UPSC Exams are considered to be one of the toughest examinations in the nation. Deciding to appear for UPSC is a huge commitment. You have to dedicate yourself to a lot of hard work and consistency in order to succeed at it. If you have firmly decided to appear for UPSC Examination and are determined about spending each minute you have in your hand towards the preparation, a number of tips would help you do better while you prepare for the examination. Here’s a list of tips that would give you a definite direction in preparing for Exam and securing good rank.
Know the requirements
The very first step to making sure you are going in the right direction is what are the pre-requisites of appearing for the exam. There are certain eligibility criteria for UPSC examination. On the website of Union Public Service Commission, you would find what the eligibility criteria for UPSC are. Knowing the eligibility criteria would make sure you don’t miss out on anything that is needed to be able to appear for the exam.
Once you know that, the next thing you should be doing is going through the syllabus. Knowing the syllabus well will let you prepare for only what is needed instead of wasting your time on topics that aren’t even required. It would be a good idea to note down the syllabus instead of getting a print out. Writing it down would help your brain register the syllabus in a better way. UPSC has three stages- prelims, mains, and the interview. You have to have a clear idea about all three of these stages so that you don’t end up leaving a single stone unturned while you prepare.
A lot of people who re-appear for the exam would think skipping this step would be okay. However, brushing through the syllabus again would help you gain a clearer perspective, irrespective of the fact that you are re-appearing for the exam. Besides the syllabus, yet another thing you need to be clear about is the pattern of the paper.
Know what books would help you
Once you know what the syllabus is and the topics are, the next step would be to figure out the sources that you would use to prepare the topics. There would be plenty of books that are prescribed for preparing for UPSC examination. Yes, you can issue books from libraries as well. However, it would be better to buy some important books to be able to prepare better.
Having all the NCERT books is really important. So, at least when it comes to NCERT books, buy them instead of issuing them from the library. Besides NCERT books, you should also buy a number of books related to polity, history of India, and Geography. These books would help you clear your basics. When it comes to buying books, try buying books that are not very detailed. The idea of buying these books is to be very clear with the basics so that the books with detailed content from the library can help you.
Study easy and tough subjects alternatively
Generally, people have two approaches to studying. They would either start off with all the easy subjects in a row or tough subject in a row. Both of them are a bad idea. While tough subjects would test your patience, easy subjects would help you relax. If you study tough subjects in a row, you might completely lose all your motivation. And if you study easy subjects all at once, you would again be left with the tough subjects for later. This is why, mix the subjects while you study such that easy subjects help you feel a bit relieved and then you can get back again to tough subjects.
If you study two subjects in a day, first start off by studying tough one. After sometime, make a switch to an easy subject and then after sometime, get back to the tough subject. Once you are done for the day, revise all of what you have studied in that day at the night time.
Newspaper for breakfast
Love it or hate it, newspapers are like the much-needed pills to help you prepare better for UPSC Exam. Staying up to date with each information about what is going on in the country is something that you need to do if you plan to take UPSC exam. The exam has a fair-share of current affairs-related questions that would help score really well if you keep yourself updated.
While many people study from current affair books and magazines in the last few months before exam, this would not be that good of an idea. Reading newspaper every morning just like you would never skip your breakfast would help you register all the important information better and for a long term. You can even make notes of what you feel is important and later on read it when you want to revise.
Talk to People
If you know anyone in your relatives or friends who have passed the UPSC Examination or have at least taken the exam once, it would be a good idea to have a conversation with them. This would help you know of more ways to prepare for the exam in the best way. Every person would have at least something to tell you which might be of some help to you.
Solve Sample Papers
Solving sample papers can help you great deal in preparing for the UPSC Exam. Sample papers or papers from previous year’s examinations can provide you an insight into what the pattern of the examination is and what kind of questions would be there in the question paper. A lot of people are completely prepared for the exam and know all the answers to the questions. However, most people find it difficult to answer the questions in whatever time duration they have. This is yet another reason why you should solve sample papers. Solving sample papers will help you in managing your time in the exam such that you don’t miss out on answering questions just because you fall short of time.
Take it Easy
No matter how senseless this tip seems, it is actually important to take it easy. Yes, you need to put a lot of efforts and be very consistent at putting efforts. However, don’t let it kill you. In order to pass UPSC Examination, you don’t have to renounce the world and confine yourself to your study table. Being serious while studying would itself be rewarding enough, with everything else being constant. Even while you study for the exam, take enough breaks so that you don’t cause a total burn out because of working too hard. Read newspaper every day and have definite hours of study and breaks. This would be enough for you to do well in the examination.
These are some useful tips that if you follow, would help you prepare better for UPSC Exam and increase the chances of cracking the exam with good rank. If you aspire to crack the exam, dedication, motivation, and hard work would be all that you need to be successful.