The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has announced the new date for UPSC Prelims 2020 on 5th June 2020. Now, the exam is going to take place on 4th October 2020. Earlier, the commission had deferred the Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam or UPSC Prelims which was scheduled on 31st May 2020. In a notification released on 4th May 2020, UPSC had announced the postponement of UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 given the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Aspirants can visit the official website – https://www.upsc.gov.in/ for the latest update.
3rd March 2020 was the deadline for the IAS Exam aspirants to submit the completed online application along with the fee on the official website (upsc.gov.in) as per the official UPSC notification.
Following the revision in the exam dates, UPSC has also announced about the opportunity given to the candidates to reconsider and revise their choice of Prelims and Mains Exam Centres. To know the details about UPSC Prelims Exam Centres, check the linked article.
For details on IAS Exam, refer to the linked article.
Aspirants can find more information about UPSC Prelims 2020 from the links given below:
UPSC Prelims 2020 – Exam Pattern
The UPSC Prelims comprises of two objective type papers (General Studies I and General Studies II or CSAT) for a total of 400 marks. Both papers are usually held on the same day in two sessions via offline mode (pen-paper).
The Prelims Admit Card would be released on the official website of UPSC 2-3 weeks before the date of the exam.
|UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern||General Studies I||General Studies II or CSAT|
|Number of questions||100||80|
|Negative Marking||Yes (1/3rd of the maximum marks for the question)
-0.66 marks for every incorrect answer
|Yes (1/3rd of the maximum marks for the question)
-0.83 marks for every incorrect answer
|Duration of exam||2 hours||2 hours|
|UPSC Prelims 2020 Date of exam||October 4, 2020||October 4, 2020|
|Language of exam||English/Hindi||English/Hindi|
|Cut Off marks||Counted for Merit. Cutoff varies every year.||33% qualifying criteria (66 marks)|
The UPSC Prelims cut off 2018 was 98 marks for General Category aspirants in GS 1.
Candidates can download the UPSC IAS Prelims 2019 Question Papers for practice from the links below:
The UPSC Prelims Answer Keys can be found at the linked article.
UPSC Prelims 2020 – Syllabus
The detailed UPSC Prelims syllabus for 2020 Exam is given below:
General Studies Paper-1 Syllabus:
- Current events of national and international importance.
- History of India and Indian National Movement.
- Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
- General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change- that do not require subject specialization.
- General Science.
General Studies Paper-2 (CSAT) Syllabus:
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
- Decision-making and problem-solving.
- General mental ability.
- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level)
- Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level).
- English language comprehension skills – Class X level.
You can find the in-depth syllabus for UPSC Prelims 2020 here.
90 Day Preparation Strategy for UPSC Prelims 2020
UPSC Prelims date for 2020 exam is 31st May. The following strategies will help candidates to score well in the exam.
- Current Affairs are an important part of UPSC Prelims. Ideally, aspirants should prepare Current Affairs from now to have the updated information on relevant incidents on a regular basis.
- Important sources for current affairs preparation for IAS exam 2020 are:
- Yojana Magazine
- Newspapers (The Hindu/The Indian Express)
- Press Information Bureau (PIB)
- Economic and Political Weekly (EPW)
- However, if you are pressed for time, BYJU’S free IAS preparation provides:
- Candidates should prepare for UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains simultaneously as there is syllabus overlap. Check the complete IAS syllabus 2020.
- For more previous years’ UPSC question papers, you can refer to the link.
- For CSAT or General Studies Paper-II in UPSC Prelims, go through the previous years’ question papers to gauge your level. As such, there is not much preparation needed for CSAT, however, only you can take that call. For complete information on CSAT 2020 including books, strategy and trend analysis, refer to the link.
- Making Notes for the UPSC Prelims and Mains is a must. Having notes in your own handwriting is preferred by some candidates, however, considering the time constraint, we have given links for important notes from NCERTs and Byju’s classroom notes for IAS Prelims.
- NCERT notes – Ancient Indian History for UPSC Prelims
- NCERT notes – Medieval History of India for UPSC Prelims
- NCERT notes – Modern Indian History and Indian National Movement for UPSC Prelims
- NCERT notes – Art, culture, and architecture for UPSC Prelims
- NCERT notes – Geography (Physical) notes for UPSC Prelims
- 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
- As the questions in UPSC Prelims are all objective-type, it is essential to practice solving MCQs during the preparation. Here, we have given a list of MCQs for different subjects for UPSC Prelims 2020.
- For UPSC Prelims preparation, there are a few topics that candidates just can’t afford to miss. At BYJU’s free IAS preparation, we have compiled them into easy to read articles tailor-made for Prelims revision.
- Indian Constitution – Borrowed Features
- Important terms from Ancient Indian History
- List of Hydroelectric Power Plants in India
- List of important cities and rivers in India
- List of important monuments in India
- List of Elephant Reserves in India
- Important terms from Medieval History of India
- List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
- Timelines for quick revision – Medieval History of India
- List of Thermal Power Plants in India
- Geography preparation through Maps
- List of National Waterways in India
- List of diseases and causing agents
- List of Mahajanapadas (Ancient Indian History)
- List of Important Days and Dates
- List of National Highways in India
- List of important Straits
- Focus Areas for different subjects in UPSC Prelims
- Indian Independence movement:
- 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
- Ancient history:
- Hindu philosophy, Buddhism and Jainism
- Mauryan and Gupta Period
- Art, architecture and scientific development during that period
- Medieval history:
- Important kings such as Sher Shah, Akbar, etc. and
- Delhi Sultanate
- Here, importance should be given on current events, such as any changes in the constitution, new acts or amendments, and schemes
- Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)
- Committee system, parliament, and parliamentary proceedings
- Constitutional bodies
- For basic science concepts, refer to NCERT books selectively as in-depth knowledge is not needed
- Focus on current affairs part
- Environment and Ecology
- Important declarations, conventions
- IUCN’s Red List
- Biosphere Reserves, Tiger Reserves etc.
- International bodies
- Solar system
- Latitudes and longitudes
- Layers of the atmosphere
- Global atmospheric wind, cyclones
- Pressure belts
- Revolution, rotation and seasons
- Types of rainfall
- Koeppen classification
- Jet streams, ocean currents
- El Nino, La Nina
- India’s physical geography (NCERT)
- Rivers, hills, soil (India)
- Mineral resources (India), Geological history of India
- Basics of agriculture (NCERT)
- Importance should be given on current events like new bills and important committees
- focus on basic and fundamental concepts like:
- Growth and development, poverty, unemployment, inflation
- State of the national and global economy
- Major committees and bills
- Latest budget and economic survey
- Indian Independence movement:
UPSC Prelims – Trend Analysis
UPSC has established itself to be predictably unpredictable. So, candidates should only see the trends as a reference and not draw too much inference. In the table given below, we have broken down the UPSC Prelims 2019 GS 1 paper:
|Subject||Number of questions|
|Environment & Ecology||11|
|Science & Technology||7|
For similar analysis and comparison of subject-wise weightage in UPSC Prelims from 2011 to 2019, check the link.
UPSC Prelims – Study Material for IAS preparation
A big part of UPSC preparation is selecting the right study material. Studying from the best Civil services Prelims Books will be both efficient and effective. For both, UPSC Prelims and Mains, NCERTs are a must because of their credibility and easy to understand language.
From the links given below, IAS aspirants can download/view the NCERT books needed for UPSC Prelims preparation.
Check the list of UPSC Books here.
Candidates who clear the UPSC IAS Prelims have to fill the Detailed Application Form (DAF) before they can give the Mains Exam.
For 2020, the UPSC Mains will start on 18th September. Aspirants can check the linked article for more details on UPSC Mains.
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