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Subject Wise Preparation Strategy for UPSC

Oct 4, 2020 - 4 min read

In this post, we will discuss the subject wise preparation strategy, one should follow in order to efficiently use his/her time to score most marks in UPSC.

Art and culture

  • This subject has become important in recent times for both prelims and mains. Special focus on this subject should be in areas like paintings, architecture, dance forms, martial arts, folk cultures etc.
  • Student can refer to 11th standard NCERT- Introduction to Indian Arts, NIOS book on art and culture as well as CCRT website to prepare this subject thoroughly.


  • In history, as per the few past years trend, UPSC is focusing more on ancient and medieval history, therefore, students should devote equal amount of time to ancient, medieval as well as modern history.
  • Topics related to Indus Valley civilisation, Jainism, Buddhism, Mughals and southern kingdoms are important from ancient and medieval history.
  • Revising old NCERT’s again and again is the best way to prepare this subject for preliminary.
  • Also students can prepare their own notes to revise effectively during last few days.


  • For prelims, the focus should be on Indian geography.
  • Under world geography, map reading is more than enough. In map reading, special focus should be on areas which were in news recently. For example, Syria due to ISIS or South China Sea due to Island issue
  • Map reading is also important in Indian Geography, as atleast 1 question always comes in Geography paper based on Indian map.
  • NCERTs of 8th to 12th standard are the best source to prepare this subject. Besides, Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong is also very useful book for prelims preparation.


  • While preparing polity for prelims, special emphasis should be on the Constitution.
  • Under Indian Constitution, chapters related to Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles on State Policy, Fundamental Duties, President and Parliament are the most important.
  • Apart from this students should focus on issues in news and try to relate them to the provisions in constitution.
  • In recent times, UPSC is also asking more and more questions from Government schemes and policies for which the best source is news paper.
  • For studying conventional polity students can refer books by Subhash Kashyap and PM Bakshi.


  • Current pattern of questions in Economics is mainly related to basic concepts, current events, international organisations etc
  • To be able to attempt the questions from economy successfully, student should first clear the basic concepts from 11th and 12th standard NCERTs.
  • Apart from this, regular updates from news specially related to RBI and Government initiatives are must.
  • One of the best ways to study economics is to continuously link news articles with basic concepts of economics for better understanding of the subject.
  • Similarly, there are different NCERT books for other areas like Economy, Science and technology, polity etc. Apart from these books, national newspapers, previous years’ question papers, area wise tests and mock tests will be useful in the preparation for the exam.

Current Affairs 

  • This section has become prominent from last 2 years as more number of questions are asked from current affairs.
  • Also any current affair related to any subject mentioned above becomes important.
  • Best way to cover current affairs is to regularly read prominent newspapers and magazines.
  • Important point to remember is, study more than one newspaper but not too many newspapers.
  • Also students should prepare notes from the newspaper regularly which immensely helps in revision just few days before the examination.

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