What Should be the Preparation Strategy for Civil Services?

financial literacyOnce you have decided to take civil services exam, the next step is to plan strategies to crack the exam. Though it needs a lot of hard work and long hours of studies, you still need to have some strategies to attempt questions smartly and save time.

Are you sure about your goal and decided to attempt civil services exam?

Now the next thing is to start preparation for the exam to get top rankings. Before you get started with the exam preparations, you should understand the services to channelize the efforts in right direction. Besides in-depth understanding of different subjects, the candidates should also have thorough understanding of the services to successfully sail through.

What is Civil Services Prelim Exam?

This is an exam conducted by UPCS with two papers on General Studies. The first part of the paper is two hours test in which students have to answer 100 questions of 2 marks each. The point to remember here is negative marking of 0.66 marks for each wrong answer. So, students need to be very careful while attempting every question.


This is one of the most searched terms for Civil Services exams. The Paper I on General Studies is designed around seven sections:

  1. History of Indian and Indian National Movement

  2. Indian Polity and Governance

  3. Economic and Social Development

  4. Indian and World Geography

  5. Environmental Ecology

  6. Bio-diversity and Climate Change

  7. General Knowledge and Current Events

Though there is not much information about the topics aspirants can study for each section, this is anticipated to be up to the graduation level in diverse disciplines. As the graduate students from different streams can apply for the exam, the expected knowledge level is assumed to be the level of graduation only.

Preparation Strategy:

It is the most important requirement for the civil services exam preparation. Though most of the students prefer to get admission in civil services exam preparation institutes to get expert tips, some students with limited time try to prepare themselves.

Before making strategies it is important to have a look at the question pattern over years. And as per the close analysis of the questions asked in previous exams, it is clear that candidates can't make only by focusing on NCERT text books. To handle the tricky questions based on basic principles and their right application, one needs in depth knowledge, which is impossible from the text books.

To attempt the questions on factual information and current affairs, students need to keep themselves updated with the latest happening around them. The questions in different sections vary every year, so you can't just plan to give more or less attention of any subject. Teachers at the institutes offering civil services preparations guidance can help you out with this problem, as they have complete knowledge of examination patterns over years.

You should work with an integrated approach to understand the basic principles and their application in daily life. NCERT books are no doubt important to gain basic understand, but you don't have to solely depend on these books. You can use general studies books to gain in depth understanding and application of different concepts. Also make sure you read newspaper everyday for at least 45 minutes to stay updated with the current scenario outside.

Last but not the least is time management. Dedicate equal time for every question and don't stick to one question if it is taking time. Leave it for the last and move on to the next question. You can attempt mock tests to check the time management improvements you need to make.


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