UPSC Prelims 2019-2020 - Chanakya Mandal Pariwar
UPSC Prelims Exam

150 Days to UPSC Prelims:

 Strategy, Planning, and Execution


Raj: “Sir, I could only score 70 marks in 23rd December’s Scholarship Test.”


Sir: “Oh. How many questions you attempted?”


Raj: “93!”


Sir:  “Ok. Not bad. You might not know but the topper of this test who has scored 125 has also attempted 93 questions only.”


Raj: “Oh I see! It seems my hit ratio and guesswork is too bad. I guess I need to practice more to improve it”


Sir: “Yes, you have to. But, you have to keep revising your basic material too. It is not only your guesswork, elimination techniques, but your knowledge base too, which needs to be strong. And for that, you need to keep on revising. ”


Raj: “Yes Sir. But isn’t logical guesswork, elimination techniques more important these days?”


Sir: “They are important. But knowledge base is the supreme requirement. Building on that further you can develop your logical guesswork, elimination techniques later on.”


As it’s just next 150 days to UPSC Prelims of 2nd June 2019, conversations like these are quite frequent.

The time is ripe to get into the mood of intensive, focused prelims preparation. Some might feel that 150 days are still plenty enough. But every year we see aspirants saying that Jan, Feb, March went like the blink of an eye. So here we are just trying to make you realize the importance of the last 150 days.  Some of you might be first-timers. Some of you might be veterans of 2nd, 3rd attempt. Regardless of that, you know for sure, everyone is at square zero at this juncture. After all, UPSC is a great equalizer. So, let’s see how you can go about it.


  1. One-line strategy: READ, REVISE, and PRACTICE. Read carefully between the lines since some Prelims questions are tricky.


  1. Keep your booklist at optimum (Not minimum, or maximum). And keep revising it periodically.


  1. Even if it is not perfect. Best way to have a realistic plan, is to have your plan divided into Monthly, Weekly, Daily plans. If you are having some issues doing it, don’t hesitate to demand a one on one counseling session with one of our faculty members.

4.Don’t ever forget ‘History’ and ‘Geography’ of UPSC. Here, history is ‘Previous Year Questions’ of UPSC which gives you the areas to focus

on and ‘Geography’ is the syllabus which gives you the direction.

Yes, we all know that UPSC is, after all, Unpredictable Public Service Commission! But, still, it’s better to start with something to focus on. And it has been proven time and again that about 10-12 questions are repeated from previous years papers directly or from the same topics from which questions have been asked before. So, better start analyzing them.

And if you need any help with that, we are launching a new book on it very soon.


  1. Additionally, make some micro notes of such important topics on which questions have been asked repetitively over the years. You can check an example of such micro-notes here, made by one of our faculty members for Prelims 2018: are not complete. But, it’s a good example, to begin with). Also, we would try to provide you with an updated version of it for Prelims 2019 by April-end.


  1. For veterans, a wise man once said, “Remember failure is a great teacher. But if you don’t learn the lesson, life will repeat the lesson for you.” So even if you are a warrior of 2-3 prelims, don’t hesitate to read new good quality material, don’t hesitate to join a new but good quality test series, don’t hesitate to change your strategy if it is not working, and most importantly, don’t hesitate to try once again because you never know, the year 2019 could finally turn out to be yours.


  1. For first-timers, first of all, have a firm belief that I can clear the Civil Services Prelims in one shot. Once, you are determined to do it and have read primary sources, then start solving MCQs tests as early as possible. You can solve it either from Mock Question Sets or from a quality Test Series. It is important so as to get into that mode of solving MCQs with the limited knowledge that you might have.


  1. Whether you are a newcomer or a senior aspirant, you should practice at least 10,000 questions between the time of notification being published and the day of actual UPSC Examination. If you don’t believe then just ask Pooja Ranawat (AIR 258: UPSC 2018), the student of Chanakya Mandal, who cleared her prelims for the first time in her 5th attempt and went onto becoming an IRS officer that year. She had solved more than 11,000 MCQs that year before the prelims. (You can listen to her experience here: 15.40-15.60 minutes of


  1. STUDY, APPLY and EXCEL: And to do it just right, we have recently launched one of the best test series available here. It covers almost every aspect of your prelims preparation. You can check the details here: . While attempting these tests focus on Progress, not on perfection. You don’t need to be absolutely perfect, you just have to progress towards it, one step at a time, like Pujara, did today in 4th Test Match with one ball at a time and scored a brilliant hundred. Similarly, every successive stage of our test series is designed in such manner so as to help you grow along with your learning curve. Checking the schedule here would make you realize just the same:

While solving the test series, try answering the questions and then check if your answers are right. If not, check for the logic of your answering and rectify your thinking process. If you are not understanding how to do it yet, we have got it covered for you. Just check any of the ‘Thought Process’ in our scholarship test explanation document (get it here: or any other further test’s explanation document. It would help you develop your own elimination skills and logical guesswork.


  1. Also, while solving the tests, try to analyze your own performance. Be its analysis of your hit ratio in Round I, II, III, etc. Or use the KLG matrix method to analyze your performance. Again, if you don’t know these methods, feel free to contact our faculty members who are there to help you out with it.


On top of all these things, the most important thing is how you perform on THE DAY which matters the most. We would write about how to put your best foot forward on THE DAY some time afterwards.


Till then, start revising all static, dynamic parts of the syllabus, solve as many quality MCQ’s as possible, gain a solid momentum and confidence in your preparation, stay calm, stay fit, stay healthy.


All the best wishes, always!


With Love and Best Wishes,

Chanakya Mandal Pariwar


[This article was written on 3rd January 2019, 150 days before prelims.]