Do UPSC aspirants always sincerely follow all the advice given by the UPSC toppers? The answer to this question depends on the individuality of the aspirant seeking the UPSC toppers strategy. As every aspirant has his or her condition that might get along with a specific topper, an aspirant preparing for six months will seek tips from the topper who went through the same period only. In this way, the requirements of advice from toppers vary among aspirants.

Many aspirants fail to hear about the topper’s advice, and they still manage good ranks in the examination. Hence, deciding whether one should follow all the advice given by UPSC toppers becomes a choice. There is a hoard of advice from toppers that can always get along with any aspirants’ choice of strategy.

What are the Common Pieces of Advice by UPSC Toppers?

Although there is no straight way of cracking one of the toughest competitive exams in the country, the civil services exam by UPSC, aspirants seek advice from the toppers of this examination. Their advice usually focuses on the strategy, booklist, note-making and answer writing tips.

When to Start the Preparation?

The syllabus requires time to acquire a clear understanding of the topics involved. Most toppers advise a year to be devoted to the preparation. However, several successful aspirants appeared after preparation of less than or more than a year.

What is the Most Advised Toppers Booklist?

Although the booklist for UPSC varies from person to person because of the difference in prior knowledge and understanding levels, yet most aspirants rely on the booklist advised by toppers. Here are the detailed toppers booklist along with their respective papers in the UPSC.

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Booklist for UPSC Prelims

General Studies (Paper I)

  • NCERTs of History, Geography & Polity Class 8th-12th.
  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.
  • Certificate of Physical Geography by GC Leong.
  • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth.
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh.
  • Current Affairs – The Hindu, Yojna Magazine, Kurukshetra Magazine.
  • Oxford World Atlas.
  • International Relations NCERT XI and XII.
  • Indian Culture- Spectrum.
  • NIOS Course Materials.


  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – RS Agarwal.
  • TMH CSAT Manual.
  • Quicker Maths by M.Tyra.
  • English Grammar & Composition by Wren & Martin.

Booklist for Mains Examination

General Studies-1

  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.
  • India After Independence by Bipan Chandra.
  • Ancient India by RS Sharma.
  • History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra.
  • From Plassey To Partition And After by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay.
  • Introduction to Indian Art for Class XI (NCERT).
  • Geography of India – Majid Hussain.
  • World Geography- Majid Hussain.
  • Oxford Atlas.
  • Central Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong.
  • Geography NCERTs (Class XI and XII).

General Studies -2

  • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth.
  • Constitution of India by DD Basu.
  • India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri.

General Studies-3

  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh.

General Studies Paper-4

  • Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by Subba Rao and PN Rao Chaudhry.

How does Writing Tips by UPSC Toppers Help?

Toppers Notes UPSC Exam

Writing while starting a new topic and filtering through the written notes while revising topics is the most appreciated technique by most UPSC toppers. Writing helps build the most nuanced understanding and helps organise the piles of subjects with the UPSC syllabus. This makes learning an easier task.

The following are the primary points advised by most of the UPSC toppers:

  • Read the Textbooks:

    You should not start jotting down notes the moment you start reading a topic. Prior reading is a must before you write anything about it. Without reading there will only be a pile of unwanted notes. With every new topic, just read the book and underline or highlight the important things.

  • Using Online Sites:

    To prepare notes for current affairs, one might find it challenging to search through the newspapers. Since there are many sites providing bulletin regular current affairs, note-making through these online notes becomes easier.

  • Keep Updating your Notes:

    Updating notes by adding current news concerning the topics helps organise the most concise notes.

Toppers Answer Sheet UPSC Mains Exam

Answer writing tips from toppers have been helping aspirants to aim high in their mains examination. Understanding the topic is not the only requirement, but its presentation in concise and clear words is of utmost importance.

The usual writing tips from an essay written by UPSC toppers comprises of 3 crucial elements i.e.

  • Structure

A good answer always consists of the basic structure that contains an introduction, body, and conclusion. The division of answers into these paragraphs helps in easy writing and keeps the knowledge distributed appropriately within the answer’s structure.

  • Content

Once you finish structuring your answer with your acquired knowledge, the time comes when you start adding more advanced content to the answers through answer writing practice. In this way, the content of the answers keeps getting filtered and updated.

  • Presentation

Here are some important points that often come out through the analysis of toppers answer sheet UPSC mains:

  • There should be a visible division between parts and subparts of the answer.
  • Headings must be concise in accordance to the body.
  • Underlining important words always helps in scoring well as the examiner generally goes through the answer vertically rather than reading every point.
  • Diagrams can be added to break the monotony of the answer sheet.
  • Spacing between lines and paragraphs should be proper.

UPSC strategy by toppers plays an important role in building confidence within an aspirant regarding UPSC exam as a whole. However, not every aspirant can get the same books, same schedule and other same resources as the toppers’. Hence, every aspirant evolves a unique strategy, which further gets added to the existing range of aspirants from various backgrounds.

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Also Read : What are the Toughest Questions asked in UPSC CSE Interviews?

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Do UPSC Aspirants always sincerely Follow all the Advice Given by UPSC Toppers?
UPSC aspirants start their preparations with UPSC toppers strategy. But do UPSC aspirants always sincerely follow all the advice given by UPSC toppers? Find out here.
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