Preparation for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Exam requires a well-planned strategy and careful prioritization of subjects and study material. Here are some tips to help you prioritize your subjects and study material for the UPSC exam:
Start by understanding the UPSC syllabus and exam pattern:
The first step in preparing for the UPSC exam is to have a clear understanding of the syllabus and exam pattern. The UPSC syllabus is divided into two parts – the Preliminary Exam and the Main Exam. The Preliminary Exam consists of two papers – General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II (CSAT). The Main Exam consists of nine papers – two qualifying papers (Paper A and B) and seven papers for the merit list (Paper C to Paper H). Make sure you are familiar with the syllabus and exam pattern before you start your preparation. You should also carefully analyze the PYQs of both Prelims and Mains, including your optional papers.
Focus on the most important subjects:
There are a lot of subjects cover in the UPSC syllabus, and it is not possible to study all of them in detail. It is important to prioritize the subjects and focus on the most important ones first. Some of the most important subjects for the UPSC exam are:
- General Studies Paper I: This paper covers topics such as history, geography, polity, economics, and current affairs. It is important to have a thorough understanding of these topics as they form the foundation for the other papers in the exam.
- General Studies Paper II (CSAT): This paper covers topics such as comprehension, decision making, problem-solving, and analytical ability. It is important to focus on improving your skills in these areas.
- Optional Subject: You will have to choose an optional subject for the Main Exam, and it is important to choose a subject that you are interest in and have a good understanding of. This will help you score better in the exam.
- Essay & Ethics paper: These are high rewarding areas. The more you have your grip on these subjects, the better will be your chances to clear the examination.
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Choose the right study material:
There are a lot of books and study material available for the UPSC exam, and it is important to choose the right ones. Some of the books that are recommend for the UPSC exam are:
- NCERT books: These are the most important books for the UPSC exam, as they cover the basic concepts in a simple and concise manner. Make sure you go through the NCERT books for all the subjects in the UPSC syllabus.
- Standard reference books: These books provide in-depth coverage of the subjects and are useful for those who want to delve deeper into the subjects. Some of the standard reference books for the UPSC exam are:
- Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
- Ramesh Singh for Economy
- Shankar IAS book for Environment
- Spectrum for Modern Indian History
- Online study material: There are several websites and YouTube channels that provide free study material for the UPSC exam.
Make a study plan:
Once you have prioritized the subjects and chosen the study material, it is important to make a study plan that helps you cover all the topics in a systematic manner. The study plan should include the time you will allocate for each subject and the number of hours you will study each day. It is important to stick to the study plan and not get distracted by other activities. You can make a study plan on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
Regular practice is key to success in the UPSC exam. Make sure you solve as many practice questions and mock tests as possible. This will help you improve your problem-solving skills and time management skills, which are important for the UPSC exam.
By following these tips, you can strategise your UPSC preparation by adequate priortization of subjects and study material. Another option you can have is to join a foundation course which will help you cover the entire syllabus in a systematic manner along with testing, mentorship and doubt resolution. You can consider enrolling for the best 3 year foundation course for IAS called Lakshya at Eden IAS.