It is the quality time that matters and not the quantity of time for UPSC preparation. The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is easily one of the examinations with the toughest odds! 1 million people apply, half a million write it. All it takes is a lot more effort, some smart work and a little right guidance. The first step towards Civil Services is to familiarize you with the pattern of the examination and know the UPSC Syllabus. Never forget the prime objective of the exam is ‘to check knowledge of candidate’, so you must read as more as possible (keeping syllabus in mind) and remember it.
Start reading the NCERTs of all the subjects from class 6th onward! Selecting the most relevant IAS Mains Optional goes a long way in helping a student score well in Civil Services Mains Exam.
Once you have got a good grip over a large part of the syllabus, get enrolled in a good Test Series. Attempt regular mock tests. Also, it is expected of you to go through at least five year previous question papers in detail.
One of the most effective hacks of cracking the Mains Exam is to practice writing answers. Make sure you solve enough number of mock papers for both Prelims and Mains; this is a must before you step into the UPSC exam for your first attempt. Regular evaluations will help you keep a track of your progress and help you keep yourself motivated. In an exam like the civil service mains, studying the syllabus is not the only important thing to do, how you write the exam is what counts the most. No matter how much you study prior to the exam, how one uses his knowledge to write a particular paper within three hours is what makes one topper and another failure. Hence having regular practice of essay/answer writing is highly necessary.
If there’s a bible that can guide you towards success, it’s the Newspaper Readings’ that acts as an integral whole in your entire preparation process. Develop a habit of asking yourself questions and anticipating the questions that can be asked in the examinations. Keep a separate notebook for your Current Affairs section and continuously update it with recent developments in the fields of Art, Polity, Economy, and Social Sector Initiatives. This notebook will be your guide to success.
Maintaining good health during the course is an important prerequisite to excel in these exams. Late night studies can hamper one’s circadian rhythm. But late night studies are also inevitable. Therefore, following a healthy, regular diet must count among the top most priority for a CSE aspirant.