4 Best Ways to Prepare for UPSC: Which One is Right for You?
What is the Best Way to Prepare for UPSC?
Every year new toppers come and discuss their specific strategy towards UPSC CSE, and this variation in the process proves on its own that there might not be specific best ways to prepare for UPSC, the most challenging exam in India. But what compromises the essential steps towards the UPSC examination stays the same for every aspirant and hence, you can always refer to these steps as the best ways towards your preparation in the UPSC exam.
How to Begin with UPSC Preparation?
When it comes to jotting down the best ways to prepare UPSC, you have to analyse the best ways to pass all the three stages of the UPSC examination, it should not be about preparing for UPSC as a whole but the strategy should be broken down into gathering best ways to get through your prelims, mains and the interview.
However, these ways should always stay connected to each stage and should not just be applied independently in each stage. For example, for the preliminary examination, there should be specific 2-3 months meant for its preparation but from the very beginning of your UPSC preparation, your prelims preparation should always stay aligned to your mains examination.
How to Prepare for UPSC in a Faster Way?
To prepare for UPSC in a faster way, one should start committing their determination towards the exam at the earliest as the whole examination already takes a whole year to get through. Time remains one of the most important resources for preparation.
Preparing faster in the examination does not mean to crack the examination within 2-3 months but to perform effectively within a whole year to achieve success in the first attempt only or with possible minimum attempts.
What are Some Ways to Prepare UPSC at Home?
UPSC preparation at home along with the right strategy often proves better than depending on coaching institutes as at home aspirants are obliged to spend time more on self-study and there remains an atmosphere of self-discipline surrounding your way towards the examination.
However, the decision to prepare for UPSC at home remains more challenging as now it will be solely upon you to choose your study material and create the right strategy within a routine. Irrespective of your personalised strategy there are always some essential aspects of the preparation that you can align with your strategy through the access to the internet and online sources.
What are the Challenges of Preparing at Home?
Stress management, along with time management, is the most crucial step needed for preparation at home. UPSC not only assesses your knowledge but, it also challenges your mental strength and management skills.
As a single attempt at UPSC preparation takes you through one of the most challenging environments in your life. There will be continuous ups and downs, but consistency and dedication will pave the way to your success.
What are the Benefits of UPSC Preparation at Home?
Preparation at home comes with certain benefits that you may not get when you are preparing away from home or at a hostel. While staying at home, you can always utilise the part of your free time to interact with your family and friends to stay motivated and mentally strong. Even the time when you might end up overthinking, Your close ones can bring you back on the right track.
What is the Best Way to Prepare for UPSC Prelims?
Prelims is the most selective paper where lakhs of applicants are brought down to a count of thousand to become eligible for the next stage, i.e., Mains examination. It consists of two papers, both of them consisting of objective questions, first being the General Studies paper and the other being CSAT paper that involves aptitude tests.
Most of the time considered to be the most comfortable stage, aspirants often ignore the toughness associated with the examination. The understanding of the syllabus and a planned strategy especially for how to prepare history for UPSC prelims the easiest way and current affairs are the prerequisite factors that you need to decide before starting your UPSC preparation.
Understanding Format of UPSC Prelims Paper
Understanding the format of the prelims paper is the first step towards its preparation, the first paper of the prelims consists of the General Studies paper. Here, the syllabus involves current affairs, history, polity and governance, economy, environmental science and general science.
It is a 200 marks paper with 100 questions in total and the marks obtained in the paper are used for deciding the ranks of the aspirants with respective to the cut-off prescribed by UPSC in a particular year. One should prepare for prelims in such a way that the maximum number of questions are attempted to make it to the final cut off.
Minimum Marks Required
The CSAT paper or the GS paper 2 deals with the aptitude test. Unlike GS paper 1, it is qualifying paper and therefore requires a percentage of 33% (that is to obtain 66 marks out of 200) to pass in the paper. For CSAT, one should start practising a large set of previous papers and other test-series in order to get the minimum marks of 66 out of the total 200.
While preparing, one should remember that UPSC also allots negative marking of 1/3rd of the incorrect answers in both of the papers involved in prelims. They should keep a strategy where they are focussed on attempting less incorrect questions. Through a number of test series, one should get aware of their weak points and strong points and thus should get habitual of attempting more questions from their strong topics and less from that of the weak topics.
How to Prepare the Static Part of Prelims?
After a good analysis of the previous years’ question papers, one should study the NCERT books but this step should be done in a more strategized way as preparation of NCERT books should be about revision and reading and not directly about mugging content of a whole book.
Considering the strategies of many of the toppers, one can also give importance to specific NCERTs and not a whole range of books. For revision one should go for MCQ papers or quizzes related to NCERT, this will boost confidence and will let you know where you lack in.
What is the Best Way to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC?
Newspaper reading and the preparation of current affairs forms a part of the practice of Prelims as well as that of the whole UPSC examination, as most of the current affairs oriented questions are involved in all the three stages of the examination.
Current affairs being the active part of the examination, requires effort and determination to stay updated on regular bases. One must put efforts in staying updated and keeping up with the latest news and trends.
What are the Important Steps Towards Preparation of Current Affairs?
- Select the resources for current affairs, keep an eye on regular updates and make a habit of studying current affairs regularly.
- Current affair preparation requires a tight schedule which makes your mind habitual of understanding current affairs in a better way.
- Newspaper reading and online summaries of daily news at a particular time and for a specific time. One must not spend more than 90 minutes because within those 90 minutes you should develop an eye for UPSC preparation that keeps on filtering the relevant information from the paper.
- Keeping in mind the syllabus of the whole UPSC examination, one should build a habit of aligning the static part with the active part while reading newspapers, this not only helps in prelims but provides a more substantial base for the mains examination.
- For current affairs and newspapers, at least a year should be devoted along with several quality mock-tests from a reputed coaching institute.
UPSC examination does challenge your mental strength at its best, you may gather the perfect study material and perfect strategy but being a human you might end up failing to your schedule and strategy but what will keep you at pace will be your will power to form a new strategy at that very time of failure. For UPSC, it is about scheduling and rescheduling your own best ways to not stop the preparation.
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