IAS Gyan



29th June, 2020 Prelims


TODAY, UPSC released the REVISED DATE for this year prelims. The exam will now be held on 4TH OCTOBER, 2020 with the mains exam starting from 8TH JANUARY, 2021. Ever since the civil service aspirants are in a buzz. Now, the examination appears to be round the corner. It is time for the aspirants to jump on the preparation bandwagon with electrifying speed.

At this critical juncture, aspirants will be getting anxious. Their minds will be clogged with lots of questions like How to approach the remaining 4 months? Now is the time to put in the efforts and work smartly and toil till you reach the goal. THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP NOW IS TO PLAN AND PUT THAT PLAN INTO EXECUTION…

Initially the exam was to be held on 31st May. It is a given that all the serious aspirants would have achieved a considerable level of preparation by this time. Now is not the time to procrastinate. These 120 days will pass by in a whiff. Remember, every single aspirant is getting these 120 days. Competition will be really high as aspirants are getting enough time for multiple revisions. Moreover, the gap between prelims exam and mains exam has been reduced. Added to this, is the unpredictable times we are living in. All this calls for a refined strategy on how to approach the exam now.


Let us first focus on the Prelims exam-

The prelims exam consists of two parts: static and dynamic. Dynamic includes the current affairs based questions. Let us first deal with how to approach this part.


Aspirants should keep in mind that the current affairs from Prelims 2019 (June 2019) till September 15, 2020 have to be covered for the prelims exam.

There will be two categories of aspirants:

One who have been thoroughly following Current Affairs both on daily and monthly basis and have been revising too. To further strengthen their preparation, they should go through the compilations of IASGYAN- IAS GAZETTE, Prelims Xpress and attempt mocks.

The second category is of aspirants who have not been able to read Current Affairs properly. They need not worry. Now is the time to clear their back logs. Make a plan and follow it to the letter. Go through the monthly compilations. And the priority of the Current Affairs syllabus for them should be 12 months before the prelims.

Always remember that Current Affairs is a very dynamic area. It is imperative for the aspirants to follow a well- crafted and structured strategy. For prelims 2020, the aspirants should attempt as many mocks as possible now and for mains should practice answer writing to hone the skills required. Also one should remember that to prepare current affairs and to develop linkages, conceptual clarity is a must and thus, aspirant should never compromise on referring to standard text books like NCERT.


There should be not a single topic of the syllabus which now should be left. UPSC has given enough time.

Basics should be very clear. Revise the NCERT and the standard books multiple times.

The key here is to do multiple revisions and keep giving as many mocks as possible.

Previous year questions become very important at this juncture. The best strategy is to revise a particular subject and then do PYQs asked from it.

There must be some grey areas of preparation. Resolve them at the earliest and strengthen your strong areas.

Remember the basic rules of preparation remain the same:

Let us now first focus on the Mains exam-

UPSC has reduced the gap between prelims and mains exam. So, aspirants also have to focus on the mains exam now. There are many areas like optional, world history, ethics, essay etc which do not fall in prelims syllabus. For the initial 2-2.5 months, aspirants need to create a balance between prelims and mains preparation and devote adequate time for both. Answer writing is a must now.

The key lies in how the aspirants will strategize their preparation for both the exams simultaneously.

Further, there will be many aspirants who have done and revised the entire syllabus of prelims, have done PYQs and are attempting mocks regularly.

What will be the strategy for them?

First of all, they need to regularly update their current affairs preparation. Second, they keep attempting prelims mock tests at regular intervals. But, now their focus in initial 2 months should be on their mains preparation. Cover the syllabus which has not been prepared. Start answer writing.

In the last 2 months before prelims, focus should again shift to prelims with multiple revisions, mocks and PYQs.

There are also number of aspirants who have their interviews left. They should have all their focus on preparing for the interview for the next 1-1.5 month. No doubt they will be automatically, covering current affairs and also revising the static portion for the interview.


Aspirants appearing for Interview 2019, will focus on interview till middle July. After interview they will jump to prelims.

Aspirants who are confident with their prelims preparation, will focus more on mains for the next 2-2.5 months. However, they will continue giving prelims mocks and regularly update their current affairs.

Aspirants who have their backlogs pending in static/ dynamic part of the prelims will focus on and cover those first and simultaneously try to devote time to mains preparation.

For all aspirants, last 2 months before prelims, the focus will solely be on PRELIMS and PRELIMS ONLY. They will do multiple revisions, practice mocks and do the PYQs sincerely.

Dear friends, it is being repeated again. This is not the time to procrastinate. Sit down. Do a SWOT analysis of your PRELIMS preparation and MAINS preparation. Go through the above points, make a plan and follow it to the letter. And most of all, take care of your health.