UPSC preparation tips for beginners: This section lists important UPSC preparation tips for beginners. These tips aim at helping aspirant devise a well-planned preparation strategy for the upcoming UPSC 2021 exam.
UPSC preparation tips for beginners
There are 15 important tips mentioned below:
Tip #1: Prepare Yourself
- Before trying to understand how to start preparing for UPSC at home, you should prepare yourself for the journey.
- Before starting your preparation, prepare mentally and physically for the examination. Set goals and devote time effectively.
- Understand the UPSC exam pattern thoroughly, and pace your IAS preparation accordingly.
- The UPSC exam has three stages — prelims mains and the interview.
- If you are working and have decided not to quit your job, analyse how you would devote time for studies and chart a plan.
- Today, with technology like the internet, it is possible to balance both preparation and a job with ease.
Tip #2: Make a Time Table
- To become an IAS officer, it is necessary to be like an officer with a well-organised daily routine.
- You should set a comfortable timetable before your preparation and stick to it.
- Making a timetable will ease your preparation and make it more streamlined. With deadlines, you would work better and complete the syllabus faster.
Tip #3: Know the UPSC Syllabus
- The syllabus is the soul of any exam. Knowing the syllabus is the foremost thing to do before you go through the books.
- The UPSC has provided the syllabus for the Civil Services Preliminary and Main examination in an elaborate manner.
- Aspirants should understand and follow the syllabus for UPSC civil service examination. Knowing the syllabus will help you to choose relevant study materials, prioritise the subjects, etc.
Tip #4: Newspaper Reading/Current Affairs for IAS
- The newspapers are the most important aspect of the IAS exam.
- If you do not read the daily newspaper or follow the daily news for the IAS exam, you cannot hope to clear this exam.
- The questions asked in the civil services exam are directly or indirectly connected with current affairs. Hence, it is very important to follow the relevant news items in your daily newspaper. You can go through the Comprehensive News Analysis that gives the exam-relevant news items in a concise manner.
Tip #5: Choosing Optional
- The optional subject accounts for 500 marks in the UPSC final tally.
- Hence, you should choose an optional subject wisely and after a thorough think-through of the pros and cons of the subjects, you have in mind.
- Some of the factors to keep in mind before selecting an optional are:
- Interest in the subject
- Prior knowledge in it/academic background
- Overlap with the GS papers
- Availability of coaching
- Availability of study material
Tip #6: NCERTs
- The NCERT textbooks from classes six to twelve play a very significant role in IAS exam preparation.
- Aspirants can get basic concepts and theories from NCERT textbooks.
- These books provide the information very coherently. Moreover, they are reliable too as the source is the government itself.
- In previous years UPSC has asked questions directly from NCERT textbooks.
- So, NCERTs are undoubtedly the best books to begin your IAS preparation with.
- Apart from the NCERTs, you should also follow a few other advanced textbooks.
Tip #7: Making Notes
- It is helpful to make short notes during UPSC preparation.
- Since the UPSC syllabus is very vast, it helps to keep track of the portions covered and also serves as a ready-reckoner for revision.
- You can have separate files or notebooks for separate subjects. Files are preferred by many since they help adding notes to a topic easier. This is especially helpful in the case of adding current affairs-related news to a particular topic.
Tip #8: Answer Writing Practice
- The IAS main exam papers are descriptive in nature.
- It is mainly about testing your analytical, critical, and communicative abilities.
- It demands you to think with conceptual clarity and organize your views, perceptions, and thoughts in a flawless manner.
- Another thing to be kept in mind is the time and space constraint in the answer booklet.
- Therefore, candidates have to answer the questions quickly and effectively and in minimum words.
- This is not possible without adequate answer writing practice.
Tip #9: Solving Previous Years’ UPSC Question Papers
- Previous question papers are the most reliable sources of UPSC pattern, difficulty level and question type.
- You can judge the trends in the UPSC exam paper easily.
- It will also help you understand which areas are the most important in a particular subject.
- Lastly, it is a good source of self-assessment in your IAS preparation.
Tip #10: Mock Test Series
- Self-assessment is an essential part of UPSC preparation.
- It can help civil service aspirant in realizing and learning from mistakes, shaping what approach they need to follow in continuing the preparation and identifying strengths and weaknesses.
- It is highly recommended to join mock test series, especially if you are preparing from home. This will help you to assess yourself and help you further.
Tip #11: Important Government Resources
- Your ultimate aim when you are taking the IAS exam is to work for the Indian government.
- Naturally, there are many government sources you can rely on during your preparation. Government websites like the PIB, PRS, and national television programmes featured on the Rajya Sabha TV are very helpful. We cover important PIB articles every day.
- We also cover important Gist of Rajya Sabha TV programmes for UPSC.
Tip #12: Revision
- Revision is very important when you are facing an exam as tough as the UPSC exam.
- Since the UPSC syllabus is vast and diverse, covering multifarious subjects, it is natural to forget things that you had studied earlier.
- To avoid this, timely revision is a must.
Tip #13: UPSC Interview
- As mentioned before, the final stage in the UPSC exam process is the UPSC interview or Personality Test.
- This is an important stage in the process and here, it is something more than academics that will help you.
- You will be assessed on qualities such as diplomatic skills, communication skills, presence of mind, reaction to stress, etc.
- You will also be asked questions about your interests, hobbies, education and work experience, if any. So, you have to brush up on these aspects.
Tip #14: Relevant Magazines
- Magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, Economic & Political Weekly, etc. are very important for the IAS exam.
- They contain important information on topics like polity, governance, agriculture, economy, etc.
- You can get a gist of the Yojana, Kurukshetra and EPW magazines in our website.
Tip #15: Stay Positive
- The most important aspect of the entire UPSC journey is to stay positive.
- There are times when it can get quite overwhelming and you will feel depressed.
- Remove negative thoughts from your head and work on.
Frequently Asked Questions on IAS Preparation
Can I prepare for UPSC at home?
You can, if you take the right steps towards IAS preparation. With online sources and strategy available, you can easily prepare for the IAS exam at home. With focus and dedication, and the right guidance, you can clear the IAS exam.
How to prepare for IAS at home?
Follow the steps outlined below to kickstart your IAS preparation at home:
-Understand the UPSC pattern and procedure first.
-Go through the UPSC syllabus thoroughly.
-Start reading a few books and watch video lectures online for a few basic subjects like polity, history, geography, etc.
-Read the newspaper regularly.
-Chart out a preparation time table and follow it strictly.
-Enrol for a good test series and get answer writing practice.
Is 1 year enough for IAS preparation?
1 year is sufficient for IAS preparation if you prepare diligently.
How can I start my IAS preparation during graduation?
You can start your IAS preparation during graduation itself. All you must do is go through the syllabus and chart out a study plan for IAS. Starting early has many advantages. You will have age on your side since the IAS age limit will be far away. Also, being young and still a student, you would be in touch with academics, giving you an edge over older competitors. Also, being in college, you can make use of your college library for the preparation. And, make sure you take part in college fests and events as this experience will help you develop a well-rounded personality, and also make up for your lack of work experience in case you clear the exam right after your graduation!
How to prepare for IAS exam after 12th?
If you are starting your preparation after 12th, you have the advantage of choosing a subject for graduation that will suit your IAS preparation. You can opt for graduation in subjects like political science, history or sociology – subjects that will help you cover the UPSC syllabus in a better way. This way, you can easily combine your graduation studies and IAS preparation. Also, you have enough time to hone your soft skills like communication skills and also develop a good hobby – both of which would aid you in the interview stage.
How to prepare for IAS while doing engineering?
Many candidates have cleared the IAS exam preparing for it while they were engineering students. Even though it can get hectic, it is not impossible. With a full-fledged plan and the correct guidance, it is possible to crack the toughest exam in India even while in engineering college.
How can I apply for the IAS exam?
Visit our UPSC Notifications page regularly. We update all the relevant UPSC news and information you need to know.
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