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PSC Exams

UPSC preparation tips : Guide to success


Prasanth Parameswaran


June 23, 2020
UPSC preparation

The decision of attempting the civil services exams is no less than deciding to go to war. Considered one of the most dreaded entrance exams in the country, UPSC exams are a gateway to some of the most reputable jobs in the country. Once you make it, the UPSC exams open the door to endless possibilities and a glorious career.

UPSC preparation can feel too much, can be draining, exhausting, and challenging. But these are the times that you have to remind yourself of the fruit your labour awaits.

A lot of aspirants sign up for the civil services exam and clear it in the first attempt. Success stories like these are based solely on having a strong preparation base. Once you have a fool-proof preparation plan, nothing is stopping you from achieving success.We get aspirants the ultimate UPSC preparation tips: a guide to success that you do not want to miss!

Understand the exam pattern

Before thinking about how to start preparation for UPSC, train your mind to believe that the exam starts as soon as you start your prep. Once you get that to order, start your UPSC preparation with thoroughly understanding the exam pattern which is divided into three parts-

  1. Prelims
  2. Mains
  3. Interview

Be mindful of the fact that every other person in the race wants to become an IAS officer, so your preparation needs to be one step ahead, always. Keep in mind that as you move on from one stage to the other, the competition is only going to get stiffer. Make a plan to attempt each step smoothly. Take up extra coaching/classes if you need more guidance.

Take your time to research and understand the type of questions asked in previous years’ papers and mark the areas that you think will need more work.

Make a realistic time table.

While the Prelims were initially scheduled to take place in June, they have now been scheduled for October 4. Therefore, aspirants have been given three more months to buckle up, starting today. Many of you have already been preparing for it for months and maybe on top of it. Experts suggest beginning your preps at least one year before you plan to take the exam.

However, take stock of your UPSC preparation until now and plan. With the current time in hand, plan your next moves, revisions and mock tests. This should be in cognizance with the syllabus you’re handling.

Know the syllabus in 3 easy steps

It is now that the real UPSC preparation should start for you. If wondering about how to start preparation for UPSC, know that you first be required to get comfortable with the syllabus that you are going to deal with. You have to study these subjects across a period of one year so try to bifurcate the study material into essential (cannot be skipped) and non-essential (can be skipped for now and taken up later). Take these UPSC preparation tips:

This should include ALL of the study material you’re going to need, including notes, books, old questions papers, etc.

NCERT books have fundamental theories, especially for all the science subjects. Try to start your UPSC preparation with the primary NCERT material before moving onto advanced studies.

The optional subject is a make-or-break decision in your civil services journey. Hence, choose wisely keeping in mind your strengths and weaknesses.

Stay on top of the current affairs.

Inculcate a habit of reading the daily newspaper. Newspaper reading will not only help you stay up-to-date with the current affairs but will also hone your general knowledge and improve your lingual skills. Learn the correct way to read the newspaper. Sometimes, the key lies in the details. An achiever knows how to do standard things correctly.

Make your notes

Understand that you will not remember everything you read, which is why you need to make your notes. A lot of coaching institutes will give you a gamut of printed notes. It’s not going to work for you unless of course, you have a photographic memory. Make your notes which will help you retain knowledge.

Practice answer writing

The answers to a particular question have the same components. Your peers are going to write almost similar answers. The WAY you write your answer is what is going to set you apart from everyone else.

Practice writing 150-word answers for essential topics for the IAS exam. Regular practice will make you get better recollecting things and writing a passage on it in no time.

Solve old question papers

Try solving previous question papers of civil services examination. It should give you a nice idea about the exam pattern, what to expect, what to skip and skim out the critical topics for extra preparation.

Take frequent mock tests and revisions.

Mock tests are the holy grail to test your UPSC preparation. Think of its a way to revise and practice. The more you practice, the better you get at taking the exam head-on. MegaExams has made countless mock tests for UPSC after an exhaustive analysis of the previous years’ question papers. They test your ability, capability, preparation, and challenge you to work harder to go one step further.

Invest your time in reading magazines/journals

Many successful UPSC officers swear by the Economic & Political Weekly. Along with newspapers, you are also required to read magazines and journals on topics like politics, foreign affairs, general knowledge, agriculture, governance policies amongst hordes of others. They will not only help you enhance the quality of your answers but will also help you during your interviews.

Stay happy with a positive attitude

Out of all the things you do, having a positive attitude is the most important. You could be well-prepared to take the exam but the wrong attitude will make things fall apart like dominoes. Therefore, take part in recreational activities, stay calm, and get proper sleep to remain healthy.

Give a boost to your UPSC preparation tips with MegaExams’ mock tests that give you an edge and get the job of your dreams!