Pulse Phase

International Relations Optional Preparation Strategy for UPSC

Preparation Strategy for International Relations UPSC Mains

The importance and benefits of opting for International relations as an optional subject.

The consequence of International relations as an optional subject can be realized by the fact that the topic of IR is also included under UPSC General Studies Paper 2.

The second most important benefit of International relations is, it will enhance the critical analysis ability of an aspirant. Which is probably the most crucial need to pass the competitive examination?

UPSC CSE Methodology & Strategy for International Relations Preparation

Following are the steps that should be followed before starting the preparation of International relations:

One should have a copy of the syllabus of International relations.

This is most important to keep track of the preparation. Mark that topic after understanding.

Make self-made notes on every topic.

For example, the topic of preparations is the Pakistan -India relationship. One should cover each dimension of this topic.

Check past papers to understand the types of questions that come from this topic.

Find out past papers of at least the last five years and analyze how the examiner has asked questions related to the Indo-Pak relationship

Try to attempt these questions.

Practice is the key. It will boost self-confidence and paper-attempting style.

Revise the topics every week.

Once you are done with the week’s task Saturday and Sunday are for revision. Revise all the topics thoroughly and make sure that the topic should be at Your fingertips.

After revision, make short notes for each topic to save time.

Short notes are lifesavers. when you do not have much time for revision during exams, you will only go through bullet points called short notes.

Newspaper reading is mandatory every day.

Aspirants must read foreign and local newspapers and magazines daily. e.g. Newyork Times, Washington Post, etc

Must consult updated research papers after a basic understanding of the subject.

Many analysts from around the world usually write about International relations. Aspirants must know their opinions. But this step should be done after the understanding of basic concepts.

Dynamics of International Relations and syllabus discussion.

Dynamics of International Relations:

It changes with time to have a basic idea one must understand:

  1. The foreign policy of India and how it works and also the history of foreign policy.
  2. What is the strategic importance of India?
  3. What is the foreign reputation of India and how it is changing?
  4. International arena and India’s role.
  5. Relationship of India with neighbors.
  6. The theoretical approach of International law must be known to everyone.
  7. India and International organizations.

International Relations Syllabus division:

It is a very important task. The syllabus should be divided in the right way. It should be basic to complex. The syllabus mentioned for UPSC preparation of International relations:

  • International relations.
  • Bilateral, regional, and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • India and its neighborhood- relations.
  • Important International institutions, agencies, and fora, their structure, mandate.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
  • Indian Diaspora.

Toppers take on the subject.

one of the toppers said: “To make the most of your preparation, make it a point to understand your syllabus well. Besides a strong foundational knowledge, you must read the newspaper daily, especially the columns related to foreign policies and India’s Relations with other nations”.

Tips and tricks to secure high marks in the examination.

  • The paper presentation should be amazing. Draw margin lines on both sides of the paper.
  • Draw charts and maps if needed in any question.
  • The use of quotations fetches you good marks.
  • Mention contemporary book writers’ opinions on the subject of International relations.
  • Add theoretical views to the questions.
  • Each question must have an introduction and conclusion.


International relations as a subject will never disappoint any aspirant of UPSC. One has to study many topics of International relations to pass current affairs. If someone opts for international relations and prepares it so well in all dimensions he would ace the exam with good marks.

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