May 7th, 2020       Civil Services Preparation

Civil Services Exam is a three-tiered examination viz. Prelims, Mains and the Interview. Out of these Prelims is highly unpredictable though it is just a 2 hour exam. Mains on the other hand has 7 papers that is 21 hours of exam, and the format that UPSC has been following has been more or less the same for the past 5 years. Interview is a test of one’s presence of mind and attitude.

If one goes through the previous years’ questions one will get a clear picture of the essential areas that are asked in the exam or the topics that are repeated.

Prelims Stage:

  • It has been observed that UPSC has started repeating questions particularly from the History topics in the prelims exam. So, doing PYQs becomes highly essential.
  • From the Economy background, mostly questions from basics are asked.
  • In the polity section, topics that are stressed upon are Parliament, Fundamental rights, DPSPs and fundamental duties.
  • Questions from the environment include environmental conventions and agreements. These are regularly repeated topics.
  • In art and culture, UPSC regularly asks questions from Buddhism and Jainism, Indus valley civilisation.
  • From science and technology, space related and defence related questions are asked.
  • In the geography section, map based and rivers based questions are regularly asked.
  • From the International relations, frequently asked area is groupings, conventions and treaties.
  • From the modern India section, themes related to post 1850s are asked.

Question On Environment

Environment 2018

Environment 2013

Map Based Question

Map Based Question

Question On Indian History

Indian History Questions

Mains Stage:

  • In the mains exam, the candidate should be thorough with each and every topic of the syllabus. If one analyses the papers, it is seen that UPSC tries to cover each and every topic mentioned in the exam.
  • So aspirants should prepare notes on each and every topic.
  • Further, GS II and GS III are more current based papers. So, through knowledge of current affairs is important.

Question On Economy

Economy Question 11

Economy Question 1

Interview Stage:

  • Here there are certain questions which are often repeated such as Why civil services? Introduce yourself, how will you use your academic background in civil services?

CSE can be cleared through careful planning, SMART strategizing and repeated revisions. UPSC is known for its unpredictability but a smart aspirant is the one who ‘finds a pattern even in the apparent chaos’.


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