How to self- prepare for UPSC Civil Services Exam

How to self- prepare for UPSC Civil Services Exam

Nowadays most of the aspirants feel that UPSC cannot be cleared without proper coaching. Anybody can triumph this exam if he /she is determined and follow a streamlined strategy with hard work. Institutions are there to give the push to keep the aspirants going and to give them the right guidance. However, one can clear the exam successfully even without coaching if one follows the right methods. Let’s discuss some key strategies on how to self-prepare for Civil Services Exam.

Build your base

First and the foremost thing you got to do is to download the syllabus and rote-memorize it. Very important. 99% aspirants fail to do this. This is the first step to success in this examination. You need to clearly know what is there and what is not.

Now start reading NCERT books and The Hindu newspaper for strong foundation. We have already discussed about NCERTs in the previous article. Please click here for it.

For newspaper reading, focus on areas that are relevant to syllabus you already have memorised. They are ….

1. Indian polity and Governance

2. Social issues (Women, Minorities, Health, Education etc)

3. Schemes, Projects, Reports.

4. Economic and Social Development

5. Issues on Environment

6. Indian History

7. Indian Culture

8. Indian and World Geography

9. International Relations

10. Important International Institutions – structure and mandate.

11. Agriculture

12. Science and Technology

13. Security related

14. Optional Based.

Go deep

After 2-3 months of basic jump into water, dive deep. First download previous 10 years question and analyse them. There are some books in market, which provide chapter wise collection, which also can be bought. After you complete each chapter, try to solve these questions. Sometimes, results may not be as per your expectations, but gradually with practise and identifying own errors, you will reach at a standard level before preliminary. For mains part download last 5 years’ papers and try to answer the questions from static part. It may take 20 minutes at first. With more practise it will decrease. For mains answers, you may follow our previously discussed article. Please click here for it.

Basic sources

They are divided in two categories. Static part and current affairs.

For static part, follow these –

History: Brief history of Modern India (Spectrum publications) for modern India part + old NCERT books for ancient India and Medieval part

Polity: Indian Polity (M. Laxmikanth)

Economy: Indian Economy (Ramesh Singh) + Mrunal videos available on YouTube

Environment: Environment for Civil Services by D R Khullar

International Relations: International Relations by Pavneet Singh

Geography: NCERT + Mrunal videos available on YouTube

Art & Culture: Handwritten Notes by Nitin Singhania

For current affairs we have already told which areas to be focussed. UPSC prefers a good mix of basic and current affairs. The sources are …

Pulse Magazine published by Officers IAS Academy.

PRS website

Various government websites for newly announced schemes

Gist of economic survey and budget available online

The most important above all is limiting the sources. Read every basic book line by line until you feel 110% comfortable with that subject. If you need to read 20 times, read it 20 times. Make notes to revise while you travel. Revision is the key. Improvisation is the secret formula of success.

All Tips by R.A.Israel Jebasingh, Engineer ,Cracked UPSC(IAS) exams with AIR 59