The UPSC test, as we all know is the most difficult exam in India. As a result, without a proper strategy and technique, it’s not easy to clear. Here, the following plan will guide to comprehend the beginners to understand their UPSC exam preparation journey. Before heading towards writing the exam make sure you understand the entire process of your long-term and short-term objectives to clear the exam. It applies to all the applicants who have solely focused only on UPSC preparation and also who are working full-time, simultaneously willing to devote their time to their exam. You could make a plan according to the availability of your devoted time. It’s a lengthy process till you appear for an interview. Here, we will guide you on how to start your UPSC preparation:
Understand yourself before writing the exam
Once you have decided to write the exam, now it’s time to prepare for the journey mentally and physically. So, time and devote yourself to the process.
Understand the pattern of the UPSC exam carefully. There are three stages of the exam process, Prelims, Mains, and interviews.
- First, understand the process prelims
- Second, go thoroughly of Mains syllabus
- Last comes your interview/personality test stage
- You could follow the offline and online sources as per your choice. Nowadays internet is an immense help, you could take help from various websites as well as YouTube for UPSC exam preparation
Make your daily schedule
- Time plays an important role while preparing for the exams. UPSC journey starts from the day you decide to become one. So use your time wisely
- Follow a timetable religiously and Plan your day accordingly
- Making a timetable will help you in your long-term and short-term goals as per your deadlines in a day, a week, a month, and a year
- Understand the syllabus fully based on your strength and weak point. That would help you while you start your studying.
Understand the Syllabus better
- As we know UPSC syllabus is vast and lengthy
- Go deeper to understand the whole syllabus. The syllabus is the key to all the competitive exams, the UPSC exam is not exceptional. Knowing the syllabus better will help you to find the study materials/sources, where you could avoid difficulties in the middle of your preparation
- Go through UPSC’s main page to get the full syllabus to understand it better. Also, there are various websites where you can download your entire syllabus in an elaborative manner
- Before starting the preparation, understanding the syllabus plays an important key role in your preparation.
- To study current affairs reading newspapers daily is very crucial.
- You should follow the newspaper daily to get updated on what is happening around will help in your current affairs
- Most of the questions asked in the UPSC exam are related to current affairs. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the pertinent news regularly.
- You can also follow our website to get the relevant news each day.
Start from NCERTs
- The NCERT textbooks are very important in your beginning of the preparation for conceptual clarification and prelims
- Start from class 6th to 12th. That would be an immense help. These books play an important role in the preparation
- You get the knowledge of fundamental clarification from all these books
- Indeed, NCERTs are the best book, to begin with, your UPSC exam preparation.
Choose your Optional
- Your optional subject counts for 500 marks in the UPSC final score.
- Here comes the important involvement of yours choosing your optional subject wisely. So, understand all the aspects before deciding on the optional paper. Once you acknowledge the pros and cons of all subjects that will help you to choose which one is the right subject for you.
Some key points to remember before selecting your optional paper:
- In which subject your interest lies
- Previous knowledge in academic
- Interlinked with the GS papers
- Available study sources from online and offline
- Follow Edukemy on our YouTube channel to see how to choose your optional paper
- It helps you in the revising process. Making handwritten notes helps you to consolidate, memorize, and easy revisions before the conduction of the exam topics and sub-topics.
- As we know UPSC syllabus is very vast. It helps you keep track of each content and topic.
- You can make different notes for different subjects. This will hugely help you in the preparation of current affairs.
- These notes are a condensed version of the syllabus that can save a candidate’s bacon at the last moment.
Practicing answer writing
- The nature of the Mains Paper is descriptive.
- Once you choose your optional subject, then start preparing answer writing.
- Before your time practice each day following your Mains Exam preparation.
- This pattern is about acknowledging your analytical, logical, and critical thinking abilities.
- Practicing answer writing daily gives you conceptual clarity and understanding of your views, perspectives, and thought processes.
- The above things are not possible without enhancing your writing skills.
Practice Previous Years’ UPSC Question Papers
- Previous question papers help you to understand the current pattern.
- It enhances your understanding of the depth of knowledge difficulty level of question type.
- It helps you to comprehend the important areas of a particular subject and field.
- Most importantly it will help in your assessment of preparation.
Practice Mock Test Series
- Self-evaluation is a crucial part of UPSC preparation.
- It helps you to understand your mistakes, and shape your understanding approach to the exam pattern.
- It is suggestible to all to enroll in mock series practice to evaluate yourself in the level of your exam preparation. It will help you to identify your strength and weak points.
Relevant Government Resources
- Your purpose in writing this exam is to work for the government of India.
- You can find plenty of government sources and rely on websites like the PRS, PIB, and national television programs featured on Rajya Sabha TV and Lok Sabha TV are very useful.
Revision is the key
- Revision plays an important role after making self-notes, as we are aware of the vast syllabus of the UPSC Exam. So, it’s obvious to forget things easily. That’s where everyday revision comes from your help.
- To avoid difficulties before the exam, you should give more focus on revision as per your subject.
- Magazines like Kurukshetra, Yojna, Economic & Political Weekly, etc. are very essential for the UPSC exam.
- The above magazines help you to get information regarding polity, governance, agriculture, economy, etc.
- As we have written above the final stage of the exam is an interview or personality test.
- This is a critical point in the process, and you’ll need more than just academics to succeed.
- Here, you will be evaluated on the abilities of diplomatic skills, communication skills, presence of mind, reaction to stress, etc.
- You’ll also be questioned about your hobbies, interests, schooling, and employment experience if any. As a result, you’ll need to brush up on these points.
- Consistency is the most vital part of your whole preparation journey.
- It makes more obliged and disciplined towards your studies.
- It tastes your patience and abilities in the whole process.
- It helps you after getting into UPSC Civil Services as well.
- Candidates should pay attention to their sleeping schedule in addition to their academics and a strict schedule. It’s also worth noting that sleeping deprivation leads to nothing. To increase your vitality and concentration, you must sleep as your body requires.
Focusing on your health
- Sitting for long periods might be bad for one’s fitness. It is critical to engage in a 5-minute activity/exercise like walking, running, playing, swimming, etc. whatever works for you to divert the mind from the stress.
- A healthy body promotes a healthy, active mind which helps enormously during your studies.
Stay Positive during the preparation
- It’s not always easy to stay motivated and positive but asking the question yourself what’s your main purpose behind the writing of this particular exam, helps you a lot
- A significant part of the UPSC exam process is to stay positive
- Due to the vast syllabus and long process, you might get overwhelmed and feel down
- Avoid all the negative thoughts and start preparing. Positive thoughts and willpower make you more energetic
Mistakes should be avoided while preparing UPSC exam:
- Avoid making an array of sources instead follow the relevant ones.
- Don’t be a book collector and buyer, wherever you see suggested books. That will make you in a messed up situation while reading which one you should read and which one you should avoid.
- Stop following the suggestion of guidance like how many hours to study, which sources to follow, etc. follow what works for you.
- Stop daydreaming and work hard and smart, what applies to you.
- Avoid reading multiple newspapers
- Stop reading multiple sources of subject matters
- Stop listening to people who say eighteen to twenty hours work for preparation. Follow the timetable that works at your convenience.
Which Subject should I start with for UPSC preparation?
For any beginner, it’s difficult to decide the subject and from where to start. We are here to guide you, from the beginning to the end of your entire preparation process. Here, the followings are some suggestion lists. You could take a look:
- Ancient India- Old NCERT by RS Sharma (Oxford publication)
- Medieval India- Old NCERT by Satish Chandra
- Modern India- Spectrum A brief history of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
- Polity- NCERT6–12th, M Laxmikant Indian Polity
- Economics – NCERT 11 & 12th. Business page of any newspaper you read
- Environment – NCERT Class 12th Biology and follow newspaper as well
- Culture- Nitin Singhania or NIOS material, CCRT website
- Science – NCERT 6–10th
- Geography- NCERT 6–12th only, optional GC Leong Certificate of Physical Geography
- Current Affairs- Follow any newspaper as per your choice. The Hindu and Indian Express are mostly preferred by the majority of the applicants.
Which Subject is Best for UPSC preparation?
Many factors lie there to decide which optional subject is best for your UPSC preparation. Ultimately your selection depends on the score of your optional paper. Here we will guide you to choose the best subject at your convenience. Let’s look at the following tips:
- Your optional subject should be based on your interest, in any particular subject which takes you a deeper level of understanding in a particular subject
- Find the subject which is interlinked with your prelims
- Availability of study materials and sources
- You could choose your major subject based on your graduation or alternative elective subjects (as per your comfort while studying) will help as well
- The subject which you could finish within a reasonable amount of time
FAQ for UPSC preparation
Is it possible for someone to start preparing at home?
Yes, it is possible. Take the help of online sources as plenty of sources are out there for self-preparation at home. Find a conducive environment and study more focused and dedicatedly.
How can I study at home for the IAS?
To begin your IAS preparation at home, follow the procedures listed below:
- To begin, familiarize yourself with the UPSC structure and procedure
- Examine the UPSC syllabus in detail
- Begin by reading a few books and watching online video lectures on a few basic subjects such as politics, history, and geography
- Regularly read the newspaper
- Make a schedule for your preparations and stick to it
- Enroll in a reputable exam series to gain experience composing answers
Is one year sufficient for IAS preparation?
By starting with the first step in the strategy, it is possible to clear the UPSC exam in a year. Analyze the content that will be learned throughout the procedure. The exam covers a wide range of topics of all kinds. To complete the syllabus, numerous disciplines must be divided into months.
How can I begin my IAS preparation while still in graduation?
You can begin your IAS preparation right after graduation. All that’s left to do now is go over the material and design an IAS study strategy. There are numerous advantages to starting early. Because the IAS age restriction will be far away, you will have age on your side. You would also be in touch with academics because you are young and still a student, providing you an advantage over older competitors. You can also utilize your college library for preparation because you are a student. Also, make sure you participate in college festivals and events because this will help you create a well-rounded personality and compensate for your lack of work experience if you pass the exam directly after graduation!
Is History a good subject to prepare for UPSC?
Candidates in the IAS mains exam frequently choose history as an optional subject. History is a crucial topic in the UPSC scheme of things because it appears in both the IAS prelims and the IAS mains general studies papers. If you want to become an IAS officer, you must study history.
Is Polity the best subject for UPSC preparation?
If you want to clear the UPSC exam, you must have a thorough awareness of Indian politics and a methodical approach to it. Because the syllabus is accurate and succinct, the polity is one of the easiest subjects to pass.
Should I study at the night or in the morning while preparing UPSC exam?
- It differs from person to person, and it all depends on your suitability and comfort. So it makes no difference when you study; all that matters is that you study.
- So, no matter what time of day or night it is, you must have sufficient clarity, understanding, and a determination to work hard
How many hours should I study each day while preparing for the UPSC exam?
To clear the exam, a candidate needs to study up to his/her schedule. How many hours a candidate should study depends on each individual. Being an officer in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a prestigious position in and of itself. Those who clear all three phases of the examination are appointed to the IAS, IPS, or IFS, among other services. It entirely depends on the quality of your study over quantity.