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UPSC Prelims Subject-wise Strategy 2023

Candidates should adhere to the unique UPSC prelims subject-wise strategy to move ahead in the IAS selection process. Going by the previous trend and analysis, the UPSC prelims exam is one of the highly competitive exams owing to a high number of applicants against limited seats.

More than lakhs of aspirants appear for prelims GS paper 1 and 2 but only a fraction of them are declared qualified for the next round i.e. mains exam. A robust IAS prelims preparation strategy combined with knowledge of UPSC prelims GS paper 1 syllabus and time management would definitely help aspirants stay ahead in the competition.

Here, we have compiled the IAS prelims subject-wise strategy along with the list of important topics and best books for the ease of the aspirants.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023- SubjectWise

The UPSC prelims syllabus is divided into two sections i.e. General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II. Both the papers are objective type and carry 200 marks each. Have a look at the syllabus of prelims GS paper 1 and 2 before preparing the prelims subject-wise strategy as shared below:

UPSC Prelims GS Paper 1 Syllabus UPSC Prelims GS Paper 2 Syllabus
  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change.
  • General Science.
  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.)
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.

Note:UPSC GS Paper-II of the CSE prelims exam will be a qualifying paper with minimum marks fixed at 33%.

UPSC Prelims Subject-wise Strategy for Paper I

The prelims GS paper 1 syllabus comprises various subjects including current affairs, history, geography, polity, economics, environment, general science, and much more.

Thus, it is crucial for candidates to follow a unique preparation strategy for every subject in order to excel in the exam. Hence, look at the IAS Prelims GS Subject-wise Strategy for Paper I shared below for the reference of the candidates.

UPSC Current Affairs

  1. UPSC current affairs are one of the highest scoring section of UPSC prelims GS paper 1 syllabus if prepared well. Thus, the candidates should adhere to the prelims subject-wise strategy to attempt a maximum number of questions correctly in the exam.
  2. Going by previous UPSC prelims analysis, it is reported that almost 50-60 percent of questions are asked directly and indirectly from current affairs which will score about 80-100 marks.
  3. Moreover, candidates should inculcate the habit of reading newspapers and journals and prepare notes for last-minute revision.
  4. Check the list of best UPSC books for the current affairs section as shared below:
    • Art and Culture Current Affairs by OnlyIAS
    • Geography and Disaster Management Current Affairs by OnlyIAS
    • Polity and Governance Current Affairs by OnlyIAS
    • Environment and Ecology Current Affairs by OnlyIAS
    • Science and Tech Current Affairs by OnlyIAS
    • Government Scheme by OnlyIAS
    • Indian Economy Current Affairs by OnlyIAS
    • Monthly Current Affairs Magazine by OnlyIAS
    • OnlyIAS Kurukshetra Magazine
    • OnlyIAS Monthly PSIR Bulletin
    • OnlyIAS Sociology Current Affairs Magazine
    • OnlyIAS Youjna Magazine

History

  1. The UPSC History syllabus is divided into three units i.e. ancient history, medieval history, and modern history. As per the past trends, ancient and medieval History comprises fact-based questions while questions asked in modern history are concept based.
  2. Some of the essential topics for ancient and medieval history include Jainism, Buddhism, Indus Valley Civilization, Mughals and southern kingdoms, etc. On the other hand, some essential topics for Modern History include Main Congress sessions with the year, significant viceroys, the government of India acts 1909, 1919, 1935, charter acts, president, and important resolutions.
  3. Candidates should prepare an effective prelims subject-wise strategy for all three units and use the best books to prepare every unit efficiently.
  4. Check the list of best UPSC books for the history section as shared below:
    • Ancient and Medival History by OnlyIAS
    • Modern History by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh Modern History (Prelims) by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh World History by OnlyIAS

Geography

  1. Geography is among the scoring and trickiest sections covered in the UPSC prelims GS paper 1 syllabus. In this section, candidates need to focus more on Indian geography than world geography as most questions are asked from Indian Geography.
  2. Furthermore, they should be thorough with the map reading as it is sufficient to cover world geography. However, the main focus should be on current news related to the map reading.
  3. Moreover, map reading is extremely essential in Indian Geography preparation, as a minimum of 1 question is always asked related to Indian maps in the geography paper.
  4. One should include the following books in the prelims subject-wise strategy of geography subject:
    • Complete Geography by OnlyIAS
    • A Complete Solution to Indian Geography by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh World Geography by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh Human and Economy Geography by OnlyIAS

Art and Culture

  1. In the last few years, this subject has become a popular choice among IAS aspirants as it is important for both UPSC prelimsand UPSC mainexams. Some of the important areas of this subject include architecture, paintings, dance forms, folk cultures, martial arts, and much more.
  2. With this, one should also read current affairs and prepare notes for current events of art and culture that are happening across the globe.
  3. To strengthen the UPSC prelims gs paper 1 preparation for art and culture, check the list of important books shared below:
    • Praarambh Art and Culture by OnlyIAS
    • Art and Culture by OnlyIAS

Economy

  1. Generally speaking, the economy questions asked in the UPSC prelims exam are conceptual. So, candidates should use the basic books to cover the concepts and then raise their level by referring to the subject-specific reference books.
  2. One of the best approaches to cover the economics subject is to link the latest issues and events in the news with the fundamentals of economics. Thus, aspirants should stay updated with all the current affairs, basic fundamentals, and international organizations to excel in this section.
  3. One should include the following books in the prelims subject-wise strategy for the economy subject:
    • Indian Economy by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh Indian Economy by OnlyIAS

Polity

  1. When preparing prelims subject-wise strategy for the polity subject, one should focus on the Constitution section and give importance to areas like Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles on State Policy, President and Parliament are the most important, etc.
  2. With this, one should read current affairs that cover polity topics and link the current news with the constitutional provision. Also, create notes for government schemes and policies and revise them frequently.
  3. One can refer to the following books to cover UPSC prelims GS paper 1 syllabus of polity subject as given below:
    • Indian Polity by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh Indian Polity by OnlyIAS
    • Government Scheme by OnlyIAS

Science and Technology

  1. When preparing for UPSC prelims subject-wise strategy for the science and technology subject, one should first learn the fundamentals of the subjects.
  2. Focus on current events and stay updated with the news related to space, revolutionary innovations, achievements of India, noble prizes, etc.
  3. Have a look at the list of best UPSC books for the science and technology section shared below:
    • Science and Technology by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh Science and Technology by OnlyIAS

Environment and Ecology

  1. The right prelims subject-wise strategy for environment and ecology includes familiarity with basic concepts and recent issues related to the subject.
  2. One should focus on areas like wildlife, endangered species in India and their habitat, sanctuaries, national parks location, and numerous international conventions on climate change.
  3. Here we have provided the best UPSC books for the environment and ecology section shared below:
    • Environment and Ecology by OnlyIAS
    • Praarambh Ecology and Environment by OnlyIAS

UPSC Prelims GS Subject-wise Strategy for Paper II

Even if the candidates ace the GS paper I, failing in the CSAT paper will directly lead to the rejection of their application. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare a robust strategy to prepare well for CSAT preparation.

Here, we have compiled the UPSC Prelims Subject-wise Strategy for Paper II for the ease of the aspirants.

Comprehension, Interpersonal, and Communication Skills

  • Make a habit of reading editorials from the newspaper to improve comprehension, vocabulary, and communication skills.
  • With this, solve unlimited questions from mock tests and sample papers to improve the question-solving speed with accuracy.

Logical Reasoning

  • One should build a strong grip on the basic concepts of logical reasoning to excel in this section.
  • The best strategy to prepare well for the CSAT reasoning section is solving questions from UPSC previous year’s question papers of the last 10 years.

General Mental Ability

  • The UPSC CSAT syllabus cover topics like Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) and Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc).
  • As per the past trends, the difficulty level of questions is reported to be matriculation level.
  • One should focus on topics like speed, time, and distance, partnership, time and work, percentage, etc.
  • Practice mock tests and UPSC prelims PYQs to improve problem-solving skills, speed, and accuracy.
The following articles given in the table below can be referred to for UPSC IAS exam preparation:
UPSC IAS Interview Courses IAS Interview Questions Download
Old Interview Transcriptions UPSC Interview Marks
UPSC IAS Interview 2023 Notes For UPSC Interview

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q1. Which subject is best for prelims?

Ans- The UPSC prelims GS paper 1 syllabus is divided into two subjects i.e. General Studies paper 1 and General Studies paper 2 (CSAT).

Q2. Which subject has the most weightage in UPSC prelims?

Ans- Going by the subject-wise trend of prelims, it is evident that history has the most weightage in UPSC prelims and many questions are asked about this subject.

Q3. What is the best strategy for UPSC prelims?

Ans- To prepare well for the UPSC prelims exam, one should follow the best UPSC prelims GS subject-wise strategy and books recommended by the experts.

Q4. How to study GS for prelims?

Ans- Candidates should first cover the entire UPSC prelims GS paper 1 syllabus and then utilize the remaining time to attempt unlimited mock tests and previous papers to study well for the IAS prelims exam.

Q5. Can I clear prelims in 1 month?

Ans- Acing the UPSC prelims exam in 1 month can be tough. However, one should focus on preparation by covering the syllabus, learning current affairs, and attempting mock tests.

 Final Result – CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION, 2023.   Udaan-Prelims Wallah ( Static ) booklets 2024 released both in english and hindi : Download from Here!     Download UPSC Mains 2023 Question Papers PDF  Free Initiative links -1) Download Prahaar 3.0 for Mains Current Affairs PDF both in English and Hindi 2) Daily Main Answer Writing  , 3) Daily Current Affairs , Editorial Analysis and quiz ,  4) PDF Downloads  UPSC Prelims 2023 Trend Analysis cut-off and answer key

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 Final Result – CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION, 2023.   Udaan-Prelims Wallah ( Static ) booklets 2024 released both in english and hindi : Download from Here!     Download UPSC Mains 2023 Question Papers PDF  Free Initiative links -1) Download Prahaar 3.0 for Mains Current Affairs PDF both in English and Hindi 2) Daily Main Answer Writing  , 3) Daily Current Affairs , Editorial Analysis and quiz ,  4) PDF Downloads  UPSC Prelims 2023 Trend Analysis cut-off and answer key

Quick Revise Now !
AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD SOON
UDAAN PRELIMS WALLAH
Comprehensive coverage with a concise format
Integration of PYQ within the booklet
Designed as per recent trends of Prelims questions
हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध
Quick Revise Now !
UDAAN PRELIMS WALLAH
Comprehensive coverage with a concise format
Integration of PYQ within the booklet
Designed as per recent trends of Prelims questions
हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध

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