Strategy:Abhishek jain , AIR 24 (CSE 2019)

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Hello everyone. First of all , congratulations to you !!! You have chosen to write one of the most prestigious examination of the country and for that , you do deserve lots of credit. Secondly , since you have visited this website, you are on the right path as you aim to learn from those who have already been grilled by this examination process. So Kudos to you !!!.

Now let me introduce myself. I am Abhishek jain. I have been born and brought up in Delhi. I did my graduation in ( Hons) from Hansraj college , Delhi University. I gave my 1st attempt in 2018 and secured AIR - 111. This was my 2nd attempt in 2019 and I secured AIR 24.

Here, I will be discussing the following topics ( will try posting 1 topic everyday ) -









So let us start !!!


1. Start by going through the syllabus – not once but multiple times so that you remember the topics relevant to you. So for Eg. – an article in newspaper on food processing industry is important because its mentioned in the syllabus. This is how you will be able to judge as to what to read and what not to read.

2.  Next, prepare your strategy ,book-list , targets etc in a broad manner. I used to watch lots of topper talks to find out what worked for them. But be cautious, you don’t need to follow anyone blindly. Everyone is unique in his/her own way. Just pickup certain best practices followed by most and accordingly evolve your own strategy.

3. Next, go through the previous year question papers of atleast 10 years for both prelims and mains. This will give you an idea of how questions are framed by UPSC and which areas are more important than others. (It is a myth that everything under the sun is important in UPSC exam. It doesn’t work that way !!! )

4. Finally start your preparation by reading the NCERTs which will build your foundation and gradually move on to the core books like laxmikant etc.


1. The first and the most important thing – DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE PRELIMS. Having interacted with lots of candidates in recent times, I have noticed that a few of them underestimated prelims and believed that it was a cake walk. If you believe this, I seriously advice you to reconsider your opinion. For me, Prelims was the most challenging stage of the examination. And it is a fact that the highest rejection takes place at prelims level. So please do not take it lightly.

2. Secondly , the basic study for pre and mains must be integrated. This is because the basic syllabus and study sources for both are very much common.

3. Now, since prelims requires specific knowledge about facts, names , etc , you need to revise your content as much as possible so that it sticks in your mind.

4. There are certain prelims specific areas that you need to cover –

       a) Map work ( Most questions are based on places in news)

      b) Government schemes ( Insights ias scheme compilation is good)

       c) International organisations ( Shankar ias compilation is good)

      d) International Environmemtal treaties ( Shankar ias compilation)

      e) Reports and indices ( Any coaching compilation)

5. Finally, practice mock tests as much as possible. Yes, there will be inhibitions and fears of scoring low. However , push yourself so as to overcome these mental barriers and do attempt tests. I did online test series so that I can also compare myself with other candidates since this is a relative exam. Further, practicing tests helps you develop the art of solving MCQs via elimination method which will come in very handy during the exam. Also identify your sweet spot i.e. the number of questions you should attempt to score maximum. For me , it was in the range of 85 – 95 questions.