How to Prepare IAS Prelims Exam ?

When you are going to prepare for the UPSC Civil service Exam 2021 it is very important to be well aware of the UPSC syllabus and exam pattern. It will be easy for you to understand the syllabus if you have the knowledge of the UPSC CSE exam pattern (UPSC Prelims Strategy). This exam is conducted by UPSC every year so that they can recruit the aspirants for All India Services. It is essential for you to understand the UPSC exam pattern clearly.

Strategy For IAS Prelims Exam

Three stages of IAS exam-

1- Preliminary Exam

2- Mains Exam

3- Interview

You will have to clear all three rounds successfully being selected for Civil Services.

Prelims exam pattern- prelims exam comprises two papers. Each contains 200 marks. The type of question is objective. Two hours are allotted to attempt each exam. Prelims marks are not counted for the final merit list. (UPSC Prelims Strategy) This exam is of qualifying nature but cut-offs change every year according to the average score of every year. So you have to prepare well to clear the IAS prelims exam.

  • 1- Name of the paper
  • 2- No. of questions
  • 3- Total marks
  • 4- Exam’s nature
  • 5- General Studies paper-I

100 – 200 Contemplated for cut off

General studies paper-II (Aptitude Test) 80 – 200

Qualifying nature

Negative marking is also applicable in UPSC Prelims Exam(UPSC Prelims Strategy). There will be deducted 1/3 marks for every wrong question. Twenty additional minutes will be provided to visually impaired candidates. The language used in the prelims exam is bilingual.

UPSC Prelims syllabus 2021- General studies Paper I

1- General issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity and Climate change.

2- Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector, Initiatives, etc.

3- General Science

4- National and International current affairs.

5- Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic, Geography of India and the World.

6- History of India and Indian National Movement

7- Indian Polity and Governance- Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues , etc

UPSC has given much importance to the current affairs from last some years in prelims exam(UPSC Prelims Strategy). So you will have to choose a right strategy for prelims. Civil Service aspirants should read carefully the current affairs which are of national and international importance. Don’t read the irrelevant topics. It is a waste of time.

IAS – Prelims Syllabus 2021- General Studies Paper-II (CSAT) 

1- Logical reasoning and analytical ability.

2- Decision making and problem-solving

3- Comprehension

4- General mental ability

5- Interpersonal skills including communication

6- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (ClassX level), Sata Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, Data sufficiency, etc.-Class X level)

IAS 2021 prelims exam will be held on June 27, Actually prelims syllabus if a brief version of the mains syllabus. So it will be great if you first prepare for the main syllabus. Candidates have limited attempts for the IAS prelims exam. Many of them don’t get success to qualify this exam. (UPSC Prelims Strategy) The reason is quite clear. Prelims is the main hurdle in the IAS exam. About seven to nine lakh aspirants apply for the IAS prelims exam but only half of them appear and the majority of the aspirants don’t get success in the prelims. An average candidate can take one year to understand and study the IAS prelims syllabus properly. (UPSC Prelims Strategy) Prelims syllabus is not defined in a proper way in the IAS notification. Regularly analyse the previous year question papers. Toppers also recommend checking it on a regular basis.

Explained Syllabus of prelims (IAS)-

If you want to crack the UPSC exam seriously, you should study the syllabus according to the previous year papers.

National and international current affairs- Current affairs have a lion’s share in the IAS prelims exam. Read all the topics carefully from the perspectives of current affairs.

National Issues

–        Sports News

–        States

–        Social schemes

–        Science and technology

–        Judiciary

–        Indian Economy News

–        Indian polity

–        Environment

–        Committee and Commission

–        Reports

–        Awards and Honours

–        Accident and calamities

–        First in India

International issues –

–        International leadership

–        International Award

–        Important Summits & Events

–        First in the world

–        International reports

–        The geographical event around the world

–        International committees and recommendations

History of India and Indian National Movement-15 to 20 questions are asked from this section every year. Maximum questions of this section are related to Indian National Movement and Modern History. Four questions were asked from the Medieval History and Art and culture part in 2019.

Indian and World Geography- 20 questions are asked from Indian and World Geography every year in IAS prelims exam. So it is an important part of the IAS prelim syllabus. The detailed geography syllabus is here.

1- Human Geography

2- Principles of Physical Geography

3- Economic Geography

4- Physical Geography of India and the world

5- Detailed study of Indian Physical and Political Map

Indian polity and Governance – The language of the questions can confuse you in this section so read the question carefully. Analyze the hidden and deep meaning in the question before answering. These topics are included in this section.

1- Indian Judiciary

2- Principles of Good Governance

3- Use of ICT in Governance

4- Constitution of India

5- Meaning of Secularism in Indian Parlance

6- Principle of Federalism in India

7- Working of the Parliament of India

8- The Union and State Relations

9- Panchayati Raj Institutions in India

10- Right to Information

11- Local Government Issues

12- Various Important Acts passed by the Parliament of India

Economic and Social Development- 10 to 15 questions , you can get from this section in IAS prelims exam.

1- Capital market in India

2- Social Schemes by the Government of India

3- Indian Economy Fundamentals

4- Reserve Bank of India and Its Functioning

5- Micro Economic Components

6- Macro Economy of India

7- Industrial Development in India

General issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity and Climate Change- This is a new topic for prelims and students can find it some difficult. These topics are covered in this section:

1- Food web

2- Use of Plastic and its impact

3- Environment and Ecological principles

4- Types of Pollutions

5- Environment Protection Act

6- Impact of pollution

7- Flora and Fauna

General Science- This section contains maximum five questions.

1- Human body parts and its Various systems

2- Commercial Chemistry

3– New Technologies

4- Virus and Bacteria 

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