Civil Services Mains 2021 Strategy and Preparation Tips

Civil Services Mains 2021 Strategy and Preparation Tips: UPSC CSE Main is the second stage after clearing IAS (UPSC CSE) Prelims. The fundamental difference between IAS Prelims and IAS Mains is that while the IAS Prelims focuses on recognition (of information) and requires an exhaustive study covering a wide variety of topics, Mains need the ability to recall, analyse and express (ideas and information, including one’s own thoughts) properly which can only be done through an intensive study of the topic. 

Therefore it is very important to stay focused and cover in-depth the topics that you have picked for Mains and in doing so you have to match your skills with the subject at hand. Using the right approach and picking the right parts of the syllabus for the intensive study will not only help manage time but also garner more marks in the end.

UPSC (IAS) Mains Study Material – Click Here

IAS Mains Papers

Each paper of IAS Mains consists of different topics and thus it is important to adopt the specific preparation strategies required for particular topics.

GS Paper I – IAS Mains

It is necessary that the aspirants know the complete GS Paper I syllabus before they move on to the preparations.

Art and Culture – Arts and Culture, also known as the ‘Indian Heritage and Culture’ is 15 % of the total questions. Preparing the following three topics Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Literary Arts.

Modern History

World History – Focus areas are the Enlightenment, American and French Revolutions and the World Wars.

Indian Society – Prepare current affairs-based questions. For Basics – Indian Society Class XI Ncert

World and Indian Geography – Prepare important geographical phenomena with special focus on Human Geography, also keep equal focus on Geophysical phenomenon like Earthquakes, Landslides, etc in news.

Here is the detailed General Studies Paper – I Strategy 

GS Paper II – IAS Mains

Indian Polity and Constitution: Polity and constitution hold the major portion of the whole syllabus and questions come every year. Almost 40 % of the total questions of this paper come from this section which makes it the most and foremost important part to prepare.

Governance: From Governance, each year around 25 marks of questions comes and it varies every year. This section holds 10% of the whole syllabus. But the syllabus of Governance is a bit confusing and it is possible that you overdo the reading, so need a better plan.

International Relations: International Relations is an important topic for General Studies Paper-II as well as the Essay paper of UPSC IAS Mains. The international relations topic encompasses the foreign policy of India, bilateral relations, regional cooperation, etc. Approx 30% of the total questions of this paper comes from this section. To ease the complexity

Miscellaneous topics: This section is actually an accumulated form of several topics like Social Justice, Poverty and Hunger, Human Development, Welfare scheme, current affairs, etc. Nearly 15 – 20 % of all questions of this paper are taken from this section.

Read detailed GS Paper II preparation tips

GS Paper III – IAS Mains

Agricultural Issues: Prepare time-tested areas like Farm subsidies, MSP, Irrigation etc.

Macroeconomics: Issues that are ‘in the news’ including issues on infrastructure like waterways, railways and ports

Science & Tech: Prepare from current affairs topics New Technologies, India’s Defence and Space program, Milestone development in Medical Science, Nanotechnology, and Biotechnology.

Environment: Prepare exclusively from current affairs but also study the science behind the facts. For example, topics like CAMPA Bill or the man-animal conflict viz. culling etc.

Disaster Management: Prepare from current affairs keeping an eye out for policy frameworks. Topics like urban flooding and water crisis, Drought and Farmers suicides, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the National Disaster Management Plan should be prepared

Internal Security: Traditional topics connected with current affairs are the way to go. For example, Cross border terrorism and Mob lynching, AFSPA, Money laundering viz. Fugitive Absconders Bill, NRC and Assam Accord etc.

For detailed information about UPSC CSE GS III preparation tips, Click here

GS Paper IV – IAS Mains

The General Studies paper-IV is one of the most scoring papers in the UPSC IAS Mains Exam 2020. To prepare this paper efficiently, try to practice writing the answer about 100-150 words for each of the micro-topics like integrity, compassion, honesty, probity, etc. But to obtain the desired marks, proper strategy is required.

Check detailed strategy for GS IV

Essay – IAS Mains

Writing is considered as a window to the thought of the writer. What aspirant writes on the paper, will tell the reader how he/she thinks, how he/she argues and how he/she proves your point. That is why for reputed exams like UPSC CSE it has been made mandatory.

It is important for the aspirant to know?

What language and expression needed?

How to formulate introduction

How to develop content for essay

How to prove your viewpoint

Where to put quotes

How to conclude the essay

What practices can improve essay writing skills

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