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How to Prepare UPSC Mains Syllabus to Clear UPSC Exam in First Attempt?

The Indian Administrative Services exam is the toughest exam in the country. To ensure that the exam is conducted fairly, the commission has divided the exam into three stages- the Prelims, Mains, and the Interview. To clear all the three stages of the exam and become part of the bureaucracy, the aspirants should start the preparations at least two years prior to the examination. For this, the first and most important thing the aspirants should do is get the syllabus of all the subjects. The candidates should have the UPSC prelims syllabus, UPSC mains syllabus, and detailed knowledge about the interview questions.

The prelims paper is objective in nature and is conducted in two phases- the GS paper and the CSAT. The Mains exam is descriptive in nature and consists of 9 papers. It is important to clear both the papers to reach the interview.

Firstly, we will take a look at the Mains syllabus and then discuss the strategy for preparing for this exam. You can also check out this information on the byjusexamprep website.

Syllabus of UPSC Mains

As a sincere 2022 UPSC aspirant, one should know the commission’s calendar and the dates already defined. The candidates who have successfully cleared stage 1 of the UPSC Exam, are ready to appear for the Mains exam, which will be conducted on 16 September 2022. No wonder the aspirants appearing for the Mains paper must be aware of the UPSC Mains Syllabus. Still, here we provide the freshers with the syllabus of the UPSC Mains Exam, and candidates can comprehensively prepare for the exam.


Papers  Subject  Total Marks
Paper A Compulsory Indian Language 300
Paper B English 300
Paper 1 Essay 250
Paper 2 General Studies 1 250
Paper 3 General Studies 2 250
Paper 4 General Studies 3 250
Paper 5 General Studies 4 250
Paper 6 Optional 1 250
Paper 7 Optional 2 250

You can get the details syllabus of UPSC Mains Exam. Click here to download the UPSC Mains Syllabus.

Strategic Preparation for UPSC Mains in First Attempt

The aspirants need to make a proper planner and clear strategy to clear the Mains Exam in the first attempt.

  1. Prepare a Plan:

Prelims and Mains are both equally important in an IAS exam. Therefore, it is important to tighten the grip on both papers immediately. For this, it is important to keep in touch with at least the past 1 year of current affairs. The prelims paper is held in the month of June. Therefore, consider the current affairs from the previous year till January month of the current year. And after the Prelims paper, you can immediately start the Mains answer writing practices.

  1. Answer Writing: 

As this has been already discussed above that the Mains paper is descriptive in nature. The word limit for answers in Mains is 250 to 300 words, and the duration is 3 hrs. Therefore, the candidates are required to have a fluent writing practice. For this, they can start to take practice sessions and regular tests from the past year’s Mains question paper. Making proper notes of every topic is very helpful in Mains answer writing.

For this, the easiest practice could be preparing the current affairs notes in 250-300 words. This will help the aspirants to analyze current affairs in detail and increase their writing speed.

  1. Essay Writing:

Essay writing is an important part of the Mains exam. This is because the point of view, ideas, values, and suggestions of the candidates are tested through the essay writing. The essay part of the exam comprises two sections- Section A and Section B, where the first section consists of the general topics and the second section consists of the administrative topics to write on. Both the sections comprise 250 marks, having 125 marks for each.

General Tips for Preparation

  • Properly revise the Mains syllabus for the exam.
  • Plan your time strategically for answer writing.
  • Prepare proper and detailed notes on every topic.

Hope this article has helped you understand the basic requirements of preparing for the UPSC syllabus.



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