UPSC IAS Exam Preparation Tips
UPSC fever is ON! Most of the college students find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to prepare for the civil services examination. Most of the students just follow the trend such as if the whole class is preparing for MBA, they start preparing for that and if the flow is towards UPSC then they start preparing for UPSC.
But friends, UPSC is not a child’s play which you can clear by just preparing in 3-4 months. It requires dedication and 1-1.5 year complete hard work. Here are some practical tips for your UPSC preparation.
Most of the websites talk about the same repeated things such as knowing the syllabus, making time table etc. But there are things which drive the motivation and are above all. Let’s have a look at them.
#1. Mental Preparation
First of all, if you are preparing UPSC for a big car, house or handsome money then please don’t waste the seat. The first and foremost duty of a civil servant is to serve the nation and its citizens. Having passion and determination to become a civil servant will drive you through the UPSC waters.
Make sure you love what you are preparing for. Rather than being motivated by people or your colleagues, you should be self motivated. Your reason for preparing, your passion and your interest should be enough for motivating you to prepare for this arduous journey.
Having a positive attitude is a driving key towards success. Also, you must have a backup plan ready. It should not be that if you are not able to clear the exam in first attempt, then the life is over. You must not carry this attitude.
Although, you should make yourself fully equipped to crack the exam in first attempt. But even if you are unable to clear the exam, you must be sure that you would like to give another try or choose a different way.
Every year 8-9 lakhs of applicants apply for UPSC and only 2-3 thousand crack the exam. Make those your target.
#2. Stay away from low class coaching centers
Yes, this is true. Rather than taking coaching from low class coaching centers and wasting your time and money, it’s better to start self study. The material will be not as per the mark and you may not be sure regarding the faculty. So, start self studying. There are many options available such as online studying.
Still thinking that the study material from the coaching classes is well organised, then we have a solution for that too. You can get all the coaching material from prestigious institutes for free.
Also, refer to our article for Free UPSC study material where you can download all the relevant study material such as NCERT books, standard books, previous year papers, top-rated coaching material from various institutes.
#3. Stay Away from distractions
Well, go underground for few years till you are preparing for UPSC. Civil services require full and dedicated effort. You must have full self control so that you are not distracted from anything. Try to stay alone or if you can afford take a PG and study. This will help you in focusing towards your studies.
Don’t argue with the people who say that you cannot crack it. Don’t raise your voice in front of them. Stay calm and composed. Your numbers in UPSC will give them the answer.
Many people don’t prepare for UPSC thinking that it requires high level of English. This is not true. Even the students with hindi background can prepare for the exam and can even crack in first attempt.
Stay away from Smartphones, social media platforms, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc. Even if you want to use social media, use it purely for academic purposes. The reason is simple that if you are serious about your UPSC IAS examination, then keeps it above all.
#4. Make a routine
To become a successful IAS officer as well as even during your regular work, follow a routine else you won’t be successful in this journey.
It’s not important that how much time you are giving to your studies but the thing which matters the most is how you have utilised that time. You should not perform irregular study.
Make a schedule and work over it. It should not be done that today you have studied 15-16 hours and the very next day you go for only 5 hour study. Be consistent in your approach. Continue studying in the same pattern.
Study at least 10 hours a day. You may feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning but sooner you will get acquainted to it. Work as per your capacity and capability. Don’t pressurise yourself.
Setup small milestones and never go for bigger leaps. Fix a target for every subject and give it a suitable time frame. Try to complete it in that given time period. Move slowly and steadily with a systematic approach.
#5. Be optimistic always
Never ever thing of long term plans. The more you peep deep in your future, the more stressed you will feel. And you will start fearing of the consequences which will affect your performance.
Just concentrate on your present and focus what you can do to make your present better. Whatever you do today, will reward you in future.
You may feel low sometimes or may feel demotivated or sometimes bored. At this point of time you can watch some motivational videos, listen to some good music or pursue your hobby. This will refresh you and will re-energise for the new start.
Keep the fighting spirit alive. You may face many difficulties but stick to your target and you will see your problems fading away. UPSC is not everyone’s cup of tea but with strong determination and hard work you can make your cup delicious!
Stay focused towards quality towards your target.
#6. Art of writing subjective answers for Mains
To begin with, start with basic introduction. Then support your answer with certain facts and figures. Give everything in bullets and then move on to conclusion. Make sure that whatever you are writing falls perfectly in context and everything is interconnected from introduction to conclusion.
The more perspectives you will explain in your answer, higher are the chances of good marks. Try to connect the situation with the current scenario; this will add more relevancy to your answer. Write your answers within word limit and focus on quality driven answer.
In fact you can highlight the most important things such as quotes, opinions. Do not complicate the answer by using jargon. Try to use simple but effective language which should easily convey your perspective to the examiner. Maintain the relevancy.
Your answer should carry optimism. Try not to give your own opinions such as “as per my suggestion.“ etc. Do not criticize anyone in your answer. Even if you want to criticize, do it in a positive way.
If your answer demands any flow chart or diagram, make sure you provide that. Avoid repeated lines. Make sure that your handwriting in tidy and is easily readable by the examiner.
Well, Preparation for UPSC is a never ending thing. You won’t be satisfied till the last day. As the syllabus is huge and you never know where the question comes from. But the best success mantra is to revise.
Revision aids you in better learning and quicker recalling. Dedicate the last month completely for your revision.
I hope you guys are making notes side by side. Revision is best done from notes.
Don’t panic if you have not prepared the notes. You can download the perfectly crafted UPSC notes from here.
#8. Join mock test series
Once you have finished your subjects, it’s time to move on with the mock tests. You can either join a coaching center for mock test series or opt for online one. Test series will help you in better self assessment. It will let you know on which areas you need to work more.
Moreover it will help you know the pattern and also how speed and accuracy can be maintained. If you are making mistakes in your mock tests, Don’t panic. Rather learn from them so that you don’t repeat them in the main exam.
This will also help you to know how to apply tips and tricks for solving any answer. Secondly, you will get an idea how negative marking works.
Make sure that you do not study from many books. Just follow NCERTs and one additional book for every subject. If you feel that you are not able to grasp the concept, only then refer other book. Revise from that book only. Referring so many books may create confusion.
If you don’t know the answer, don’t go for guess work. The probability of answer going wrong is very high. This follows negative marking which may affect your final score, thereby affecting your ranking.
Study with proper planning and time management. If you don’t follow strategic planning, the consequences may cost you a precious attempt.