Civil Services Exam Preparation Tips for Beginners

We at UPSC Pathshala spoke to some toppers and collated some tips on UPSC Preparation for you. Follow these tips to make your preparation more robust.

Have a strategy

  • Focus on content.
  • Solve mock question papers.
  • Analyze the results. Learn from your mistakes and each possible option in the questions.
  • Decide how many questions you will attempt depending on your accuracy level.
  • Make separate notes for separate subjects and revise and consolidate them regularly.
  • Try doing all mocks of one website rather than few from different places.

Choose an optional that is of interest to you

Your optional should be something that you like studying about. Choose it wisely.

Current Affairs – How important is it?

  • Read on current affairs everyday 2 hours. Learn to correlate it with your static subjects.
  • Read from notes prepared by your coaching centre.
  • Read newspaper editorials to understand:
    • How to write answers
    • How to have Balanced and constructive criticism
  • Make notes of examples from newspapers.


  • Use online Sources for Mock tests
  • Use a note making software to organize your notes better

Coaching Centre

  • Go for a coaching centre that gives comprehensive coverage

For interview

  • Engage in Peer group discussions
  • Sit for lots of Mock interviews

Questions in UPSC interview

  • Expect questions that relate to what you have written in the form.
  • Expect simple questions to relate back to topics that are of national importance.
  • Expect questions regarding why you want to join and how you will improve the services.
  • Expect questions on the comparison of the different services.

Expect a Transformation during preparation

  • Develop an Interest in everything.
  • Be self aware, aware of the world and India.
  • Rethink Problems, and change how you think about the world.

Develop Critical thinking

  • This will influence both planning and syllabus coverage.
  • This will also make you self aware and increase your Self evaluation.

How did you keep yourself motivated?

  • There is a chance. Believe that.
  • Self evaluation makes you understand that you can improve.
  • Create a positive motivation Peer group around you.

Understand what motivates you to prepare for the UPSC exams.

  • What is it that will keep you going in the low days? What will be your motivating light? You need to understand this about yourself. Why are you preparing for, and undertaking such a difficult task such as the UPSC exam?

Keys to success

  • Consistency
  • Revision
  • Answer writing
  • Planning
  • Group studies
  • Self Evaluation

Message to other aspirants

  • Focus on mains.
  • Cover syllabus from mains point of view.
  • Know the balance and priorities between subjects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *