Civil Service Prelims 6 Month Strategy – How Can You Clear UPSC Prelims in Six Months?

Can you clear UPSC Prelims in 6 Months? What should be the Civil Service Prelims 6 Month Strategy?

Do you have only 6 months or less before the next UPSC Civil Service Prelims?

Don’t worry. You can clear the Preliminary Exam within this short time frame – provided you follow the right strategy with dedication.

There is no UPSC Mains unless you clear UPSC IAS Prelims !!

Unless you clear the cut-off score of the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam, you will not be allowed to sit for the Main Exam.

Never underestimate the importance of UPSC Prelims. Only 3 out of 100 candidates who sit for Prelims, clear the cut-off score. Yes, the ‘Prelims Hurdle’ is more difficult to cross than Mains.

Concentrate more on Prelims Questions now!

If you haven’t cleared prelims before, we strongly recommend you to devote at least 75% of your preparation time in the last 6 months before Prelims entirely on Prelims topics. To crack IAS in the first shot, you need the right strategy. Candidates often find Civil Services Exam a hard nut to crack not due to lack of hard work or potential, but due to lack of the right strategy.

In this post, we shall explain some winning strategies for you to be adopted in the last 6 months.

UPSC IAS Prelims 2021 Test Series – Click here to join

Strategy 1 – The Reverse Approach

By following the reverse approach, we recommend you start by analysing previous year UPSC prelims question papers. Though the UPSC syllabus has mentioned many areas, you can see that more questions come from certain areas.

Download UPSC prelims question papers (PDF) with solutionClick here

Let us look at a sample UPSC CSE Prelims Question Paper of General Studies Paper 1. See the weightage of questions asked from each section.

General Studies Paper-I (Sample Question Paper) – Syllabus Area vs Number of Questions

Subject AreaNumber of Questions*
Indian History and Culture – History of India and Indian National Movement.16
Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.14
Indian Polity – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.16
Economics – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.15
Environment – General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change14
General Science10
Current Affairs15
Total100 Qns (Marks 2*100= 200)
* The above-mentioned weightage of subjects/marks may not remain the same in the coming years. It’s just for basic understanding.

Strategy 2 – Follow a Test-Based Approach

By a test-based approach, we don’t mean taking periodic exams to evaluate your preparation. It’s the reverse. The exams will be the basis of your preparation.

Enroll now in MYUPSC Prelims Online Mock Test Series. You will get access to all uploaded exams and upcoming exams in the test series.

The test series approach has the following advantages:

  • It will help you cover all the recommended textbooks and online study materials within a time frame.
  • You will get proper exam practice. You can analyse your performance, find your strong and weak areas, compare your marks with peer across India, and avoid mistakes in the actual exam hall.
  • You can learn a lot from the mock exam questions as well. This method is much faster than learning from textbooks.
  • And if you are lucky, many questions in actual UPSC prelims may be directly or indirectly answered from the mock questions.

Important Links

Strategy 3 – Learn how to cover NCERT Texts Faster


NCERT Textbooks (from Class 6-12) are very fundamental in UPSC Preparation. However, do you have time to read and revise all of them – in the next 6 months?

Click here – download 6-12th NCERT Books

Strategy 4 – Prepare Current Affairs from MYUPSC

As we provide Current Affairs in an MCQ format, it makes learning interesting and faster. Moreover, you will get many questions in actual UPSC Prelims from our current affairs MCQs eBook and MYUPSC Prelims Test Series – directly or indirectly.

Strategy 5 – Don’t neglect CSAT Paper

To clear IAS prelims, you need at least 66 marks out of 200 for CSAT (GS Paper 2), however high are your marks in GS Paper 1.

Don’t be over-confident about General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT) paper unless you are consistently scoring above 100 marks in MYUPSC CSAT Mocks.

Analyse previous year CSAT Papers. See if there is any pattern. Find the priority areas. See a sample below.

General Studies Paper-II (Sample Question Paper) – Syllabus Area vs Number of Questions

Subject AreaNumber of Questions*
General Mental Ability6
Logical Reasoning18
Analytical Reasoning8
Data Interpretation4
 Basic Numeracy and Quantitative Ability10
Decision Making and Interpersonal Skills6
Total80 Qns (Marks 2.5*80 = 200)
 *The above-mentioned weightage of subjects/marks may not remain the same in the coming years. It’s just for basic understanding.

If you think that scoring 66 marks out of 200 for CSAT is not a big deal, you may be mistaken. We have seen many candidates who end up worrying after the exam.

The difficulty level of this paper is steadily increasing. You need to take this paper seriously.

Can you clear the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam with just 6 months of preparation?


Even if you start preparing now – if you adopt the right strategies, do the smart-work, learn what is needed, and don’t go behind everything under the Sun – yes, you can clear UPSC CSE Prelims with just 6 months of preparation.

The best way to clear civil service prelims in the first attempt is to have a positive mindset and a practical strategy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *