The UPSC Mains examination is conducted in the month of September. Every year only a few candidates who appear for the Prelims are able to go to that extent. The General Studies Paper 1 is a diversified exam that inculcates many broad aspects under the UPSC Mains.

The core subject area of studies is the Indian Heritage and Culture, History and the Geography of the World and Society. These subjects cater to the broader aspects of Indian History and Politics, Pre and Post-Independence Issues, and the Economical backdrop of India and the World since Independence. It should be noted that the syllabus of UPSC GS Paper 1 is vast and takes a lot of time to prepare for it completely. 

However, the GS 1 paper is considered to be the most scoring subject of all the GS papers. After getting the proper analysis, it becomes very easy to handle its static syllabus portion. The key trick is to read the recommended content and evaluate them. 

The syllabus of GS paper 1 never changes. However, there can be exceptions, therefore, one cannot rely upon this completely. The General Studies Paper 1 is of 250 marks. 

Read: How to Prepare For UPSC‌ Mains 2020?

Here are a few tips on how to prepare for the UPSC Mains General Studies Paper 1:-

The time cycle

GS paper 1 includes a wide range of topics related to Indian History and Heritage. It becomes mandatory to reach out to each and every topic separately in order to memorize properly. 

However, just like it seems, it is a very hectic and monotonous task. Moreover, the section gives a weight-age of only 30 marks where questions are opinion-based.

The aspirants can become discouraged as their efforts might go in vain. Therefore, the experts suggest devoting the time efficiently and smartly. It will not only save time but will also help in understanding the concept of quality over quantity.

Read: UPSC Prelims 2020: How Much You Have To Score To Qualify?

The recommended books and resources

GS Paper 1 comprises a detailed study of Indian Culture. The dance, music, art, and other aspects followed in the past forms the base of this examination. 

It should be highlighted that for this the aspirant should only pursue what is recommended by the former achievers. 

Getting hands-on each and every available source will only undermine the preparation and make the aspirant under-confident. 

In order to understand what is right and what is not, a thorough understanding of the topics in imperative. 

Moreover, experts suggest following The Hindu newspaper to touch upon articles related to Indian culture and heritage and geography. This will give them an idea of how to write subjective answers.

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Past years’ question papers

The UPSC aspirants are always in a dilemma of not knowing what kind of questions will be asked. In order to overcome this obstacle, the students should get access to past 5 years question papers. 

It will give them an idea in-depth about what kind of questions will come and how to write them.

Read: 7 Must-Have Qualities to become an IAS Officer

The habit of reading and writing for GS paper

The habit of reading and writing should go hand in hand. 

The aspirants should inculcate both these arts in order to excel in the future. The reading will complement their overall knowledge of the topics. Meanwhile, writing will give them an idea about their strengths and weaknesses. 

When talking about a full-fledged preparation kit for UPSC GS Paper 1. What may work for one person may not work for the other. 

The General Studies Paper 1 only requires an alternative set of understanding to target the main cause. Therefore, having a reasonable understanding of the topic will serve the purpose of getting marks. 

Keeping in mind the ideals and studies of various experts and toppers, the above guidelines are prepared. In the words of Anudeep Durishetty (UPSC Prelims AIR-1 2017), “Always maintain that fine balance between all the topics and don’t get imprisoned in one.”

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We sincerely hope that it helps the readers in overcoming their preparation loophole and strive for a better tomorrow. 


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