The preliminary examination consists of two papers: General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II (CSAT). Preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination requires a well-structured and comprehensive strategy. The changing pattern of the UPSC Preliminary Examination keeps the students guessing on the standard and depth of the paper.

Here comes the role of the institutions in imparting the right skillset among the students to courageously face the examination. At Ekam IAS Academy, Hyderabad all efforts are made to improve upon your chances to pass this difficult stage of the exam. We are rightly called the Best Coaching Institute for UPSC in Hyderabad. Our students stand out in their selection in UPSC.

Here’s a detailed account of the right strategy for prelims preparation that ensures a spot for you in the mains examination:

  1. Understand the Exam Pattern:

  • Objective: Familiarize yourself with the exam pattern to know the number of questions, marks, and the negative marking scheme. Many students just bubble the answer without knowing that there is a 33% negative marking in prelims.
  • Unwanted bubbling can spoil your hard-earned marks through correct answers. As a thumb rule, never guess among more than two options. Guess work doesn’t work in UPSC. Above all the changing pattern removes the chances of selection using the elimination technique.
  1. Syllabus Analysis:

  • Objective: Understand the UPSC syllabus for both General Studies Paper-I and CSAT.
  • Features:
    • Analyze previous years’ question papers to identify trends. In the last two years, the Prelims paper has undergone tremendous change.
    • Break down the syllabus into topics and sub-topics for systematic coverage. This helps immensely in the revision process. Initially, this may seem cumbersome to many, but trust us, this will ensure your revision in least possible time.
  1. NCERT Books for Foundation:

  • Objective: Build a strong foundation with NCERT textbooks.
  • Features:
    • Start with NCERTs from Class 6 to 12 for subjects like History, Geography, Polity, Economy, and Science.
    • Understand the concepts thoroughly before moving to advanced books.
    • The NCERT books are designed to give you foundational knowledge of a subject upon which critical issues can be understood. The book reading may seem simple, but it amplifies the understanding immensely.
  1. Standard Reference Books:

  • Objective: Refer to standard books for in-depth knowledge. Every subject has a standard book that most of the toppers read. They won’t tell this list to anyone. For detailed book list do visit our website and YouTube.
  • Features:
    • Don’t blindly choose books recommended by toppers and experts. Whenever, you buy a book, the foremost question to be asked is, how far that book is covering the UPSC syllabus.
    • Focus on quality rather than quantity. Revise the selected books multiple times. Once you choose a book to be your standard textbook, don’t shuffle among various books. This will not only eat your valuable preparation time, but also will make u feel demotivated.
    • At Ekam IAS Academy, Hyderabad we suggest only standard text books for our students. After a time frame we do conduct mock tests within the classroom schedule to see the progress of each student. We carry a tag to be the Best UPSC Coaching Institute in Hyderabad.
  1. Current Affairs:

  • Objective: Stay updated with current affairs for both national and international events.
  • Features:
    • Read newspapers daily (The Hindu, Indian Express). Reading of newspaper develops perspective on various topics and helps u to critically analyse the issue under discussion.
    • Writing of the editorial column in your own words will eventually increase your vocabulary base that will fetch fruits in the mains answer writing exam. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. You won’t be able to master current affairs in short span of time. It is a time-consuming process, and you need to be patient with it.
    • Follow a monthly magazine for a consolidated overview of current affairs. Do try our monthly magazine for a consolidated approach to preparation. We are rightly called the Best IAS Coaching institute in Hyderabad.

  1. Revision:

  • Objective: Regular revision is essential for retention.
  • Features:
  • Create a revision timetable. Systematically revise all the subjects, focusing on key concepts, facts, and your notes. Consolidate your learning and identify weak areas for targeted revision. Revision is the key in any competitive examination. Without revision, the knowledge gained won’t be retrieved in the examination hall.
  • Timely revision is the key to success. We suggest the 1-3-7 rule to our students. The first revision should happen within one day, the second within 72 hours (3 days) and the third and final revision within 7 days. Once a student follows this 1-3-7 rule religiously, he wont forget anything for a long period of time.
  1. Practice Previous Years’ Papers:
  • Objective: Understand the exam pattern, question trends, and time management.
  • Features:
    • Solve at least 5 years’ worth of papers. The solving of PYQs gives you an understanding of the depth and nature of the exams. If properly analyzed, it can help you in guessing the next years topics of the prelims examination.
    • At Ekam IAS Academy, Hyderabad we conduct special sessions on Prelims PYQs to help students improve their chances of success in Prelims.
    • Analyze mistakes and identify weak areas for improvement.
  1. Mock Tests:
  • Objective: Simulate exam conditions for better preparedness.
  • Features:
  • Start taking regular mock tests for both Prelims and Mains. This will help you manage time effectively, improve your writing speed, and identify areas that need improvement. The periodicity and timing of the mock tests is also very important.
  • Attempting mock tests without proper preparation will reduce your confidence. Proper guided mock tests with thorough preparation can do wonders to your results. Our mentorship program exactly does this. That is the reason why students from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad all prefers to join our mentorship batch. We are known to provide the best mentorship program in Hyderabad.
    • Take regular mock tests for both GS Paper-I and CSAT.
    • Analyze performance and work on time management.
  1. CSAT Preparation:
  • Objective: Ensure competence in the CSAT paper.
  • Features:
    • The growing difficulty level of CSAT paper gives students nightmare. Without proper strategy suiting your strengths and weaknesses can be disastrous. Practice quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension regularly before 3-4 months of prelims.
    • Focus on accuracy and time management. Time management is the most important in Prelims.
  1. Map Work:
  • Objective: Enhance your geographical knowledge.
  • Features:
    • Practice map work regularly, especially for locations in the news. Map based questions have been a regular feature in UPSC. It can fetch you those golden 8-12 marks that can see you through in prelims.
    • At Ekam IAS Academy, Hyderabad we conduct 18-20 hours of classes before prelims to enhance the capacity of the students. We are known to be the Best IAS Coaching Institute in Hyderabad.
    • Use Orient Black Swan and Oxford atlas for reference.
  1. Current Affairs Consolidation:
  • Objective: Summarize current affairs for quick revision.
  • Features:
  • Regularly revise current affairs notes. Focus on the last 6-8 months before the exam. Pay special attention to government schemes, policies, and international developments. What makes Ekam IAS Academy, the best UPSC Academy in Hyderabad is the best support it provides to the students of UPSC. Every week dedicated current affairs classes are conducted that help students to streamline their current affairs preparation.
    • Maintain a current affairs diary or notes.
    • Create concise notes for revision.
  1. Time Management:
  • Objective: Allocate time judiciously for each section during the exam.
  • Features:
  • Practice effective time management during the exam. Allocate a specific amount of time to each question and stick to it. Develop the ability to prioritize questions based on your strengths. Most of the students lack this capacity. Since beginning of the UPSC journey create a timetable and strictly follow it without any deviation. This calls for utmost discipline and ruthlessness in your approach.
    • Practice time-bound mock tests.
    • Identify sections that take more time and strategize accordingly.
  1. Stay Healthy and Positive:
  • Objective: Maintain physical and mental well-being.
  • Features:
    • Ensure adequate sleep and breaks.
    • Stay positive and manage stress.
  1. Evaluate and Adapt:
  • Objective: Regularly assess your progress and adapt your strategy.
  • Features:
    • Identify weak areas and focus on them.
    • Seek guidance from mentors or teachers if needed.
  1. Final Revision:
  • Objective: Consolidate your learning before the exam.
  • Features:
    • Revise key points, formulas, and facts.
    • Stay calm and focused during the final days.


The right strategy for UPSC Prelims preparation involves a combination of thorough subject knowledge, consistent practice, and effective time management. Regular self-assessment, adaptability, and a positive mindset are key to success. Remember that the process is as important as the outcome, so stay disciplined and focused on your preparation journey.

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