Here are some collated UPSC preparation tips from Indian civil service examination toppers for aspirants like you. Follow these tips to make your preparation more robust.

Have a Strategy

  • Focus on content.
  • Solving mock question papers is an important part of UPSC preparation for beginners.
  • 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 a few from different places.

Choose Optional Subject Smartly

If you are looking for how to start UPSC preparation from zero levels? The first thing that is suggested by experts is to go for optional subjects that you find interesting. This will help you understand the subject better and obviously would not require mugging up.

Current Affairs

Current affairs play an important role in the Indian civil services examination. So, in this ias preparation tips for beginners , it is suggested to give extra focus on this subject.

  • Read on current affairs every day for 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. Look out for UPSC preparation classes where you can get a personal mentor . By having a personal mentor, you can always get the proper guidance. You will also be able to get real-time feedback on your performance.

Interview Preparation

While preparing for the written exam, you should also start preparing for the interview.

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

Questions in UPSC Interview

Keep the below-mentioned points in mind and start giving attention to these from an early stage.

  • Expect questions that relate to what you have written in the form.
  • Expect simple questions to relate 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.

Transformation while Preparing for the Indian Civil Services Examination

While you will be preparing for the exam, you should transform your thinking in the following areas

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

Also Read : How to Begin IAS Preparation? The Ultimate Guide for Cracking the UPSC

Critical Thinking

Developing critical thinking and analysing skills is a very important part of UPSC preparation for beginners.

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

Motivate Yourself

For cracking the Indian civil services examination, keeping yourself motivated constantly is a vital key. You have to make yourself believe that there is a chance for everything and you have to keep fighting for 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?

Key to Success

Though there is no shortcut to success, the following things will help you crack the exam and achieve your desired rank.

  • Consistency
  • Revision
  • Answer writing
  • Planning
  • Group studies
  • Self-evaluation
  • Focus on mains.
  • Cover syllabus from mains point of view.
  • Know the balance and priorities between subjects.

Books for UPSC Beginners?

Books are important for any examination. But identifying the important books for UPSC can be a tough task.

Following are some of the suggested books to start with:

  • NCERT Books Set for UPSC Exam (Set of 27 books or 40 books)
  • The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham. (Culture)
  • India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma. (Culture)
  • Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania. (Culture)
  • History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  • India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra. (History)


Hopefully, these UPSC preparation tips will be helpful for beginner aspirants to get a hold of the examination.

Do try the above-mentioned tips and let us know which one you found most effective. You can share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Also Read : IAS UPSC Syllabus 2020: Buckle up Your Shoes for the Upcoming Exam

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UPSC Preparation Tips for Beginners: Strategy for The Indian Civil Service Examination
Are you a beginner in this Indian Civil Services examination race? Searching for UPSC preparation tips? Read on to know how to prepare for UPSC as a beginner.
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About the Author

Payal Ghosh

Payal is an FRM and an XLRI Jamshedpur alumnus interested in things as diverse as Waste Management and photography. She has over 16 years of work experience and is passionate about writing, teaching and sustainable living. Helping students and seeing them succeed makes gives her motivation to push herself further.

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