UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2017: Subject-wise strategies to score full marks

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will be conducting the Civil Service preliminary examination on June 18.

Candidates who are appearing for the exam can check out the subject-wise strategies mentioned below:

Art and culture

  • This subject has become important in recent times for both prelims and mains
  • Aspirants should give special focus to paintings, architecture, dance forms, martial arts, folk cultures, etc.
  • Student can refer to class 11 NCERT’s Introduction to Indian Arts, NIOS book on Art and Culture as well as CCRT website to prepare this subject thoroughly


  • In history, as per the few past years trend, UPSC is focusing more on ancient and medieval history, therefore, students should devote equal amount of time to ancient, medieval as well as modern history
  • Topics related to Indus Valley civilisation, jainism, buddhism, mughals and southern kingdoms are important from ancient and medieval history
  • Revising old NCERT’s is the best way to prepare this subject for prelims
  • Also, students can prepare their own notes to revise effectively during last few days


  • The focus should be on Indian geography
  • Under world geography, map reading is more than enough. In map reading, special focus should be on areas which were in news recently. For example, Syria due to ISIS or South China Sea due to Island issue
  • Map reading is also important in Indian geography, as at least one question always comes in Geography paper based on Indian map
  • NCERT books of class 8 to class 12 are the best source to prepare this subject. Besides, certificate physical and human geography by Goh Cheng Leong is also very useful book for prelims preparation.


  • While preparing Polity for prelims, special emphasis should be on the Constitution
  • Under Indian Constitution, chapters related to fundamental rights, directive principles on state policy, fundamental duties, president and parliament are the most important
  • Apart from this students should focus on issues in the news and try to relate them to the provisions in constitution
  • In recent times, UPSC is also asking more and more questions from government schemes and policies
  • For studying conventional polity students can refer books by Subhash Kashyap and PM Bakshi


  • Current pattern of questions in economics is mainly related to basic concepts, current events, international organisations, etc.
  • To be able to attempt the questions from economy successfully, student should first clear the basic concepts from class 11 and class 12 NCERTs
  • Apart from this, regular updates from news especially related to RBI and Government initiatives are must
  • One of the best ways to study economics is to continuously link news articles with basic concepts of economics for better understanding of the subject


  • This subject has become very important since 2013 when prelims for civil services and forest services were merged
  • Variety of questions are asked from this subject and hence, it needs a thorough preparation
  • Yet, some important topics for this subject are location of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, endangered species in India and their habitat, various international conventions on climate change, basic concepts related to ecology and environment
  • Class 9 and class 10 ICSE board books on environmental education are very helpful in preparation of this subject

Science and technology

  • Generally aspirants neglect this subject while preparing for the prelims. But this subject is equally important to score well in prelims
  • NCERT books of class 11 and class 12 of physics, chemistry and biology helps in preparing the basics of this subject
  • Current events related to science and technology is another major area from where questions are asked
  • Students can focus specially on space related news, India’s achievements, any revolutionary innovations and Nobel prizes.

Current affairs

  • This section has become prominent from last two years as number of questions are asked from current affairs
  • Also, any current affair related to any subject mentioned above becomes important
  • Best way to cover current affairs is to regularly read prominent newspapers and magazines
  • Important point to remember is, study more than one newspaper, but not too many newspapers
  • Also, students should prepare notes from the newspaper regularly, which immensely helps with revision just a few days before the examination
  • [Source”timesofindia”]