“How much time is sufficient for Civil Services Prelims preparation” is among the most frequently asked questions. Undoubtedly, the answer is subjective. After all, there are aspirants who have qualified the Prelims after just 3–4 months of preparation; and there are others, who have not been able to qualify even after studying for more than double that time!
Hence, it can be inferred that clearing the UPSC CSE Prelims depends more on your strategy, how focused you are, and on your acumen; and less on the time you devote! Having said that, six months of focused preparation, while following a time-tested strategy can surely improve your chances.
|Subject||Number of Questions|
|Indian History and Culture||12-15|
However, the weightage varies from year to year. Get more information on the detailed preparation strategy for the GS paper here
The UPSC CSE Prelims is usually conducted towards the end of May, or at the beginning of June. Hence, for a six-month schedule, you will need to kickstart your UPSC Prelims preparation from December. Here is a month-wise preparation schedule (10 hours/day). Apart from the 8-hour schedule mentioned below, spare 2 hours for revision, which is extremely important in the last leg of your UPSC Prelims preparation.
|Month||Area of Focus (6 hours)||Additional 2 Hours Each Day|
|December||NCERTs of History, Polity, Economy, Geography, and Art & Culture||Monthly Current Affairs (June-July) + Current Affairs of December|
|January||Basic reference books of History, Polity||Monthly Current Affairs (August-September) + Current Affairs of January|
|February||Basic reference books of Economy + Budget + Economic Survey||Monthly Current Affairs (October-November) + Current Affairs of February|
|March||Basic reference books of Geography and Art & Culture||CSAT Practice + Current Affairs of March|
|April||Previous Years’ Papers + Mock-test-based learning approach||CSAT Practice + Current Affairs of April|
|May||Mock-test-based learning approach||CSAT mock-test-based approach|
Be focused on your strategy while preparing for Civil Services Prelims. Although it is qualifying in nature, it is the first and the important step that will lead you to CSE Main.
You can also enroll in our UPSC CSE Prelims preparation courses that are designed specifically for aspirants who want a quick revision of the course. You can also enroll in subject-specific courses that provide focused guidance in a particular subject. Do get in touch with our course counselors to get more information about the course deliverables.