Mains Crash Course

Believers IAS Academy - Mains Crash Course

If UPSC Prelims is 100 metre race, then consider UPSC Mains as Cross country Marathon.

If Prelims checks individual’s quick decision making abilities, abilities to perform effectively under stress and critical thinking capabilities in least amount of time; Then Mains checks individual’s clarity of thought, impartial analysis of events and ideas, stamina to withstand prolonged strain over adequate time but over prolonging number of days. The best example of enduring in such strainful situations in UPSC Mains is Saumya Sharma Rank 9, 2017.


Mains extensively tests individuals understanding of ideas and concepts categorised under various General studies subjects like GS 1, GS 2, GS 3. Although these papers when written well gets you about an average score or above average score when normalised, but if aspirants take these subjects lightly can cause one to lose an year of attempt narrowly.

 Mains also tests critical moral and ethical thinking of aspirants through GS 4. Although this subject is seldom highlighted as an important subject, it has the potential to make or break one’s attempt. UPSC carefully analyses individual’s moral prejudices and ethical stereotypes and filters out students who are morally and ethically crude. Moreover, Ethics paper (GS 4) is highly subjective in nature, hence clarity of topics and extensive yet dynamic note making along with regular tests is quintessential to score well.


Then there is an Essay paper that is misunderstood as a test of students’ knowledge. UPSC does not test a student’s knowledge in essay paper but their clarity of thought in interconnecting ideas, providing holistic representation of the topic and ability to express thoughts lucidly; lack of understanding of this core idea, makes students run after content and advertise their knowledge randomly in essay paper which does not impress the examiner to give marks. There is another major reason why students score low in essay, as they think that Essay does not require any preparation and they just have to write whatever comes to their about the topic. Essay although is the test of student’s expression yet our experience shows clearly that if essay is approached in systematic manner anyone can score really well in essay, regardless of their talent skills to write essay can be developed, as is the case with GS 4 paper.


There are compulsory language papers to test reading and writing proficiency of students in any language mentioned in 8th Schedule of Constitution of India along with proficiency in English. An aspirant to qualify in compulsory language papers only require 25% of marks, despite so low cut off, every year there are certain percentage of students who do not qualify mains because they fail in Compulsory language – Major reason – they take the subject lightly and do not give adequate attention to it.


Finally, the core pillar of Mains preparation lies in Optional subject. When GS papers are 250 marks each, total marks allotted for Optional papers is 500.This proves how important scoring in Optional becomes. With our experience, we have seen many students cracking really good ranks just on the basis of Optional scores, when their GS scores were average few of them namely – Girish Kalagond  (Rank 307, year – 2018), Pruthvinath (Rank 541,year – 2020).


UPSC Mains although does not have negative markings and it allows aspirants to write their thoughts freely yet only 30% of aspirants who qualify prelims are able to attend interview.


 Requirements of Mains which students miss out on:


  • Effective content development on each and every topic and subtopic mentioned in syllabus.
  • While studying basic books like Laxmikanth,spectrum basic NCERTs etc. Students miss out on major topics like Governance, International Relations, Disaster management, Internal security etc.
  • Students who focus more on studying lose out on mains because their answer writing skills are not effective.
  • Students who focus heavily on one subject miss out on scoring well in mains – for instance, students who emphasise more in GS 1,2,3 lose out on ethics and essay marks.
  • Lack of systematic approach to Essay and Ethics, leaves students with vast amounts of subjective information to be studied and understood which is the major reason for students to have nightmares about essay and ethics.
  • Students who do not lay emphasis on Optional papers are the ones who get badly hit, as optional comprises of nearly major chunk of attainable marks.
  • Students who have this notion that completing the paper with average and below average content will get them through mains, which rarely happens, but if it happens, they do not appear in the final rank list or are at the bottom of rank list.
  • There are some students who emphasise more on content and miss out on completing the paper – such students also lose out because they miss out on average marks every question provides to other students who complete the paper.
  • Some students emphasise more on content and do not focus on presentation of their answer because of which examiners find it difficult to read through their answers and give them below average marks even if students have written the best of answers.
  • Lack of commitment and discipline to join mains test series and complete the test series – makes the preparation for mains incomplete and prone to failure.
  • Finally, the subjectivity involved in answer correction of Mains and lack of transparency in revealing the process of answer correction, leaves very less scope for students to take UPSC Mains lightly.


We at Believers strongly understand that – “Every good cuisine has a formulated recipe moreover the recipe has to be prepared by seasoned chefs” likewise every mains subject has a formula to score optimally maximum under the guidance of Seasoned Mains Experts we have at Believers.


Comprehensive program for Civil Service Mains Examination 2022 by Believers IAS Academy. This course is a part of Believers online IAS coaching and will dart across the entire syllabus of mains examination enabling the aspirants to have a power-packed revision. 



Complete coverage of syllabus from Mains point of view

  • 69 Sessions (Duration: 207hours)
  • Dedicated study materials
  • Quality Addition Answer writing for Mains (QAAM) 2022
  • Mains Test Series of 17 tests
  • Dedicated test discussion sessions
  • Lucid Mains Current Affairs
  • Validity: till the UPSC Mains Examination 2022
  • Essay writing practice































Breakup of Syllabus 

Mains test series 2022, UPSC mains test series The syllabus is the starting point of your preparation. We are providing a detailed explanation of the syllabus, breaking it into logical units for preparation, but more importantly – also providing a list of key concepts that you should focus on for preparation of your Mains Examination. 

We have divided the UPSC Syllabus in Topics. The topic breaks up is below. (This is important as with this break-up, those who are doing self-study, can have a clear roadmap as to how many topics they have covered, and to what extent. The keyword listing will ensure that you know what all to be covered under a topic) 

GS Paper 1: Indian Heritage, Art and Culture, Modern History of India and the World, World Geography.

GS Paper 2:  Governance, Constitution, Polity, International Relations and Social Justice.

GS Paper 3: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

GS Paper 4: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude 

The General Studies + Essay together account for 1250 marks out of the 1750 marks in the Civil Services Mains Examination. This is 71.4% of the total marks for Mains and 62.5% of the total marks of the examination (including Personality Test) – which is used to rank candidates for allocation of service and State Cadres. 



     Facilities available in Online Platform –

  • Smart Digital boards that is clearly visible through online platform as well.
  • Every class is Live Streamed as well as recorded for later access and can be viewed any number of time, without any restrictions, subject to course duration.
  • Free and Exclusive access to Believers App through which recorded and live videos can be accessed. (Link 🙂
  • Free and Exclusive access to Believers portal that can be accessed in Laptops, desktops for enlarged and qualitative video experience. (Link :).
  • Online students can ask queries to the subject faculties in live streaming by simply unmuting and asking the doubt which is audible to the faculties or by clicking on the option “Raise Your Hand “to post your query.


  • Online students can write mock test in online mode, which is at par with offline test taking facility.
  • Effective User interface for online tests has be created to make the students feel comfortable while taking the tests.
  • To maintain the reliability and integrity of the test, various security features are added which restricts the students from closing the tab, opening a new tab, restrictions on taking calls while attempting the test, students cannot even go back to previous webpage. This is just a limiting factor to encourage you to take your tests seriously, like you would do in the real UPSC exam!
  • Instant correction of prelims mock test, to eliminate waiting time for students.
  • Smart Dashboard with features like:
    • Overall analysis of prelims mock test (Samples)
    • Section wise analysis of prelims mock test (Samples)
    • Smart hints to promote curiosity of students (Samples)
    • Use of AI based features to do SWOT Analysis of your preparation.
  • Considering that even we can do mistakes, Report button is provided for individual online prelims question, so that students can raise the errors and we can timely correct our mistakes.
  • For Online Mains test, students can write the test at the comfort of their homes, by taking printout of Believers Answer Copy and writing on it and then scanning the same.


  • Evaluation for mains tests would be done by relevant subject experts, normally within a week’s time.
  • Test Discussions post every test would be handled by subject experts to provide clarity on topics for students.
  • Regular personalized Mentoring to guide students in their preparation.