UPSC provides six attempts for the general category to qualify UPSC CSE Examination. It’s a year-long process to prepare and qualify UPSC Prelims, Mains and Interview, so every year attempt is valuable. The first goal of every applicant should be to clear and qualify the UPSC examination in the first attempt and get into the services at the earliest.
To qualify the exam in the first attempt, you must strategize your preparation in a time-conscious manner as the syllabus is vast and exhaustive and follow it religiously with consistent effort and regular improvement.
In this article, we have attempted to summarise the must follow things to make sure you are eligible for UPSC Mains 2020.
- Understand the UPSC Syllabus and exam pattern
UPSC syllabus should be your only guidebook to prepare for the exam as it is necessary to understand the depth of information required in each subject of the syllabus. The syllabus helps you develop a guideline for targeted studies, and also helps you determine which subjects need more attention than others as per your strengths.
“Well begun is half done” and for a positive result in the UPSC Examination, syllabus and the exam pattern go hand in hand. UPSC Exam Pattern must be clearly understood including the type of questions that are asked. It should be comprehended if the questions are directly factual or analytical and mould your preparation accordingly.
- Prepare a booklist
When talking about the booklist, the first thing that should be considered is NCERTs. It is challenging to conquer the UPSC examination without a comprehensive study of the NCERTs. They provide a clear strong foundation for all the relevant subjects and should be the starting book for each subject. The books are written in a very lucid and simple language which is easy to understand and memorise. There have been plenty of instances when UPSC questions were directly sourced from NCERTs hence the importance.
Moving on to the second level of books, refer to 1 standard book for each subject. Also, prevent yourself from building your own library by accumulating unnecessary books.
- Current affairs and newspaper
UPSC Prelims and Mains examination comprise of a good quantity of questions from current events and affairs. It is crucial to follow a standard newspaper for a year proceeding your UPSC Prelims exam. Publications like The Hindu and Indian Express are the preferred choice of UPSC aspirants.
Be regular in reading the newspaper and make notes to accumulate all the information in one place for better revision.
- General Studies and CSAT
UPSC Prelims 2020 comprises of two papers, Paper 1 is GS (General Studies) and Paper 2 is Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). You must be aware that CSAT is just qualifying in nature, and thus your primary effort of scoring high is directed towards GS Paper 1. This does not mean you should overlook the preparation for CSAT. If you are comfortable with basic aptitude exams, you may just practice previous year papers and mock test to qualify the exam.
For General Studies, keep your preparation plan ready and be consistent throughout all the subjects. Prepare for History, geography, economics, science & tech, environment and polity with similar efforts as there is no variation in weightage.
- Previous year papers and Test series
Past year papers provide adequate practice and revision and also gives insight into your level of preparedness for UPSC Prelims 2020. They are the most suitable source to understand the gaps and the possible improvements to be made to reach the final list in the first attempt.
After covering the previous year papers, mock tests and test series are the best companions to your preparation. Practice numerous mock tests for both GS and CSAT as it teaches you the skill to attempt the paper and prepare you not to get eliminated in the UPSC Prelims due to high negatives.
- Right mentor and Right mindset
Expert guidance for your UPSC preparation will surely bring out your best efforts and will help strategize your preparation plan. The right guidance will navigate your efforts in the right direction leading you to success. You may choose to join good coaching or classes to timely complete the syllabus and be ready for UPSC Prelims 2020.
Hard work and consistency are the key factors that will ensure your positive result in UPSC Prelims 2020. However, the preparation for UPSC is a long and tedious journey, and there might be instances where you are unable to give your best. In those times, take an adequate break and get back to the preparation with fresh energy and motivation. It is crucial to keep yourself motivated in order to clear UPSC 2020.
Following the above-mentioned tips clubbed with your hard work will surely help you clear the UPSC Prelims 2020 in the first attempt itself.
All the best.