UPSC-CSE is one of the most prestigious civil service examinations conducted by the

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year. UPSC conducts civil service exams for job vacancies like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, and various other posts. The official name of the exam is UPSC Civil Service Examination. It is also famously known by another name, the “IAS EXAM”.

It is one of the toughest examinations in India. So a beginner at IAS preparation must be aware of the exam pattern, syllabus and previous years cut-offs of UPSC-CSE. It is advisable for beginners to go through the UPSC results page to understand cut-off levels of the previous years’ examinations.

Points To Remember Before Starting Preparation For UPSC

  • The aspirant must be thorough with the syllabus of the examination at all three levels. UPSC syllabus is considered as the holy book of the examination. Almost all the questions in prelims and mains are asked directly or indirectly from the syllabus. The questions from current events are asked linking the static portion of the syllabus.
  • Always be aware of the exam dates. As soon as the UPSC releases the UPSC exam calendar, note down the important dates of the examination. Usually, notification is released in February every year. Prelims and mains are usually conducted in June and September, respectively. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the exams were delayed in the last two years, i.e., 2020 and 2021.
  • Be clear of the format and pattern of the examination. The questions of the prelims examination are objective. Prelims consist of two papers, namely General Studies paper-1 and General Studies paper-2. The mains stage is subjective in nature. Each examination will be of a three-hour duration. The answers must be written on paper. The mains examination consists of one Essay paper, four General Studies papers and two papers on one optional subject. Additionally, there are two qualifying papers in English language and regional language.
  • The aspirant must be prepared for
    • Hard work, smart work, test practices, a lot of reading and writing answers.
    • Increasing the time required for studying the optional subject, current events, making notes and mock tests.
  • Beginners are recommended to start preparation with the basic books. NCERTs are preferred to begin with because they have a clear and simple language, and are easy to understand.

Study Plan for Beginners

The aspirants must divide his daily study plan into four parts. They must spend time preparing for prelims, mains, current affairs and the optional subject.

  • Prelims: While covering the UPSC syllabus, candidates must spend time on solving some MCQs on the subjects covered. This practice will increase their ability to memorise the concepts and enhance their skills in solving MCQs.
  • Mains: Many people start their preparation with the Prelims and ignore the Mains until the prelims exam. This might help them to clear the prelims; but this plan may backfire, since there is not much time between the prelims and the mains to start afresh after the prelims. So, it is better to have an integrated approach to the UPSC civil service exam, where Prelims and mains are covered parallelly.
  • Optional subject: The optional subject carries 500 marks out of the total 1750 marks of mains. This paper plays a vital role in deciding the candidates’ selection. So, the aspirant must spend at least 2 hours every day studying and making notes for the Optional subject.
  • Current Affairs: The prelims and mains examinations are both static and dynamic in nature. Often, the questions linking the current affairs with the static part, are asked in the exams. To select the best among lakhs of aspirants, the UPSC tests the understanding capabilities, and the ability of the aspirant to link current events with facts and analyze the topic. So the candidates must go through daily current affairs and make their own notes linking the static and dynamic portions.

Apart from daily timetables, the candidates must have their own weekly and monthly schedules to cover the syllabus in a limited timeframe. In view of the high competition and the rigorous requirements for UPSC preparation, coaching for IAS exam becomes necessary for many candidates. Byju’s provides both classroom and UPSC online courses with a well-planned route map to crack the upcoming UPSC-CSE Exam. It is one of the best IAS coaching institutes in India that helps the candidates to  improve their success rate.


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