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How to Prepare for UPSC Exams- Prelims and Mains Tips to Crack The Dreaded Exam

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By: John

The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) of India is in charge of recruiting and choosing all people who work in Civil Services in India. It is made up of a chairman and nine members. These people have been entrusted with the responsibility of recruiting and hiring people in Civil Services, promoting and transfers, disciplinary actions, and miscellaneous matters such as pensions and legal fees. In order to work in Civil Services in India, one must go through these people and impress them through their various ways of selecting those they wish to work in Civil Services.
One way to be appointed to Civil Services or Posts of the Union Public Services Commission is to be recruited by passing a competitive examination. The UPSC usually conducts dozens of tests per year all around India. These tests cover many services and posts in UPSC: Medical, Engineering, some Defense Services, Forest Service, veterinary services, etc. The exam covers a lot, as you will need to study for both an elective test and a general studies test. The test is also broken up into preliminary and mains. The preliminary exam concentrates on General Studies. This article will give you some tips on how to excel on these exams.

Number One – Choosing a Subject

Most students have the option to choose one of the optional subjects to take in their preliminary and their mains exams. It is always best to choose a subject that you are completely familiar with. If you have been to college, and studied medicine, then you should opt to take the exam in that subject area. These exams are not easy, and choosing a subject that is new to you will cause you to have to prepare and learn brand-new material at the same time. Depending on how long you have for preparation, there probably will not be enough time to do both. Take a while to go over the syllabus and question papers for any subject areas that you think you might want to do, and see which area you know the most about. That is probably the subject you should choose.

Preparation for Both General Studies and Optional

You should prepare for both the General Studies and your optional tests. It may even be wise to alternate during your study time – to give your brain a little bit of a break from each subject. It has proven that studying one subject too hard for too long can be counterproductive, so you sometimes have to break away from one course of study and switch to another. If this is not a good way for you to study, make sure to start preparing for the mains as soon as you are done with the prelims – without even waiting for the results.

However, it is important to remember that sacrificing Optional study time for General Studies study time. Each question in the optional test carries 2.5 marks, and the test has a total of 300 marks. Also, input/output ration for the optional test is better than the ratio for the General Studies; so, make sure that you alternate and prepare for both tests, but plan to give more study time to the Optional, rather than the General Studies.

A Preparation Plan

You will need to study about ten to twelve hours a day as you prepare for the preliminary and mains tests. It is important to completely plan your preparation with very organized task lists, schedules, etc. Make sure that you have all of your preparation materials ready for the day that you need them. Map out everything that you will do, as well as what you will need to do it. Follow this plan carefully and stick to it.

Most importantly, make sure your plan is created specifically to fit with your individual study styles. If you are unable to study ten to twelve hours a day, plan to study up to what you know your maximum limit is. You know your limits – plan around them. You will not have quality study time after you have reached your limit. It is less important how long you study, and more important that you have quality study time with maximum retention of the information. This can only be done if your methods of studying are perfectly suited to your individual study needs.

There are syllabi available for both the General Studies and the Optional tests. Look and them and get to the point that you know them very well. Devise your plan to coincide with the information on the syllabus and the question sheets. You will need to always have the syllabus ready to confirm that the material that you are studying is the right material. If you are looking over question papers from previous years, you will want to make sure that you are not studying irrelevant material.

Keeping Up with Current Events

The latest testing trend has shown a shift towards current events, so anyone taking this test should prepare for that. You should read the leading daily regularly and obtain and read news magazines regularly. This will help you understand and know the current events that might appear on the tests, as well as show how the information can be presented clearly and succinctly. You should also watch news and current events programs on television, but make sure that you are watching these from a reliable television station!

Take Care of Your Mind and Body

You will do poorly if you do not take care of yourself while you are studying. If your body is shutting down from abuse, you will not retain the material that you are studying and you will not perform well on test day. Eat a light, healthy diet while you are preparing for the exam. Get enough sleep. The average adult needs about eight hours a night of sleep. Most importantly, keep your spirits up. Don’t get depressed if you miss targets in your study plan – just work harder to identify the problems that might have caused you to miss the target and fix them.

It may be hard, but passing this exam is possible, and you can do it. However, going in blind will get you nowhere. You will need to prepare yourself for this examination. You will need to map out a very distinct study plan, and you will need to stick to that plan – even if it takes up all of your time. It is important to prepare. If you prepare, you will succeed.
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