How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims 2020 | Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Syllabus

Civil Services Examination is conducted by the UPSC every year to recruit officers for various reputed government posts. It is indeed one of the most challenging examinations in the country. There are three stages of IAS exam namely Prelims, Mains, and IAS Interview. The UPSC Prelims 2020 will be conducted on 4 October 2020.
The first stage of UPSC prelims consists of Two Paper – General Studies and CSAT. It takes a planned and dedicated approach on the part of the candidates to clear it. It is important to do guided IAS preparation otherwise you might end up studying unnecessary things. 
IAS Preparation Syllabus for Prelims and Exam Format

The subjects which Prelims exam covers are:

  • Current Affairs
  • History
  • Polity and Governance
  • Economy
  • Environmental Studies
  • General Science
  • Comprehension and Communication Skills
  • Reasoning and Decision Making
  • Basic Numeracy and Data Interpretation

UPSC IAS Prelims Format:

There are two objective types (MCQs) papers in the prelims exam.

General Studies Paper 1 (General Awareness)

General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT) 

The IAS Prelims exam details: 

ExamTotal MarksDurationNo. Of Questions Negative MarkingNatureRequired Marks to Quaify 
GS 1 ( Paper 1 )2002 hours100yesMarks counted for rankingcut off prescribed by upsc
GS ( Paper 2 )2002 hours80yesqualifying only33% ( 66/200 )

The marks obtained in the CSAT or GS 2 paper will not be counted for the prelims ranking. Candidates need to score at least 33% in this paper to qualify for the UPSC mains exam. The marks obtained in the GS paper 1 will be counted in the ranking. The cut-off marks (minimum marks required) in this paper will be determined by the commission and declared to the public only after the final result of the UPSC civil services prelim is out.

The UPSC also penalizes candidates for incorrect answers to the tune of 1/3rd of the marks allotted to the question. 

Tips to Prepare for UPSC Prelims – 

1. It requires a year time to prepare UPSC ideally, even if you have started preparing for it  4- 5 months before you should start with the subject and topics which overlap in both prelims & mains as a detailed & dedicated study will help you out in both prelims and mains preparation & exam. Dedicated preparation for the prelims alone should start at least 3 months prior to the prelims.

2. Prepare a daily study plan according to your choice & convenience. Ideally, UPSC Aspirants study 9-10 hours daily according to the subject. Include study of CSAT & OPTIONAL Subject 1 hour each daily. 

3. Start preparing for CSAT 4 months prior to Prelims, as It requires a lot of practice. 

4. Practice makes you perfect, Give 1 Mock test daily to understand paper pattern, You can visit Career Disha website  for mock test 

5. Focus on the concept not just on facts & figures, a lot of UPSC aspirants have misconceptions that you can clear prelims with help of facts, but in general upsc check whether your concepts are clear or not, UPSC checks your ability to analyze the topics properly. 

6. Current affairs play an important role in the preparation of Every year, a lot of questions are based on current affairs directly or indirectly. So, you need to relate the news in current affairs to the related subjects. You can visit our website, Facebook, Instagram where we post current affairs & quizzes. 

You can also visit our youtube channel Career Disha by Dr. Jayantilal Bhandari, where we have shared a detailed video on

How to prepare  for UPSC WITHOUT Coaching, Channel link


and for more UPSC & Career related blogs you can visit our website Career Disha  – 

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