Your Ultimate UPSC Study Material To Crack IAS Exam

Comprehensive content tailored For Success

How To Prepare For UPSC Prelims 2022

Jan 17, 2022

How To Prepare For UPSC Prelims 2022

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary 2022 exam is just five months away. Coming June 5th, lakhs of aspirants will appear for the first round of the coveted Civil Services examination in their long journey of becoming a Civil Servant (IAS/IPS/IFS).

Those who are fresh faces and will attempt the Prelims exam for the very first time in their life have several questions going in their mind, such as “How to start preparing for Prelims 2022?”, “What should be my UPSC exam preparation strategy?”, “Which books should I refer to ?” and many such questions.  

Well, your search for the answers to all the questions related to the Prelims 2022 exam ends here. This article will acquaint you with a basic preparation plan, tips, strategies, and recommended books for the Prelims 2022 exam.  

Before we dive into the preparation strategy and tips for the Prelims 2022 exam, it is essential to understand the Prelims syllabus and its exam pattern. So, let’s understand the syllabus first.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

UPSC Prelims is a screening test to filter/select candidates for the Civil Services Mains examination. It has two papers namely General Studies I and CSAT (General Studies Paper-II) of 400 marks comprising objective type questions.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Studies Paper-I

The syllabus for UPSC Prelims General Studies Paper I is mentioned below:

  • Current events of National and International importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization. 
  • General Science.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for CSAT (General Studies Paper-II)

  • The General Studies-II or CSAT paper of UPSC Prelims consists of questions from the following topics:
  • Comprehension;
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
  • Decision-making and problem solving;
  • General mental ability;
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level);

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

PaperTypeNo. of QuestionsMarksDurationNegative Marks
General Studies IObjective1002002 HoursYes
General Studies II (CSAT)Objective802002 HoursYes

Important Points

  • The marks obtained in the General Studies Paper I determine your selection for the UPSC Mains.
  • CSAT or General Studies Paper II is qualifying in nature. A candidate has to score 33% to qualify for CSAT.
  • There is a negative marking for every incorrect answer. 1/3rd of the marks assigned to a question.
  • The marks obtained in the Prelims are not counted for the final order of merit.

Now that you have reached here after gaining a basic understanding of the Prelims exam syllabus and its pattern, let's address the most crucial concern of fresh aspirants! 

Preparation Strategy for CSE Prelims 2022

Build a Strong Foundation with NCERTs

Kick start your Prelims preparation with NCERTs. Besides laying a strong foundation for your preparation, NCERTs help you understand the basic concepts in a simple yet informing way.

Only when your fundamentals are clear, you can think of diving into the vast UPSC syllabus and advancing in your preparation journey. And, that also brings us to our next point!

Preparation with Recommended Books  

Once you are sure that you have got your basics clear, proceed further in your preparation with advanced books for your Prelims preparation. Based on the exam syllabus, you can and should refer to the below-listed recommended books for your preparation.

  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
  • Geography of India – Majid Hussain
  • World Geography- Majid Hussain
  • Oxford Atlas
  • Certificate Physical & Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong (Second Half of the Book)
  • Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
  • From Government to Governance by Kuldeep Mathur
  • Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma
  • Environment and Disaster Management – Tata McGraw Hill
  • Ethics in Governance, ARC Report
  • Lexicon by Chronicle Publications
  • The Books on Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude published by Access Publication

Also, watch a detailed video on how to make the best use of 5 months before the Prelims 2022 exam by Vivek Singh Sir, one of our educators of the DREAM TEAM for UPSC:

Read Newspapers Daily

Reading newspapers daily (The Hindu/The Indian Express) should be an indispensable part of your daily schedule. Since the Civil Services exam is dynamic in nature, it becomes crucial to stay updated with the current affairs and events of National and International relevance.

Remember that while reading newspapers, you don’t have to just READ news, instead, you have to STUDY news. While reading newspapers, it is imperative to make short notes of important articles/editorials.

Also read: How to Read Newspapers for UPSC Civil Services Preparation? A 2 minutes read that can help you set your newspaper routine sorted!

Devote Sufficient Time for CSAT

Even though CSAT is just qualifying in nature, it should not be taken for granted. It requires thorough preparation as well. Compared to General Studies I, CSAT has a defined syllabus, hence its preparation won’t be a tough task. All you need is dedication and a proper framework for its preparation.

The CSAT score doesn’t play any role in the final order of merit, but it indirectly impacts the Prelims exam cut-off. It is observed that cut-offs generally become low in years when the CSAT paper is tough. 

Must-Follow Tips for Prelims 2022 Preparation

# Tip 1 Make a well-structured study plan and stick to it till the very end. Follow it religiously.

# Tip 2 Refer to Previous year’s questions. It will help you understand the type of questions asked in the exam and understand the exam pattern.

# Tip 3 Prelims exam is all about solving a maximum number of questions correctly in minimum time. And if you want to become a pro in it, you will have to practice a lot. Hence, attempt Mock Tests to analyze your preparation status. You can find them on the PrepLadder app.

Also read: How to Effectively use QBank & Prepare for UPSC Exam

# Tip 4 Make sure to revise everything you study on a daily basis. It will help you to retain information for a longer period.

# Tip 5 Believe in yourself and your preparation. Never underestimate yourself. Just keep in mind the ultimate goal and keep marching towards it with perseverance.

Preparing and cracking the Civil Services examination can become a cumbersome process in the absence of a reliable training partner. At some point of time, you will require assistance from experts and mentors to accomplish your study goals. 

Hence, kick start your Civil Services exam preparation with PrepLadder, India’s most trusted platform for UPSC CSE preparation, and enjoy quality learning like never before. It has everything you need to ace UPSC exams on one single platform.

This includes concise, effective, and well-planned video lectures by our Dream Team for UPSC, a well-structured and high yield QBank, highly competitive PrepTests based on real exam patterns, and Previous Year Papers in the form of tests.

Keep following our articles and our Telegram channel to apprise yourself with the latest information about the exam.  

Own Your Dream

Team PrepLadder

Auther Details

Raminder Singh

Raminder is a Content Manager at PrepLadder. He has worked in several aspects of the education industry throughout his career and has assisted numerous candidates in cracking major competitive exams.


Top searching words

The most popular search terms used by aspirants

  • UPSC Exam Preparation
  • UPSC Prelims
  • CSE Prelims
  • CSE