Useful mnemonics for the UPSC Civil Services Examination

What are some very useful mnemonics for the UPSC civil services examination?


Mnemonics help is memorizing facts. Therefore, they might not be much useful for UPSC CSE given the nature of questions that emphasize conceptual clarity. Nevertheless, few related tricks can be used.

1. For Schemes


There is this scheme called Bharat Nirman. It has 6 components under it. Waters; Roads; Housing; Telephone; Electricity; Irrigation. I memorized it using the term WRITE H - each alphabet denoting one component. A Question can be asked like – Which of the following is/are a subdivision of Bharat Nirman ? So, if you remember WRITE H you will be able to answer it. Similarly try shortening important points of other schemes, so that they are easy to recall.


2. One Sentence write-up


Complex and confusing information can be written in a simple one line sentence. For eg. UPSC has this habit of asking who all participate in the election/removal of President and Vice-President (VP) ? Now most candidates get confused in these. I have made a very small simple write up for it –

President (Election) – all Elected (MPs + MLAs)
                 (removal) – all MPs

Vice-President (election) – all MPs
(removal) – all MPs

Notice that in 3 out of 4 cases, its all MPs and only for election of President its all Elected MPs + MLAs. The E is therefore highlighted and underscored. I hope now, you will not make mistake in questions like these. Try making one line write up for –
1. which all functionaries are not eligible for reappointment ?
2. whose salary comes under charged expenditure ?


This one sentence write-up is actually the key to qualify Prelims (ofcourse, it also helps in mains). Therefore try writing whatever you learn in forms like these. Another one –

FD = Expenditure – all non-debt creating receipts

FD is fiscal deficit, and this is a term which many beginners have a difficulty in understanding. Now, for calculating FD, we do not include those receipts that creates debt , eg. loans.

Another one – The oath for SC, HC judges & CAG is same
The oath for President & Governor is same.


3. Memorizing Sub-headings


This is useful for mains. By sub-headings I mean the heading for any particular paragraph. For eg, this answer of mine has three sub-headings – 1. For Schemes 2. One sentence write up 3. Memorizing sub-headings. Whatever topic you are preparing, you must be able to divide the information on it into various sub-headings and then –  only memorize those sub-headings. This will organize  your information and you will better recall it while writing your answer in exams.


Please read these important articles about prelims preparation

1. How UPSC asks current affairs in GS Prelims

2. How to practice prelims MCQs for UPSC

3. Applying logic in UPSC General Studies Prelims


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