After the Failure in IAS Prelims 2023, Here's How to Ace UPSC 2024

Written By
Insight IAS, Delhi
Written By
Insight IAS, Delhi

After the Failure in IAS Prelims 2023 Here's How to Ace UPSC 2024

From Setback to Success: The Ultimate Guide to Bouncing Back Stronger for UPSC 2024 after IAS Prelims 2023.

The IAS (Indian Administrative Service) examination is one of India's most prestigious exams, and every year, thousands of aspirants give their best to crack it. The IAS Prelims exam is the first hurdle in this long journey and requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and strategizing. But what happens when an aspirant scores less than what they expected? What happens when the IAS Prelims exam result is shocking, leaving them in a state of confusion and despair?

This blog post is aimed at those aspirants who faced the aftermath of the IAS Prelims 2023 exam and are finding it difficult to move forward. We understand that it can be disheartening and overwhelming, but it is essential to have a one-year strategy to overcome the shock and score big in the UPSC 2024 exam.

Analyzing the Root Cause of Failure

One of the most critical steps after facing a setback is to analyze the root cause of the failure. It is essential to understand where you went wrong and learn from your mistakes.


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The first step in analyzing the IAS Prelims 2023 exam is to dive deep into the question paper and cut-off. It would help if you analyzed each question, what you did wrong, and what you could have done better. This analysis will help identify your weak areas, which require more attention and practice.

Another essential aspect to consider is your preparation strategy. Did you have a systematic approach to study? Did you cover all the topics thoroughly? Did you revise regularly? Reflecting on these questions will help you identify the areas where you need to improve and prepare better.

Preparation Strategy for UPSC 2024

Once you have analyzed the root cause of your failure, it is time to prepare a one-year strategy to overcome the aftermath and score big on UPSC 2024. Here are some steps that can help you:

» Understanding the Syllabus and Exam Pattern of IAS Mains 2024

The first step towards preparing for the UPSC 2024 exam is to understand the syllabus and exam pattern. The syllabus for the IAS Mains exam is vast, and it is essential to have a clear understanding of all the topics to score well.


The IAS Mains exam consists of a written test, which comprises of nine papers, out of which seven are compulsory, and two are optional papers. The seven compulsory papers are:

• Essay Paper
• General Studies Paper I
• General Studies Paper II
• General Studies Paper III
• General Studies Paper IV
• Indian Language Paper
• English Language Paper

The two optional papers are selected from the list of subjects given in the UPSC syllabus. So, aspirants must understand the syllabus and exam pattern to prepare accordingly.

» Fixing a Monthly Study Plan with Daily Targets

Once you have understood the syllabus and exam pattern, the next step is to prepare a study plan. A study plan will help you prepare in a systematic manner and cover all the topics within a specific time frame. You can set daily and weekly targets to keep track of your progress.

You must divide your daily routine into dedicated hours of study, revision, and breaks to avoid monotony and fatigue.

» Suggested Books, Study Materials and Online Resources

Having the right study material plays a vital role in cracking the IAS exam. It is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the topics and concepts, and having the right books and study material can help achieve this.

Here are some suggested books and study materials:

• A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
• Indian Polity by Laxmikant
• India's Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
• Current Affairs by The Hindu
• NCERT books for History, Geography, Economics, and Science


There are several online resources that aspirants can use for their preparation. Some of these include: • UPSC official website
• Online coaching classes like Insight IAS
• Online study materials and videos on YouTube
• Online blogs and forums for discussion and exchanging ideas

» Techniques for Better Time Management and Revision

Time management and revision are critical aspects of any exam preparation. It is essential to have a strategy for effective time management and revision. Here are some techniques that can help:

• Make a revision plan with dedicated hours for each topic
• Revise regularly to avoid forgetting what you have learned
• Take breaks in between to avoid fatigue and monotony
• Be consistent in following your study plan and targets

Enhancing Writing Skills and Answer Writing Practice

Effective writing skills and answer writing practice play a crucial role in the IAS Mains exam. Here are some tips that can help:

Tips for Effective Writing Skills for IAS Mains 2024

• Be clear and concise in your writing
• Use simple and easy to understand language
• Use bullet points, tables, and diagrams wherever necessary
• Write in a logical and structured manner

Mock Tests and Previous Year Question Papers Practice

Practicing mock tests and previous year question papers is a great way to prepare for the IAS Mains exam. It helps you understand the exam pattern and build your confidence. Here are some tips:

• Set a timer and practice the mock tests under exam-like conditions • Analyze your mistakes and weak areas • Use mock tests and practice papers as a tool of self-evaluation • Use feedback to improve your writing skills and conceptual clarity

How to Frame a Clear, Concise and Analytical Answer

Framing a clear, concise, and analytical answer is essential to scoring well in the IAS exam. Here are some tips:

• Understand the question and break it down into parts
• Answer only what is asked and avoid unnecessary details
• Structure your answer logically, with an introduction, body and conclusion
• Use examples, case studies, and facts to support your answer

Feedback Mechanism and Self-Evaluation Techniques

Feedback and self-evaluation are essential aspects of the IAS exam preparation. Feedback from mentors, teachers, and peers can help identify our mistakes and weak areas. Here are some self-evaluation techniques:

• Maintain a journal to evaluate your progress
• Set achievable targets and track your progress
• Get feedback from mentors, teachers, and peers
• Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work accordingly

Personality Development and Ethics Paper

Personality development and ethics play a vital role in the IAS exam. Here are some tips that can help:


Importance of Personality Development in IAS

IAS is not just a job but a responsibility towards the nation. It requires individuals with not just knowledge but also the right personality traits. Here are some essential personality traits:

• Integrity
• Leadership Skills
• Effective Communication
• Creative Thinking
• Positive Attitude

Strategies to Enhance Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Effective communication and interpersonal skills are critical aspects of the IAS exam. Here are some tips:

• Practice effective communication in your daily routine
• Participate in group discussions and debates
• Develop a habit of listening carefully
• Take courses or workshops on communication skills

Ethics Paper Preparation Tips and Suggested Reading

Ethics is an essential paper in the IAS Mains exam and requires a lot of preparation. Here are some tips:

• Understand the syllabus and exam pattern
• Read books and articles on ethics and values
• Practice case studies and scenario-based questions
• Use examples to support your answers

In conclusion, the IAS exam is not easy, and setbacks are a common occurrence. However, it is essential to be prepared and have a one-year strategy to overcome the aftermath of a setback and score big in the UPSC 2024 exam. We hope this blog post will help aspirants prepare better and achieve their dreams of becoming an IAS officer.