Secrets to Crack UPSC Exams in the First Attempt

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a premier government based recruiting authority in India. It fills various key posts of Indian bureaucracy, such as Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Foreign Services (IFS), Indian Revenue Services (IRS) and 24 such reputed services that offer an immense potential to serve the nation. UPSC also advertises for filling of many other vacancies across various organizations and companies that are under Indian Government too. UPSC, hence, is considered as the Mother of All Jobs in India. As you move ahead you will learn easy tips to crack UPSC exam in the first attempt.

The word UPSC exam is synonymous with Grade-A and Grade-B services, such as IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, Railways, Postal Services, and others. It is no wonder that despite the existing craze for IT, Software and other private jobs in India, toppers of many entrance exams such as IIT/JEE or NEET often express that their ultimate goal is to crack UPSC exam and serve the nation. The trend that many software employees quitting their jobs to find the ultimate satisfaction in serving the nation and turning into UPSC aspirants is also increasing year after year.

Why UPSC Exams Are Tough?

UPSC exams are well renowned for their toughness. In fact, some of the aspirants and experts also opine that they are probably the toughest in India. Why? There are many reasons for this ‘tough’ label −

The Pattern

UPSC is not just a single stage exam. It has three phases: Prelims, Mains and Board interview. Each phase needs intense preparation form candidate’s side and is definitely a luck-tester for every candidate. There are multiple stories of UPSC aspirants who have successfully cleared prelims, but lost in mains, or who have cleared both prelims and mains but faced bad luck in the personal interview. It means candidates require thorough preparation and guidance for every stage.

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The Syllabus

Many exams in India have a predefined set of a syllabus that is confined only to certain subjects. UPSC is all in contrast with this style. It contains various subjects that are independent of each other.

Prelims Paper-I mainly focuses on General Studies which comprises Indian History, Indian and World Geography, Indian Polity and Governance, Economic and Social Development and Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change.

Prelims paper-II focuses exclusively on verbal ability and reasoning of the candidate, besides testing the numerical ability and quantitative aptitude.

Once candidates successfully clear prelims, they become eligible to appear for Mains, which has 9 papers in total.

Paper – I − Essay writing

Paper – II − General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)

Paper – III − General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)

Paper – IV − General Studies – III (Technology,Economic  Development , Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)

Paper – V − General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)

Paper – VI − Optional Subject – Paper I

Paper – VII − Optional Subject – Paper II

In case of Optionals, candidates can choose from Optional Subjects list such as Chemistry , Physics , Geography , History, and languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Assamese. For the full list of Optional subjects, candidates are advised to check the UPSC website.

The rest two papers are qualifying papers and includes one Indian language paper and English paper.

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If candidates clear both prelims and Mains, then they would have to appear for a board interview, which would test various aspects of candidate’s personality and attitude, including self-confidence , effective communication , grasp on national and international affairs , etc.

Tips to prepare for UPSC Exams

Out of lakhs of candidates who apply for UPSC exams every year, roughly only 800-900 candidates can make through it successfully. This shows how planned the exam preparation strategy should be for a UPSC aspirant. The following tips would help UPSC aspirants in confidently appearing for UPSC exams −

  • Set your goal; be clear on which stream of UPSC you are aiming for.

  • Start preparation at least for 8-10 months ahead of the exam dates.

  • Get guidance from reputed trainers.

  • Prepare two subjects intensely per day.

  • Plan ahead and follow good time management.

  • Leave enough time for revision.

  • Stay in regular touch with current affairs.

  • Prepare your own notes after referring to standard sources; this helps a lot during revision.

  • Examine the previous questions papers and understand how the questions are being asked.

  • Get your doubts clarified from experts.

  • Learn stress management and stay relaxed.

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All the best for your UPSC preparation!

karthikeya Boyini
karthikeya Boyini

I love programming (: That's all I know