How to prepare for UPSC Civil Services Exam? A guide for a year

How to prepare for UPSC Civil Services Exam? A guide for a year

The UPSC civil services exam, the toughest competitive exam in our country. Conducted in three phases Prelims, Mains, and Personal Interview. And without proper planning or strategy, it is quite impossible to crack the UPSC examination. So without strategizing for UPSC civil services exam do not proceed. As the famous saying

“Success without a strategy remains an illusion.”

Things an IAS aspirant should keep in mind at the time of starting UPSC civil services examination preparation.

  • The strategy should be made for the full year. ( complete syllabus of both Prelims and Mains Exams)
  • Set the benchmarks in small time intervals.
  • Do not run behind too many sources of information for the IAS exam preparation.
  • Stick to your own strategy, as no one knows you better than you.
  • Change your strategy only if you are not able to reach your benchmark.
  • Do not forget to evaluate yourself.
  • Practice Mock test as much as possible.
  • If you are planning to study in a group then make sure that reset of the IAS aspirants is also equally devoted to UPSC civil services exam preparation.
  • Sound sleep is as important as studying hard while preparing for competitive exams like UPSC civil services exam.

Right strategize and the right realistic targets lead the way to succeed and achieved the dream of becoming the IAS officer. A year is an ideal time to prepare for UPSC civil services exam for any IAS aspirant who is focussed and has set the realistic targets to achieve for IAS exam preparation. Below I have mentioned the 1-year strategy for UPSC civil services exam preparation but don’t blindly follow this strategy. As this strategy of 1 year of IAS exam preparation is just for your help, you should make your own strategy.

There are four phases of the UPSC civil services exam 1-year strategy:

  • Phase one from the month of July to October.
  • Phase two from the month of November to February.
  • Phase three from the month of March to a day before the Prelims exam.
  • Phase four from a day after the Prelims exam to a day before Mains exam.

Phase one from the month of July to October.

  • Set the main priority- in this phase, your main priority should be to complete the syllabus of Optional subject.
  • Read newspapers daily at least for an hour. (the Hindu or the Indian Express)
  • Practice daily answer writing- in this phase of preparing for the IAS exam you are not aware of the syllabus but you can practice daily answer writing by writing answers based on editorials you read in the newspaper.
  • UPSC aspirants who are taking IAS coaching should revise whatever the trainer has taught you in class and should devote his rest of the time in studying the optional subject.
  • And make sure that you complete the full syllabus of the optional papers in this phase.
  • Self- studying- civil services aspirants who are doing self-study should start reading NCERTs but should devote maximum time in preparing for the optional papers.

Phase two from the month of November to February.

  • Set the main priority- in this phase the phase two of your preparation your main priority should be to complete the syllabus of Mains General Studies Papers.
  • Do not stop reading newspapers daily at least for an hour (the Hindu or the Indian Express) but you can stop daily answer writing on the basis of editorials you read in the newspaper.
  • Start giving full three hours exam on Mains format of general studies topics.
  • In this phase, you should only focus on giving Mock tests and evaluate yourself. This is really important as you are learning how to write a UPSC civil services exam.
  • Revise optional topics.
  • Strat writing essays, make sure that you at least write an essay once a week.
  • Make sure that you have written at least 10 to 15 essays before the prelims exam.

Phase three from the month of March to a day before the Prelims exam. 

  • Set the main priority – this is the third phase, the phase in which you just need to pay your full attention in preparing for the Premils exam.
  • Do not worry or panic that you haven’t prepared anything for the prelims exam yet. As you have already covered many topics of which are going to come in the Premils exam while you are preparing for Mains general studies in phase two.
  • Revise your general studies notes only from the Prelims exam perspective.
  • Attempt mock tests as much as possible, both sectional and full.
  • Work out on a paper solving methodology at least a month before from Prelims exam.
  • You can stop reading newspapers but make sure that you remain aware of the latest current affairs as there are times where candidates have find questions in the exam on the basis of current news which telecasts a day before.

Phase four from a day after the Prelims exam to a day before Mains exam.

  • The fourth and the last phase- Don’t wast your time in thinking about the prelims exam.
  • Just remain focussed and start your preparation for UPSC civil services Mains exam.
  • Start preparation from optional papers, cover those topics that you forget to cover or you are not able to cover properly in phase one of your preparation.
  • Starting your preparation with optional subject papers will boost your confidence.
  • Make sure that you complete all the topics of the general studies papers that you have left or forget earlier before the result of the prelims exam.
  • Do not try to learn new things, keep revising what you have already studied.
  • Give full three-hour tests on all the seven papers.

To conclude I would just say that do not fallow anyone for your UPSC civil services exam preparation blindly. Just remain focussed, make your own notes, and make your own strategy and remain on the path that you have decided for yourself. Change your strategy only if that is not giving you the desired result because always remember no one knows you better than you yourself. And the last thing never neglects the sleep because sound sleep charges you to remain focussed. And if you are focused you can grab things faster.

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