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IAS Prelims Strategy for the Last Month of Preparation

By Raj Malhotra |22nd Apr 2019
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As the date of Civil Services Exam comes near, most students start to question about the

preparation for the final month of preparation. Some of the students start to panic even after

studying seriously for the whole year. The anxiety of appearing in the toughest exam of our

country takes its toll on the candidates. But a proper strategy can help you overcome all your

fears and get the best out of you. So, let’s discuss some proper methods that UPSC toppers

follow to get the maximum result.

Revise with a Goal

Every one of us knows the importance of revision. It refreshes our concepts and allows us to

analyze our strengths and weaknesses. But just revising your subjects and notes isn’t enough. It

is most important to keep track of your progress through revision. Analyze what can be done to

improve your weaker sections. Also, create a proper plan to revise. Give more time to those

subjects which need more attention, and similarly, you can give less time to your strong

subjects. Always keep updating your schedule according to the process you’ve made.

Take Mock Tests (A lot of them)

So yes, you may feel this is the most obvious advice you can give to a student. But the thing

that most people don’t realise is that tests are not just a way to check your rank among other

online competitors. Online test series are a very vague method of ranking yourself among the

competition. Not only because of subpar difficulty level but also because online test series are

not accessible to every student preparing for UPSC CSE. Mock tests should be used to speed

up your revision and analyzing process instead.

If you have completed your syllabus and are revising with the help of your hard earned notes,

mock tests can help a lot in analyzing where you are going wrong. Thus, making it easier to

learn from your mistakes and then making amendments accordingly.

Avoid Learning New things

Learning new things will take a lot of time and focus. So, instead of helping you out they make

things more difficult. Most of the time, students keep adding new stuff to their study plan. In the

end, it just confuses them, and they end up with more data to process but no time to study. Last

month of preparation should be left solely for the purpose of refreshing your memory. Do not go

to new subjects and topics. This will be just a waste of time, and you’ll lose the precious time

that can be used to hone your existing skills. The syllabus of UPSC is already comprehensive

enough. You have to keep yourself updated with everything that’s happening around you. So,

starting a completely new subject or topic will just distract you from your routine.

Stay Put at your Routine

No matter what phase of study you are in, it is essential to keep yourself motivated and focused.

Continue your daily habits but try to make it less monotonous. Keep making changes to your

routine. Transitions are essential so that you don’t feel bored. But keep important things intact

even after alterations. Remember to read the newspaper daily to stay updated with current

affairs. Revise your most important concepts daily and create mind maps to remember

complicated things. Also, if you follow certain techniques to calm your mind down, keep

following them. They are most crucial in the final days of preparation when your mind is going

places all the time.


Yes, relax. That’s the most crucial part of your preparation. Get a good sleep every night to

make sure you wake up fresh and ready to work. Studying all the time and giving very little time

to relax is harmful to your mind. Research has shown that even the brightest students tend to

make mistakes when their mind is not properly rested. After all, it is the hardest working part of

your body when you are studying. You can even take power naps to restore your energy every

once in a while. Additionally, follow your favourite hobbies, when you are not studying, to calm

down and maintain your emotional balance.


It is natural to feel anxious when a big day of your life is coming nearer. But don’t panic. You

have prepared with utmost sincerity and hard work till now. So it's time to get ready to pluck the

fruit. Do not get disheartened if you feel the competition is too hard. A lot of students stop

preparing when they can’t handle the pressure. Even when they are more capable than they

think. So, never give up. Keep your head high, feet on the ground, and follow the strategy that

will guide you to success.

All the best for your preparations.

For any query/study material requirement/mentorship needs, please feel free to contact us at

Raj Malhotra's IAS​ Academy in Chandigarh.

Jai Hind!