process for 24 Group A and Group B services. To read in detail about the same and more information on the Civil Services Exam, refer to the link.
Know the IAS salary and IPS salary in India after the 7th Pay Commission. Along with the salary and perks, comes a heavy load of responsibilities. Read about the life of IAS officer to get some context.
Usually, around 10 lakh aspirants fill the UPSC online form. The entire application process including the issuance of admit cards has been made online by UPSC.
The e-Admit Cards for UPSC Civil Services Exam are issued 2-3 weeks prior to the date of the exam. Know how to download the UPSC Admit Card and steps to take in case of any discrepancy.
The Prelims stage of the IAS exam is a screening test for the Mains. UPSC filters the majority of IAS aspirants at this stage itself. Past trends show that the number of candidates allowed to take the UPSC Mains is about 10-12 times the total number of Civil Service vacancies in that year.
Number of total vacancies in UPSC 2019: 896
Refer to this trend analysis for the number of aspirants who apply for UPSC Prelims and the number of successful candidates in the past few years.
The pass percentage for the UPSC IAS exam is less than even 0.5%. However, these statistics shouldn’t deter you from pursuing a chance of a fulfilling life in the most coveted careers in India.
Read about the IAS toppers who cleared the Civil Services Exam in the first attempt itself.
Target UPSC Prelims 2019
The exam pattern of the UPSC Prelims is as follows:
|Exam||Civil Services Exam (Preliminary)|
|Date||Sunday, June 2, 2019|
|Number of papers||Two;
|Duration of exam||The papers are of 2 hrs each, both conducted on the same day in two sessions.|
|Type of exam||Offline (pen-paper)|
|Nature of questions||Both papers comprise objective-type MCQs|
|Items prohibited||Electronic communication devices and calculators are prohibited in UPSC Prelims|
|Items you need to carry on the day of UPSC Prelims||
|Total number of questions||
|Qualifying criteria for UPSC Prelims||
Both the papers (GS 1 and CSAT) have negative marking. Read the marking scheme for UPSC Prelims in detail.
For every incorrect answer, an aspirant would lose 1/3rd of the marks allocated for that question. This means that an incorrect answer in GS 1 of UPSC Prelims carries a penalty of 0.67 marks while an incorrect answer in the CSAT paper carries a penalty of 0.83 marks.
Here are some tips on how to avoid negative marking in UPSC Prelims.
The UPSC Syllabus for the Prelims exam is given below:
|General Studies Paper 1||General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)|
Read the UPSC Prelims Syllabus in detail.
The preparation for UPSC Prelims should be done alongside the preparation for UPSC Mains. Even though the Mains exam comprises descriptive essay type questions, there is significant syllabus overlap in History, Polity, Geography, Economy, Environment and Current Affairs asked in Prelims. Check the entire UPSC Syllabus here.
For easy reference, you should keep a copy of the latest UPSC syllabus handy.
There is a lot of misinformation floating on the internet about the difficulty-level of IAS exam questions. The IAS questions are not some out-of-the-blue complicated things to fear, rather they aim to test the candidates’ basic aptitude and awareness about his/her general surroundings.
Care must be taken to prepare in accordance with the exam pattern for each respective stage of the UPSC CSE exam.
If your target is UPSC Prelims 2019, then you need to practice UPSC MCQs as part of your IAS preparation.
In the links below, you can find the subject-wise MCQs and more free UPSC mock tests for the IAS Exam 2019.
- UPSC MCQs 2019: General Knowledge MCQs
- UPSC MCQs 2019: Science And Technology MCQs
- UPSC MCQs 2019: Environment MCQs
- UPSC MCQs 2019: Indian Polity MCQs
- UPSC MCQs 2019: Indian Economy MCQs
- UPSC MCQs 2019: International Relations MCQs
- UPSC MCQs 2019: Government Schemes MCQs
Practice is only successful if one has a clear idea about the ultimate goal. Candidates should solve UPSC previous years’ question papers to ascertain their skill and knowledge gap.
Download the UPSC IAS prelims question papers 2018 from the links below.
|IAS Prelims Question Papers PDF|
Find the UPSC question papers for Prelims and Mains (2013-2018) at the linked article.
UPSC releases the mark sheet of Prelims after the entire exam process for that particular year is over. Check to see the process of UPSC marksheet.
Target UPSC Prelims 2019 also includes compilations of free UPSC mock tests with likely IAS MCQs for the Civil Service Prelims Exam. Here, you can find UPSC MCQs for General Studies(GS) Paper I of the IAS Prelims. This segment will be updated regularly to give you free IAS MCQs for the polity, economy, environment and ecology, etc. All major areas including current affairs will be covered, giving you UPSC prelims questions with answers.
- Download PDFs containing more than 350 UPSC MCQs each.
- Questions are divided into sections like polity, environment, international relations, science and technology, government schemes and more.
- Each question is accompanied by the answer, explanation, approach and related topics for studying.
- Each question bank is focussed on events that were featured in the news for a time period (for instance, the first volume of the question bank is for the period June to August 2018). This ensures maximum coverage of issues in news for UPSC Prelims 2019.
- The questions have been compiled from multiple sources such as The Hindu, The Indian Express, PIB, Economic Times, Business Standard, various government websites and other standard sources.
- Absolutely Free
As mentioned in the UPSC syllabus, there are two papers in UPSC Prelims. Before we delve into the details of General Studies Paper 1, let’s focus on GS 2 or CSAT. The UPSC exam pattern was changed in 2011 and then tweaked in 2015. As per the latest pattern, the GS 2 paper is only a qualifying paper with 33% passing criteria.
Routinely referred to as CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test), UPSC officially calls it as the General Studies Paper 2 in UPSC Prelims. The CSAT paper tests the basic aptitude and comprehension skills of the IAS aspirants.
For complete information (detailed syllabus, strategy, trend analysis, book list) on CSAT, refer the link.
For GS 1, there are various subjects like History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment and Current Affairs. Every year, 100 questions are asked in GS1 paper and the weightage of different subjects vary slightly. Visit the link to see UPSC Prelims subject-wise weightage from 2011 to 2018.
Selecting the right study material for IAS preparation is a very important step which needs careful consideration. For many candidates, IAS coaching is also a feasible option where the experts guide them skillfully. However, classroom coachings are not everyone’s cup of tea.
In this age of the internet, there are options for online classes and courses even for UPSC exams. Also, there is a treasure trove of free IAS study material and UPSC preparation strategies at BYJU’S Free IAS Preparation.
Clear UPSC Prelims in First Attempt!
It is easy to clear UPSC Prelims provided you have the right attitude and give your best effort. MCQs are easier to solve than writing 500 words answers in the UPSC Mains or facing the daunting UPSC Personality Board for the interview.
NCERT books are hailed by IAS toppers as the perfect starting point for the UPSC exam preparation. So, make sure that you get the basic concepts from these NCERT books and then build on that knowledge by reading reference books.
NCERT books on their own are not enough for the IAS exam preparation especially with the heavy stress on Current Affairs based questions in both Prelims and Mains stages. However, at least keep soft-copies of NCERT books for quick fact-checks and basic concepts.
You can free download NCERT books here.
Few important reference books for the IAS exam are:
- M Laxmikanth for Indian Polity
- Majid Hussain for Geography
- Bipin Chandra for History
- Ramesh Singh for Indian Economy
You can download the UPSC books list pdf below and check the best books for IAS preparation.
If you have gone through the NCERT books and basic study material then focus more on Current Affairs and solving UPSC MCQs in the time available.
The Current Affairs portion in UPSC Prelims and Mains has become quite important. Even the traditionally ‘static’ portions of the UPSC syllabus such as Polity, Geography, Economy are being linked to events of national and international importance and hence increasingly ‘dynamic’ questions in the IAS exam.
Visit the link to see the trend analysis of UPSC Current Affairs in past years.
The important preparation sources of UPSC MCQs for the current affairs part in UPSC Prelims include:
- The Press Information Bureau (PIB)
- Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV)
- Yojana Magazine
- Monthly Magazines For UPSC
- The Hindu/The Indian Express
For many IAS aspirants, keeping a track of daily news becomes difficult soon and they skip the important aspect of aligning the news articles with the relevant parts of the UPSC syllabus.
Here, you can download PDF of Daily News Analysis for UPSC Prelims and Mains 2019. This comprehensive news analysis articles are updated daily and are aligned to the syllabus of the IAS exam.
Also, you can test your knowledge and preparation level with our Weekly GK and Current Affairs Quiz for UPSC Prelims Exam
Notes for UPSC Prelims you must not miss:
- NCERT Notes: Ancient Indian History Notes For UPSC
- NCERT Notes: Medieval Indian History Notes For UPSC
- NCERT Notes: Modern Indian History Notes For UPSC
- NCERT Notes: Art And Culture For UPSC
- NCERT Notes: Geography Notes For UPSC
- BYJU’s classroom notes on Indian Economy for UPSC Prelims
- BYJU’s classroom notes on Environment for UPSC Prelims
- BYJU’s classroom notes on Indian Polity for UPSC Prelims
- BYJU’s classroom notes on S&T for UPSC Prelims
- BYJU’s classroom notes on Ancient Indian History for UPSC Prelims
- BYJU’s classroom notes on Medieval Indian History for UPSC Prelims
- BYJU’s classroom notes on Modern Indian History for UPSC Prelims
Make your IAS Prelims 2019 preparation complete with UPSC mock test practice of MCQs. Click on the link below and download the PDF of UPSC questions now!