How do I prepare for the UPSC exam 2018?

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best strategy for UPSC 2018 preparation in one year.

  1. Know the exam: – Knowing exam includes examination and paper pattern, syllabus, Study material(best newspaper, magazines, books etc). You can get this information from net, by meeting UPSC qualified person, or by attending courses in coaching classes. this information is also available in a books like IAS OR UPSC Planner. Available on net.
  2. Plan your schedule for the hour, day, week, month, year. You should know what you are going to do at that particular time. Make your own plan. Don’t copy. because you know your own strengths. Some people can study whole day, some may do it in morning or evening. Some remembers everything in one time reading. So know your strengths & weaknesses. Plan accordingly.
  3. Plan prelim preparation in 8 month along with 60% mains. Remaining next 4 months specially for prelims preparation, micro notes revision and test series. To do this efficiently, you need to study for 10–12 hours per day. You can schedule your day. example is given at last. After prelim again you will get more than 2–3 months period to study for mains.
  4. Join Coaching Institute- Yes I will recommend you to join coaching institute. You will get knowledge more faster, more accurate from experts. Always remember reading a book give experience of a life and discussion gives knowledge of 10 books.
  5. Update yourself- with current affairs. For that read daily newspapers and magazines
  6. Self study- spend maximum time in self study. Use branded and expert recommended material for study.
  7. Micro notes- while reading in this period, prepare micro notes.Whether you are reading daily newspaper, magazine or books. This notes will help you to revise fast.
  8. Revision- Atleast 2–3 times micronotes revision is necessary
    1. Group discussion will help in last four months after you complete your reading and micro notes. Please do not involve in group discussion before completing prelim preparation.

    Example of Daily Time Table For UPSC if you are not a part of any coaching or incase if you had coaching already.

  1. 5.30 Wake up. Fresh. Little food as your first meal like any fruit or milk.
  2. 6.00–8.00 Study
  3. 8.00–9.00 Bath, fresh, breakfast.
  4. 9.00–11.00 Newspaper Reading and Magazines. Current affairs updates timing.
  5. 11.00–13.00 Study
  6. 13.00–15.00 Lunch and rest.
  7. 15.00–17.00 Study
  8. 17.00–18.30 Own Time
  9. 18.30–20.30 Study
  10. 20.30–21.30 Dinner and own time.
  11. 21.30–22.30 Revision of micro notes prepared in that whole day.
  12. 22.30 Sleep.

In this way you can study for 10–11 Hours a day without any stress. In this preparation period maintain

  1. Good Study place.
  2. Healthy food.
  3. Complete rest.

At first, for UPSC preparation there must have some mental strategies

  • At first, you must have a passion for being a civil servant.(your passion or your interest is the father of your determination). Try to love what you are working for.
  • Self motivation is very important rather than being motivated by following someone or toppers.Your passion, your interest, proper reason for what you want to be in future are enough for your self motivation.
  • Your attitude, your movement must be positive always.
  • Next part is that you have to work hard ruthlessly for making your dream come true because in every year around 8–9 lacks candidates appear for this exam in average but among all of them 1–2 thousand candidates get selected and your competition must not be with those who don’t get selected rather than your competition must be with those 1–2 thousand who get selected or who have a greater probability to get selected
  • Find the proper reason for why you want to be a civil servant in future.
  • You must control yourself from getting distracted from your target.
  • Try to stay alone until you can’t achieve your target.
  • Go underground for a few years.
  • There is no need to go into the argument with those who try to say that UPSC exam is very tough, you should try for less tough exams, you are wasting your time or money etc. There is no need to raise your voice against those. You should keep one thing in your mind and that is today’s silence will speak for yourself tomorrow.
  • Control yourself over social media like Facebook/Whats app/Instagram/Twitter etc. Use social media for your academic purpose otherwise be detached from social media for a few years. Because if you seriously dream of being a civil servant in future, try to respect your dream by giving it as your first priority than anything else in your life.
  • Try to follow a routine properly and you should continue that properly until you can’t be successful in this journey.
  • Try to make a proper time table for your study. Here one thing is very important and that is how many time you are providing for your study is not important but the time you are providing for your study must be utilized properly in a systematic format. As for an example, today you have studied for 15–16 hours, next day you studied for 4 hours and the next day you studied for 6–8 hours………… you should not do this. If you are capable of studying for 15–16 hours ( though it is not necessary and if you do so, you may become mad or your brain may crash or your health may break down), continue this till the last day of your preparation, otherwise if you are comfortable with studying for 6–8 hours, you should follow this time table properly until you can’t get success. In short to say, move as per your capacity but you should keep yourself under a specific routine or a proper time table.
  • Take little steps and complete those successfully. Don’t take a huge load. Fix a target for every subject and try to complete those with clear conception and here one thing you should remember that our confidence depends completely on our success. Suppose, i have set a question paper containing ten questions for you and you answered correctly to two questions only out of ten questions and if this results continues for some days more, automatically you will loose your confidence and your interest too but on the hand hand if you can answer correctly to all the questions or if you can answer correctly to eight questions out of ten questions and if this performance of you continues for some days or some weeks, automatically your interest or your confidence will be developed in that particular subject. So, in short to say, take little steps and become successful in your fixed target for that day and if you continue in this way automatically you will have much interest in this exam as well as you will have enough confidence for clearing this exam too. So, move by step by step with systematic strategy.
  • Never ever think of your future. The more you will think of your future, the more probability you may have to get tensed or to get feared for this exam or for your your performance too. So forget your future and pay your keen focus on what you are doing at present. One thing you should remember that whatever you will do for today, today’s action or performance will give you the same result for tomorrow as well.
  • During this preparation time some kind of frustration, depression, feeling of boringness happen almost with everyone, you can watch some motivational videos/ good movies or you can listen to songs or you can do something creative. In short to say do something which can refresh you or can boost yourself for a new start.
  • At first, when you will start your preparation, you will face many
    • problems or many difficulties and it happens with everyone but if you stick to your target and if you fight with those problems consistently, after sometime everything will start to become easier.Don’t think that UPSC is not your cup of tea but you must be optimistic in your every single approach. If you can’t solve anything properly now, leave it for now and try it in the next day or for the next time but never loose hope. Because in every success story there are many problems successful man has to overcome to have the taste of success.
    • In UPSC there are many subjects and among all the subjects everyone has some disliking subjects and it’s common to all. But if you are a serious aspirant and if you seriously want to become a civil servant, you have to do everything by which you can become a civil servant in future. Here i am giving an example that is suppose, your UPSC exam is like a fever and becoming a civil servant is your healthy body and all the subjects under UPSC exam are your medicine and if you seriously want to recover your fever (UPSC exam) for having a healthy body (becoming a civil servant) you have to take medicines (studying all the subjects with proper interest).
    • Always pay your focus on the matter of quality but not quantity. One thing you should always keep in mind and that is whatever you are doing is not important but how well you do those is more important and the probability of being successful is completely standing on the matter of quality but not quantity.

    And always remember one thing – “ Success is not an accident but it is your hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all love for what you are doing.” – by Pele

    Some preparation strategies

    • At first, try to make your base strong in every subject. If you are not strong in your base, when you will go in depth, you will face many problems there.
    • Whatever you are reading, try to highlight important areas, important portions and repeat those for several times and when you will start to read a new chapter, try to follow everything in details, don’t leave any line or any portion untouched. Follow everything line by line.
    • Next part is according to our current UPSC pattern maximum portions are related with current affairs. So you must follow news paper regularly, you must make yourself updated with current govt. policies/development/schemes etc as maximum questions are related with these facts.
    • UPSC exam is not only of objective types but also is of descriptive types too so you should do practice answer writing and here you have to focus on the matter of quality within prescribed word limits.
    • Follow one book and repeat that for ten times but there is no need to follow ten books and to repeat those for one time. Here it is very important to keep all the fats and figures in mind properly along with accumulating information.
    • If you are under any coaching institute, don’t be too much dependent on your coaching institute. Make some self strategies too.
    • Your preparation must be from the perspective of mains and if you do so, your prelims preparation will automatically be covered and be prepared for prelims along with mains. Because if you think that after clearing prelims you will get prepared, it will be your big mistake. Because after prelims, you will have two months only for mains and within two months it is very difficult to get prepared properly for mains and the time between prelims and mains is provided for candidates to give their preparation a sharp form.
    • Every paper is important and you should pay an equal focus on every subject.
    • Try to follow previous years’ question papers and give mock tests and if you do so, it will show you the current position and knowing that try to update yourself in a proper way.
    • Try to make notes by yourself.
    • One of the most important parts is that UPSC syllabus is like an ocean and here knowing everything as well as keeping every fact and figure in mind properly is very difficult. So, try to know what to read and what not to read.
    • Give sufficient time for your self study and if you don’t give sufficient time for your self study, no better thing will happen with you.
    • Choose your optional subject very carefully. This paper is completely depending on your own interest. Here you can choose any subject according to your own interest. Whatever you choose, you must have interest in that one, or try to feel that subject or love that subject and most importantly before going to choose any subject as your optional one try to follow previous years’ question papers as well as the syllabus of every optional subject and if you do so, you will know better that which subject will be better for you to take up as your optional one and most importantly choose any subject as per your own capacity too.

First of all, you have to know the syllabus and exam pattern properly

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION ( this has two parts)

Preliminary examination is of objective types and here marks will not be counted for final merit list. Passing marks are needed to sit for mains examinations.

Phase i ( 200 marks )

Current affairs ( 60–70% questions come here)

History of India

Geography of the world (Physical, Social, Economic)

Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution

Economic and Social Development

General Issues (Environmental Ecology, Bio-Diversity, Climate change etcs.)

General Science

Phase ii / CSAT ( 200 marks )

Comprehension Skill (English) ( 60–70% questions come here)

Interpersonal Skills

Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability

Decision making and problem solving

General mental ability

Basic Numeracy

Data Interpretation

Main examination syllabus

Questions in mains examinations are of descriptive types and here in every paper you have to face twenty questions.

Essay paper ( 250 marks )

Here, you are required to write an essay on a specific topic within word limits.

General studies paper 1 ( 250 marks )

Indian heritage/ culture, World history and geography

General studies paper ii ( 250 marks )

Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relationships

General studies paper iii ( 250 marks )

Technology, Economic development, Bio-diversity, Environment, security and disaster management

General studies paper iv ( 250 marks )

Ethics, integrity and aptitude

Optional paper

Optional paper is divided into two parts

Paper i ( 250 marks )

Paper ii ( 250 marks )

Current affairs – For current affairs you must follow the HINDU news paper regularly and try to make notes from the HINDU as well as you have to follow YOJANA / KURUKSHETRA magazine and here you can follow any one of these two but you should follow thoroughly for whatever you follow. If possible try to follow a popular news channel regularly and whatever you follow for current affairs from news papers, you should note down those regularly and if you regularly invest 1 – 1.30 hours for current affairs, it is enough for you and especially for some burning topics you should always focus on the background or the real cause of those burning news topics as well as try to know the influence of those burning issues on our present scenario in our society and in our country as well. 

Based on the below answer the consolidated list of books are

  1. General Studies Paper I
  2. Indian History
  3. Art & Culture
  4. Indian Geography
  5. Indian Polity
  6. Indian Economy
  7. Environment
  8. General Studies Paper II
  9. Books for Mains
  10. Books for Interview

All the very Best For Your Exams

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