How to Start UPSC Preparation from Zero Level 🎯 Get Insights for Prep Strategies

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How to Start UPSC Preparation from Zero Level

The UPSC CSE Exam is an extremely difficult exam to crack! I am not trying to scare you, but it is important to understand the situation and then start your preparation. The sheer competitiveness and toughness make it even more worth it when you clear it! Let’s know how to start UPSC preparation from zero level?

Now before we give you the steps on how to start your UPSC preparation and give you tips on how to crack the UPSC CSE Exam, candidates need to self-introspect a bit and understand a lot of things before starting the preparation to save time, energy and resources.

Ask yourself the following questions:

➡️ Why do I want to take the UPSC exam? 

( Ideally, the response should indicate that you are eager and passionate about serving the country and that you are prepared to take on the challenges that come with it, including the training and the work itself. )

Remember the 12th Fail Movie Dialogue!  “IAS banna badi baat nahi hai, nadi baat yeh hai ki jis koorsi par aap bethenge naa usse aapki izzat na ho, balki apse USS kursi ki izzat ho.” 

➡️ Which service am I targeting? 

Would it be IFS or IAS? Would I like to don the IPS uniform? Perhaps you are searching for something similar to IES. This is crucial because it will help you clarify your objectives and concentrate on acquiring the skills you will need possibly even during the UPSC interview after passing the test. ( Read: Who Takes UPSC Interview

➡️ Decide which exam cycle you are going to target. 

In the event that you are reading this in 2023 or the first few months of 2024, you must choose between the UPSC 2024 and UPSC 2025 exam cycles.

➡️ Choose an optional subject for yourself.

Read more on this here: How to choose the right optional subject 

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start UPSC Preparation 👇

Step 1: Know the Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The first step in your UPSC preparation is to understand the exam pattern and syllabus thoroughly. The UPSC CSE consists of three stages:

  1. Preliminary Examination: This is an objective test that consists of two papers: General Studies and CSAT.
  2. Main Examination: This is a subjective test that consists of nine papers: Essay, General Studies-I, General Studies-II, General Studies-III, General Studies-IV, Language Paper, Optional Subject Paper-I, Optional Subject Paper-II, and Interview.
  3. Personality Test: This is an interview that assesses your personality, leadership qualities, and overall suitability for a career in the civil services.

Step 2: Choose the Right Study Material

Once you have a good understanding of the exam pattern and syllabus, you need to start gathering the right study material. There are a plethora of resources available for UPSC preparation, both online and offline. It is important to choose study material that is comprehensive, up-to-date, and reliable.

Some of the recommended study materials for UPSC preparation include:

  • NCERT textbooks (Class 6-12) 

( Check out our section with all NCERT Notes: NCERT Study Material )

  • Standard reference books (e.g., Laxmikanth for Indian Polity, Bipin Chandra for Indian History) ( Read: Best books for UPSC

Step 3: Create a Study Plan

Creating a study plan is essential for effective UPSC preparation. Your study plan should be tailored to your individual needs and circumstances. It should take into account your strengths, weaknesses, and available study time. A typical UPSC study plan should include the following:

  • Regular reading of Newspaper ike Hindu or TOI
  • Referencing NCERT books for in-depth understanding
  • Solving previous year question papers
  • Taking mock tests
  • Revising the entire syllabus regularly

📑 Daily Study Plan of Tina Dabi ( AIR 1 2015 )

Below is the study plan of IAS Topper Tina Dabi, which she used to follow when she was in studies.

Step 4: Develop Effective Study Habits

Developing effective study habits is crucial for success in the UPSC CSE. Some of the most important study habits include:

  • Setting realistic goals: Break down your preparation into small, achievable goals.
  • Creating a distraction-free study environment: Find a quiet place where you can focus without interruptions.
  • Using effective time management techniques: Develop a daily or weekly schedule and stick to it.
  • Taking regular breaks: Avoid studying for extended periods without breaks.
  • Revising regularly: Regularly revise what you have learned to retain it in your memory.

Step 5: Stay Motivated

“If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means “first Attempt In Learning”  – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. 

UPSC preparation is a long and arduous journey. It is important to stay motivated throughout the process. Here are some tips for staying motivated:

  • Remember your goal: Keep your ultimate goal of becoming an IAS officer in mind.
  • Celebrate your achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress, no matter how small.
  • Take care of your physical and mental health: Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

Movies UPSC Aspirants Must Watch  

12th Fail

Quote: “Abdul Kalam used to study under the street lamp, i still have this library i work in”

Million Dollar Baby

Quote: “Anyone can lose one fight, anybody can lose once, you’ll come back from this, you’ll be the champion of the world.”

Forrest Gump

Quote: “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

The Shawshank Redemption

Quote: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things. And good things never die.”

Schindler’s List (1993)

Quote: “Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t.”

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‍💻UPSC Preparation for Working People

Although passing the UPSC CSE is a difficult undertaking, it is undoubtedly attainable with the appropriate planning and approach. You can put yourself on the road to success by paying attention to the advice provided in this blog article. Remember, consistency, dedication, and hard work are key to achieving your goals.

This was all about the “How to Start UPSC Preparation from Zero Level”.  For more such informative blogs, check out our UPSC Exams Section, or you can learn more about us by visiting our  Indian exams page.

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