How to prepare for Civil Services Prelims Exam?

Guidance for preliminary preparation in civil service examination

In the journey to crack civil services preliminary examination plays a key role and to successfully overcome it let us see on what aspects we need to concentrate. Almost 6 to 6.5 lakh candidates have applied to the civil services last year which is going to be conducted on August this year. Among them almost 4.5 to 5 lakh candidates shall attempt the exam. From Andhra Pradesh state almost 17 thousand candidates may write the exam from the 30 thousand candidates who have applied for the prelims. Among them an average of 14000 plus rankers who have shown utmost merit across the country shall become qualified to write the mains examination.

So those who are writing this exam for the first time are sure to bother about to how to prepare for the preliminary exam. Starting preparation from basics is the right method which means understanding the syllabus and the exam pattern thoroughly.

Civils preliminary exam

General studies paper I: 100 questions: 200 marks

General studies paper II: 80 questions: 200 marks

0.33 marks cut as negative marking for every wrong answer

The main objective of preliminary examination is to filter candidates to the next level. Along with the questions the exam pattern also suggests that it shall also be used to test whether the candidates have an interest for a career in civil services.

Timetable planning

It is very important to prepare a time table to cover the full syllabus in a systematic manner. This time table should be prepared individually as per their time available and not to follow others suggestions. This time table should first be prepared for a week then extended to 15 days and 30 days and then finally for the total time available and care should be taken that everything is coordinated systematically.

It is not just enough only following the time table, but you should also regularly analyze your preparation style and improvise on it. After completing each section you should have a self analysis by conducting a test for yourself. If you score more than 75% you are in the right direction and after some time you should again conduct a test in the same section. If you score the same percentage then you can move on to the next section for preparation.

In this manner after completing preparation for all the sections you should then start attempting grand test covering all the sections and should aim not to score less than 65% ( after minus negative marks) in this test. If the score is maintained above 65% marks then you can believe to be in the right track of preparing for the preliminary exams.

60% grand test

75% history

75% current affairs

75% political affairs

75% geographical conditions

75% Economic conditions

75% environment

The syllabus in paper-I is too general and it is difficult to estimate what topics shall be covered in the exam paper. So as a solution one can analyze the previous question papers to understand about the exam patter.

Importance to three sections

If we analyze the question papers given in these three years we can notice the importance given to subjects like Indian polity and governance, economic and social development and geography of India and the world. Based on the pattern of questions in paper-I we can estimate that it also tests the candidates interest for the subjects.

Questions are more given on topics related to administration and constitutional organizations in Indian polity and governance.

In economics questions were given on the role of Indian reserve bank and finance.

In environment and ecology questions were given covering plant and animal kingdom.

So candidates should first focus on the basics of different topics covered in paper-I.

Candidates often find that all topics in the syllabus are almost new to them. This is because after 10th most of the candidates choose either science or commerce. So as the topics are new it is important for the students to improve their command on basics of the subject. They should also try to have an understanding about the questions given in the previous papers however you should also remember that every year the pattern of questions keep changing. Later on you should also focus on the latest issues pertaining to every section covered in the syllabus of prelims for civil services examination.

Article written and published by

Read Next