How to prepare for the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam

How to prepare for the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam

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The UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam is just around the corner and it is time to start preparing for it. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the exam:
  1. Firstly, make sure that you are familiar with the syllabus and the pattern of the exam.
  2. Start by solving previous years' question papers to get an idea of the kind of questions that are asked in the exam.
  3. Practice mock tests to improve your speed and accuracy.
  4. Make a study schedule and stick to it.
  5. Revise regularly.
  6. Lastly, don't forget to take care of your health and stay stress-free.

Follow these tips and you will surely be able to crack the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam. All the best!
Now let's discuss in details how to prepare for the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam.

Know the UPSC Prelims 2023 Syllabus

In this section, we have provided the detailed UPSC syllabus 2023 for the Prelims Exam.
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Studies (Paper I)
  1. Current affairs events of national and international
  2. History of India and Indian National Movement.
  3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, and Economic Geography of India and the World.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change: that do not require subject specialization.
  7. General Science

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus for CSAT (Paper-II)
Candidates can check the IAS Prelims CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Syllabus given below.
  1. Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  4. Decision-making and problem solving
  5. General mental ability
  6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level).

The candidates who are appearing for the UPSC 2023 exam must ensure that they plan their preparation according to the schedule and try to cover the complete syllabus for prelims exam.

UPSC PRELIMS 2023- Overview 

Particulars Prelims
Exam Date 28th May 2023
No. of Papers Two 
Types of Questions Objective Type
Duration of Exam 2 hours each
Total Marks 400
Medium of Exam English & Hindi
Negative Marking  (1/3rd of the maximum marks for the question)
Marks Counted in Merit No

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern 2023

The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Prelims exam is the first stage of the examination. The candidates have to score a minimum of 33% marks along with the marks above the cut-off as decided by UPSC. UPSC Prelims exam is conducted to shortlist limited candidates for the Mains exam.
The UPSC Prelims comprises two objective type papers (General Studies I and General Studies II or CSAT) for a total of 400 marks. Both papers are usually held on the same day in two sessions via offline mode (pen-paper).
Before going to the check UPSC Syllabus 2023, candidates should well-understand the exam pattern of the UPSC CSE exam
UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern 2023
Paper Subjects Marks No. of Question Duration
I General Studies I(GS) 200 100 2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
II General Studies II OR CSAT 200 80 2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)
Topic specific books and resources are available at almost every book store and library, thus narrowing down your search. Books on current affairs can be found in the section of newspapers as well.
For general studies, a variety of books are available both online and offline. It is advisable to go through the NCERT books for class 6-12 first and then move on to other reference books. The Hindu newspaper should be read daily to keep oneself updated with the current affairs around the world.
The following is a list of books that can be referred to for the UPSC Civil Services Examination:
1. NCERT textbooks from class 6-12
2. The Hindu newspaper
3. Indian Constitution by M Laxmikanth
4. India Yearbook published by the Government of India

Read Newspaper and current affairs daily
Read The Hindu newspaper daily
Practice Mock question papers and sample papers

NCERT'S textbooks class 6 to 12th
You can start by reading the NCERT textbooks for class 6 to 12th. This will help you build a strong foundation in all the subjects. You should also read The Hindu newspaper daily to keep yourself updated with current affairs. Furthermore, you should practice mock question papers and sample papers to improve your problem-solving skills.

Solve the Previous Year's Question Paper

Previous year's question papers are a great way to prepare for the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam. They provide you with an idea of the type of questions that will be asked, and also help you to understand the format of the exam. Solving previous year's question papers will also help you to develop your time management skills, as you will need to complete the paper within the allotted time.

Revise your Notes

Studying for the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam can seem daunting, but Revising your notes is a great way to prepare. Organize your notes by topics and subtopics, then spend some time each day reviewing them. As you review, focus on understanding the concepts rather than memorizing facts. Try to identify connections between different topics, and think about how the material you're learning might be tested on the exam. If you get stuck on a particular concept, don't hesitate to reach out to a tutor or fellow student for help. With a little effort, you can develop a strong understanding of the material and be well-prepared for the exam.

Practice Mock Tests

Regularly practice tests either offline or online to keep improving each day. Tests makes your performance better in the final exam. To ensure success in the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam, it is important to regularly practice tests. This will help familiarize yourself with the exam format and question types. It is also a good way to gauge your progress and identify areas that need improvement. There are a number of online and offline resources that offer practice tests. Make use of them to improve your chances of success in the exam.

Tips for doing well in UPSC CSE 2023 exam:
1. Start studying early and give yourself enough time to cover all the material. Cramming the night before is rarely effective.
2. Make a study schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Dedicate specific days/times of the week to different subjects so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
3. Find a quiet place where you can focus on studying without distractions like TV, social media, etc.
4. Take breaks when you need them! Studying for long periods of time can be draining and make it harder to retain information. Get up and move around or take 5-10 minute breaks every hour or so to stay fresh.
5 a) Create a summary of your notes from each class after each day – this will help solidify the material in your mind
b) For visual learners, try drawing diagrams or charts to visualize important concepts
c) If you struggle with concentration, try listening to music while you study (preferably without lyrics so that you’re not distracted). Some people find that classical music is particularly helpful in boosting concentration and memory retention
5. Practice, practice, practice! Try doing old exams or taking online quizzes to test your knowledge. This will also help you get used to the format of exams and timing yourself so that you don’t run out of time on the day of the test.

Points to follow for best results
  • Work on your speed and accuracy
  • Work on your technique
  • Start a practice routine and stick to it
  • Set some goals to work towards
  • Find a teacher or coach to help you improve
  • Get some feedback from other students
To sum up, it is very important to have a focused and clear mind while preparing for the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 exam. The first thing you need to do is to make a proper timetable which will help you in managing your time properly. Secondly, you need to be aware of the UPSC Syllabus as it will give you an idea about the topics from which questions can be asked in the exam. You should read newspapers and follow current affairs on a daily basis as it will keep you updated with what is happening around the world. Moreover, you should also read NCERT textbooks from class 6th to 12th as they cover all the topics of general studies. Apart from this, making notes and solving previous year's question paper will also be beneficial for you. Lastly, you should take tests on a regular basis so that you can check your progress.


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