The civil services exam, conducted by Union public service commission, popularly known as UPSC is one of the most reputed exams of our country. Every year around 10 lakhs candidates applies for the Same, out of which only around 900-990 manage to grab a seat for themselves. While UPSC is one of the greatest exams of all times, it is extremely difficult to go crack it. It demands sacrifices and determination of a level which you must have never imagined in your life. It would not be wrong to say that it’s 90 % dedication and hard work and 10% luck. Surely there is no alternative to hard work and especially if you are an IAS aspirant or a UPSC aspirant, you should never even think of substituting Hard work with any other thing.
Coming back to the points which you need to keep in mind while preparing for UPSC, there are various strategies and action plans pronounced by various coaching centres and Previous year toppers which you must have gone through on YouTube but here I am going to discuss 7 common points which remains equally important throughout your preparation and will help you get through the exam.
1. Do NOT skip current Affairs
Current affairs are to UPSC what water is for life. You just cannot imagine clearing UPSC without the help of current affairs. Current affairs cover around 60-70 % of your UPSC syllabus. You should be well aware of whatever is happening around you at the national and international level both. The Hindu is the best newspaper that can be recommended. You can supplement your newspaper reading with monthly current affairs magazines and government magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetra.
2. Start from the NCERTs
Some people are under the impression that NCERTs are for kids. But you will be amazed to know that for UPSC, NCERTs from class 6-12 are your base. If you will skip that, everything you’ll read will become very difficult to understand. Just imagine, how could you even lay the foundation of a building without giving it a base!
3. Keep your sources limited
UPSC covers everything under the sun. So if you think you can read everything and have expertise in all the subjects and topics, then you are sadly mistaken. The first step of your preparation should be deciding a book list. You can do that by watching previous year’s topper’s interviews and your coaching centres can also help you with the same. Once you have decided your book list or resource list, you should stick to that throughout your preparation. Do not be bothered about a new book coming to the market! You will get a new book in the market almost every alternative day. It is you who have to be very selective and confident about your resources.
4. Do smart Study and Not hard Study
Of course, you need to be hard working if you’re even thinking of giving this exam but you should have a strategy. Remember, skills and strategy matter the most. Have an action plan ready and then act upon it.
5. Choose your optional wisely
It is always advisable to choose your optional subject as your graduation subject. This is because in that case, you don’t have to study a new subject from the beginning. You won’t be scared of new terms and new concepts. Everything would be known to you and you will be comfortable with the subject. Within 2 months of starting your preparation, your options should be selected.
6. Practice a lot of test papers
Test series are an integral part of your preparation. They teach you to attempt the paper in time. This can only happen if you have been regular with your tests. Join a test series of may one or two coaching centres and give your tests religiously and honestly.
In addition to this, do a lot of writing practice. You should have the habit of solving at least 1 question a day and wrote the answers in your copies. After about 2-3 months, you will be amazed to see the difference in your answer writing.
7. Be HONEST to yourself
And lastly, Be honest to yourself. This is not a graduate level exam where your parents will keep a check on you or they will tell you to study 10 hours a day. But, it is an exam of your dedication and endurance. So do not cheat yourself by telling yourself that you have studied a lot. If you think you aren’t able to finish the target of your day then don’t console yourself. Think and analyse those hours and minutes of the day which you shamelessly wasted. Be angry with yourself for wasting that time. And do not repeat that
If you’re reading this, then you are on the right track. Remember there is nothing which a human mind can not do. You just need to have faith in yourself and your ideas. Be relaxed and alert. These two mantras will take you very far in life, not just in UPSC. Do not be bothered about the things that people say. Remember that song “Kuch to log kahenge”. You must never forget that!
In the end, I would just say, Start today, start afresh and you will see your Hard work and dedication doing wonders in your life!
Wish you all the best 🙂