UPSC CSE Preparation Tips for Absolute Beginners
Absolute beginners have at least 2-3 years to prepare for the exam. If you are an absolute beginner (be it a school or college student) and find yourself asking, “Where exactly do I begin to prepare for UPSC?” don’t worry as this is something everyone has trouble with in the beginning. Follow these tips and tricks that will guide you to crack the exam and to maintain your enthusiasm in the long-run:
a. If you are still a school student, learn about the world around you and the basics of how it functions. It is not needed to make notes. What you must read about instead, are Static General Knowledge, i.e. facts that are universal and will not change in the foreseeable future (for example, important national days, names and capitals of countries, etc.)from your NCERTs.
b. If you are a college student, start making notes on static general knowledge through the NCERTs. You don’t need to focus on dynamic or changing GK as frequent questions will not be asked. Again, read the newspaper daily.
- HANDWRITING AND LANGUAGE SKILLS:
a. Sometimes, examiners might take your handwriting and how you present the paper into consideration during the marking process. Take a course that will help you improve your handwriting. Who knows, they might even mark you extra for good handwriting!
b. Similarly, to improve your chances during the interview take a course to improve your fluency when speaking. The writing part also matters so learning how to properly frame sentences and frame your ideas better should also be a priority. A course in English will help you in every aspect, not just UPSC exams.
- OPTIONAL: If you are preparing to give the exam next year, then start preparing for the optional subject because you never know which optional subject will be asked. If you are preparing for the year after that, then leave out the prep for the optional.
a. If you are a Civil Service aspirant and you have a lot of time on your hands, then please read your NCERT books. It might seem drab or boring in the beginning but it will help in the long-run while you attempt the Mains.
b. Again, read newspapers carefully even if you don’t understand everything. As you make it a habit, along with NCERTs, your comprehension will automatically follow.
c. Read the syllabus carefully and stick to it.
d. Read the Previous Years Question (PYQ) papers. Filter out questions that don’t fit the profile of PYQs.
- STATE OF MIND :
a. Don’t be close to unambitious people who aren’t serious about their lives and want to make something of themselves. Their mentality might seep into your lifestyle as well and it will leave you with zero motivation. You have to preserve your enthusiasm and your desire to see it through.
b. Always try to put aside 6 hours a day for self-study.
c. Don’t believe any of the rumors that might be milling around about the exam unless the concerned authorities confirm through official channels.
d. Lastly, have faith in yourself and repeat, “I will crack the exam” as a mantra to yourself every day to motivate yourself and work towards making it a reality.
In short, don’t be scared or worried about the preparation process. It is a tough exam and many horror stories about it exist. But if you follow the above tips and keep working steadily towards your goal then you can conquer this summit as well. H.W Longfellow once said, “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.” So go forth, aspirant, and good luck!
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