UPSC Civil Services Exam Preparation Timeline

Suppose, you are planning to appear in Civil Services Examination, starting in May 2024(Pre):


Month GS-Prelims GS-Mains Optional
June '23 - October '23 NCERTs and Basic Standard books - one reading  Read books common to prelims & mains Start preparation of Optional Paper
October '23 - February '24 Revise the Basic Standard Books and start practising mock prelims tests Cover rest of the syllabus of main exam and start answer writing as well as mock prelims tests Revision and practice of optional subject
March '24- May '24 Exclusively for prelims (both GS and CSAT) and regular prelims test    
June '24 - Sep '24   Exclusively for Mains and regular answer writing as well as mock test for mains exam Revision and mock tests.


Before you sit for the prelims, it is typically advisable that you cover your mains syllabus once and give it at least one review. One of the simple ways to get ready for the main exam is to enroll for a mains test series. This is due to the fact that writing and with a set schedule make it easier to cover the material and identify the key points for the paper. Analysing one's issue areas for improvement also helps.

In order to cover them at a pace, that is preferable and to avoid monotony, it is necessary to group similar topics. For instance, you can combine topics like geography and environment, history and politics, and economics with current events. Given that ethics is becoming exponentially more important, it must be covered in great detail. With a solid reading list, you should aim to finish two subjects in two months.

As a result, it will take roughly six months to cover the entire syllabus in detail.You should structure your efforts so that you finish the entire mains course by the end of January, which was started in July. This preparation will offer you an advantage when preparing for the preliminary exams, and the writing answers you receive writing answers will keep you "mains ready."

Written By -

Amit Akshay
Faculty RICE IAS