How to Prepare for UPSC Mains after Prelims: A Comprehensive Guide

UPSC Mains Prep | Ultimate Guide | Chetan Bharat Learning

After passing the UPSC Preliminary test, aspirants must prepare for the UPSC Mains. The Mains exam takes a different approach, evaluating applicants' in-depth knowledge, analytical abilities, and excellent writing skills. In this blog, we will share proven tactics and tips to assist you prepare for the UPSC Mains following the preliminary round. Chetan Bharat Learning offers the best Online UPSC Coaching in Chandigarh.

Understand the Mains Exam Pattern and Syllabus

  • Familiarize yourself with the UPSC Mains test format, which includes a written examination and an interview.
  • Gain a full understanding of the main syllabus, which includes courses like General Studies, Optional courses, and essay writing.

Analyze Your Prelims Performance

  • Examine your preliminary performance to identify your strengths and flaws.
  • Identify areas for improvement and direct your efforts accordingly.

Plan Your Preparation Strategy

Revise and Consolidate

  • Review the core ideas of the subjects taught in the main curriculum.
  • Use standard reference books, study resources, and notes from your Prelims preparation to refresh your knowledge.

Focus on Current Affairs

  • Stay informed about current events by reading newspapers, periodicals, and online sources regularly.
  • Compile brief notes on major national and international events, government policies, and societal issues.

Enhance Answer Writing Skills

  • Practice composing responses within the word restriction and time constraints.
  • Analyze previous year's question papers and model responses to learn about the desired format and structure.

Develop a Study Schedule

  • Make a well-organized study timetable that covers all subjects and leaves enough time for review and response writing practice.
  • Allocate time slots for each subject, focusing on your weaker areas while revisiting your stronger ones.

Utilize UPSC Coaching in Chandigarh

  • Consider enrolling in a reputable UPSC coaching center in Chandigarh to gain expert advice and support.
  • Coaching facilities offer structured study materials, simulated examinations, and personalized mentorship to help you prepare.

Optional Subject Preparation

  • If you've picked an optional subject, make sure you have enough time to study it thoroughly.
  • Refer to recommended books and study materials, and seek advice from mentors and subject matter experts.

Answer Writing Practice

  • Regularly practice answering previous year's question papers and simulated exam papers.
  • Pay close attention to the content organization, clarity of expression, and effective utilization of pertinent instances and arguments.

Mock Tests and Self-Evaluation

  • Take regular mock tests to evaluate your preparation and time management abilities.
  • Evaluate your performance, discover weaknesses, and seek to improve your comprehension of various topics.

Essay Writing Preparation

  • Develop the capacity to critically examine and explain your ideas on a variety of issues.
  • Practice writing essays on a variety of topics, each with its unique features and views.

Revision and Consolidation

  • Regularly review your notes, key themes, and current events.
  • Create summary notes and mind maps to help you revise quickly before the exam.

Group Discussions and Peer Learning

  • Participate in group discussions with other aspirants to exchange ideas, discuss current events, and learn new views.
  • Form study groups to share knowledge, clear up any doubts and improve understanding of complex subjects.

Guidance from Experienced Mentors

  • Joining a respected UPSC coaching facility in Chandigarh gives you access to seasoned mentors who can offer useful insights, exam techniques, and individual advice.
  • Mentors can help you discover your skills and limitations, offer study strategies, and provide comments on your performance.

Time Management and Prioritization

  • Learn the art of successful time management by scheduling specific times for studying, revision, response writing practice, and relaxation.
  • Prioritize areas and topics based on their importance and your level of expertise to guarantee full coverage.

Enhancing Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills

  • Concentrate on developing analytical and critical thinking skills by studying various points of view, assessing arguments, and reaching well-reasoned conclusions.
  • Read opinion pieces, editorials, and articles to extend your perspectives and improve your analytical abilities.

Developing a Positive Mindset

  • Maintain a good attitude and self-confidence throughout your preparatory trip.
  • Stay inspired by surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, reading success stories, and picturing your goal of becoming a public servant.

Ethics, Integrity, and Case Study Analysis

  • Pay close attention to the Ethics and Integrity paper in General Studies Paper IV.
  • Gain an understanding of ethical theories, case studies, and their application in real-world scenarios.
  • Practice answering case study questions to improve your analytical and ethical decision-making abilities.

Consolidate Your Knowledge with Revision Tests

  • Take revision tests regularly to help you remember and grasp crucial subjects.
  • To reinforce your knowledge, go over your notes again, refer to condensed study tools, and take subject-specific tests.

Stay Healthy and Take Breaks

  • Maintain your physical and mental health by combining regular exercise, appropriate eating habits, and adequate sleep into your daily routine.
  • Take short breaks between study sessions to relax and refresh, resulting in maximum productivity.

Exam Day Strategy

  • Create an exam-day strategy that includes time allocation for each section, dealing with varied question types, and effective time management.
  • Practice writing mock exams under simulated exam conditions to become acquainted with the pressure and time limits.

Self-Reflection and Adaptation

  • Create an exam-day strategy that includes time allocation for each section, dealing with varied question types, and effective time management.
  • Practice writing mock exams under simulated exam conditions to become acquainted with the pressure and time limits.


Preparing for the UPSC Mains following the Prelims stage necessitates meticulous planning, intense study, and consistent practice. Understanding the exam structure, revisiting essential subjects, improving answer writing abilities, and being up to date on current events can all help you succeed. Furthermore, upsc offline coaching in Chandigarh can provide significant guidance, study materials, and a positive learning environment. With drive, perseverance, and a smart approach, you can successfully traverse the UPSC Mains and work toward your goal of being a civil servant.

Read more about Mastering UPSC Mains Answer Writing.