Sachin Gupta Prelims Preparation Strategy

UPSC CSE 2017 AIR 3 Topper Sachin Gupta is source of inspiration for many UPSC aspirants. This was his third attempt and he cleared the exam in his style. His total score was 1122 marks and his prelims score was 116.66.

You are the creator of your own Destiny. You will get faiures, but don’t waste time and march ahead. No one will help you, you are your only help.

Sachin Gupta

About Sachin Gupta

  • Sachin Gupta secured AIR 3 in UPSC CSE 2017 in his Third attempt.
  • He came from Sirsa, Haryana.
  • He has secured AIR 575 in UPSC CSE 2016 and was selected in Indian Corporate Law Services (ICLS).
  • He did his schooling from DAV Centenary School, Sirsa.
  • He did his B.E in Mechanical Engineering from Thapar University, Patiala.

Important Things To Know

  1. You have read the success stories of many candidates in CrackUPSC but Friends none of their story is useful for you if you will not forge your own strategy. Their strategy will help you in understanding those things which they learned from their experiences. But above all, if you will not take steps then you will be at the same place where you were before.
  2. Try to understand your strengths and weaknesses. You have to understand in which areas you are lagging. For example: If you are not able to write proper answers then work on answer writing. If you are weak in your optional then work on it.
  3. Let’s understand this more deeply. Sachin Gupta was not scoring well in his optionals so he chose a different optional subject next year. He found himself lagging in GS so he joined a test series.
  4. Throughout your preparation hard work is the most important thing which will help you in clearing this exam. There will be phases in your life where you will feel like giving up. In those time your goal and your hard work will inspire you.
  5. All the candidates should have Self-Believe in themselves and their capabilities. If you do not believe in your abilities then you cannot clear this exam. If you feel demotivated then talk with your parents and well wishers. They will support and inspire you.

Read: UPSC 2018 AIR 1 Kanishak Kataria detailed strategy, life facts, age, caste.

Strategy For Prelims By Sachin Gupta


Prelims is one of the most important phase as it an exam which is compulsory for you to clear. But just focussing only on this exam is not important. You have to understand this exam, you have to give equal importance to Prelims, Mains and Optional.

  1. Solve Previous Year UPSC Papers: All the aspirants should try to solve previous years papers as this will be beneficial in understanding the areas where one needs to improve and it will help you to get an overview about which types of questions are asked by UPSC. Furthermore, it will prepare you to handle examination hall pressure
  2. Time Management in the last 2 months: Throughout the year maintain the same timetable but in the last 2 months before Prelims ensure that your timetable should focus on Prelims only. Try to make daily targets and try to achieve them. Solve daily quizzes, mocks and cover your weak areas.
  3. Health is Wealth: Do give 15-20 minutes for exercise and eat healthy food. Don’t compromise your health to save 15-20 minutes. Have a proper sleep of 7-8 hours. If you get sick then your 3-4days can get wasted.
  4. On Exam Day: Reach the examination hall at least half an hour early. Do say these words to yourself,”I have done the hard work and I will definitely win”. Also, remember, the reason behind your civil services journey. “I will clear the exam”, say this to yourself. All this will give you confidence and will reduce exam stress. Believe me, this worked for me too.

Read: Anu Kumari’s Detailed Prelims, Mains and Interview Preparation Strategy

Booklist For Prelims by Sachin Gupta

Now, I am going to tell you all the books and resources used by Sachin Gupta during his preparation.

  1. Ancient History: Old NCERT on Ancient History by R S Sharma
  2. Medieval History: Old NCERT on Medieval History/ History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra.(Both books are same)
  3. Modern History: History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra and Spectrum’s A Brief History of Modern India
  4. Art and Culture: NCERT Book for Class 11 on Fine Arts & Nitin Singhania’s Indian Art and Culture
  5. Polity: Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity and Class 11 NCERT Political Science Constitution at Work.
  6. Economy: NCERT Class 12 Economics, Ramesh Singh
  7. Geography: NCERT Class 11-12 Geography, GC Leong
  8. Maps: Atlas
  9. Environment: Shankar IAS notes, GK Today
  10. Science:NCERT Books of  Class 11 and 12
  11. Current Affairs: Vision Current Affairs, The Hindu


Sachin Gupta crack Prelims every time (Thrice) using the same resources but he believes that keep your resources limited as if you don’t revise the facts you will not be able to clear the exam. So, focus on Limited resolution and Maximum Revision.

  • Stick To Limited Resources: When you are preparing for Prelimsthen prepare it in such a way that it covers some of your mains part. As internet is flooded with information so stick to some sites and revise more and more. If you think that by reading more you will have extra points then it is not completely right. You should be able to present your points in exam hall only when you have done 2-3 revision.
  • Make Short Notes: Prepare short notes and Mnemonics as it will help you in learning things in much faster and efficient manner.
  • Importance of Test Series and Peer Groups: Test Series will help you in assessing yourself. You can work on your mistakes and they will help you in handling exam stress. Solve at least the Past  10 years Prelims papers. Choose your Peer Groups wisely. A good group can help you in remaining motivated during your preparation, understanding those topics in which you faces difficulty,etc.

This was Sachin Gupta’s Prelims Preparation Strategy. In the next article, we will learn more about its Mains Journey.

Read: Sachin Gupta’s Mains Strategy


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