Civil Services

Civil Services

UPSC Civil Service preliminary exam 2020: Tips and Guidance for the exam

PUBLISH DATE 15th May 2020

UPSC, one of the prominent agencies in the country, yearly conducts Civil Services Examination for the recruitment of IAS/IPS/IFS/IRS, etc.

Approximately 10 to 11 lakh students apply for the CSE exam out of which only a few thousands qualify. Considering the mismatch in vacancies and applicants, UPSC Prelims is one of the toughest competitive exams in the country.

In order to qualify the exam, one must put in the consistent hard word, follow the study preparation plan honestly, and a continuous check of your level of preparedness. Every UPSC topper swears by the importance of consistency and honest hard work.

UPSC Syllabus is your checklist

UPSC along with the CSE notification brings out the detailed syllabus for the UPSC Prelims. One must copy the syllabus or take a print out and use it as your checklist.

The best part about the UPSC CSE Prelims exams is that it sticks to the syllabus, so ensure complete comprehensive coverage of the syllabus.

Previous year papers

The best way to get insight into what to prepare and what to leave is by going through the UPSC Previous year papers. Do not miss the past year papers. Analyse and solve ten years of papers to learn how UPSC asks the questions and what is the weightage of different topics. After solving a few previous year papers, you will also learn that UPSC demands understanding and analysis of a topic rather than cramming up and rote learning. Focus on the learnings and solve the papers again at the end of the preparation.


The UPSC syllabus is vast and exhaustive in nature. It is highly crucial that you revise everything that you study multiple times. The trick to qualify UPSC Prelims is focusing on quality rather than quality. The target should be that, if you have studied the topics, you should be able to answer it. To achieve this, multiple revision is required. This practice will enhance your memorisation and retention.

Current affairs

Reading a standard newspaper every day should be every UPSC aspirant’s habit. You must cover all the important current affairs and make appropriate notes. UPSC Prelims Exam contains a vast number of questions from current affairs. You can also refer to daily current affairs or monthly compilation of current affairs.

Negative marking

UPSC Prelims exam has a negative marking of 1/3rd marks for each incorrect answer. The Prelims exam is an exam of elimination. If you do not limit your negative marks, you will be eliminated from the competition. To remain in the race and get ahead of your competition, you must revise and solve numerous mock test and test series to limit your negative marks.

The best way to reduce them is by solving the UPSC Test series and gradually learning the best way to attempt the paper and minimise the wrong answers.

The tips mentioned above are time tested, and every topper will vouch for them. Follow the tips and remain consistent in your UPSC Prelims exam preparation, and you shall surely qualify the exam.

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