How To Prepare Well For Different Levels Of UPSC Exam?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is one of the most prestigious exams that take place every year. The exam is conducted in three different levels: Prelim, Mains and Personal Interview. As all three levels have completely different examination pattern, the aspirants find it difficult to follow a specific approach.

Their biggest concern is how to make a preparation strategy for all three levels so that they can perform well and can crack the exam in a single try. The highly competitive exam process needs diligent preparation along with thorough knowledge of every portion of the exam.

The problem students face, is deciding a right preparation plan due to the difference in the examination patterns in every level. For instance, the Prelim or the Aptitude exam is more about facts and figures while Mains is based on writing a good answer. A personal interview is all about how you present yourself and impress the interviewer panel.

If you are also going through the same problem and confused how to make your UPSC exams preparation plan, here are some tips for you. The blog includes suitable preparation techniques for different levels.


Considering prelim a test of facts and figures is one of the biggest misconceptions most students have. Though remembering facts and figures is important to clear this multiple choice answer based exam, but this is not all. You need to make a proper action plan to attempt maximum number of questions in limited time. The test is all about your retention power, clarity of the concepts and ability to pick the right option with maximum accuracy. So, besides working on your memory, you should also work on a good strategy to approach the paper, as there is a negative mark.


Students who successfully clear the Prelims have to now prepare for the mains exam. As against the selection process in the Prelims, in Mains, you have to work on the holistic approach. You score in the Mains exam play a crucial role in the final selection process. This exam is divided into three categories: Essay, General Studies Papers and Optional subject. To attempt a maximum number of questions and complete them in the stipulated time, you need to work on your speed. So besides learning and memorizing the concepts, language and different events, you also need to work on your answer writing skills. For effective preparation of UPSC Mains exam, you should focus on test series and mock tests. Take admission in some reputed coaching centre like Vajiram and Ravi known for its quality of test series and learn helpful essay writing skills from the faculty there.

The exam has 4 GS papers, 2 Optional papers, 1 Essay paper and 2 language papers. To qualify in the mains exam, you need to pay due attention to General Studies, Optional subject, and essay as well as the language papers.

Personal Interview

Last and the most important level of UPSC exam is the Personal Interview. This is a face to face session, where you have to convince the interviewers that you are a right candidate for the specific post. It needs an impressive presentation of ideas, good communication skills, analytical skills and confidence. This half an hour interview session can decide the carrier of the students. To prepare for this, you should focus on enhancing your speaking ability, knowledge on day to day current affairs, information about your state and district, reading on your hobbies and your education. The best technique for interview preparation is attending mock interviews and work on the feedback from experienced board members.

Every level has its own importance in UPSC exam. So the students should pay equal attention to them with a right action plan as per the examination pattern. Whether you attend classes at coaching centre or get the postal study material at home, you should devote equal time to your preparation.