UPSC Prelims is an important phase of your UPSC Journey. It is the first hurdle which you need to clear in order to become an IAS Officer. If you are thinking that UPSC Prelims 2021 will be easy then you are wrong. UPSC is known for doing things differently. So, expecting an easy paper might not be a good thing.
In this article, we are going to discuss how you can boost your preparation for UPSC Prelims 2021. And will give you an ideal strategy, book list, timetable to crack the UPSC Prelims exam within 6 months.
How To Prepare For UPSC Prelims 2021?
UPSC Prelims 2021 Exam Details
In the following table we are sharing with you some details regarding the UPSC Prelims exam.
|Exam Date||May-June 2021|
|No. of Questions||100 Questions in Paper 1 and 80 Questions in Paper 2|
|Negative Marking||1/3rd marks for each wrong answer|
|Time Available||2 hours for Each paper|
UPSC Book list for Prelims
Now we are going to share with you some ias books which are going to assist you in your UPSC Preparation. These UPSC Books will be helpful in making you able to crack UPSC Prelims 2021 exam.
Indian Polity Must Read Book (Covered NCERT Also)
Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
Macroeconomics – NCERT Class XII
Indian Economic Development – NCERT Class XI
Economic Survey (Selective reading from Prelims perspective)
Internet for understanding concepts (Investopedia, Google, YouTube)
|Ancient History of India||
Old NCERT by RS Sharma
|Medieval History of India||
Old NCERT by Satish Chandra (Selective Reading)
GRASP IAS Book
A Brief history of Modern India- Spectrum Publications
|Indian Art and Culture||
An Introduction to Indian Art – Class XI NCERT
Indian Art And Culture by Nitin Singhania
Centre for Cultural Resource and Training (CCRT) material
Heritage Crafts: Living Craft Traditions of India -NCERT
|Environment and Biodiversity||Shankar IAS Book/ GRASP IAS (MYUPSC.COM) Book|
General Science Books
The Hindu/Indian Express (Note down and read about the latest scientific terms, discoveries and inventions frequently mentioned in news)
Google & YouTube
Fundamentals of Physical Geography XI NCERT
India: Physical Environment XI NCERT
Fundamentals of Human Geography XII NCERT
India: People and Economy XII NCERT
Certificate Physical and Human Geography: GC Leong
Google & YouTube
Govt schemes: GRASP IAS (MYUPSC.COM)
|Previous Year Papers||
General Studies 1 (10 Years Papers)
CSAT (10 Year Papers)
How To Crack UPSC Prelims 2021 Exam in 6 Months?
We will be discussing the strategy differently to Graduates and Working Professionals. This is because both are in different situations. Now, let’s assume that the UPSC Prelims Exam is in May 2021 and we are in December 2020. So, the strategy will be as follows:
- In the month of December, you have to buy the books for UPSC Prelims.
- You need to study between 7-10 hours daily. This will assist you in covering the syllabus quickly. Also, it will prevent burnout and you would not feel exhausted.
- Then you have to start reading books starting from NCERT’s to other recommended books like Laxmikant, GC Leong,etc. Your main aim should be to study these books as fast as you can. There is no need to read multiple books for the same topics.
- After taking the first reading of every book, you need to take another reading of those books. This time, make notes along with reading while underlining Important Things.
- When you have made notes, revise the notes alone. There is no need to read the book again and again. Since, questions in Prelims are usually static. Therefore, make your notes crisp and to the point.
- Complete the first reading within 1-1.5 months.
- After reading books, you need to practice mock tests. Do join a good coaching Institutes Test Series. Apart from this, past year papers will be of great help for you. Mock tests will help you in analysing your weak areas. Now, when your weak areas, try to improve them by devoting time to it.
- In the last two months, your focus should be on revising more and more topics. This will definitely going to benefit you if you will do this exercise diligently.
- Divide your daily work into small targets, achieve your daily and weekly targets. When you do this, it will encourage you. Therefore, Reward yourself by watching your favourite movie or reading your favourite book every 15 days.
Download: UPSC Prelims Question Paper (2010-2019)
For Working Professionals
Since you are working you will find at most 5-6 hours daily. Your aim should be to maximise the output at that time. On the other hand, weekends are a boon for you. You have to plan your weekends properly. Because wasting that time will bring troubles for you. Your timetable should be like-
- You wake up early and have at least two hours in hand to study general studies subjects just before you get ready for work.
- During office hours, go over current affairs. You will get time to read the news and do that bit done at the office itself on a daily basis.
- After work, continue preparing for GS or Optional papers. You will at least utilize 2 hours for this.
- After dinner, get an hour in hand to go over and revise everything you studied for the day.
Now i will be sharing what preparation tips you should follow-
- Complete the First reading of all the books in 2 months. In the next two months, skip NCERTs and read Recommended Books only. While doing so, make notes of the same.
- In the last two months your main focus should be on practicing mock tests and revising your notes as much as possible.
- Since you have less time, you should not waste your time.
Is Coaching Important For UPSC Prelims 2021?
I believe that Coaching is more and less depend upon your past knowledge of these subjects. There are many candidates whose base is not strong. As a result Coaching becomes important for them.
Those candidates who have prior knowledge of the subjects can take coaching if they want to. It solely depends upon you whether you want to join a coaching institute or not. But, whether you are joining a Coaching Institute or not, Do join a Mock Test Series. It will give a boost to your UPSC Prelims Preparation. Mock Test helps you in analyzing yourself. That’s why it becomes important.
UPSC Prelims Exam requires proper attention. Many candidates fail to clear the Prelims itself in their few attempts but many clears it without coaching. In short, this exam is easy for those who are dedicated and hardworking.
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