Last updated: 
June 10, 2022

How the Toppers Crack the UPSC IAS Exam: A Beginners Guide to the Best Techniques

The most powerful techniques of UPSC Toppers which are bound to supercharge your UPSC journey too.

Post written by

Dr. Abhishek Kumar

A teacher and guide to the students preparing for the UPSC CSE and IFS examination for about two decades. He has helped close to 2000 students secure a rank in these examinations, with 9 of them getting All India Rank 1 and 100+ of them finding a place within the All India Top-10 list.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam is a highly challenging test of your ability as a future civil servant. It measures everything from your knowledge of current affairs to how well you can think on your feet. To crack this difficult exam, you need to prepare exhaustively and adopt the best techniques to succeed. Preparing for the UPSC exam requires a special strategy, especially if you want to excel in it. It’s not enough just to read some books or practice questions once or twice — to get a perfect score, you need to find an effective technique that will help you remember information and understand concepts more deeply. In this article, we guide you through what these techniques are, and how they can help you ace the UPSC exam and get into your dream job.

Plan to succeed and not merely to appear in the examination

Planning is the first step towards success. You can’t just show up at the examination hall and expect to get a good score. You need to prepare thoroughly and plan each step of the journey with extreme care. First, you need to understand how the exam is structured, and what the different stages and sections are measuring. If you are not sure about how to make a proper plan for the CSE or the IFS Examination, you may like to join a coaching institute like Evolution where the teachers will help you plan for the examination and well-designed courses will put your preparation on the right track.

Focus on a limited number of books and resources which are known to yield the best results

The most important thing you need to do to prepare for the UPSC exam is to choose the right books. The books you choose will ultimately determine how well you perform in the exam, so it’s important to select the right ones. Don’t just pick up any random books you find — instead, focus on a limited number of books that are known to yield the best results. There are two factors you should consider when choosing books:

  1. Book type: For example, some books are better suited for mains while some are better for prelims. So you may need separate sets of books in certain areas for the prelims and mains respectively.
  2. Book content: The subject matter of the book and how well suited it is to your exam. For example, certain books may appear very informative but they may be ideally suited for university examinations rather than a competitive examination like the CSE.

In later posts, we will look into list of books for various subjects.

Don’t forget the basics. You need to start from school level NCERT books.

You may have already forgotten the basics, but that’s okay. The best way to start preparing for the UPSC exam is to go back and relearn the basics. Many aspirants make the mistake of starting at an advanced level without first building a strong foundation. This is a big mistake — you need to start at the basics to make sure your foundation is strong before moving on to more advanced concepts and resources.

Note taking is the foundation for success

Taking good notes is the foundation for success in any exam. It will help you remember concepts and ideas more easily, and revise for the exam more effectively. Taking notes is not just about writing down information. Instead, it’s about understanding the information deeply and making sure it’s stored in your long-term memory.

Practice makes you perfect. Take a large number of tests and write answers on daily basis.

Practice is the second most important thing you need to do to prepare for the UPSC exam. You can’t just read books or take notes for a few months and expect to perform well — you need to practice daily to make sure your skills are top notch when the exam comes around. The best way to practice for the exam is to take a large number of tests and write your answers on a daily basis. Doing so will help you identify your weaknesses and address them effectively. It will also help you get in the exam mode, which is extremely important. Taking tests also helps you gauge how well prepared you are. If you are taking low-level tests and are unable to answer questions correctly, then you are not prepared well enough. If you are taking high-level tests and are able to answer the questions correctly, then you are well prepared for the exam.

Revise as many times as possible. It will enhance the accuracy and speed of recall.

One of the best ways to prepare for the UPSC exam is to revise your self-made notes as many times as possible. This will help enhance the accuracy and speed of recall. You can revise your notes in many different ways. You can go over your notes in chunks, do specific topics and issues, or even go over your notes with a friend or peer group. You can also use mnemonics to revise your notes and make them easier to remember. Mnemonics are especially effective for things like dates, names and numbers.

You can't figure it out all by yourself. Have a mentor to guide you at each step. Join a good coaching class for your weak areas.

Most aspiring civil servants don’t figure out the needs ad strategy of the UPSC examinations by themselves. They need a mentor who guides them at each step and makes sure they are on the right track. If you don’t have a mentor, then you will fall behind in your preparation and not perform as well as you could have. You will find a set of experienced mentors in Evolution’s Integrated Courses. A mentor can help you stay on track, identify your weaknesses, and get you the assistance you need to improve. You can also join a good coaching class for your weak areas. This will help you cover your weak areas and perform better in your UPSC exam.

Have an active peer group through the journey.

Another way to prepare effectively for the UPSC exam is to have an active peer group. You can do this either by forming a small study group, joining an online community, or joining an offline group. A peer group will help you stay motivated, identify your weaknesses, and provide support when you need it most. It’s important to stay motivated throughout your preparation journey, and having a peer group will help you do this. Having a peer group will help you stay motivated, identify your weaknesses, and provide support when you need it most. It’s important to stay motivated throughout your preparation journey, and having a peer group will help you do this.

Take care of your physical and mental health

Finally, you need to take care of your physical and mental health while preparing for the UPSC exam. You must get enough rest and sleep — at least eight hours of sleep every night.

You must also eat healthily and exercise regularly to stay in good shape. This will help you focus better on your studies and perform better in the exam.

Finally, you must avoid stress and anxiety. Make sure you take time off from studying every now and then.

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A thought without a plan is just a dream. A plan without action is just a wish. Take action now to bring out the topper in you.