Table of Contents
- Tips to Crack the UPSC Exam Without Coaching
- How to Crack UPSC Prelims in First Attempt without Coaching?
- How to Clear UPSC Mains in First Attempt without Coaching?
- How to Prepare for UPSC CSE Interview without Coaching?
- Problems Faced By The UPSC Aspirants
- UPSC Exam Pattern
- Tips to Prepare for UPSC Exam
With the beginning of the new session, UPSC aspirants are all ready to begin their preparation for India’s most challenging exam, UPSC. The aspirants must be in turmoil and under a lot of pressure on how to start their preparation. Well, no worries, as we have got you covered!
You need a good strategy and a dedicated mind to crack it with flying scores. Undoubtedly, the competition is going to be worth fighting for. Hence, a proper understanding of each concept is crucial. Most aspirants believe that cracking the UPSC exam without coaching is not possible. Not anymore! Unacademy has developed the entire UPSC preparation strategy for beginners, which can help you cope with the syllabus without any external help.
How to Crack UPSC Without Coaching? Hear it from Mrunal Patel
Tips to Crack the UPSC Exam Without Coaching
Here is the complete preparation strategy for UPSC without coaching:
Understand the UPSC Exam
The candidates preparing for the UPSC exam without the coaching must have complete information about the exam, such as the UPSC exam pattern, UPSC exam syllabus, UPSC marking scheme, how to choose the optional papers for the UPSC exam, etc, to start their preparation in the best manner. UPSC conducts the examination in 3 phases i.e. prelims, mains and interviews.
The strategy to approach both prelims and mains needs focused study. UPSC prelims and mains are not two very different from each other, it’s just a big overlap of the chapters. The candidates should focus on the integrated preparation for both UPSC prelims and mains.
Know more about UPSC 2023
Importance of a robust Study Plan for UPSC
Once you get a full idea about the UPSC exam pattern and syllabus, then the next important part will be how to prepare for the exam without coaching. The candidates should understand that the coaching institutes will just help in the preparation, but to crack the exam only hard work and dedication will take you there. The UPSC exam is like any other exam which requires reading, writing and speaking skills.
Those who are preparing for the exam without coaching can have the benefit to create plans as per their strengths and weaknesses. Also, they don’t have to spend their time travelling for coaching classes.
Importance of regular practice
Once you have made your basics strong, read the standard books for each paper. The next step of preparation will be practice. Also, practice answer writing as well. Make sure you are giving the proper time for the CSAT which is qualifying in nature, in which you have to score more than 66 marks to qualify for the Mains. Hence, the best source for the preparation can be the mock tests and test series. So, join a good test series that will help you prepare for the GS paper and CSAT.
Know your syllabus
The first thing is to know your syllabus completely. If you’re planning to appear in the UPSC exam, having a thorough understanding of the syllabus is of utmost importance. You can buy a syllabus book from any of the nearby stationery. Remember, the syllabus of UPSC is vast; however, it might not be as complex as it may seem.
Read the complete UPSC Syllabus
Previous years’ question papers
The next preparation tip is to overview the past years’ question papers. Check the question papers of the last 10 years from any popular books such as Arihant and understand the types of frequently asked questions. This will give you an overview of the entire paper. Do not try to solve questions.
Check out UPSC Question Papers
If you’re not attending any coaching, the best way to get through the UPSC exam is to watch online videos. If you’re uncomfortable with these videos or find it difficult to understand them, the best you can do is visit any nearby coaching centre and get the book list and required details. It will help you to get the right mix of resources.
Start with NCERT
Now that you’ve decided to sit for India’s most challenging exam, start your preparation with NCERT. When you read NCERT, do not over-highlight the book. Make sure you highlight only those extremely important points, including figures, abbreviations, exceptions, years, etc. Keep your NCERT clean because you will go through it at least 3-to-4 times throughout your UPSC journey.
Here is a list of books you can go for
- Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth
- Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania (Culture)
- Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers (Geography)
- Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong (Geography)
- Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (Economy)
- Economic Survey by the Ministry of Finance (Economy)
- India Year Book (Current Affairs)
- A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Modern India)
- General Studies Paper 2 Manual by MHE (CSAT)
- Class 6-12th NCERT Books
Read through the complete list of UPSC Books
Read The Hindu daily
Apart from NCERT, make a habit of reading The Hindu daily.There is a column in The Hindu called “Advertisements”. There will be a list of coaching institutes conducting free sessions for students. While reading NCERT, the best practice is to make notes of all your doubts in a small diary.
During these free sessions, ask your doubts and interact with teachers. If you’re looking for rapid answers, type your topic on the Unacademy website, which will reflect all answers.
Is the second attempt worth it?
Most students generally ask this question. UPSC is one of India’s toughest exams, which requires a dedicated preparation of at least 2-3 years. If you feel you will not make it on the first go, there is always a second chance. It never means that you’re weak or capable – your marks only say you need more preparation.
Another common question that most students ask is how much time should I devote to NCERT. If you’re starting from class 6 to class 12 NCERT, it will take you 2-3 months to cover all subjects. Try to cover at least two topics in a month.
How you present your answers truly impacts your overall marks. The best way to enhance your answer writing skills is to practice writing answers regularly. Once answer writing becomes your habit, it is easier for you to frame qualitative answers without creating chaos.There are many questions at the back of NCERT, which you should practice daily without the help of the book. This will give you an understanding of how to write the answer.
Join test series
Students preparing for UPSC without coaching can consider joining the test series. In the test series, there is a well-defined timetable which increases your consistency. Also, several questions in the test series help you gain more knowledge.
When studying for UPSC, thorough knowledge of every concept is essential. Along with this, learning all concepts gives you an upper hand. Therefore, revision is critical. Once you’ve studied a topic on the 1st, make sure you’re rereading it every 7 days.
- Droppers have ample time on their hands. Hence, they should revise every day. Either in the morning or during the evening, revise everything you’ve learned on the same day.
- Regular students should devote their weekends only to revision.
- Take out at least 2 hours for revision every day. Do not procrastinate.
- Stick to the proper revision cycle. The day your chapter notes are completed, revise them the next day. Revise the same chapter after every 7 days three times.
- Keep repeating this cycle until and unless you’re feeling every topic.
- Keep on participating in revision tests.
- Once you’re done with the tests, a thorough analysis of every topic is important.
How to Crack UPSC Prelims in First Attempt without Coaching?
To crack the civil service exam is the dream of many aspirants. Check the following tips to crack the UPSC prelims on the first attempt without coaching –
- Be punctual – Make a timetable and follow it without fail. Also, make your daily, weekly and monthly targets and try to complete them. This will help you to be motivated and do more.
- Choose one book out of the course each month – This will improve your capabilities to express yourself and this way you will read and know the various ways of projecting ideas also. This will help you in answering your writing skills and will groom your personality.
- Develop One Hobby – Take up a hobby which can be anything reading, singing, dancing, writing or anything else. It tells about who you are and what is your personality. This will help you to protect yourself and your innovative ideas.
UPSC Prelims – All you need to know!
How to Clear UPSC Mains in First Attempt without Coaching?
Once the aspirants clear the UPSC prelims exam, they start preparing for the UPSC Mains. So here are some steps which tell you how to clear the UPSC mains on the first attempt without coaching –
- UPSC mains exam demands an exhaustive study plan which can cover a wide range of topics.
- Prepare a plan which includes the timeline to cover the whole UPSC syllabus of Mains. The main focus is to give more time to the subjects like Essay, GS, and Optional.
- To cover the UPSC mains syllabus, the candidates need to study a sufficient amount of current affairs. The syllabus is open-ended and needs a lot of analysis and understanding.
- Enroll in a test series and follow the one study plan which improves your quality as well as the number of answers by working on mistakes.
- The key to success is to practice more and learn.
UPSC Mains – All you need to know!
How to Prepare for UPSC CSE Interview without Coaching?
- For the UPSC interview, there will be a panel at the Dholpur House that wants to evaluate the candidate’s personality and critical thinking ability.
- UPSC interview is a one-to-one communication between the UPSC candidates & the interview panel.
- The key to acing the UPSC interview is to prepare for the DAF very well. It is the basis of the questions that will be asked along with the candidate’s critical thinking analysis of the recent happening occurring at the national level as well as international level
- Get full coverage of the newspapers, and Rahyasabha tv channel programs such as India’s World, Big Picture, World Panorama, etc.
Problems Faced By The UPSC Aspirants
To clear the UPSC exam, the candidate needs to dedicate a lot of time and effort to prepare for this vast syllabus. Here, we are mentioning some problems which are faced by the UPSC aspirants –
- How to Start the Preparation
- How to cover this vast syllabus
- Number of papers to clear
- How much time to give for one subject preparation
- Number of papers to qualify
- Unavailability of smaller unitary mock test
- Self-study or join coaching
- How to handle failures
- What if it does not happen ever
UPSC Exam Pattern
The candidates who are appearing for the UPSC exam should check the overview of the UPSC prelims exam pattern from here –
|Two Compulsory Papers||General Studies Paper-I & General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)|
|Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I||100|
|Number of Questions asked in CSAT||80|
|Total Number of Marks|
|Negative Marking||1/3rd of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every incorrect answer|
Two hours each;
Here, we have mentioned the UPSC Mains 2023 exam pattern –
|Paper-II||General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)||250|
|Paper-III||General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)||250|
|Paper-IV||General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)||250|
|Paper-V||General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)||250|
|Paper-VI||Optional Subject – Paper I||250|
|Paper-VII||Optional Subject – Paper II||250|
Tips to Prepare for UPSC Exam
To start your preparation for the upcoming UPSC exam, the candidates should download the syllabus for prelims, mains and the optional papers. Once they analyze it carefully, they should create a study plan to cover all the UPSC syllabus chapters thoroughly. Here, we have mentioned the tips to prepare for the UPSC exam as follows –
- There will be a lot of study material available in the market for the UPSC exam. So, we advise the candidates to select the books carefully for all the subjects.
- Refer to the UPSC books/syllabus carefully while completing the topic, so you know much time will it take to complete the topics and the sections to focus on.
- Once the candidates complete each section, practice UPSC’s previous year’s test papers to examine your preparation level.
- The candidates need to make sure that they revise the syllabus at least 3-4 times before the exam. Revision makes them improve their preparation and also their confidence level.
Explore UPSC Exam Tips