Mains Strategy

Boost Your Marks in the UPSC Civil Services Main Exam!

The mains examination is the second stage of the prestigious IAS/UPSC examination.

This article will discuss the strategy that one should opt for while preparing for the Mains examination.

But before initiating our discussion, we want to clarify that each human being is special and unique, so what works for one may not work for the other.

Thus you have to go through this article and find out what works best for you and plan your Mains strategy accordingly.

By this note, let’s get started.

Point 1:- Syllabus memorization

Before starting with anything, you must memorize the Mains syllabus for the IAS examination.

By this, you will be having clarity that which article in the newspaper is relevant for your examination and which not.


Point 2:- Make a checklist of books.

Once you have memorized the syllabus, the next thing is to finalize your booklist.

Restrict yourself to as few books as you can.

Because Mains examination is more analytic than being factual.

Point 3:- Be well prepared with Current Affairs.

Current Affairs are very important for IAS examination throughout the stages.

Mains examination is not an exception to this.

You will find that most of the examination questions will be related to current issues in one way or another.

So you have to be well prepared with Current affairs

Point 4:- Do not separate Mains preparation from Prelims

You will find that almost all topics for the Prelims examination coincide with the Mains examination.

So while preparing for these coincide topics, you must not segregate Mains and Prelims preparation.

Your preparation should have to be diverted toward Prelims preparation only three months before Prelims examination.

Point 5:- Analyse Previous Year Papers

Before starting with preparation, analyze the Previous Year’s papers.

This will help you analyze the type of questions getting asked in the examination.

Point 6:- Answer Writing

We always discuss that revision is key to success in the IAS examination.

If we take Mains examination, then answer writing along with revision is key to success.

So you have to practise answer writing a lot.

Answer writing is a skill that develops over time, and you cannot master this skill overnight.

So as early you start answer writing as beneficial it will be for you.

DO not wait that once you end up with the syllabus, you will start with answer writing. Instead of that, you can do one thing: when you complete any topic, write an answer to a question pertaining to that topic.

Point 7:- Essay Preparation

If you check out the results of candidates that had secured the rank, you will find that their marks in GS papers that means GS Paper I II III and IV were almost the same. The exam that makes a difference is Essay paper and Optional paper.

So you have to prepare well for them.

For an essay paper, firstly, you will have to finalize the essay structure and then start writing an essay.

A properly structured essay is what will sail you through this examination.

Point 8:- Optional Paper

This paper is the kingmaker. Your marks in optional will decide your rank on the merit list.

This is the area where you can secure quite high marks.

So be well prepared with your optional.

You should master how to maximize your marks in an optional exam.

Point 9:- Consistency

Consistency is what is required to clear such a time consuming examination.

You have to be consistent. Take breaks but do not break your consistency of preparation.

Be honest with your preparation.

Point 10:- Make a realistic timetable.

When you are preparing for such an examination that is so time demanding, it is better to make a timetable.

But while making a timetable be realistic.

Set realistic targets and achieve them to.

This will help you in two ways.

One- you will be able to complete your preparation within a bounded time

Second- Your confidence will boost when you achieve your target.

That is it.

Those were few points that we wanted to mention.

We hope this article will help you out while finalizing your strategy for Mains preparation.

If you have any doubt, then you can contact us anytime on our official email id.

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