We never met @mitochondria or spoke to him until we had to address a query on changing Optional to Anthropology from a particular ForumIAS Member.

For those of you who are new to the forum – @mitochondria ( screen name on the forum ) , aka Vikas Jakhar, was very instrumental in guiding others preparing for Civils in the early days of the Forum – before there was an explosion of free stuff on the Internet and there still existed的自助文化.

We spoke to him last week, and asked him if he could write a Guide on Preparing for Prelims Examination. He obliged us.

Given that he cleared Prelims4次,具有很好的保证金,再加上他总是在预赛在那些日子里得分也不错,我们问他识别特定原则需要遵循.

So before you read, We ask you to keep two things in mind.

  1. 现在不改变你的源代码。你现在一定冻结你的源代码。
  2. 了解信息的要点,而不仅仅是字面的意思。每个人都有自己开裂预赛的方式。您可以专注于获得一些重要的规则出于此。

We got to know each other’s real names sometime back, and here is his piece.

A bit of introduction first


I though of sharing a few ideas with you for those of you appearing for the Prelims. Given the uncertainty brought in all walks of life, thanks to Covid 19, I think we are going to have a little more time to prepare for Prelims this year.

Let us begin with trying to understand Prelims exam. So prelims is an Objective type exam where you need to choose correct option out of the given answers. You gain marks for correct answer and loose some marks (one-third negative marking) for wrong answers. Firstly let us seehowdoes preparation for Prelims exam differs from Mains exam.

电源is a test of yourthought-process和maturity of your expression along with test of your knowledge. Prelims on the other hand is a test of yourknowledge and common sense. Knowledge you gain by reading the standard text books and common sense of solving questions you gain by practicing test papers.

My prelims strategy and booklist

因此,让我们开始与如何去的syllabusof Prelims exam. So here I am listing thebasic booksrequired to cover the syllabus of Prelims subject-wise. ( You may follow what you have been following till now, and need not change your source. You can, however, adopt some of the strategies and basic rules put up here )

学科 来源其次
政体 Laxmikant

R S Sharma NCERT textbook

Satish Chandra NCERT textbook
Modern History

Spectrum Modern History and Bipin Chandra “India’s struggle for Independence”

11th and 12th class NCERT


Nitin Singhania or S Baliyan
Science and Tech

Current affairs and 6th to 10th NCERT

Economy Economic Survey /Sriram IAS notes / Economy book by TMH

So two important things to remember regarding study material:

Firstly don’t get confused by different people/toppers suggesting different books. To clear Prelims, you need around 55–60% marks. So different people have different approach on how to get those 60%. So choose one source and stick to it, no matter what.



此外,当你开始准备,你慢慢来,你去通过精亚搏体育电竞心每个概念,但要记住,你需要计划你的学习的方式,不仅你完成教学大纲以及在时间,而且还给出了至少five revisionsto everything you have studied.

You can give so many revisions only if you plan well and you limit your sources to a few standard and comprehensive books.

第二ly don’t be a book collector if you want to be a District collector. As I have clarified above thatkey to crack Prelims is multiple revisions.

多个版本都是可能的,只有当你限制你的来源.As you can see in the sources mentioned by me, I have only suggested one or two sources for a subject. Hence you should avoid buying multiple books on one subject.


So you have got your books, now let us start studying them. So we have to plan multiple revisions for everything we study. Here is my plan of 5 revisions:

初读: Understanding and Sieving


Third reading:准亚搏体育电竞备给人一种模拟试验前

第四阅读: Revision in month prior to the Prelims exam

Fifth reading: Revision a day before the Prelims exam




Appreciate this forgetting curve above. Without 5 revisions whatever you study is as good as not studying at all. With each revision your retention time as well as retention quality improves. I have heard many people complain that I studied everything but forgot in exam. They think that you need to be a bright student to remember so much information, however the key to retention is multiple revisions.

So let us begin with stages of reading.





Now i think we need to understand why Sieving is important. As I have mentioned earlier that we need to do five revisions.



Having established the importance of sieving let us try to understand the如何做到这一点. Most popular way is to make notes.

Notes can be digital or manual according to your comfort but I personally prefer digital notes on Evernote due to ease of their management. Question arises when and how to make notes?





I use a system of three colors highlighting system- Yellow for anything which is worth reading again ( approx 50% of the text), green for key words ( approx 10% of the text) and red for important names and terms. Here are excerpts of Economic Survey 2020 as highlighted by me:

This I did in my first reading. So next time I will revise, I will only read the highlighted part which reduces my effort by 50%.

In myfourth要么fifth revisionsI only read the green and red highlights which are the key terms so that I am able to complete my revision in a few hours for a book which initial took me a week to complete. This type of structured underlining help in quick revisions without hassles.


第二reading should ideally be done in 15–20 days of the first reading. You have understood the concepts in first reading, now it is time to memorize it. For this cram all the important definitions, diagrams, data, examples etc.

当有太多的信息difficult to memorize, so use mnemonics techniques.助记符is a study of way we memorize information.

Technique of mnemonics invovle using缩略词like what is the order of arrival of Westerners in India in post-mauryan period- GSPK – Greek, Scythians, Parthians and Kushanas.

其他技术是用句子莱克阀门e I say sitting behind a table ( मेज़ – Maize) makes people lazy ( अकर्म – AKARM). So Maize grows in A – Andhra Pradesh, KA- Karnataka, R – Rajasthan and M – Madhya Pradesh. By using such techniques you can remember large pieces of Information.

#3 Third reading



Here, mock test come into the picture. The questions you are not able to attempt in mock tests should be studied carefully and the answers should be understood and memorized.

Similarly some concepts become clear when you give wrong answers in tests since wrong answers get imprinted in your mind and you don’t commit same mistake again.

Therefore it is important that you carefully study those questions which you do wrong or those you could not answer. Revise these question papers again in the month before the Prelims exam .

也同时解决了模拟测试,开发使用方法的理解eliminationodd-one-outin solving objective question papers.

#4 Fourth reading

Month prior to Prelims exam should be solely reserved for revision. Revise all the study material as well as mock tests in these 30 days.

#5 Fifth reading

This is just the last brushing up of important terms. By this reading you already remember all the concepts and facts. You just need to glance at the important terms a day before the exam. This will give you confidence on day of the exam.

请记住,[引文考试需要知识的广度,同时电源考试需要知识的深度。这意味着,在预赛准备投你的网宽,试图离开亚搏体育电竞不遗余力。These days the question paper is highly unpredictable. This requires that you take特殊的预防措施在试图预赛纸。


Questions in the prelims paper can be divided in four categories.



Thirdare the questions where you know about the issue but options are difficult. In such questions you should bite the bullet where you are even 50% sure of a particular option.

Reason being that since negative marking is only 33.3% hence statistically it benefits you even if you are correct 50% times. These days .Any aspirants are attempting as high as 95% questions.



With respect to filling bubbles, my recommendation is that don’t fill bubbles since the beginning as you might want to change your options later in doubtful questions. It takes 10-15 minutes to fill bubbles of 100 questions. So you can start filling the bubbles in last half an hour of exam.

Keep a clock watch handy during exam and try to complete the questions of Category 1 and 2 in 1 hour 30 minutes. Devote 15 mins to bubble filling. In last 15 mins try to do the risky Category 3 questions.

I hope this post helped clearing your doubts regarding the preparation strategy for the prelims examination.



ForumIAS presents mistakes Not to Make in Prelims 2020 + Some Best Practices点击观看→
Worried about covering current affairs efficiently ? Note making taking a lot of time ? Read about approach for Current Affairs for Prelims 2020 + Classes by亚搏体育电竞可在网上。Click here for details.

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