Civil Services Examination 2020 Postponed – Blessing in disguise! The Way Ahead

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Civil Services Examination 2020 Postponed – Blessing in disguise! The Way Ahead

UPSC has postponed the Civil Services Exam amidst the still unfolding Covid-19 pandemic. Prelims is scheduled to happen on October 4th, 2020 and Mains exam will begin from January 8th, 2021.

As a serious Civil Services aspirant you must have already prepared for Prelims exam 2020. Or in some cases, it could be that you might have not prepared well. So this postponement of the exam comes as a breather for those aspirants who might need some more extra time for their preparation and a little bit of disappointment for those who were ready to face the exam immediately. But this is not the time to debate about merits and demerits of postponement of the exam, but to strategize your preparation once again according to the UPSC schedule.

Here is a golden opportunity to aspirants to consolidate their preparation, no matter at what level of preparation stage you are. You must start focusing once again on your holistic preparation for Prelims + Mains. Since, now there is an extra four months of time you must start allocating time for your Mains preparation as well. So, now you should prepare your own timetable for the next 4 months giving adequate time for Mains Preparation.

What to begin with ?

This process should begin with a self-analysis and evaluation of your preparation level. Where do you stand in terms of completion of the syllabus, revision and tests. Take some time to complete this process and then depending upon that you start strategizing your preparation and timetable. You can start with the below mentioned points :

  • You should first prepare your daily and weekly timetable, clearly stating your targets for the day and the week.
  • Allocate your time for Prelims and Mains preparation on a daily basis.
  • Create a to-do list for Prelims exam and Mains exam separately, while keeping your preparation integrated.

We shall now see how you can plan for your Prelims and Mains in an integrated way. The preparation for Prelims & Mains cannot be mutually exclusive. They must go hand in hand. Or else you will end up wasting lot of time and energy along with loss of direction . So here the few things you should be doing :

For Prelims :

  • Completion of the static part of the syllabus. The importance of the static part cannot be underrated. There will enough questions every year from static part, which will make your position comfortable in the exam if you have prepared well for this part.
  • For the past few months Covid-19 related events have been predominant, but as a serious aspirant you should also look beyond Covid-19 and also focus on other developments national and international importance.
  • Start revising your subjects seriously along with the current affairs. So, reading the newspaper should continue. Similarly you should revise your static & current affairs at least 2 to 3 times before your prelims exam.
  • If you have already attempted mock tests, then start revising them. If you have not attempted any tests then this is the time for it. But in any case you should revise your tests multiple times.

 For Mains :

  • You should have a clear picture of the entire Mains syllabus and try to finish the entire static part of the syllabus.
  • This extra time must be utilized to fill the existing gaps in your Mains General Studies preparation. You must identify what portions you have not yet covered and try to cover them.
  • This is also the time for you to focus more on your Optional paper and Ethics paper. These two papers play a very critical role in your final selection because the marks candidates get here vary highly. So it is very important to be thorough with your Optional and Ethics papers.
  • Your preparation for GS papers will help you for Essay paper. However, there should be some practice from your side.
  • Newspaper reading is a must for current affairs, you should continue with it and make notes for the Mains exam.


Dear aspirants, your preparation must continue with full vigour. Try to have an integrated approach for Prelims and Mains. Try to utilise this time and opportunity efficiently and productively.

This four months of time is a blessing in disguise for many of the aspirants, now you have a chance once again to bounce back in the competition if your preparation till now was not up to the mark. For those who were already ready to face the exam, you need not panic or get disheartened. You should focus more on consolidating your Concepts and  Revision of GS papers and Optional. Before you appear for this Prelims, you should be done with your entire Mains GS and Optional paper at least once.

Dear Aspirants, please use this time to fill the Gaps, Revise and Test yourself for the upcoming examination.


Wishing you all the very best for the examination from the entire ALCHEMY IAS TEAM .

Stay Safe, Stay Focused, Stay Steady .