Many of you are fascinated by the idea of being a bureaucrat and serving the nation in some way or the other. But every year, around 900,000 to 1,000,000 candidates apply for the UPSC CSE exam, and the number of candidates qualifying is approximately 10,000 to 15,000. This fact makes the exam competitive and advanced.
What makes the selected candidates different from the rest of the crowd?
The answer is their preparation, hard work, and strategy. UPSC has a vast syllabus, and the process of preparing for the exam is transforming.
Tips to Crack UPSC Exam from Zero Level
Tip #1: Build the Foundation
To prepare yourself for this challenging exam; you need a strong base. Following the saying, a strong foundation leads to a more substantial building. Therefore, before moving forward, you must understand the exam, its pattern, its syllabus, and all the preparation demands.
There are three steps to building your foundation.
Understanding the exam: UPSC is India’s most challenging competitive exam, and many factors define its toughness. So, before preparing, one must know the nature of the exam, the paper patterns, and the exam dates.
UPSC CSE has three stages: the first is the preliminary exam, the mains examination, and the final is the personality test, aka interview. First, solve previous years’ question papers to understand the pattern and marking scheme.
- UPSC Prelims Previous Year Question Paper
- UPSC Question Paper 2022
- UPSC Question Paper 2020
- UPSC Question Paper 2019
Understanding Syllabus: After knowing the nature of the exam, you need to understand the syllabus. UPSC exam tests many subjects, and you must ensure you are thorough with your syllabus to keep your preparation on the right track.
Planning: You’ve understood the syllabus; it’s time to plan your studies. You need to set an achievable daily target to reach your final goal. It involves deciding the year you’ll give the exam and accordingly planning your studies.
Tip #2: Strategise Your Preparation
Every human is different, suggesting you can’t follow someone else’s strategy. Unfortunately, people get influenced by the toppers and others who score well and start to follow them blindly.
But it would be best if you made a personal strategy, you are different from them, and you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anybody else, so strategise accordingly and stick to it.
Another important point to keep in mind is that it is okay to modify your strategy a bit if you need more fruitful results. Little modifications and changes in study plans are alright if they don’t suit you. There is no ideal plan.
Also See: UPSC Notes
Watch our video on UPSC preparation tips by experts
Tip #3: Resources
Does the vast syllabus mean a vast range of resources and study material? Absolutely not; quality over quantity. When you start from zero for UPSC, pick the NCERTs they’ll form your base, then move on to the books suggested by your teachers or mentors.
There is absolutely no point in buying ten different books for a single subject. Stick to one to two certified books. This will make your job easier while revising, as you’ll have less quality content to revise.
Tip #4: Time management
Another important issue while preparing for any competitive exam is time management. An aspiring candidate needs to have an organised and disciplined routine. However, you can have a time-bound strict routine; you are flexible but organised.
Your schedule can be flexible, but it’s essential to have goal-oriented, time-bound study sessions to be productive. If you study with set goals keep track of your preparations.
Prioritise your task to manage your time. You might be a college student or already doing a job while preparing, which leaves you with less time for self-study. Prioritise your weak areas to make effective use of your time.
Tip #5: Test series
You have strategised your preparation and learnt to manage your time. You Are studying well, but still, you’re not prepared. There is no use of accumulated knowledge if you’re not testing it.
For an exam like UPSC, which has a vast syllabus and involves many subjects. It’s essential to test your preparation from time to time by joining a test series. You can enter any test series which suits you best.
Test series not only test your preparation but always allow you to compete with fellow aspirants and get more familiar with the exam environment. It allows you to practise writing answers and getting them evaluated by teachers.
Test series enhances your preparation and highlights your weak areas.
Tip #6: Stay Updated
UPSC tests your personality and knowledge, so it’s essential to stay updated through news, newspapers and current affairs magazines. Current Affairs are bound to be asked in interviews and prelims to test how aware you are.
So, make sure to follow up with news, government schemes and significant economic and political decisions taken by the government during crises or in general.
UPSC may not be an easy exam, but with the right strategy, hard work and time management, you can surely achieve your goals. This exam demands single-minded focus and dedication. So, aspirants, keep hustling, and you’ll surely get your desired outcomes one day. Don’t give up; there will be many ups and downs in the preparation but stay optimistic and stick to your goals.