The UPSC examination is one of the most difficult examinations in India. It is conducted in various stages and once you’re able to clear one stage you can move to the other. If you fail to clear a single stage, you’ll be eliminated.
In this battle to survive, there are many things that you should keep in mind when you prepare for the UPSC examination. Firstly, you should be focused and determined enough to give your everything to this examination. You should free yourself from distractions and try to focus on the preparation as much as you can. For this, you should also have a good timetable that you should strictly adhere to.
Various subjects are there in the UPSC syllabus. However, one subject that stands out from the rest is General Studies (GS). Without GS, you will never be able to crack UPSC. It is the heart and soul of the examination. Henceforth, you must prepare this subject particularly well to get the desired results in the examination.
We’ve curated a list of all the tips and tricks that you should keep in mind when you prepare for the UPSC examination.
Tips for UPSC preparation
The scope of this subject does not particularly belong to books – rote learning is strictly prohibited. Then, how do you prepare for this subject?
Let’s take a look:
- Go through the questions that are present at the back of every NCERT chapter. Try writing the answers down in an innovative manner. Once you are done, try discussing the same with your friends or classmates. This will help you gain a fresh perspective on the topic. This will also help you frame better answers in the examination.
- For current affairs, go through online websites. They come in very handy when you’re preparing for the examination. For instance, if you read about any current affairs topic in the newspaper, you try to solve the questions related to the same with the help of online websites. This will help you gain a deeper insight into the topic. You can write these answers down daily.
- Next, you should go through the previous-year question papers and look at the questions and write the answers down for the same.
- Since the syllabus of General Studies is quite vague and vast, go through the syllabus thoroughly and memorise it, if possible. This will help you understand what you need to take up for reading and understanding and what you should leave out.
- For GS Paper-I, try to go through the syllabus once and then divide the subjects according to your understanding. Make sure that you have the NCERT books concerned for all the subjects so that you can prepare from them.
- For GS Paper-I, you should go through the whole NCERT book at once. When you read it for the second time, make sure that you’re picking up all the topics and retaining as much information as you can. The more information you retain, the better it is. However, for the MAINS examination, only the NCERT book won’t be sufficient for your preparation. You may need to take up some additional books as well for a thorough understanding of the topics.
- For GS Paper-II, you should try and develop your analysis skills. It is because this paper consists of current affairs and international relations. You may know about all the topics and answers in detail, but it will be of no use if you don’t know where to implement them. For this, you need to thoroughly analyse every topic and develop a holistic approach to it.
- For international relations, reading the newspaper is more than enough. However, you should thoroughly go through the international affairs pages of newspapers and even the editorial sections as well. The editorial section gives you a deep insight and analyses situations. You can make notes from newspapers or even go through several websites that are offering the same and then make notes for yourself.
- For GS Paper-II, it is important to practise your answer writing as much as you can. For this, you need to have excellent analytical skills as well. For instance, if there’s a particular Bill that has been newly passed in Parliament, it should be discussed and studied by keeping the holistic view of the topic in mind. You should look at the repercussions of a particular Bill and how it can affect society or the country in general. The more you discuss this with your friends or classmates, the better it is.
- For GS Paper-III, the widest range of topics is being covered. From science and technology to disaster management and even economics, this paper covers it all. For economics, there are certain sets of books that you should follow and study to get the desired knowledge and information for yourself. Additionally, the Government of India releases a book on economic surveys every year. You can read this for a better understanding of economics and focus on all the current affairs that are related to economics.
- Furthermore, you can watch online video lectures on the topics that you’re not familiar with so that you get a thorough understanding of the same.
- For science and technology, you should focus on the NCERT books till Class 10. They are extremely helpful. The science textbooks of classes 11 and 12 may not be very helpful because this topic demands application of technology in the current scenario. Apart from that, you can also go through various newspapers that have separate columns for science and technology news. This can be a weekly affair but make sure that you do not miss that at all and continue making notes out of the same.
- For internal security, there’s no particular book that can provide you with knowledge of this. Hence, you should solely focus on newspapers for this.
- For disaster management, try reading the NCERT books for class 11 and class 12. They’re helpful and detailed.
- The last paper of GS is GS Paper-IV; it has ethics, integrity, and aptitude. For starters, understand the definition of every term and how it is applicable to the current scenario.
- For ethics, you can go through the book, “Lexicon”, and also case studies. Case studies are extremely important for ethics. Make sure that your answers are balanced when you write about ethics. Formulate an answer with constitutional terms.
In this article, we walked you through the various tips and tricks that you should keep in mind when you’re preparing for the General Studies or GS paper. It is one of the most important papers of the UPSC exam that consists of four papers. All of them have different topics to deal with and these can be tackled by undertaking a systematic and organised approach to the GS papers.
You can start by preparing your answers to the NCERT Textbook questions and further discussing the same with your study circle for a thorough understanding of the topics. Apart from that, you should also make sure that you’re reading newspapers thoroughly and making notes from these. They’re highly important. Furthermore, go through all the questions that were asked previously so that you can have an idea about the types of questions you can expect.