Preparing for UPSC exams can be a cumbersome and complicated process. Owing to its vast syllabus and different sections on which it assesses the students, it has made its place amongst the toughest exams in India. Conducted for various public administration posts in the Indian government, these government exams aim to evaluate a student’s knowledge of diverse disciplines from Geography and General Awareness to Indian Polity and history. If you are aiming to appear for these competitive exams, here is an exclusive blog on how to prepare for UPSC, from curating the right preparation strategies to gathering the best study materials.
This Blog Includes:
- Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2022 Details
- Eligibilty Criteria for UPSC
- How to Prepare for UPSC?
- How to Prepare for UPSC exam without Coaching?
- How to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC?
- UPSC Previous Year’s Question Papers 2022
- Tips from Toppers
- Best Books for UPSC Preparation
- Types of Civil Services Exam
- UPSC Civil Services Toppers
Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2022 Details
|Date of Commencement of Examination||05/06/2022|
|Duration of examination||1 Day|
|Last date for receipt of Applications||22/2/2022 – 6:00 PM|
|Date of Upload||22/2/2022|
|UPSC Mains 2022||16/09/2022 onwards|
|Official website link||https://upsconline.nic.in/|
Official Notification PDF for 2022
Eligibilty Criteria for UPSC
|IAS Age Limit||21 to 32 years|
|Age relaxation||As per category|
|Educational qualification for UPSC Civil Services||Graduation from any recognized university|
How to Prepare for UPSC?
The Union Public Service Commission is a prime recruiting body that holds the responsibility of conducting recruitment examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services. They shortlist the best candidates for the posts under Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), etc. UPSC exams are conducted in three main successive stages, i.e. Preliminary, Mains as well as Interview.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right”– Henry Ford. The first and foremost success mantra you need to keep in mind for UPSC exams is to have persistence and perseverance. The below sections elaborate on the best strategies as well as useful resources you must have while exploring the best answer on how to prepare for UPSC.
Certainly, gearing up for one of the trickiest competitive exams is a daunting task. To begin on imparting the mantra on how to prepare for UPSC, the most important tip is that you must carry out extensive research on its pattern, syllabus as well as preparation guides. Further, check out the insights from UPSC toppers which will assist you in finding the right track for your preparation. Once you have done your research, the next step is to create a study plan and timeline and make sure to adhere to it throughout your preparatory phase.
Choose Optional Subjects Wisely
Another prominent tip recommended by many IAS toppers on how to prepare for UPSC is the careful selection of optional subjects. There are scores of optional subjects available for these exams which candidates can choose as per their area of interest. While opting for these subjects, make sure that you are familiarised with the discipline you are selecting. Generally, it is advised to select those subjects in which you have done the graduation or have expertise in.
Read a Newspaper Everyday
Staying updated with current affairs is also a key preparation tip you must have come across. If you are exploring the best preparation strategies on how to prepare for UPSC, reading one newspaper daily is a common one you will find. The most popular one for government exams is the Hindu newspaper which is renowned for its commendable language and writing style as well as analytical editorials. You can also subscribe to its digital edition if you are unable to buy its hard copy. Some of the other newspapers are Indian Express (Explains series online), Navbharat Times, Dainik Bhaskar, amongst others. Not only will these assist you in comprehending the major current events but will also improve your writing style and vocabulary. The major competitive exam magazines you can subscribe to include, India Yearbook, Yojna, Kurukshetra, Civil Service Times, etc.
Check Out: English for Competitive Exams
Familiarise Yourself With the Basics of History, Political Science & Geography
NCERT books for UPSC are amongst the recommended study materials for these competitive exams. Make sure to go through the NCERT history books of 11th and 12th to familiarise yourself with the conceptual basics as these are the best exam guides on how to prepare for UPSC. Moreover, you can choose from various books to learn the basics of different disciplines covered in class 6th to 12th and Tamil Nadu Board books, because of their simplicity in language and structure. Since, Political Science, Geography, and History form an important aspect of the UPSC syllabus, there are many other preparation guides you can opt for. Check out spectrum books, Bipin Chandra’s India’s struggle for Independence, GC Leong’s Physical Geography, Majid Hussain’s Geography books, Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh, and Laxmikanth’s analytical works on Indian Polity.
Check Out: Geography for UPSC Preparation
Practice Mock Test Series
You can find a plethora of previous year question papers and mock test series online curated, especially for government exam aspirants. These mock test series will help you understand how self-assessment is an essential aspect you need to inculcate in your study routine to effectively prepare for UPSC. Practice mock tests will assist you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and comprehending which topics you are good at and the ones you need to work on.
Also read: Public Administration Books 2021
Until the final exam day, you need to follow a persistent approach towards incorporating timely revision of your notes. Make sure to go through all the important topics and books while preparing for UPSC and don’t forget to take efficient breaks on a timely basis to let your mind retain all you have learned.
How to Prepare for UPSC exam without Coaching?
Many students mistakenly feel that they will be unable to pass the UPSC IAS exam without coaching. This exam can be passed in the first attempt if approached with the appropriate techniques. To begin, passing this exam requires a combination of hard work and smart work. One must devise a study strategy that works best for him or her. They might begin their preparation by reading NCERT books, which are considered to be an essential component of the UPSC IAS Exam, as well as an authentic newspaper such as The Hindu.
- UPSC Prelims include a section on current affairs. Aspirants should begin preparing for Current Affairs as soon as possible in order to have up-to-date information on important events on a regular basis. Important sources for current affairs preparation for UPSC exam 2022 are
- Yojana Magazine
- Newspapers (The Hindu/The Indian Express)
- Press Information Bureau (PIB)
- Economic and Political Weekly (EPW)
- Because there is a curriculum overlap, candidates should prepare for both the UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains at the same time.
- Practice previous year’s question papers.
- It is essential to take notes for the UPSC Prelims and Mains. Some candidates prefer to take notes in their own handwriting.
- The UPSC Prelims are all objective-type questions, it is critical to practice answering MCQs during your preparation.
- Read about the important trending topics. UPSC Prelims focus areas for different subjects:
- Indian Independence Movement – Main congress sessions with the year, president and important resolutions, Significant viceroys and their period with important decisions, The Government of India Acts 1909, 1919, 1935, and charter acts.
- Ancient History – Hindu philosophy, Buddhism and Jainism, Mauryan and Gupta Period, Art, architecture, and scientific development during that period.
- Medieval history – Important kings such as Sher Shah, Akbar, etc, Delhi Sultanate.
- Polity – Here, importance should be given to current events, such as any changes in the constitution, new acts or amendments, and schemes, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), Committee system, parliament, and parliamentary proceedings, Judiciary, Constitutional bodies.
- Science and Technology – For basic science concepts, refer to NCERT books selectively as in-depth knowledge is not needed, Focus on the current affairs part.
- Environment and Ecology – Important declarations, conventions, IUCN’s Red List, Biosphere Reserves, Tiger Reserves, etc, International bodies.
- Geography – Solar system, Latitudes and longitudes, Layers of the atmosphere, Global atmospheric wind, cyclones, Pressure belts, Revolution, rotation and seasons, Monsoons, Types of rainfall, Koeppen classification, Jet streams, ocean currents, El Nino, La Nina, India’s physical geography (NCERT), Rivers, hills, soil (India), Mineral resources (India), Geological history of India, Basics of agriculture (NCERT), Maps.
- Economy – Importance should be given to current events like new bills and important committees, focus on basic and fundamental concepts like Growth and development, poverty, unemployment, inflation, State of the national and global economy, Major committees and bills, Latest budget, and economic survey.
- Groom yourself for the interview.
How to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC?
The commission has included current affairs in the exam, but the syllabus for both the prelims and mains exams is not defined, therefore all the applicant needs to do is read major newspapers every day and take notes. Candidates are recommended to take prior year question papers with them when preparing for the current affairs segment in order to comprehend the types of questions that have been asked. This will provide candidates with an idea of how to prepare for current events. The following are some useful publications for current affairs that candidates can consult:
- India Year Book
- Newspaper- The Hindu, Indian Express
- Manorama Yearbook
- Economic Survey
- Mathrubhumi Yearbook
- Current Affairs – Arihant
- Yojana Magazine
- Kurukshetra Magazine
- Pratiyogita Darpan Magazine
UPSC Previous Year’s Question Papers 2022
Solving the previous year’s question paper gives you an insight into the pattern & marking scheme of the examination. It will help you to understand the format, types of questions in the UPSC Examination. It will also help you to manage your time & evaluate your strong & weak points. Here are some of the previous year’s question papers for the UPSC examination based on the subjects.
|General Studies||Literature Subjects||Optional Subjects||Compulsory Subjects|
|General Studies Paper 1||English Literature Paper 1||Economics Paper 1||English Compulsory|
|General Studies Paper 2||Hindi Literature Paper 1||Geography Paper 1||Hindi Compulsory|
|General Studies Paper 3||Sanskrit Literature Paper 1||Law Paper 1||Sanskrit Compulsory|
|General Studies Paper 4||Punjabi Literature Paper 1||Psychology Paper 1||Punjabi Compulsory|
For more Question Papers on different subjects, you can check the Previous year’s Question Papers
Tips from Toppers
UPSC is among the toughest exam in India but there are applicants that are able to clear their exams in the first attempts as well. It is always a good idea to take help from toppers, they can motivate you, guide you in the right direction & share some useful exam & preparation tips as well. Here are some of the interview videos of UPSC toppers sharing their success mantra, tips & aspiring you to crack the UPSC examination.
UPSC Toppers Shubham Kumar and Jagrathi Awasthi scored rank 1 and 2 respectively shared their success mantra with Indian media.
Pratibha Verma secured the third rank in the All India Civil Services Exam in the year 2019 & was among the top women toppers. In her second attempt, she secured 489 rank & placed as Income tax commissioner in Nagpur. She wanted to do better & started preparing for IAS again & became a topper in her third attempt. Here is the interview of Pratibha Verma sharing her success story & tips to crack the UPSC exam.
Chandrajyoti cracked her UPSC examination at the age of 22, in her first attempt & without any coaching. She covered her syllabus & preparation for the UPSC examination within a year. Here is the motivational story & tips by Chandrajyoti herself.
Lakshay Pandey, the 2018 batch IPS officer, posted a bunch of photos on Twitter containing a list of essential books subject-wise for UPSC Prelims. In the same post, he mentions some essential pointers and tips for scoring marks in UPSC prelims such as using a limited number of books and focusing on multiple revisions
Srushti Jayant Deshmukh secured All India Rank 5 and became the top female candidate in UPSC CSE 2018.
Best Books for UPSC Preparation
There are plenty of books available in the market but it is essential that applicants refer to the right books. With the help of the right books, students can prepare better & ace their exams. With the number of books available, it becomes difficult to select the right one. Here are the books suggested by toppers for preparation & revision of the UPSC examination. Here is the list of books.
|Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth||Click Here to buy|
|Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania||Click Here to buy|
|Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong||Click Here to buy|
|Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh||Click Here to buy|
|A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir||Click Here to buy|
|Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R S Aggarwal||Click Here to buy|
Types of Civil Services Exam
- All India Services
- Group A Civil Services
- Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
- Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS)
- Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
- Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
- Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
- Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
- Indian Information Service (IIS)
- Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
- Indian Communication Finance Services (ICFS)
- Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
- Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
- Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
- Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
- Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
- Indian Trade Service (ITS)
- Railway Protection Force (RPF)
- Group B Civil Services
- Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service
- Pondicherry Civil Service
- Pondicherry Police Service
UPSC Civil Services Toppers
On 24th September 2021, the Union Public Service Commission declared the final result of the Civil Services Examination, 2020. A total of 761candidates – 545 men and 216 women – have been recommended for Group A and Group B appointments. A total of 151 candidates have been listed under provision candidature. Here is a list of top rankers for UPSC exam 2021:
- Shubham Kumar
- Jagrati Awasthi
- Ankita Jain
- Yash Jaluka
- Mamta Yadav
- Meera K
- Praveen Kumar
- Jivani Kartik Nagjibhai
- Apala Mishra
- Satyam Gandhi
- Mithun Premraj
- Gaurav Budania
- Karishma Nair
- Ria Dabi
Yes, NCERT Books are always recommended for UPSC preparation
UPSC essay topics are mostly on the judiciary, current affairs, environmental issues, etc.
Hopefully, this blog has provided you with profound insights on how to prepare for UPSC. Aiming to explore the field of Public Administration? Book an e-meeting with our Leverage Edu experts and we will assist you in picking the best course and university that can equip you with the right knowledge and exposure in the domain of Public Administration thus enabling you to take an informed step towards a rewarding career in this field.