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State PCS

Uttar Pradesh

Upper Subordinate Services (PCS) Strategy

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  • 03 Aug 2021
  • 12 min read

Why the need for strategy?

  • To ensure success in the examination conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission, there is a need to make a proper and dynamic strategy according to its nature. This is the first process by which half of your success is ensured in the very beginning.
  • This exam is generally conducted in three stages :
    1. Preliminary Examination (Objective Type & Multiple choice)
    2. Main Examination (Conventional Type, i.e. Written examination)
    3. Viva- Voce (Personality Test). In order to reach each next stage, it is necessary to succeed in the previous stage.
  • The nature of examination of these three stages is different from each other. Hence, there is a need to make a different strategy to ensure success at each stage.

Preliminary Examination Strategy

  • To ensure success in this stage of the examination, do a thorough review of the questions asked in the preliminary examination in the last 5 to 10 years and pay more attention to the points and titles from which the tendency to ask questions has been more in the previous years.
  • Since the nature of questions in the Preliminary Examination is objective type (multiple choice), it requires special attention to the facts. For example;
    • Who first read the inscription of Ashoka?
    • Which river of India is known as The 'Ganga of the South?
    • Which hormone is known as 'Fight or Flight'? etc.
  • A micro observation of the syllabus of this exam and the nature of questions asked in previous years shows that deep conceptual and factual knowledge of some sections is essential.
  • The easiest way to remember and solve these questions is to make short notes related to the factual information of the subject and study it regularly. For Example;
    • A question was asked that the concept of 'concurrent list' in the Indian constitution is taken from which country?
    • So you should prepare a list of the major concepts taken from different countries in the Indian Constitution.
  • The traditional questions asked in the first paper 'General Studies' are mainly related to 'History of India and Indian National Movement', ' India and World geography', 'Indian Polity and Governance', 'Economic and Social Development', 'Environment and Ecology' and 'General Science' etc.
    • To solve these traditional questions of general studies, study the NCERT books from class-6 to class-12 of the respective title, as well as the general study of the standard monthly magazine 'Drishti Current Affairs Today' published by Drishti Publications. Studying special issue sections will be beneficial.
  • In this exam, the number of questions is more from current events and state-specific. Therefore, they should be studied seriously regularly.
    • Keeping in view the nature and number of questions on current events, you can regularly study the current affairs from daily newspapers like The Hindu, Dainik Jagran (National Edition), etc. as well as available on the Drishti website. Apart from this, it will be beneficial to study the standard monthly magazine 'Drishti Current Affairs Today' for the preparation of this section.
  • In solving state-specific questions, it will be beneficial to study the book 'Uttar Pradesh' published by the Publications Department of the Government of Uttar Pradesh or any standard state-level book available in the market.
  • It is beneficial to read the brief description of 'Bharat' (India Year Book) available in the market, published by the Publications Division, for the questions asked from institutions, etc. in these examinations.
  • In the second paper 'CSAT' questions are asked mainly from Comprehension, Interpersonal skills including communication skills, Logical reasoning, and analytical ability,· Decision-making and problem-solving, General mental ability,· Elementary Mathematics (Class X level), General Hindi and General English.
    • For its preparation, it would be advisable to solve practice sets along with studying standard books available in the market.
  • Paper-II of the Preliminary Examination will be a qualifying paper with
    • Minimum qualifying marks are fixed at 33%.
    • The marks obtained in this are not counted in the cut-off determination.
  • If a candidate scores less than the qualifying marks in the CSAT paper, his/her first paper will not be evaluated.
  • The merit of the candidates will be determined on the basis of marks obtained in Paper-I of the Preliminary Examination.
  • It is generally beneficial to try to solve the practice papers and questions asked in the previous years in the preliminary examination within the prescribed time limit (generally two hours) usually 15-20 days before the date of the preliminary examination.
    • While solving these questions develops the understanding of the subject, it becomes easier to solve the repetitive questions in these exams.
  • Due to the provision of negative marks (1/3) in the Preliminary Examination, it is better to leave such questions unanswered if you are unaware of any of the four alternatives or you do not know anything about them.

Mains Exam Strategy

  • The preparation strategy for the main exam is different from that of the preliminary exam as it is written (Descriptive) in nature.
  • While the preliminary examination is qualifying in nature, the marks obtained in the main examination are added to the final merit list. Hence, this stage of the examination is very important and crucial to a great extent.
  • The division of subjects in the main examination has been made compulsory and optional.
    • Four papers of General Studies, General Hindi and Essay in the compulsory subjects are written (Descriptive) in nature.
    • Similarly, in the optional subject, the nature of both the papers of one subject selected from the subjects given in the notification is also written (Descriptive).
  • Due to the change in the nature of questions asked in the optional subject, now it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the subject and analytical ability to get good marks in these subjects.
    • The nature of questions has now shifted from rote method to conceptual co-analytical type.
  • In this changed nature of the mains exam, time management has emerged as a challenge.
    • To score good marks in this mains exam not only a detailed understanding of the entire syllabus is required but also it is very important to answer the questions within the prescribed word limit and time.
  • Hindi question paper plays an important role in this exam. To get good marks in this, understanding of Hindi grammar (prefix, suffix, antonyms etc.), concise summary, unseen passage etc., is necessary.
    • For this, in-depth study of Hindi-level books like 'Vasudev Nandan Prasad' and 'General Hindi and Grammar' book of 'Hardev Bahri' and continuous writing work on the above subjects will be beneficial.
  • Essay papers are very important and crucial. It is clear from the syllabus that it is divided into three special sections, in which the candidate has to write one essay each from each section according to his interest and deep understanding on the subject.
  • To make the essay interesting, verses, poems, quotes, sayings of great men, etc. can be used. For the preparation of the essay, it will be beneficial to study the book 'Essay-Drishti' published by Drishti Publication, because the essays written in this book are not only divided into category order from the point of view of examination, but the language-style and approach of each essay are level.

Click on this link for essay writing strategy


  • For the preparation of the optional subjects of the main examination, it is necessary to study the standard books of the concerned subject.
  • It is beneficial to prepare point wise notes and synopsis of questions by studying standard books available in the market. This allows you to quickly revise the entire syllabus during the main exam.
  • UPPSC (Upper) Main Examination is of total 1500 marks, in which usually 950-1000 marks are called for interview, but sometimes this cut off may be less considering the difficulty level of questions.
  • It is known that in the papers of descriptive nature, the answer has to be written in the answer-book, so while writing the answers to such questions, special attention should be paid to the writing style and accuracy as well as time management.
  • To write an accurate and concise answer to any question, two things are important- first, there should be a comprehensive understanding of the subject and second, continuous practice of answer writing should be done.

Click on this link for the strategy for developing good writing skills in the main exam ⇒


Personality Test (Viva-Voice) Strategy

  • The test will relate to the matter of general interest, keeping the matter of academic interest in view and for general awareness, intelligence, character, expression power/personality and general suitability for the service.
  • Interview or Personality Test is the last and important stage of any examination.
  • Less in terms of marks but it has a special contribution in the final selection and posts determination.
  • A total of 100 marks have been fixed for the interview in the UPPSC Upper examination.
  • Your final selection is done on the basis of a merit list prepared on the basis of the aggregate of marks obtained in the main examination and interview.
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