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UPSC Preparation Strategy for Commerce and Management

Topics Covered: UPSC CSE (IAS) 2024 Preparation Strategy, Start with Basics, Right Booklist, Follow the Process, Start Answer Writing, Pratice Mock Tests, Constant Revision, Study Plan, DOs and Dont’s, Study Sequence

There is famous saying which goes as “an important key to success is self- confidence and the key to self – confidence is preparation” and the same can be said about UPSC Civil Service Examination.  

To clear a competitive examination like UPSC CSE requires a carefully curated strategy aside from focused hard work and determination.  

Every year, lakhs of aspirants appear for the exam to be recruited for various civil services posts announced by UPSC.  

As handful of candidates are selected in the final exam process, it makes the exam as one of the toughest in the country. 

Therefore, a comprehensive preparation strategy forms a significant aspect towards clearing the exam.  

A robust preparation plan must include selecting the right books, a dedicated study plan, multiple revision of the topics and efficient practice of mock tests.  

Inculcating all these practices would enhance your conceptual understanding and familiarize you with the exam pattern which will eventually help in acing the exam.  

Talking about UPSC Mains, scoring high marks in optional papers can be game changer for the candidates in the final selection. Hence, a well- rounded approach for optional subjects becomes important for the aspirants. 

To help you prepare well for the upcoming UPSC 2024 exam, I will be discussing in detail about the UPSC preparation strategy for optional subjects of Commerce and Management which will include detailed study plan, preparation tips as well as some Do’s and Don’ts.   

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the UPSC CSE Preparation Strategy straightaway.    

Table of Content – UPSC Preparation Strategy for Commerce and Management

UPSC Mentorship Programme for Commerce and Management 

With its extremely vast syllabus and competent nature, the UPSC exam is considered as the one of the toughest examinations in the country.  

Therefore, it is not at all an exaggeration when this is exam is called a marathon by the countless number of aspirants who apply every year.  

Along with some commonly practiced tips such as going through the syllabus and consistent revision which are helpful in the exam preparation. An effective guided mentorship can make a huge impact in the journey of an aspirant to becoming an officer.  

So, with an aim of accomplishing this dream of many worthy aspirants, we are providing a mentorship programme for the optional subject of Commerce and Management.  

This mentorship programme contains subject – wise weekly mock tests, comprehensive mock tests as well as weekly mentorship sessions.  

The mock tests will be provided as per the schedule on weekly basis, which will cover the topics step by step as mentioned in the syllabus. Alongside the tests, sample answers are also provided to help the aspirants in the evaluation of their performance.  

As per the dedicated timetable, the students will be provided with the mock tests every Saturday at 11 AM, for which the time to submit the answers will be given till the next day, i.e., Sunday 7 PM.  

A time period of 4 days will be taken by the experts to precisely evaluate and upload the feedback of the answers submitted.  

Following that, on the 7th day of the time schedule, i.e., final day, a live session will be held for an in–depth discussion on the analysis of the mock tests.  

For the optional subjects of Commerce and Management, 10 mock tests will be provided for both. The mock tests will be further divided into 5 mock tests for Paper 1 and another 5 for Paper II.  

The students shall be given a dedicated space to write and submit their answers, and to help assess the speed of the candidate’s writing, a timer facility is also provided.  

To match the competitive level of the UPSC exam, the mock tests shall feature fact–based as well as some challenging topics that are based according to the latest pattern of the exam.  

As mentioned above, the sample answers are provided to familiarize students with the ideal answers that are expected in the exam.  

The evaluation and review of the answer sheets will be done by the UPSC subject experts who will give appropriate remarks and feedback that will offer insights on their strengths and weaknesses as well as help improve performance of the students.  

Therefore, if you are aspirant with an optional subject in Commerce and Management and are looking for an effective guidance, you can click and download this Pdf here: UPSC Mentorship Programme for Commerce and Management 

UPSC Preparation Strategy (Commerce & Management)

One of the premium attributes that is required to ace UPSC CSE exam is a well curated and sorted strategy. 

Since the UPSC Syllabus is a mountain to climb, therefore, it is logical for you to make a distinct plan and base your journey as per the plan made. 

While you can make your unique strategy but to save your time, I have done that task for you regarding UPSC Commerce and Management study plan.

Therefore, if you are planning to prepare for UPSC CSE 2024, then going this comprehensive strategy will prove to be immensely beneficial.   

In this section, I will be sharing the methodology regarding how to efficiently prepare for UPSC CSE Mains (Commerce & Management Optionals). 

So, without further ado let’s get started. 

1. Start With the Basics

The first and most important step is to understand the basic framework of the exam. To do that effectively, you can start with going through the syllabus and practicing the previous year question papers.  

    • First access the previous year papers of the past 4-5 years.  
    • Identify the topics that you are aware of or have studied before, that have been a part of these exams. 
    • This act can help you assess your level and upon encountering questions that you may have an idea of confidence would be induced from the start. 

You can get UPSC Previous Year Papers here. 

    • After going through the previous year papers, download the syllabus and mark out the subjects that you have identified as your go to topics. 

Follow these basics to have the best possible start. 

UPSC CSAT 2024 complete course banner desktop
UPSC CSAT 2024 complete course banner mobile

2. Find the right booklist

After you are done with the basics, it is time to proceed to next important step which is the selection of right booklist for UPSC CSE. To choose the best books for the exam preparation, you must: 

    • Know the syllabus and you have identified the subjects to initiate your preparation with.  
    • Now find out the relevant books of the topics and get on with the reading and learning process. 

To curtail your effort in finding the books, I’ve taken the onus to do that for you. So, here’s the most pertinent UPSC CSE 2024 booklist for your preparation (For Commerce and Management optionals). 

3. Follow the process for 5-6 months

Devote the next 5 to 6 months on thorough study. Plan out your route by formulating a plan to cover every subject of both Commerce and Management optional or just follow the detailed plan I have devised for you.

Click on the underlined text to access the UPSC Commerce & Management Syllabus.

4. Start Answer Writing

After continuously studying there will come a stage when you will begin to feel like 50-60% of syllabus has been covered. This would be a cue for you to start practicing answer writing. Remember to make a note of this! To begin your answer- writing practice, you can follow these steps: 

    • After you are done with more than 50% of the syllabus, you can start with answer writing subject wise. 
    • Remember, answer writing from day 1 is a bad strategy. Also, answer writing only once the entire syllabus is over is also a bad strategy.  

These are two extremes that have the potential to destroy your optional prep. 

5. Mocks will make you solid as a Rock

Mock Tests is one of the attributes that you simply cannot do away with. It is the ultimate method to check where you stand. Moreover, I think the role of mocks has always been underrated. The confidence to crack the exam, where does it come from? Mock Tests. 

What highlights your strong and weak areas? Mock Tests. 

What solidifies practice through real UPSC Exam Pattern? Mock Tests. 

What Increases speed? Mock Tests. 

I think you got it. Hence, you need to give mocks throughout the preparation journey. 

You can access the mocks that I have personally designed for you. Access UPSC Mock Tests Here. 

There are two kinds of mocks that you can write in your prep –  

  • Firstly, once 50-60% of your syllabus gets over, you can start with chapter wise mocks. These can be created on your own or can be used through online guidance programs. 

I also carry out chapter wise and subject wise mocks between October to February every year for commerce and management optionals. 

  • Secondly, you can take comprehensive mocks once your entire syllabus is finished. These can be taken between prelims and mains i.e., June to September approximately. 

Comprehensive mocks are also conducted by me online after prelims every year. I hope you have understood the method of taking mocks and their importance. Let us move forward. 

6. Constant Revision and Regular Feedback

One of the most repeated queries of students that I encounter every now and then is how to proceed with the syllabus without losing what’s already been inculcated. The answer to this is simple- Indulge in regular revision. 

    • If you are done with a certain topic then don’t get complacent with it, solidify it by revisiting it again and again.  
    • You can make this a weekly exercise. Plan and pick a topic every week for revision. 
    • While revision is vital, practicing answer writing is as crucial as it gets.  
    • Along with consistent practice of writing answer, get regular feedback of your written answers. This way you’d know your weaknesses and how much you’d have to improve. 
    • Follow this rigorous process and your syllabus will be completed in somewhat January or February. Provided you have started your preparation in March/April. 

Let me share a link with you that contains the perfect way to revise. I call it ACTIVE REVISION. I can guarantee that if you change your study routine to inculcate Active Revision every day or every week, NO ONE can stop you from scoring 300 plus in Commerce and Management Optionals. 

UPSC Study Plan for Commerce and Management

Following the preparation strategy, let me take you to the day-wise schedule to prepare for both UPSC Management and Commerce.

It is going to be a 180-day plan in which you have to devote 2-4 hours daily on your Commerce or Mangement optional.

Pick one subject at a time and take considerable time in between for answer writing and revision.

The plan I’ve made includes everything even the regular breaks. You just have to follow it thoroughly and rest assured the syllabus will be completed well within time.

Here’s the day-wise chart of UPSC Commerce and Management for you to prepare.

UPSC Study Plan for Commerce

If you are planning to prepare for UPSC CSE with commerce as your optional subject, then you can check the detailed day – wise study plan I have provided for the holistic UPSC Commerce Study Plan for preparation in the table below: 

Days Topic Sub-Topic
Day 1 Financial Accounting Understanding Syllabus
Day 2 Financial Accounting Accounting for Share Capital Transactions
Day 3 Financial Accounting Bonus Shares, Right Shares
Day 4 Financial Accounting Employees Stock Option and Buy-Back of Securities
Day 5 & 6 Financial Accounting Preparation and Presentation of Company Final Accounts
Day 7, 8 & 9 Financial Accounting Amalgamations, Absorption and Reconstruction of Companies
Day 10, 11 & 12 Financial Accounting Accounting Standards
Day 13 Financial Accounting Accounting as a financial information system; Impact of behavioural sciences
Day 14, 15 & 16 Financial Accounting Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 17 Break
Day 18 Cost Accounting Understanding Syllabus
Day 19 Cost Accoutning Nature and functions of cost accounting. Installation of Cost Accounting System
Day 20 Cost Accounting Cost Concepts related to Income Measurement, Profit Planning, Cost Control and Decision Making
Day 21 Cost Accounting Job Costing
Day 22 Cost Accounting Process Costing
Day 23 Cost Accounting Activity Based Costing
Day 24 Cost Accounting CVP Analysis
Day 25 & 26 Cost Accounting Incremental Analysis/Differential Costing as a Tool of Pricing Decisions, Product Decisions, Make or Buy Decisions, Shut-Down Decisions etc.
Day 27 & 28 Cost Accounting Budgeting
Day 29 Cost Accounting Standard Costing and Variance Analysis
Day 30 Cost Accounting Responsibility Accounting and Divisional Performance Measurement
Day 31, 32 & 33 Cost Accounting Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 34 Break
Day 35 & 36 Backup Days
Day 37 Organisation theory Understanding syllabus
Day 38 Organisation theory Nature and Concept of Organisation
Day 39 Organisation theory Organisational environment
Day 40 Organisation theory Organisational goals and MBO
Day 41 & 42 Organisation theory Organisation theory
Day 43, 44 & 45 Organisation theory Organisational Design—Basic Challenges; Differentiation and Intergration Process; Centralization and Decentralization Process; Standardization/Formalization and Mutual Adjustment. Coordinating Formal and Informal Organizations. Mechanistic and Organic Structures
Day 46, 47 & 48 Organisation theory Organsiational structure
Day 49 Organisation theory Power and Politics
Day 50 Organisation theory Impact of Information Technology
Day 51 Organisation theory Organizational Culture
Day 52 & 53 Organisation theory Answer writing
Day 54 Break
Day 55 Organisation behaviour Understanding syllabus
Day 56 Organisation behaviour Meaning and Concept; Individual in organization
Day 57 Organisation behaviour Personality
Day 58 Organisation behaviour Pereception
Day 59 & 60 Organisation behaviour Motivation
Day 61 Organisation behaviour Leadership
Day 62 Organisation behaviour Quality of Work Life (QWL)
Day 63 Organisation behaviour Quality Circles (QC)
Day 64 Organisation behaviour Conflicts
Day 65 Organisation behaviour Organisational change
Day 66 Organisation behaviour Transactional Analysis, Organizational Effectiveness
Day 67 & 68 Organisation behaviour Answer writing
Day 69 Break
Day 70 & 71 Backup Days
Day 72 Revision Financial Accounting
Day 73 Revision Cost Accounting
Day 74 Financial Management Understanding syllabus
Day 75 Financial Management Finance Function : Nature, Scope and Objectives of Financial Management
Day 76 Financial Management Risk and Return Relationship
Day 77 Financial Management Ratio Analysis
Day 78 Financial Management Funds-Flow
Day 79 Financial Management Cash-Flow Statement
Day 80 & 81 Financial Management Capital Budgeting
Day 82 Financial Management Cost of Capital
Day 83 Financial Management Theories of Capital Structure
Day 84 Financial Management Leverage analysis
Day 85 Financial Management EBIT-EPS Analysis
Day 86 & 87 Financial Management Dividend Decisions and Valuation of Firm
Day 88, 89 & 90 Financial Management Working Capital Management
Day 91 Financial Management Corporate Restructuring
Day 92, 93 & 94 Financial Management Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 95 Break
Day 96 Auditing Understanding Syllabus
Day 97 & 98 Auditing Introduction
Day 99 & 100 Auditing Company Audit
Day 101, 102 & 103 Auditing Audit of Banking, Insurance, Non-Profit Organization and Charitable Societies/Trusts/Organizations
Day 104 & 105 Auditing Answer Writing
Day 106 Break
Day 107 Revision Organisation Theory
Day 108 Revision Organisation Behaviour
Day 109 HRM Understanding Syllabus
Day 110 HRM Meaning Nature and Scope of HRM
Day 111 HRM Human Resource Planning
Day 112 HRM Job Analysis, Job Description, Job Specification
Day 113 HRM Recruitment Process, Selection Process
Day 114 HRM Orientational and Placement, Training and Development Process
Day 115 HRM Performance Appraisal and 360° Feed Back
Day 116 HRM Salary and Wage Administration
Day 117 HRM Job Evaluation
Day 118 HRM Employee Welfare
Day 119 HRM Promotions, Transfers and Separations
Day 120 & 121 HRM Answer writing
Day 122 Break
Day 123 Industrial Relation Understanding syllabus
Day 124 Industrial Relation Meaning, Nature, Importance and Scope of IR
Day 125 Industrial Relation Trade Union
Day 126 Industrial Relation Industrial Disputes
Day 127 Industrial Relation Worker’s Participation in Management
Day 128 Industrial Relation Collective Bargaining
Day 129 Industrial Relation Industrial Relations in Public Enterprises
Day 130 Industrial Relation Absenteeism and Labour Turnover in Indian Industries and their Causes and Remedies
Day 131 Industrial Relation ILO and its Functions
Day 132 & 133 Industrial Relation Answer writing
Day 134 Break
Day 135 Revision Financial Management
Day 136 Revision Auditing
Day 137 Revision Financial Accounting
Day 138 Revision Cost Accounting
Day 139 & 140 Backup Days
Day 141 FMI Understanding syllabus
Day 142 FMI Indian Financial System: An Overview
Day 143 FMI Money Markets
Day 144 FMI Commercial Banks
Day 145 & 146 FMI Reforms in Banking Sector
Day 147 FMI RBI as a Regulator
Day 148 FMI Monetary and Credit Policy of RBI
Day 149 FMI Capital Market : Primary and Secondary Market
Day 150 FMI Financial Market Instruments and Innovative Debt Instruments
Day 151 FMI SEBI as a Regulator
Day 152 & 153 FMI Financial Services : Mutual Funds, Venture Capital, Credit Rating Agencies, Insurance and IRDA
Day 154 & 155 FMI Answer writing
Day 156 Break
Day 157 Income tax Understanding syllabus
Day 158 Income tax Income Tax: Definitions. Basis of charge
Day 159 Income tax Incomes which do not form part of total income
Day 160 Income tax Income from salary
Day 161 Income tax Income from House Property
Day 162 Income tax Income from Profits and Gains from Business or Profession
Day 163 Income tax Income from Capital Gains
Day 164 Income tax Income from other sources
Day 165 Income tax Income of other Persons included in Assessee’s Total Income
Day 166 Income tax Set-off and Carry forward of Loss
Day 167 Income tax Deductions from Gross Total Income
Day 168 Income tax Salient Features/Provisions Related to VAT and Services Tax
Day 169, 170 & 171 Income tax Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 172 Break
Day 173 Revision HRM
Day 174 Revision Industrial Relation
Day 175 Revision Organisation theory
Day 176 Revision Organisation behaviour
Day 177 Break
Day 178 Revision Full
Day 179 Full length Mock
Day 180 Mock Analysis

UPSC Study Plan for Management

If you are planning to prepare for UPSC CSE with Management as your optional subjects for Mains exam, then you can check the comprehensive day–wise study plan I have provided for integrated UPSC Management preparation in the table below: 

Days Topic Sub-Topic
Day 1 Managerial Function and Process Understanding Syllabus
Day 2 Managerial Function and Process Personality
Day 3 Managerial Function and Process Values and Attitude
Day 4 Managerial Function and Process Perception
Day 5 Managerial Function and Process Motivation
Day 6 Managerial Function and Process Leadership
Day 7 Managerial Function and Process Analysis of interpersonal relationship
Day 8 Managerial Function and Process Conflict
Day 9 Managerial Function and Process Organisational change
Day 10 Managerial Function and Process Employee welfare
Day 11 Managerial Function and Process Organizational Effectiveness
Day 12 Managerial Function and Process Learning & Stress
Day 13 Managerial Function and Process Communication and Decision Making
Day 14 Managerial Function and Process Decision making
Day 15 Managerial Function and Process Comprehensive Answer Writing
Day 16 Organisation behaviour Understanding syllabus
Day 17 Organisation behaviour Meaning and Concept; Individual in organization
Day 18 Organisation behaviour Personality
Day 19 Organisation behaviour Pereception
Day 20 & 21 Organisation behaviour Motivation
Day 22 Organisation behaviour Leadership
Day 23 Organisation behaviour Quality of Work Life (QWL)
Day 24 Organisation behaviour Quality Circles (QC)
Day 25 Organisation behaviour Conflicts
Day 26 Organisation behaviour Organisational change
Day 27 Organisation behaviour Transactional Analysis, Organizational Effectiveness
Day 28 Organisation behaviour Answer writing
Day 29 Revision Managerial Function and Process
Day 30 Revision Organisation behaviour
Day 31 HRM Understanding Syllabus
Day 32 HRM Meaning Nature and Scope of HRM
Day 33 HRM Human Resource Planning
Day 34 HRM Job Analysis, Job Description, Job Specification
Day 35 HRM Recruitment Process, Selection Process
Day 36 HRM Orientational and Placement, Training and Development Process
Day 37 HRM Performance Appraisal and 360° Feed Back
Day 38 HRM Salary and Wage Administration
Day 39 HRM Job Evaluation
Day 40 HRM Employee Welfare
Day 41 HRM Promotions, Transfers and Separations
Day 42 HRM Answer writing
Day 43 Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting) Understanding syllabus
Day 44 Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting) Financial accounting—concept, importance and scope, generally accepted accounting principles
Day 45 & 46 Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting) Preparation of financial statements with special reference to analysis of a balance sheet and measurement of business income
Day 47 Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting) Inventory valuation and depreciation
Day 48 Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting) Financial statement analysis
Day 49 Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting) Fund flow analysis, The statement of cash flows
Day 50 & 51 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 52 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Understanding syllabus
Day 53 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Management accounting concept, need, importance and scope and Cost accounting—records and processes, cost ledger and control accounts
Day 54 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Reconciliation and integration between financial and cost accounts
Day 55 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Overhead cost and control
Day 56 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Job costing and process costing
Day 57 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Budget and budgetary control, Performance budgeting, Zero-base budgeting
Day 58 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Relevant costing and costing for decision-making
Day 59 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Standard costing and variance analysis
Day 60 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Marginal costing and absorption costing
Day 61 & 62 Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting) Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 63 Financial Management Understanding Syllabus
Day 64 Financial Management Goal of Finance Function and Concepts of value and return
Day 65 Financial Management Valuation of bonds and Shares
Day 66 Financial Management Management of working capital: Estimation and Financing
Day 67 Financial Management Management of cash , Management of receivables , Management of inventory
Day 68 Financial Management Cost of capital
Day 69 Financial Management Capital budgeting, Financial and operating leverage
Day 70 Financial Management Design of capital structure: theories and practices
Day 71 Financial Management Shareholder value creation: dividend policy
Day 72 Financial Management Corporate financial policy and strategy, management of corporate distress and restructuring strategy
Day 73 Financial Management Capital and money markets: institutions and instruments , Recent reforms in financial sector
Day 74 Financial Management Leasing hire purchase and venture capital
Day 75 Financial Management Risk and return: portfolio theory; CAPM; APT
Day 76 Financial Management Financial derivatives: option, futures, swap
Day 77 & 78 Financial Management Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 79 Marketing Management Understanding syllabus
Day 80 Marketing Management Concept; scope, Evolution
Day 81 Marketing Management Marketing strategy formulation and components of marketing plan
Day 82 Marketing Management Segmenting, targeting the market, Positioning and differentiating the market offering
Day 83 Marketing Management Analyzing competition
Day 84 Marketing Management Industrial buyer behaviour
Day 85 Marketing Management Market research
Day 86 Marketing Management Product strategy
Day 87 Marketing Management Pricing strategies
Day 88 Marketing Management Designing and managing Marketing channels, Integrated marketing communications
Day 89 Marketing Management Building customer satisfaction, Value and retention
Day 90 Marketing Management Services
Day 91 Marketing Management Ethics in marketing; Internet marketing, Holistic Marketing and non-profit marketing
Day 92 Marketing Management Consumer protection, Retail management, Customer relationship management
Day 93 & 94 Marketing Management Answer writing
Day 95 Revision Financial Management
Day 96 Revision Marketing Management
Day 97 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Understanding Syllabus
Day 98 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Descriptive and inferential statistics
Day 99 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Probability and probability distribution
Day 100 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Sampling and central limit theorem
Day 101 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Hypothesis testing, Z and t test
Day 102 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Chisquare and ANOVA
Day 103 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Correlation and regression
Day 104 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Time series and forecasting
Day 105 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Statistical decision theory
Day 106 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Index numbers
Day 107 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Linear programming
Day 108 & 109 Quantitative Techniques in Decision Making Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 110 Production and Operations Management Fundamentals of operations management, Organizing for production
Day 111 Production and Operations Management Aggregate production planning, capacity planning, process planning
Day 112 Production and Operations Management Management of facilities, Equipment replacement and maintenance
Day 113 Production and Operations Management Statistical process control
Day 114 Production and Operations Management R&D management , Inventory control, MRP
Day 115 Production and Operations Management Quality management, Six Sigma
Day 116 Production and Operations Management Flexibility and agility in manufacturing systems; World class manufacturing
Day 117 Production and Operations Management Supply, chain management—vendor evaluation and audit
Day 118 Production and Operations Management Project management concepts
Day 119 Production and Operations Management Plant design, Line balancing, Waste management
Day 120 Production and Operations Management Management of service operations, Importance of materials management, plant size and scale of operations
Day 121 Production and Operations Management Value analysis, make or buy decision
Day 122 Production and Operations Management Production control
Day 123 & 124 Production and Operations Management Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 125 Revision Quantitative Technoiques in Decision Making
Day 126 Revision Production and Operations Management
Day 127 Strategic Cost Management Business policy as a field of study; Nature and scope of strategic management, Strategic intent, vision, objectives and policies; Process of strategic planning and implementation;
Day 128 Strategic Cost Management Environmental analysis and internal analysis; SWOT analysis
Day 129 Strategic Cost Management Tools and techniques for strategic analysis—Impact matrix: The experience curve, BCG matrix, GEC mode, Industry analysis, Concept of value chain
Day 130 Strategic Cost Management Strategic profile of a firm; Framework for analysing competition; Competitive advantage of a firm; Generic competitive strategies; Growth strategies—expansion, integration and diversification
Day 131 Strategic Cost Management Concept of core competence, Strategic flexibility; Reinventing strategy; Strategy and structure; chief Executive and Board; turnaround management; Management of strategic change; Strategic alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions
Day 132 Strategic Cost Management Strategy and corporate evolution in the Indian context
Day 133 & 134 Strategic Cost Management Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 135 International Business International Business Environment
Day 136 International Business Changing composition of trade in goods and services; India’s Foreign Trade: Policy and trends
Day 137 International Business Export Management; Export-Import procedures
Day 138 International Business Financing of International trade
Day 139 International Business Regional Economic Cooperation; FTAs
Day 140 International Business Internationalisation of service firms, International production
Day 141 International Business Operation Management in International companies
Day 142 International Business International Taxation
Day 143 International Business Global competitiveness and technological developments
Day 144 International Business Global E-Business
Day 145 International Business Designing global organisational structure and control
Day 146 International Business Multicultural management
Day 147 International Business Joint Ventures; Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions
Day 148 International Business Foreign Investment: Foreign direct investment and foreign portfolio investment
Day 149 International Business Foreign Exchange Risk Exposure Management
Day 150 International Business Country Risk Analysis
Day 151 International Business International Banking, World Financial Markets; External Debt Management
Day 152 & 153 International Business Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 154 Revision Strategic Cost Management
Day 155 Revision International Business
Day 156 Government Business Interface Government clearances for establishing a new enterprise; Government control over price and distribution
Day 157 Government Business Interface Public Distribution System , Government’s policy with regard to Small Scale Industries
Day 158 Government Business Interface New Industrial Policy of the Government liberalization, deregulation and privatisation
Day 159 Government Business Interface Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and The Role of Voluntary Organizations in protecting consumers’ rights
Day 160 Government Business Interface Corporate Governance, Cyber Laws
Day 161 Government Business Interface The Responsibilities of the business as well as the Government to protect the environment
Day 162 Government Business Interface Indian planning system; Government policy concerning development of Backward areas/regions
Day 163 Government Business Interface Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 164 Management Information System Understanding syllabus
Day 165 Management Information System Conceptual foundations of information systems; Information theory
Day 166 Management Information System Information resource management; Types of information Systems; Systems Development—Overview of Systems and Design
Day 167 Management Information System System Development management life-cycle, Designing online and distributed environments
Day 168 Management Information System Implementation and control of project; Trends in information technology; Managing data resources—Organising data
Day 169 Management Information System DSS and RDBMS
Day 170 Management Information System Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Expert systems
Day 171 Management Information System e-Business architecture, e-Governance; Information systems planning, Flexibility in information systems; User involvement; Evaluation of information systems
Day 172 Break
Day 173 Revision HRM
Day 174 Revision Marketing Management
Day 175 Revision Organisation theory
Day 176 Revision Organisation behaviour
Day 177 Break
Day 178 Revision Full
Day 179 Mock Analysis
Day 180 Mock Analysis

DOs and Don’ts:

Let us now come to some Dos and Don’ts for UPSC Commerce and Management Optional Subjects. .

While following the preparation strategy you need to be very meticulous and must continuously keep in check that you are onboard with the strategy. However, as it is a long process, it is easy to take a wrong turn in this impasse. Thus, it is important for you to be aware of certain Dos and Don’ts.

Note: The following dos and don’ts are suggested by IAS Manuj Jindal (2017, AIR. 53).


    • Study for Mains optional first, in this case subjects like Commerce and Management. You can study one subject at a time, that’s what I preferred. Your choice here. 
    • Concepts first, facts later. Don’t get obsessed with small factual questions asked in UPSC right away! If your concepts are clear, facts will be easier to remember.
    • Focus on larger picture things, then come to smaller facts. This means that learn the story first, then the details.


    • Get rid of things that don’t help you in your preparation. Stay away from distractions such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. Or use them for UPSC related study only.
    • Don’t pick random sources, random magazines etc., for your optional subject, it’s a useless act.  

Study Sequence

To make it further convenient for you I am summarizing the UPSC Preparation Strategy and framing it in a way that would save your time and also check your ability to comprehend things.

  1. Commence your preparation by studying UPSC Previous Year Papers.
  2. From previous year papers, identify the subjects that you have addressed in the past.
  3. Download the syllabus, and mark the subjects you have identified in the syllabus doc.
  4. Initiate syllabus with these topics.
  5. Focus on completing the syllabus subject after subject for the next 5-6 months.
  6. Upon realising you have completed 50-60% of the syllabus, start with answer writing.
  7. Appear in Mock Tests frequently.
  8. Indulge in regular revision and seek continuous feedback from a mentor.
  9. Dedicate yourself to this process for the next 6 months and your syllabus will be finished.


With this, we come to the end of the section. Till now, we have discussed in detail everything related to UPSC preparation strategy for Commerce and Management optional papers, detailed study plan and preparation tips.

I hope you find the detailed information helpful in your exam preparation. It’s time for me to bid you farewell and wish you all the luck for future endeavors! 

All the best! 

Keep Learning!! 

CEO of Anujjindal.in

About Anuj Jindal


Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education.

UPSC CSE – Related Resources

FAQs: UPSC Preparation Strategy for Commerce & Management

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    Is it possible to prepare for UPSC through self-study? 

    Yes, it is possible for you to prepare for UPSC through self- study as well as clear this prestigious exam. However, there are few important points you must keep in mind while beginning your exam preparation: 

    • You must have a comprehensive IAS preparation strategy which includes a reliable booklist and the right study material to effectively cover the syllabus.  
    • To clear the exam, you would also need to work hard, be dedicated, and be extremely motivated to carry on with your studies along with the dedicated IAS strategy.  

    However, I’d also add here, that taking help from online coaching agencies, at least as far as their Mock test series or current affairs modules go, is not a bad idea. They help cut down preparation time by a whole lot. 

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    How to prepare for management optional UPSC?
    Get hold of the UPSC Management syllabus, make a note of the topics and questions that appeared in the previous year papers.

    Afterwards proceed with implementing the UPSC Management optional strategy and day-wise preparation plan given above on this page.   


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    How to prepare for UPSC optional commerce?
    To prepare and score well for UPSC Mains Commerce subject, you can check the detailed Commerce optional UPSC strategy I have given above.  

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    Is It Essential to Have Management Optional UPSC Notes?
    If you have the relevant books available then you can make your own notes while preparing. You don’t need readymade notes.

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    Is commerce a scoring optional for UPSC?
    It’s UPSC mains. If your hard work is at the utmost level and your preparation is on mark then yes Commerce would be a scoring optional. 

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    Are previous years’ papers helpful in preparation for UPSC optional subjects of Commerce and Management?
    Yes! Solving previous year papers will be extremely beneficial in the preparation of UPSC optional subjects of Commerce and Management as it will help you familiarize with the nature of questions asked and the difficulty level of the exam.  


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    Can I prepare for UPSC Commerce & Accountancy by practicing mock tests only?
    No, while mock tests are essential in the preparation for UPSC exam optional subjects like Commerce and Accountancy, however, it is also important for you to cover the syllabus, practice previous year question papers and do multiple revisions for gaining conceptual clarity of the subject.    

  1. Dheeraj Gupta

    I have completed my post – graduation last year and I am interested to appear for UPSC. Can you please guide me on how to prepare for UPSC CSE?

    • admin

      Hello Dheeraj,
      In order to prepare effectively for UPSC exam, you need to follow these tips mentioned below:

      1. Understand syllabus and exam pattern well
      2. Refer to a reliable booklist
      3. Cover current affairs comprehensively
      4. Practice answer- writing
      5. Solve mock tests and PYQs as much as possible
      6. Revise all the topics regularly

      To learn more about the tips on how to prepare for UPSC CSE, you can contact us on this number

  2. Saumya

    Sir I am currently in my second year of engineering, and I wish to prepare for UPSC exam after my graduation. Can you please share some tips for UPSC preparation?

    • admin

      Hello Saumya,
      Yes, to prepare for a competitive exam like UPSC, the candidates must follow some tips diligently which are as follows:

      1. Have a thorough understanding of syllabus and exam pattern
      2. Refer to a concise booklist for UPSC
      3. Cover current affairs in a detailed manner
      4. Practice answer- writing with exam like environment
      5. Solve as many mock tests and PYQs as possible
      6. Ensure to revise all topics consistently

      If you want to get in depth information about the UPSC Preparation 2024 then contact with me on this number 9999466225.

      • Simranjit kaur

        Hello sir this is Simran I have done my Bcom only and I wish to give upsc in 2024
        But I am confused about this optional because I am comfortable with it but this optional has not yet given 300+ marks and very less no of toppers what should I doo please reply sir

        • admin

          Hi Simranjit,
          Happy to see that you are preparing for UPSC Examination. It is not possible to solve your Query here.
          Kindly connect with me on this number 9999466225 regarding your UPSC Preparation Queries.

  3. Bhavin

    What are the mistakes that I must avoid in the IAS Exam Preparation

    • admin

      Hi Bhavin,
      Some of the mistakes you must avoid in your UPSC CSE preparation are as follows:
      1. Partial coverage of the syllabus
      2. Neglecting revision on a regular basis
      3. Not practicing mock tests and past year papers enough
      4. Inconsistently following the timetable
      5. No analysis of mistakes after attempting a question paper

      Kindly connect with me at 9999466225 so that I can understand your level of preparation and give you better clarity and guidance for your UPSC preparation.

  4. Jay Jay

    How should I prepare for UPSC exam after clearing 12th std?

    • admin

      Hi Jay,
      Since minimum educational qualification to apply for UPSC is having a bachelor’s degree recognized by govt. In any stream, you are advised to complete under graduation with a good score. However, alongside this you can explore more details related to this exam, read newspapers daily and decide on your optional subject.

  5. Hayat

    Hello sir, I am a working professional and I have completed my graduation 4 years back? Is it too late to start my UPSC preparation? I am 28 years old.

    • admin

      Hi Hayat,
      See the age limit for General candidates is 21 to 32 years, it is not late for you to prepare for UPSC exam. As the syllabus for the exam is quite vast and the exam’s difficulty level is high, you must ensure a thorough preparation with right strategy and dedicated focus. Being a working professional, you must put in extra efforts to devote time to your studies and follow it up with strict discipline.

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