How to Start with the UPSC Exam?

Start with the UPSC Exam

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is one of the most important exams in India. It is also one of the toughest to crack. The competition is fierce, and many candidates spend years preparing for it before they finally get an opportunity to appear for it.

If you are one such candidate who wants to crack this exam in your first attempt, then this article will prove beneficial for you. Here we have shared the roadmap that will help you prepare well and crack the Civil Services Exam in your first attempt.

Table of Content

  1. Know the Exam
  2. Make a Strategy
  3. Manage Time
  4. Choose the Right Study Material
  5. Practice Mock Tests
  6. Focus on Current Affairs
  7. Make Notes
  8. Revise Regularly
  9. Wrapping Up
  10. FAQs

Know the Exam

The first step in cracking the UPSC Civil Services Exam is to know it well. The syllabus, exam pattern, and marking are some of the important things that you need to have a good understanding of. You need to learn the syllabus at your fingertips. It is very important to understand what UPSC demands from you. Know the subjects which you are going to study while preparing for your exams.

Another way of understanding this exam is to go through its previous year’s question papers. After having a good understanding of the syllabus you need to look at the previous year’s question papers of both prelims and mains. It will help you in apprehending what type of questions UPSC asks and how we need to prepare for them. This step is very important as it helps you figure out what is required to study and how you should study.

Make a Strategy

You can not expect to crack this exam without a strategy. The second step is to create a strategy that suits you the most. You can refer to the strategies of many toppers and customize them according to your needs and capabilities.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses: The first step to creating a strategy is to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You should be honest with yourself while doing this. After identifying your strengths and weaknesses, set a timeline for yourself based on how much time you want to spend on each topic during preparation.

Give more time to subjects that have more weightage in the syllabus such as Indian polity, history, and economy, and give less time to subjects with less weightage like world history, science and technology, etc. Once you have decided upon how much time will be spent on each subject, create an overall study plan which includes topics covered under that particular subject along with their respective weightage. Do not forget to allocate time for self-assessment. A crucial part of any successful strategy is self-assessment; it helps us learn from our mistakes so that we can improve ourselves in the future.

Manage Time

Manage your time efficiently and try to further break your study plan into daily targets. Setting daily targets will help you in completing your larger topic or subject within the defined timeline. Utilize your breaks effectively and create a timetable for yourself that you can follow. Set realistic goals and timelines according to your capabilities.

Choose the Right Study Material

The next step is to choose the right study material for UPSC preparation. There are many books available in the market, but not all of them are useful for this exam. You need to find out which book will suit your needs and help you get good marks in the exam.

You should start with the NCERT books to create a good base of knowledge. Depending upon your knowledge you can start reading NCERTs from the sixth standard or ninth standard. You don’t need to study every ncert but only those which are relevant for your syllabus.

After n, you can move to standard books and study material provided by various coaching institutes.

Practice Mock Tests

Solving mock tests and previous year’s papers to understand the exam pattern and analyze your performance is very crucial. Practice solving as many mock tests as possible, so that you can get an idea of how much time you need to solve each question in the real exam. This will help you manage your time efficiently during the actual exam. It will also reduce your nervousness in the real exam. Solve previous years’ papers to know what kind of questions are asked in the UPSC Civil Services Exam and how they are asked.

Focus on Current Affairs

The first step towards preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Exam is to stay updated with current affairs happening in the country and across the globe. There are several ways to do this, such as reading newspapers, watching news channels, and listening to radio programs. You can also subscribe to online newsletters or magazines that provide information about important events happening around the world.

By reading newspapers regularly, you will learn about important developments in various fields like science and technology, politics, economics, etc., which are likely to be asked during your exams. You can also make notes on such topics so that they become part of your mental database when it comes time for writing essays or answering questions based on them during the exam.

Make Notes

You should cover the whole syllabus in detail and pick out relevant information from each topic. You can have separate files for each subject so that you can make short and crisp handwritten notes. They will become your one-spot destination for revision.

Revise Regularly

Revising your notes regularly and practicing solving previous year’s papers is one of the most important things you can do to ace the Civil Services Exam. It will help you to improve your speed, accuracy, and comprehension skills. You should review them regularly. You can also use UPSC 2023 notes which are easily available on the internet.

Wrapping Up

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is a tough one to crack. It requires a lot of hard work and determination to get through it, but you can do it! You can seek professional guidance from coaching institutes that provide various UPSC courses. The most important thing is having a strategy for yourself–this will help you manage your time, make notes, and stay focused throughout the exam.

If you follow these tips and use them as part of your own strategy, then I’m sure that your chances of getting through this exam on your first try will increase dramatically! Good luck!


1. What qualifications are required for the civil service exam?

The candidate must hold a Graduate Degree from any recognized university to qualify for the examination. The candidate must be 21 and, at most, 32 years old.


2. Is IAS and civil service the same?

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Provincial Civil Service (PCS) come under the civil services category. However, one works under the center or state government, while the other is the state service of the executive branch of the UP government.

3. What is the lowest post in UPSC?

The IAS probationer or IAS trainee position offered during the training phase is considered the lower position for IAS officers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here