May 19, 2024

How to Build a Strong Foundation for UPSC Preparation

3 min read

Whether you want to become a Civil Servant or a professor, preparing for UPSC is one of the best ways to serve the nation. However, there are certain things that every aspirant must keep in mind while preparing for this exam.

The first step is familiarizing yourself with the exam pattern and syllabus. This will help you decide the right study material for yourself.

Study Material

The study material you choose has a huge impact on your IAS preparation. Whether you are studying from NCERT books, standard reference books, coaching institute notes or self-made notes, it is crucial that you use the right kind of resources to build a strong foundation for your UPSC Preparation.

Some of the best study materials for UPSC Preparation are online coaching apps and IAS study guides that provide detailed and reliable information on exam topics, syllabus and structure. These resources are especially useful for working professionals who do not have the time to attend conventional institute programs.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts civil services exams to select candidates for various government jobs, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS). These exams are highly competitive and require a lot of preparation. The UPSC syllabus covers a wide range of subjects and topics, including essay writing and the General Studies papers I to IV and the Optional Subjects chosen by the candidates.

Mock Tests

Many Coaching Institutes and Online Platforms offer free mock tests for the UPSC Prelims and Main exams. They help candidates become familiar with the format of the exam and identify their strengths and weaknesses. They can also help reduce exam anxiety by providing a realistic preview of the test day experience.

Regular practice with mock tests helps improve speed and accuracy in answering questions. This practice will also help you identify and address any issues with your writing style or time management. By analyzing your performance after each mock test, you can make improvements to your study plan and increase your chances of success on the big day.

Ensure that the mock tests you take are high-quality and follow the actual exam pattern. They should contain a mix of easy, moderate, and difficult questions to test your knowledge in all areas. It is also important to make sure that you are attempting the questions in a timed environment. This will help you understand the kind of mistakes you may make in the real exam due to pressure and carelessness.

Current Affairs

As the current affairs related questions in prelims and mains have a substantial weightage in the exam, it is imperative for an aspirant to keep up with the daily news. However, it is important to understand that only a limited number of things that appear in newspapers are relevant for UPSC examinations. The best approach to learning current events is not memorizing the news, but understanding the underlying issue.

It helps in enhancing one’s ability to analyze and interpret information, develop an opinion on a topic, and present it coherently. This will increase a candidate’s chances of success in both objective and subjective questions in the exam.

Besides the daily newspapers, one can also find great free websites that cover current affairs and link them with the UPSC syllabus like ForumIAS, GS SCORE, Legacy IAS etc. These websites provide daily summaries and analysis of the daily current affairs in the form of brief news and Editorial.

Optional Subjects

While choosing the UPSC optional subject, candidates must consider various factors. These include the syllabus, availability of study materials, past trends, scoring potential and its compatibility with the General Studies papers. It is also important to select a subject that you are familiar with. If you have studied the subject during your graduation, then it is a good idea.

Politics and International Relations (PSIR) is a popular optional subject that many aspirants choose for the Main exam. This is because it is one of the easiest subjects to score marks in and has a high success rate. Its syllabus also overlaps with the GS paper to a considerable extent.

Other popular options for the Mains are Geography, History, Sociology, Economics and Law. These subjects are easy to score marks in and have a higher success rate than technical and scientific subjects. However, it is important to choose a subject that you are comfortable with and can cover the entire syllabus in time for the exam.


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