UPSC Mains Strategy

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UPSC Mains Preparation Strategy

Let’s consider the marks which are counted for final ranking (Mains + Interview) first,

We can rearrange all this information in following manner as well…

  1. GS Based Marks= GS Prelims, 200 + GS Mains, 1000 + Essay, 250 (Essay means Mains GS and writing style) +  Interview, 275 (It means Mains GS and communication style) = 1725
  2. Optional Based Marks = 500
  3. Aptitude based Marks = Prelims Aptitude, 200 = 200


So from above, it I clear that weightage for GS in Civil Service Examination has increased tremendously i.e. more than 70%.
What is required to get the post?

  • Devoted study
  • Good writing style
  • To the Point Approach
  • Basic command over English and Aptitude
  • Good grasp over current affairs
  • Healthy competitions and feedbacks…. i.e. critical self assessment
  • Quality material and guidance
  • Patience and Self confidence

When to start the prelims preparation? (for the next year’s Preliminary exam in August, followed by Mains)

  • One should start preparation around seventh months prior to the exam.
  • If you are going to prepare immediately after graduation, then don’t waste time, start immediately after your final exam.
  • If you are going to study while working, it is possible but starts earliest. Don’t delay to start otherwise you will experience time crunch later.
  • If you are preparing during graduation, generalized plan cannot be suggested, so discuss personally with us to evolve an individual plan.

How to start preparation?

If you have joined Civil Service Gurukul, just follow the curriculum of the batch, you will reach the destination.
If you are starting on your own, to begin with follow the initial steps…..

  • Analysis of previous question papers
  • Understanding of Syllabus
  • Reading of basic study material
  • Start writing… easy questions

How to select the optional subject?

This is very important decision. Fortunately in the new format GS is much more important. So don’t take this decision at the beginning. First start preparing for GS and then after some time take this decision. Because in four GS papers you will be introduced to variety of optional subjects like History, Geography, Public Administration, Political Science and Sociology. This will help you to determine your inclination to a particular subject. Every subject has its own demand (i.e. thinking pattern, writing style, presentation techniques etc). Your personality should suit to it.
Following are some basic criteria…

  • Interest and understanding in the subject (about which you will come to know when you study for GS Mains)
  • Analysis of the syllabus and previous years’ question papers of the shortlisted subjects
  • Writing style and presentation techniques suitable for that particular optional (about which you will know once you start writing for GS and essay)
  • Thinking Pattern expected for a particular optional (you will come to know about yours after you prepare for GS.)
  • Availability of study material
  • Availability of guidance
  • Weightage of optional in GS
  • Graduation background
  • Apart from this, some give importance to the length of the syllabus…. Which is an unfound criterion

UPSC Mantra strategy:

While preparing for GS Mains, you will be also preparing for History, Geography, Public Administration, Political Science, Sociology etc. It will help you in deciding your interest in a particular optional subject properly.
Rather than selecting an optional without having knowledge of other subjects or without knowing your own writing and presentation styles and thinking patterns, it is better to delay this decision. It will prove more informed and rational decision afterwards.
This opportunity has been presented by the new pattern, so avail it.

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