Jun 18, 2021
UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) CSE (Civil Services Examination), commonly known as the IAS exam or UPSC exam, is one of the most prestigious exams in India. The examination is conducted in three stages: Preliminary Examination or Prelims, Main Examination, and the Personality Test or UPSC Interview.
Every year lakhs of aspirants across the country try their luck and attempt the challenging examination, but only a few make it through. Cracking the UPSC exam is not everybody’s cup of tea. The reason being, the vastness of its syllabus. It is lengthy and demands unwavering discipline and commitment for exam preparation.
‘With great power comes great responsibility’ This phrase fits appropriately for IAS officers. However, acquiring great power requires a good deal of hard and smart work. With stiff competition and less pass percentage, how to prepare and pass the UPSC examination has always been a point of concern and worry for aspirants. But you need not worry!
This article will provide you with some practical tips and tricks which you can and should implement in your daily study routine. If followed religiously, these tips will not only boost your confidence but also help you prepare for the exam efficiently.
It is highly crucial to have a clear understanding of what exactly you need to study. There’s no point in studying an outdated curriculum! Knowing the syllabus is the foremost thing to do before you go through the books. Hence, read the syllabus thoroughly and understand the topics clearly.
It is imperative to have a deep understanding of the UPSC exam format for adequate preparation. Below mentioned is a detailed description of the same:
1. Indian language Paper
4. General Studies I – Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
5. General Studies II – Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
6. General Studies III – Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
7. General Studies IV – Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
8. Optional Paper I
9. Optional Paper II
Once you are properly aware of the exam format and syllabus, make sure to cover the whole syllabus during your preparation. Don’t practice selective studying. It is like inviting unnecessary trouble. You can’t afford to study only a portion of the syllabus; instead, the syllabus has to be covered comprehensively. As a UPSC aspirant, you can’t afford to leave any topic or chapter for granted.
Retaining the whole study curriculum of UPSC is only possible if you make summary notes. The reason being, quick summary notes are convenient, easy, and less time-consuming to go through. Having self-prepared notes handy helps focus on important topics/questions without wasting much of your crucial time. Note-making during your exam preparation helps in better retention of topics as it is your ultimate study guide. It boosts your confidence as well.
As a UPSC aspirant, following current affairs and keeping a check on general knowledge is of utmost importance. A good grasp of general knowledge can be achieved by reading different books, journals, articles. Reading newspapers daily is the most effective means of keeping yourself updated with current affairs.
Unlike Prelims, the Mains examination demands written answers. Acquiring the habit of writing and mastering it is a prerequisite for scoring well in the Mains exam. This habit can accompany you a long way to a successful end of your IAS journey. Set aside some time to write your opinions and thoughts on current affairs and write essays on important events and happenings.
All of your study efforts can go waste if you don’t revise. Since the UPSC syllabus is vast, it is impossible to retain it for a longer period. However, if you inculcate the habit of revision in your daily study routine, it will be much easier for you to prepare for the exam. Revision is the key aspect that enhances our memory and learning.
Timely analysis of your preparation is the most vital tool for getting the desired results. Be accountable and responsible for yourself. Analyze your exam preparation regularly at the end of the day. Do a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. Proper analysis will help you work on your weak areas and help you to prepare for the UPSC exam effectively.
Never touch a new topic in the last 10/20 days before the exam. Learning an entirely new topic in these last few crucial days will only lead to confusion and anxiety. The main demerit of taking on a new topic is that it will interfere with what you’ve already learned. So, avoid it. Instead, revise what you have already studied. It will boost your confidence and allow you to focus more on important topics/chapters.
Solving practice papers such as Mock Test Papers and Previous Year Papers while preparing gives you a tremendous amount of confidence. You get a fair bit of idea about how to present the answers in your exam. Attempting practice papers also gives you a reality check so that you can direct your preparation accordingly. The number of practice papers attempted during preparation is directly proportional to scoring good marks in the exams.
We hope these tips will assist you in your preparation for the most challenging exams in India.
All the best for your exams. Stay tuned for more updates.
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Raminder is a Content Manager at PrepLadder. He has worked in several aspects of the education industry throughout his career and has assisted numerous candidates in cracking major competitive exams.
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