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Revision is the most important aspect of preparation for any exam, whether
it is academic or competitive. But it plays a greater role in selection when an
Competitive aspirant follows it, because of complexity of syllabus and subjects for
Like study strategy, there is no fixed revision format that will suit each and
every aspirant. Aspirants should think over which format can be best and
suit them in revision. They can go through others revision techniques before
making their own. But revision strategy should be prepared in such a way
that help the aspirants to achieve their study goals in the best possible way.
We have given some guide lines below that will help the aspirants in making
best suited revision strategy for Competitive exam preparation.
REVISION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS- UPTO GO FOR ONLINE
1. Three Tier Revision Strategy
The most suited and successful revision strategy for any exam, particularly
Civil Services Exam preparation is
Three Tier Strategy. This formate is based on three labels, i.e. day wise,
week-wise and month-wise.
Daily revision is divided into two stages, morning and late-night. In the
morning, aspirants should revise quickly all the subjects, chapters and topics
they have studied previous day, thereafter, they start studying new subject/
chapter or topic for the day. Before going to sleep in the late night after
study, they must revise all the points they have studied the whole day.
Weekly Revision: It is second stage of revision which covers all the topics,
chapters and subjects an aspirant has studied in a week, i.e. from Monday to
Saturday. It is mostly fixed on Sunday.
Monthly Revision: Like wise weekly revision, monthly revision is the third
stage of revision of the same topics and chapters which an aspirant have
already revised weekly and daily in a month. This model of revision strategy
will help the aspirants not to forget what ever they studied in a month.
The next revision can be after three and six months to freshen up your
memory of three and six months studies. It will help the aspirants in building
their confidence in preparation and cracking the exam.
Three Tier Revision Strategy
Subject Chapter Topic
Daily Subject name Chapter name Topic name
Weekly do do do
Monthly do do do
2. Listing of Topics for Revision
Aspirants study many topics from different subjects and chapters in
a day, week and month. But all the topics are not equally relevant
and important from exam point of view. So they must list those
topics which are important for revision according to their relevance,
complexity and marks allocated for the exam. It will help aspirants to
keep a check and complete their revision tasks within the time limit.
3. Prioritise Subject and Topic
Aspirants list many more topics and chapters for revision. But, due to lack
of time for weekly and monthly revision, they are unable to revise all the
listed topics. So, they should prioritise topics for revision according to their
importance in the examination and revise as per order.
4. Application of Technology in Revision
Important points of a topic or chapter should be noted down on Memopad
of a mobile phones or tablets to revise during going to coaching and coming
5. Practice Tests
After completing a chapter or topic during preparation aspirants should test
their learning through Practice Test based on that particular topic or chapter.
These practice tests are designed on the same examination pattern as
followed by UPSC to prepare the CSE paper. These practice tests will help
in evaluating the aspirants preparation. These tests are a mode of revision
for the topic or chapter.
6. Solve the Topic’s Quizzes
When you finish the topic during preparation, solve the quizzes or questions
prepared on that particular topic so that you can assess your preparation and
list the topic for revision accordingly.
Solve previous year question paper at regular intervals
As preparation for Competitive prelims requires at least 10 months time it is easy to lose
focus or go off target. To stay on the right path or get yourself on track quickly
keep testing yourself against the previous Competitive papers to know the effectiveness of
your preparation and identify and overcome your weak points. For this grab the
previous 5 year’s solved section-wise Prelims Question Paper Set.
Go for Online Mock Test
After completing your syllabus and revision, you can go for a mock test. Conducted
in a proper way, a mock test makes you feel the environment and experience of the
real exam. It is useful in reviewing your knowledge of the subjects and judging
your weak and strong areas of preparation. Through mock test you can also test
your ability of time management. Do not miss the opportunity as and when any
institute conducts mock test. You can take mock test online.
Choice of the Optional Subject
Choosing a right optional subject is a crucial step in your preparation for the
UPSC Civil Services Exam. Select optional Subject on the basis of aptitude that
you have for the subject and not because a certain subject is perceived to be
more scoring than the others. Preferably, the subject must be scoring. It is better
to choose a subject, in which your base is strong. While choosing the optional
subject, remember that:
The subject should…
♦ excite you,
♦ make you know more about it,
♦ not put you to sleep,
♦ make you think out of the box,
♦ have books available easily.
Following are the important steps you should follow before you finalize a subject
as your optional:
1. Go through the list of all the optional subjects thoroughly.
2. Now go back to your school and college days. Think about your favourite
subjects then. Think hard in which subject you excelled, in which subject
you showed more interest, in which subject you got good marks.
3. Now come to the present. See which areas of news you are more interested
in. Think of short-listing them as your optional subject.
4. Based on above criteria, make a list of 4-5 subjects that you think you have
5. Now go through the syllabus of each optional subject. Read all topics
carefully. Underline/highlight the topics that you think you know something
about or have some interest in the syllabus of each shortlisted Optional
6. Now go through the Previous Year Question papers (3 – 4 years) of the
shortlisted subjects. Read all the questions. Again gauge yourself the level
of interest you have or residual knowledge you possess to answer each
question. It’s just to know yourself how comfortable you are with a subject,
don’t worry if you don’t know answer to any question.
7. Finally, the availability of materials and guidance in the form of coaching
matters a lot. For some subjects it is difficult to get standard books, for some
coaching may not be available. Non-technical subjects can be prepared by
doing self-study provided you regularly practise writing.
8. By now you will have a clear picture about choosing between 2-3 subjects.