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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 E-book PYP Banner For Website
UPSC E-book PYP Banner For 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: 

Day 1Financial AccountingUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 2Financial AccountingAccounting for Share Capital Transactions
Day 3Financial AccountingBonus Shares, Right Shares
Day 4Financial AccountingEmployees Stock Option and Buy-Back of Securities
Day 5 & 6Financial AccountingPreparation and Presentation of Company Final Accounts
Day 7, 8 & 9Financial AccountingAmalgamations, Absorption and Reconstruction of Companies
Day 10, 11 & 12Financial AccountingAccounting Standards
Day 13Financial AccountingAccounting as a financial information system; Impact of behavioural sciences
Day 14, 15 & 16Financial AccountingComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 17Break
Day 18Cost AccountingUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 19Cost AccoutningNature and functions of cost accounting. Installation of Cost Accounting System
Day 20Cost AccountingCost Concepts related to Income Measurement, Profit Planning, Cost Control and Decision Making
Day 21Cost AccountingJob Costing
Day 22Cost AccountingProcess Costing
Day 23Cost AccountingActivity Based Costing
Day 24Cost AccountingCVP Analysis
Day 25 & 26Cost AccountingIncremental Analysis/Differential Costing as a Tool of Pricing Decisions, Product Decisions, Make or Buy Decisions, Shut-Down Decisions etc.
Day 27 & 28Cost AccountingBudgeting
Day 29Cost AccountingStandard Costing and Variance Analysis
Day 30Cost AccountingResponsibility Accounting and Divisional Performance Measurement
Day 31, 32 & 33Cost AccountingComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 34Break
Day 35 & 36Backup Days
Day 37Organisation theoryUnderstanding syllabus
Day 38Organisation theoryNature and Concept of Organisation
Day 39Organisation theoryOrganisational environment
Day 40Organisation theoryOrganisational goals and MBO
Day 41 & 42Organisation theoryOrganisation theory
Day 43, 44 & 45Organisation theoryOrganisational 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 & 48Organisation theoryOrgansiational structure
Day 49Organisation theoryPower and Politics
Day 50Organisation theoryImpact of Information Technology
Day 51Organisation theoryOrganizational Culture
Day 52 & 53Organisation theoryAnswer writing
Day 54Break
Day 55Organisation behaviourUnderstanding syllabus
Day 56Organisation behaviourMeaning and Concept; Individual in organization
Day 57Organisation behaviourPersonality
Day 58Organisation behaviourPereception
Day 59 & 60Organisation behaviourMotivation
Day 61Organisation behaviourLeadership
Day 62Organisation behaviourQuality of Work Life (QWL)
Day 63Organisation behaviourQuality Circles (QC)
Day 64Organisation behaviourConflicts
Day 65Organisation behaviourOrganisational change
Day 66Organisation behaviourTransactional Analysis, Organizational Effectiveness
Day 67 & 68Organisation behaviourAnswer writing
Day 69Break
Day 70 & 71Backup Days
Day 72RevisionFinancial Accounting
Day 73RevisionCost Accounting
Day 74Financial ManagementUnderstanding syllabus
Day 75Financial ManagementFinance Function : Nature, Scope and Objectives of Financial Management
Day 76Financial ManagementRisk and Return Relationship
Day 77Financial ManagementRatio Analysis
Day 78Financial ManagementFunds-Flow
Day 79Financial ManagementCash-Flow Statement
Day 80 & 81Financial ManagementCapital Budgeting
Day 82Financial ManagementCost of Capital
Day 83Financial ManagementTheories of Capital Structure
Day 84Financial ManagementLeverage analysis
Day 85Financial ManagementEBIT-EPS Analysis
Day 86 & 87Financial ManagementDividend Decisions and Valuation of Firm
Day 88, 89 & 90Financial ManagementWorking Capital Management
Day 91Financial ManagementCorporate Restructuring
Day 92, 93 & 94Financial ManagementComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 95Break
Day 96AuditingUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 97 & 98AuditingIntroduction
Day 99 & 100AuditingCompany Audit
Day 101, 102 & 103AuditingAudit of Banking, Insurance, Non-Profit Organization and Charitable Societies/Trusts/Organizations
Day 104 & 105AuditingAnswer Writing
Day 106Break
Day 107RevisionOrganisation Theory
Day 108RevisionOrganisation Behaviour
Day 109HRMUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 110HRMMeaning Nature and Scope of HRM
Day 111HRMHuman Resource Planning
Day 112HRMJob Analysis, Job Description, Job Specification
Day 113HRMRecruitment Process, Selection Process
Day 114HRMOrientational and Placement, Training and Development Process
Day 115HRMPerformance Appraisal and 360° Feed Back
Day 116HRMSalary and Wage Administration
Day 117HRMJob Evaluation
Day 118HRMEmployee Welfare
Day 119HRMPromotions, Transfers and Separations
Day 120 & 121HRMAnswer writing
Day 122Break
Day 123Industrial RelationUnderstanding syllabus
Day 124Industrial RelationMeaning, Nature, Importance and Scope of IR
Day 125Industrial RelationTrade Union
Day 126Industrial RelationIndustrial Disputes
Day 127Industrial RelationWorker’s Participation in Management
Day 128Industrial RelationCollective Bargaining
Day 129Industrial RelationIndustrial Relations in Public Enterprises
Day 130Industrial RelationAbsenteeism and Labour Turnover in Indian Industries and their Causes and Remedies
Day 131Industrial RelationILO and its Functions
Day 132 & 133Industrial RelationAnswer writing
Day 134Break
Day 135RevisionFinancial Management
Day 136RevisionAuditing
Day 137RevisionFinancial Accounting
Day 138RevisionCost Accounting
Day 139 & 140Backup Days
Day 141FMIUnderstanding syllabus
Day 142FMIIndian Financial System: An Overview
Day 143FMIMoney Markets
Day 144FMICommercial Banks
Day 145 & 146FMIReforms in Banking Sector
Day 147FMIRBI as a Regulator
Day 148FMIMonetary and Credit Policy of RBI
Day 149FMICapital Market : Primary and Secondary Market
Day 150FMIFinancial Market Instruments and Innovative Debt Instruments
Day 151FMISEBI as a Regulator
Day 152 & 153FMIFinancial Services : Mutual Funds, Venture Capital, Credit Rating Agencies, Insurance and IRDA
Day 154 & 155FMIAnswer writing
Day 156Break
Day 157Income taxUnderstanding syllabus
Day 158Income taxIncome Tax: Definitions. Basis of charge
Day 159Income taxIncomes which do not form part of total income
Day 160Income taxIncome from salary
Day 161Income taxIncome from House Property
Day 162Income taxIncome from Profits and Gains from Business or Profession
Day 163Income taxIncome from Capital Gains
Day 164Income taxIncome from other sources
Day 165Income taxIncome of other Persons included in Assessee’s Total Income
Day 166Income taxSet-off and Carry forward of Loss
Day 167Income taxDeductions from Gross Total Income
Day 168Income taxSalient Features/Provisions Related to VAT and Services Tax
Day 169, 170 & 171Income taxComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 172Break
Day 173RevisionHRM
Day 174RevisionIndustrial Relation
Day 175RevisionOrganisation theory
Day 176RevisionOrganisation behaviour
Day 177Break
Day 178RevisionFull
Day 179Full length Mock
Day 180Mock 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: 

Day 1Managerial Function and ProcessUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 2Managerial Function and ProcessPersonality
Day 3Managerial Function and ProcessValues and Attitude
Day 4Managerial Function and ProcessPerception
Day 5Managerial Function and ProcessMotivation
Day 6Managerial Function and ProcessLeadership
Day 7Managerial Function and ProcessAnalysis of interpersonal relationship
Day 8Managerial Function and ProcessConflict
Day 9Managerial Function and ProcessOrganisational change
Day 10Managerial Function and ProcessEmployee welfare
Day 11Managerial Function and ProcessOrganizational Effectiveness
Day 12Managerial Function and ProcessLearning & Stress
Day 13Managerial Function and ProcessCommunication and Decision Making
Day 14Managerial Function and ProcessDecision making
Day 15Managerial Function and ProcessComprehensive Answer Writing
Day 16Organisation behaviourUnderstanding syllabus
Day 17Organisation behaviourMeaning and Concept; Individual in organization
Day 18Organisation behaviourPersonality
Day 19Organisation behaviourPereception
Day 20 & 21Organisation behaviourMotivation
Day 22Organisation behaviourLeadership
Day 23Organisation behaviourQuality of Work Life (QWL)
Day 24Organisation behaviourQuality Circles (QC)
Day 25Organisation behaviourConflicts
Day 26Organisation behaviourOrganisational change
Day 27Organisation behaviourTransactional Analysis, Organizational Effectiveness
Day 28Organisation behaviourAnswer writing
Day 29RevisionManagerial Function and Process
Day 30RevisionOrganisation behaviour
Day 31HRMUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 32HRMMeaning Nature and Scope of HRM
Day 33HRMHuman Resource Planning
Day 34HRMJob Analysis, Job Description, Job Specification
Day 35HRMRecruitment Process, Selection Process
Day 36HRMOrientational and Placement, Training and Development Process
Day 37HRMPerformance Appraisal and 360° Feed Back
Day 38HRMSalary and Wage Administration
Day 39HRMJob Evaluation
Day 40HRMEmployee Welfare
Day 41HRMPromotions, Transfers and Separations
Day 42HRMAnswer writing
Day 43Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting)Understanding syllabus
Day 44Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting)Financial accounting—concept, importance and scope, generally accepted accounting principles
Day 45 & 46Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting)Preparation of financial statements with special reference to analysis of a balance sheet and measurement of business income
Day 47Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting)Inventory valuation and depreciation
Day 48Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting)Financial statement analysis
Day 49Accounting for Managers (Financial Accounting)Fund flow analysis, The statement of cash flows
Day 50 & 51Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 52Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Understanding syllabus
Day 53Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Management accounting concept, need, importance and scope and Cost accounting—records and processes, cost ledger and control accounts
Day 54Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Reconciliation and integration between financial and cost accounts
Day 55Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Overhead cost and control
Day 56Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Job costing and process costing
Day 57Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Budget and budgetary control, Performance budgeting, Zero-base budgeting
Day 58Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Relevant costing and costing for decision-making
Day 59Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Standard costing and variance analysis
Day 60Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Marginal costing and absorption costing
Day 61 & 62Accounting for Managers (Cost Accounting)Comprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 63Financial ManagementUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 64Financial ManagementGoal of Finance Function and Concepts of value and return
Day 65Financial ManagementValuation of bonds and Shares
Day 66Financial ManagementManagement of working capital: Estimation and Financing
Day 67Financial ManagementManagement of cash , Management of receivables , Management of inventory
Day 68Financial ManagementCost of capital
Day 69Financial ManagementCapital budgeting, Financial and operating leverage
Day 70Financial ManagementDesign of capital structure: theories and practices
Day 71Financial ManagementShareholder value creation: dividend policy
Day 72Financial ManagementCorporate financial policy and strategy, management of corporate distress and restructuring strategy
Day 73Financial ManagementCapital and money markets: institutions and instruments , Recent reforms in financial sector
Day 74Financial ManagementLeasing hire purchase and venture capital
Day 75Financial ManagementRisk and return: portfolio theory; CAPM; APT
Day 76Financial ManagementFinancial derivatives: option, futures, swap
Day 77 & 78Financial ManagementComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 79Marketing ManagementUnderstanding syllabus
Day 80Marketing ManagementConcept; scope, Evolution
Day 81Marketing ManagementMarketing strategy formulation and components of marketing plan
Day 82Marketing ManagementSegmenting, targeting the market, Positioning and differentiating the market offering
Day 83Marketing ManagementAnalyzing competition
Day 84Marketing ManagementIndustrial buyer behaviour
Day 85Marketing ManagementMarket research
Day 86Marketing ManagementProduct strategy
Day 87Marketing ManagementPricing strategies
Day 88Marketing ManagementDesigning and managing Marketing channels, Integrated marketing communications
Day 89Marketing ManagementBuilding customer satisfaction, Value and retention
Day 90Marketing ManagementServices
Day 91Marketing ManagementEthics in marketing; Internet marketing, Holistic Marketing and non-profit marketing
Day 92Marketing ManagementConsumer protection, Retail management, Customer relationship management
Day 93 & 94Marketing ManagementAnswer writing
Day 95RevisionFinancial Management
Day 96RevisionMarketing Management
Day 97Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingUnderstanding Syllabus
Day 98Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingDescriptive and inferential statistics
Day 99Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingProbability and probability distribution
Day 100Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingSampling and central limit theorem
Day 101Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingHypothesis testing, Z and t test
Day 102Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingChisquare and ANOVA
Day 103Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingCorrelation and regression
Day 104Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingTime series and forecasting
Day 105Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingStatistical decision theory
Day 106Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingIndex numbers
Day 107Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingLinear programming
Day 108 & 109Quantitative Techniques in Decision MakingComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 110Production and Operations ManagementFundamentals of operations management, Organizing for production
Day 111Production and Operations ManagementAggregate production planning, capacity planning, process planning
Day 112Production and Operations ManagementManagement of facilities, Equipment replacement and maintenance
Day 113Production and Operations ManagementStatistical process control
Day 114Production and Operations ManagementR&D management , Inventory control, MRP
Day 115Production and Operations ManagementQuality management, Six Sigma
Day 116Production and Operations ManagementFlexibility and agility in manufacturing systems; World class manufacturing
Day 117Production and Operations ManagementSupply, chain management—vendor evaluation and audit
Day 118Production and Operations ManagementProject management concepts
Day 119Production and Operations ManagementPlant design, Line balancing, Waste management
Day 120Production and Operations ManagementManagement of service operations, Importance of materials management, plant size and scale of operations
Day 121Production and Operations ManagementValue analysis, make or buy decision
Day 122Production and Operations ManagementProduction control
Day 123 & 124Production and Operations ManagementComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 125RevisionQuantitative Technoiques in Decision Making
Day 126RevisionProduction and Operations Management
Day 127Strategic Cost ManagementBusiness 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 128Strategic Cost ManagementEnvironmental analysis and internal analysis; SWOT analysis
Day 129Strategic Cost ManagementTools and techniques for strategic analysis—Impact matrix: The experience curve, BCG matrix, GEC mode, Industry analysis, Concept of value chain
Day 130Strategic Cost ManagementStrategic profile of a firm; Framework for analysing competition; Competitive advantage of a firm; Generic competitive strategies; Growth strategies—expansion, integration and diversification
Day 131Strategic Cost ManagementConcept 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 132Strategic Cost ManagementStrategy and corporate evolution in the Indian context
Day 133 & 134Strategic Cost ManagementComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 135International BusinessInternational Business Environment
Day 136International BusinessChanging composition of trade in goods and services; India’s Foreign Trade: Policy and trends
Day 137International BusinessExport Management; Export-Import procedures
Day 138International BusinessFinancing of International trade
Day 139International BusinessRegional Economic Cooperation; FTAs
Day 140International BusinessInternationalisation of service firms, International production
Day 141International BusinessOperation Management in International companies
Day 142International BusinessInternational Taxation
Day 143International BusinessGlobal competitiveness and technological developments
Day 144International BusinessGlobal E-Business
Day 145International BusinessDesigning global organisational structure and control
Day 146International BusinessMulticultural management
Day 147International BusinessJoint Ventures; Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions
Day 148International BusinessForeign Investment: Foreign direct investment and foreign portfolio investment
Day 149International BusinessForeign Exchange Risk Exposure Management
Day 150International BusinessCountry Risk Analysis
Day 151International BusinessInternational Banking, World Financial Markets; External Debt Management
Day 152 & 153International BusinessComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 154RevisionStrategic Cost Management
Day 155RevisionInternational Business
Day 156Government Business InterfaceGovernment clearances for establishing a new enterprise; Government control over price and distribution
Day 157Government Business InterfacePublic Distribution System , Government’s policy with regard to Small Scale Industries
Day 158Government Business InterfaceNew Industrial Policy of the Government liberalization, deregulation and privatisation
Day 159Government Business InterfaceConsumer Protection Act (CPA) and The Role of Voluntary Organizations in protecting consumers’ rights
Day 160Government Business InterfaceCorporate Governance, Cyber Laws
Day 161Government Business InterfaceThe Responsibilities of the business as well as the Government to protect the environment
Day 162Government Business InterfaceIndian planning system; Government policy concerning development of Backward areas/regions
Day 163Government Business InterfaceComprehensive question and Answer writing
Day 164Management Information SystemUnderstanding syllabus
Day 165Management Information SystemConceptual foundations of information systems; Information theory
Day 166Management Information SystemInformation resource management; Types of information Systems; Systems Development—Overview of Systems and Design
Day 167Management Information SystemSystem Development management life-cycle, Designing online and distributed environments
Day 168Management Information SystemImplementation and control of project; Trends in information technology; Managing data resources—Organising data
Day 169Management Information SystemDSS and RDBMS
Day 170Management Information SystemEnterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Expert systems
Day 171Management Information Systeme-Business architecture, e-Governance; Information systems planning, Flexibility in information systems; User involvement; Evaluation of information systems
Day 172Break
Day 173RevisionHRM
Day 174RevisionMarketing Management
Day 175RevisionOrganisation theory
Day 176RevisionOrganisation behaviour
Day 177Break
Day 178RevisionFull
Day 179Mock Analysis
Day 180Mock 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

  • image/svg+xml image/svg+xml
    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. 

  • image/svg+xml image/svg+xml
    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.    

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